As our UK departure date drew closer, I realized I would not be able to fit in one more trip to visit my Mom in Virginia, in spite of my original plans. I was worried and anxious about getting everything done–in particular Jewel’s travel arrangements and cleaning our townhouse–not to mention all the small things that kept coming up. To my delight, Mom called and said that she could come up and help me with all the odds and ends I was working on for a few days just before we left. She and Mark came up on Thursday afternoon, one week before we left, and stayed until Saturday. They helped me to finish cleaning the townhouse and run many errands.
At one point, I had thought I would need to drive Jewel’s health inspection paperwork to Harrisburg, PA to get signed by the USDA. Mom and I had decided to take a side trip to Hershey, which is not far from Harrisburg. When plans for Jewel were changed and I no longed needed to go to Harrisburg, we decided we still wanted to go to Hershey. So off we went on Friday morning, first stop: Hershey’s Chocolate World. Even though we were there on a weekday, there were lots of school age kids, but we were able to see the exhibits we wanted to quickly and with no waiting. First, we took a train ride through a mock Hershey factory, breathing in the wonderful chocolatey aroma, learning about where cocoa beans come from and how they get transformed into yummy treats. Next, Elena and Roman donned factory hats and helped to package some Hershey kisses. And of course, we spent some quality time in the Hershey Store, where we bought Mark giant Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. They had other fun activities, like creating your own candy bar and a chocolate testing adventure, but Roman and Elena were too young. For lunch, we headed a short distance to Cafe Zooka at The Hershey Story. This cafe had been recommended by some friends, in particular for the Country of Origins Chocolate Tasting, a selection of shots of drinking chocolate, each containing a different percentage of cocoa. It was fun to try chocolate from different parts of the world and taste how different they were–I was on a chocolate high after that!
We had to say goodbye the next afternoon, but we were so happy that Mom and Mark came up to not only help with our final travel preparations, but also to have fun times!