I had an incredibly fun day today! I started by driving to Hershey, Pennsylvania to the Hershey’s Chocolate World! Would you believe that I was the very first person to arrive in the parking lot! I had a tour scheduled for 9:00 am, as soon as the doors opened, so I did not want to miss it. I arrived early and walked around the outside of the building. I had a great deal of fun taking pictures with different company products. It was clear to me how successful they have been with their products.
I really enjoy Hershey’s milk chocolate. I have been to Belgium and eaten Belgium chocolate. It is famous and it is excellent chocolate. I have been to Switzerland and eaten Swiss chocolate. It is fantastic and I love it! I have also been to Germany and eaten German chocolate. It is wonderful and I love their chocolate. However, I have always said that my favorite is Hershey’s milk chocolate. The are all good, but there is something special that I have always loved about Hershey’s milk chocolate. It is my favorite!
It was extra fun going on a tour of Hershey’s chocolate and looking in their shop at all the different products for sale. Samples were not available, but it was wonderful to see all the chocolate items available!
After purchasing Hershey’s products, I drove 27 miles to Wilbur Chocolate in Lititz, Pennsylvania. I met several people at the local Elks lodge, and they were quite confident that Wilbur chocolate was superior to Hershey’s chocolate. I had never heard of Wilbur chocolate, so I received a helpful education about the company. The people I was talking with thought that Hershey’s chocolate was fantastic and that it was a huge, successful company. However, they thought that Wilbur was the better quality chocolate. Their website is:
My understanding is the Wilbur chocolate buds (sort of like a flat Hershey’s chocolate kiss) are one of the items they are most know for. Wilbur buds existed before Hershey’s kisses were created. Also, their chocolate covered malt balls are supposed to be fantastic. I looked at many of the products available and felt like I needed to buy several of the items to try them out. Their milk chocolate and peanut butter cup was absolutely outstanding! I also talked with Wilbur chocolate about how to ship delicate chocolate to hot climates like the deserts of Arizona. My taste buds loved the opportunity to enjoy various chocolate delicacies today!
Wow! It was amazing to see the Gettysburg National Military Park. I had heard from several people how powerful it was to go through the exhibits and visit the battlefields. I bought a ticket to do everything. I watched the movie, viewed the circular painting of the battle, and went on the bus tour with a guide reviewing the three day battle.
My tour guide spent 30 years in the army special forces, so he especially enjoyed telling us about the respective army strategies and high terrain and it implications. I spent more than 7 hours going through everything and I think I only touched the surface of what is there.
I really enjoyed seeing Lancaster, PA today. This is where Neil grew up, so it was extra special to explore the area. The area is beautiful with rich farmland. The Amish community gives the area a very nice flavor. It also is rich in history.
In the afternoon I shopped in Amish stores in the towns of Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania and Intercourse, Pennsylvania. Two very unusual town names. The Amish had quilt stores, baked goods, desserts, and all kinds of craftworks. I did not buy anything but a snack, but it was very fun to walk through all the shops.
I love all the green rolling hills. The streets are often narrow and wind up and down and left and right. I am staying in nearby Ephrata, PA. The GPS took me down a road where I was supposed to cross covered bridge over a river. The problem was that there was a huge sign that said the bridge is 10 feet 6 inches and the motorhome is 11 feet 3 inches tall. Rather than crash into the bridge, I spontaneously turned left and hoped to find another way over the river. Fortunately, I connected to another road that had an uncovered bridge and I was able to cross the river. I love GPS systems, but sometimes they drive me crazy. Thank goodness I saw the sign and could reroute myself!
I am really enjoying the weather here. The high is 76 degrees and the low is 53 degrees. No air conditioning needed. No heater needed. Great temperatures to enjoy being a tourist!
The racing harness sure does not look very large to be flying around the racetrack with some fast and powerful horses!!
It is amazing to watch how the horses trot. This horse is completely in the air as they fly around the track!
For years, I have seen harness racing on TV. It always looked cute seeing people racing in buggies. Well, I had my eyes opened today. I visited the Meadows in Washington, Pennsylvania (a little south of Pittsburgh)! They have harness racing along with a race track for harness racing.
Before the race begins, they go all over the course getting warmed up.
Tough competition as the start into the final stretch!
Crossing the finish line!
Those cute little buggies really move fast! The horses may be trotting, but they really fly!
The horses leg movements are interesting as they fun full speed!
Zooming across the finish line!!
I am not really a betting person, but I absolutely loved seeing harness races live and in person.
It is interesting because this truck drives down the track and puts out arms that the horses run up against. Once all the horses are there, the race begins and the truck speeds ahead of the horses.
Help! The lead jockey seems concerned that the second horse is getting too close!!
Because of the covid 19 pandemic, people were not able to stand next to the race track, but there were plenty of empty seats outside in the stands. It was a bit challenging to take photos of the harness races with my phone, but it was fun to try. Because fewer people were there, you could hear the jockeys yelling as they horses were coming to the finish line.