The Jersey Shore Files:  Travelling the Chocolate Highway

Not exactly the most picturesque drive, I only fell asleep twice while driving.

It was legendary, it was epic, it was spine-tingling, and that was before we were even out of the state of Ohio.  The Skipah’s Traveling Road Show, recently set sail to drop anchor in New Jersey for some Atlantic Ocean fun for a couple days.  I was as excited about heading to New Jersey as much as I was the last time a bill collector called me.  Per the usual in Skipah’s mind, I was dead wrong, but would you expect anything else?  Throw in some Philadelphia fun, teaching all the children about the wonders of Washington D.C., and falling in love all over again (with a city, Miss Madison was ready to have me eat hemlock a few times) it was some serious adventures.  First though we had to get there!

Day one for this rabid pack of Hoosiers meant driving since we were on a tight budget and airfare and car rentals would have had us panhandling.  On second thought maybe we should have gone that route, freaking panhandlers rake in the cash apparently.  I cleared it with Governor John Kasich for safe passage and an Ohio State Police escort through the Buckeye State.  He guaranteed me that as long as I didn’t go half a mile over the speed limit while in Ohio, I wouldn’t meet any of his troopers.  If I did though, he promised me that I would get to contribute to the next retiring state policeman’s charity ball in the form of a speeding ticket.  Thankful for such gratitude, I obeyed his wishes and lo and behold Pennsylvania was in my view before I knew it!

Thankfully I’ve been here enough I knew the secret handshake.

For you botany majors these would be buckeye trees.  Not sure if this is some arragnement for Ohio to communicate with aliens or what, but it made for a good picture.

Pennsylvania can suck it!  Yeah, I said it.  The Pennsylvania Turnpike was an engineering marvel back in the day.  These days, it is an obvious cash grab.  Way back when, I could completely understand the tolls for the maintenance and upkeep.  These days, where is the upkeep!  I haven’t bounced around in a vehicle this much since the last time I tried hood surfing!  That was 20 years ago!  Never mind the “Keystone State” gutted me for $35.00 for the privilege to need an alignment job in the not so distant future.  

You would think $35.00 in tolls would at least get me a free T-shirt!

At least the Turtle Man enjoyed the tunnels, otherwise I would have just pulled off to the side of the road and took a big dump on the PA Turnpike.  Scratching a porcupine’s back is smoother than most of our trip on the asphalt jungle known as the PA Turnpike.  Thankfully, I got over my hatred of this road quickly (I hadn’t been to Jersey yet) and found Milton S. Hershey’s personal playground.  Obviously he was an innovator in the chocolate world, but holy hell I doubt he had any idea what his legacy would bring!

Hershey, PA is an unassuming place, as a matter of fact, if the most famous chocolate manufacturer in the world hadn’t set up shop there you would just think it was another stop on the PA Turnpike that they could legally rob you from.  Hershey World is amazing!  Free tour, and a top five gift shop.  You love chocolate Miss PMS?  Go to the gift shop at Hershey World, you get behind the scenes offerings!  With me being a Reese’s Peanut Butter expert (owned by Hershey’s) I was more delighted than a virgin on prom night with all the peanut butter concoctions that were offered.

Reese’s Peanut Butter in a jar?  Sold!  Reese’s cups with Reese’s Pieces inserted in them?  Sold!  Reese’s cups made with authentic Georgia peanuts in them, again sold!  The kids were in confectionary heaven as we only lost them about six or seven times.  Miss Madison and I were ogling everything from cheesecake candy bars to purchasing our own dairy cow and smuggling the top secret formula out of the place!  Hershey gets a solid five anchors on the Skipah rating chart.  Great place to start a vacation, but it’s a one day/two max trip.  We did it in two hours, but if you care to venture a little further down the chocolate vortex, they have a full scale amusement park and many other “paid” tours and exhibit there.

Every one should visit this place at least once in their life!

From there it was off to our five-star quarters in Harrisburg, PA for the evening at the Red Lion Hotel.  We got to stay for a fraction of the cost compared to staying in Hershey, and even got to hobnob with the Service Employee International Union who were in town for a convention.  I’m guessing union dues must be way down to be choosing Harrisburg over say anywhere else in the world for their convention but what do I know.

We came, we saw, and we conquered!

About it for now, after that long day of driving the gang was more tired than a local heifer who has to keep up with Hershey’s promise of fresh local milk for all their products.  Don’t worry, the journey is just getting started!

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  1. What an amazing experience for the kids! I still have never been to Hershey park, sounds yummy!

  2. I always wanted to go to Hershey’s world!! It was my dream lol. Looks like you had a lot of fun and eat so much chocolate 🍫 loved the pictures made me wish I was there hopefully I will one day

  3. You had me from the word “chocolate”! Endulge in 2 Hersey’s kisses everyday around 1 PM. Keeps me from snacking on other crap! Just pure chocolate for me, no nugut or gross marshmellow fillings. Just dark chocolate.

    Taking a bunch of kids to choccolate heaven was a risk that I would not have had the courage to try! Pack of kids hopped up with a sugary chocolate mess would have worn what little patience I have down to nill!

  4. Everytime I see your titles I truly think to myself; what in the world is he up to this time 🙂 How long did you drive? I love haring about road trips but I’m not keen. Yours didn’t disappoint!

  5. Was your page always this white? Anyway everyone hate pensi drivers lol

  6. Stellar trip, my man. Hershey’s world is a kid’s dream and ain’t far behind for a papa, either. Right up there with beef jerky world (is that a thing? It should be.)

  7. You have taken me to a place I’ve never been in this post! Looks like a fun trip!

  8. I love taking a side trip to Hersey whenever I’m in Gettysburg…and since my father raised a semi-Civil War freak, I’ve been there more than Disney. But so true, Hersey is a day trip, not a stay trip.

    • I’ll take Civil War freaks all day over Disney #exwifeissues. Miss Madison dabbles in some Civil War freakiness herself, but you bring up Revolutionary War talk look out! Hershey day trip for sure, can’t imagine setting up camp in that part of the world for more than a night.

  9. Love seeing you went to Hershey Park, just brings back so many great childhood memories. The turnpike is freaking stupid though.

    • I’m all for tolls if they do what they are supposed to do, but that damn thing has been around long enough its more than paid for. I pay my federal taxes, I’m sure I contribute to the federal appropriations for the PA highway funds! Gets off soap box….Hershey was one cool joint!

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