Jul. 7th, 2007

From 'Within the Wardrobes' )

We spent Friday in Hershey and Ronks, Pennsylvania. We started at Zoo America on the grounds of Hersheypark, a zoo containing animals exclusively from North America, where we had a quick lunch, saw a reptile show and walked through exhibits on desert animals, the plains, bear habitats and river life (a stream that powers the Hershey chocolate plant flows through the zoo). From there we went to the free central attraction of Hershey's Chocolate World, a Willie Wonka-type overview of the history of the town and the chocolate factory...very Disney, you'd never know slaves ever worked on cocoa plantations and the singing cows are rather "It's a Small World"-derivative, but it's entirely free to park and ride and everyone gets free chocolate samples at the end, when visitors are let out into an enormous candy and dessert emporium complete with waterfalls and exotic trees.

From there we went to a place the kids have visited several times with my in-laws but we've never seen: The Outhouse, a lunatic store in the middle of a respectable shopping district specializing in Amish furniture, quilts and handcrafts, with lots of ridiculous gag gifts and store features requiring quarters to see the "Amish Hooters calendar" (involves owls) "terrifying man-eating chicken" (involves an overweight person with KFC) and other attractions. It's mostly bathroom humor, as the name implies, making it the perfect place to take prepubescent boys. It's also around the corner from Dienner's Country Restaurant, less famous than nearby Miller's but also much less expensive and with smorgasbord just as good, including many, many varieties of pie.


Hershey and Ronks in Brief )


Am full to exploding from chocolate and smorgasbord, barely stayed awake on the drive back (reading Kate Mosse's Labyrinth -- on a Cathar fiction kick again). Tomorrow, Boyd's Bears, then [livejournal.com profile] apaulled and I are coming home and the kids are staying with their grandparents for a couple of days of bonding!

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