travel with a kiss: hershey, pennsylvania

Isaac and his best friend and his best’s friend’s mother and his best friend’s mother’s boyfriend and I are descending upon Hershey, Pennsylvania, next weekend. It’s a trip we’d talked about doing last summer, but our schedules clashed. So here we are. We’re staying at The Lodge. We’re going to visit all the sites.

I love the history of Hershey's, with Milton Hershey’s early failures at candy-making, in Philadelphia, New York and Denver, his ultimate success and, best of all, good works. After his youthful casting-about, Hershey (1857 - 1945) moved back to Lancaster, close to where he grew up, because of the dairy farms, so he could make caramels with milk, through The Hershey Lancaster Company. Hershey started making milk chocolate after he saw an exhibit, a demonstration of German chocolate-making, at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. He purchased the equipment, and started making chocolate in a wing of the caramel factory. The first record sale of Hershey’s chocolate was on April 17, 1895. He broke ground for a chocolate factory in Derry Township, where he grew up, in 1903. What’s amazing about Hershey, besides his persistence, is his sense of social responsibility towards his workers. He built homes and schools for them. Hershey Park was originally for his employees. It opened in 1907. I would call Milton S. Hershey a Great American.

My favorite chocolate Hershey’s product is the kisses. They make 80 million a day. Isaac won’t let me kiss him anymore. If I kiss his head, he rubs it. If I kiss his shoulder, he wipes it. When he does that, I ask him if he wants to wash the spots where I kissed him. I ask him if he wants disinfectant. A few months ago, when he was passing through an oppositional phase, I punished him with hugs and kisses. “For that, you owe me 10 hugs and 10 kisses,” I would tell him in a fun-but-serious tone. The humor in the discipline diffused the behavior. Oh, if things were always so simple.

Yes, there’s a sweeps here. To celebrate its centennial, Hershey Park is sponsoring a sweeps. The Grand Prize is four nights in the Hershey Lodge and tickets to tons of attractions. To enter, you have to include a memory or a momento, in the form of pictures or statements. Presumably this means this sweeps is only open to people who have been to Hershey. Though I suppose you could write a statement about they kept trying to get to Hershey but never did.

To enter, click HERE.

The deadline is September 4. That’s Isaac’s birthday. That means I’ll have to act quickly. We return the day before.