Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Diners, Spelunking, And More Chocolate

Following a great first day away from home and a surprisingly uneventful night of sleep, we woke up early on Mother’s Day knowing that there were a few things that we wanted to see before we headed home. In addition to our room including tickets to Hershey Gardens, we were also given tickets to the Milton Hershey Story Museum which is where we ventured off to after we checked out and packed the car. Only about 5 minutes from the lodge, the museum was in downtown Hershey were we were able to park for free just behind the building. Having not eaten yet, we pushed back our exploration of the exhibits and instead grabbed a small breakfast at the café attached to the lobby (nothing special about the food here).

The museum itself was an interesting timeline of the Hershey story which covered the entire life of the entrepreneur and the legacy that still thrives today. For those of us that enjoy reading all the information posted with the artifacts, it is a nice place to stop while in the area. Of course, being surrounded by cocoa, our son decided to make some chocolate of his own and he wasn’t too happy about the results. Needless to say, the second half of the museum went by much further than the first half. However, we were still able to find our son a job on the first floor so at least we have already started planning for the future.

With our son now a little fresher than before, we picked up a few little items at the gift shop and ventured back out into the lobby where we had our son’s picture taken and we discussed the rest of the day. We were already planning on heading over to Indian Echo Caverns but we decided to stop by a diner for some lunch before our little spelunking adventure. While it fell short of the food from the night before, the lunch we had at the Soda Jerk Diner was pretty darn good (and it was a heck of a lot cheaper). The home made Moussaka is something that shouldn’t be passed up if you happen to stop in (save room for salad before and ice cream after which are included in the price).

From the diner we drove over to the caves just around the corner. While the wait was a little misleading (you can only say 10 more minutes so many times before people get annoyed), the tour was one that I am glad we were finally able to see (this stop has been nearly two years in the making). While there is an interesting story behind all the rooms and tunnels, it is probably best if I just include a variety of picture below that give you a pretty good sense of the spaces and tunnels which we explored during the 45 minute tour.

By the time the tour came to an end, our son was not happy. With all the traveling we had gotten him off of his schedule a bit and he was having nothing of it. Before the rest of the group could block our escape, we scurried up the 71 stairs and walked straight over to the car where we could change him and feed him. It was also a good time for us to rest. Once our son was satiated we got back on the road and began the slow trek back to the house.

Not wanting to make too much progress, too quickly we took the back roads across much of Lancaster County including slow coasting through Ephrata and Lititz. I am sure that my wife would have taken some picture but she was asleep for most of the time. It had been a long day and I would have done the same thing had I been a passenger. As we slowly made our way back east we made one final stop for a slightly early dinner at the Windmill Diner and Family Restaurant. Some place familiar and not too far from home… it was a nice way to end our weekend getaway and our son’s first, albeit short, family trip.