Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate!
Last weekend, I went on vacation to Hershey, PA with my family for my sister’s birthday. For those of you who don’t know, Hershey, PA is the birthplace of the Hershey Bar and all other of Milton Hershey’s goodies. The town is filled with chocolate tours, a chocolate-inspired theme park, outlets, restaurants, and so much more. I’ve been going to Hershey, also known as “Chocolate Town,” for as long as I can remember. When my sister, Megan, and I were younger, we loved visiting the theme park, Hersheypark. Since we’re now both technically adults (scary thought right there), our interests have changed.
Like always, we stayed at the Hotel Hershey. The Hotel Hershey is a gorgeous resort that overlooks the town. From the outside, it kind of looks like a huge mansion. On the inside, there are many surprises. The hotel is constantly buzzing with excitement, and there’s always something interesting to do. Just being inside the hotel makes you feel like a million bucks!
This year, my sister and I didn’t want to go to the park. We wanted to experience all the hotel has to offer.
This is what we did…
We arrived at the Hotel Hershey in the late-afternoon. We were instantly greeted by a huge walking chocolate bar (someone in a costume, obviously) and given free Hershey’s bars the moment we checked in. Since the weather was decent but not nice enough to go to the pool, we decided to go to the Hershey Gardens. It conveniently sits at the foot of the hotel’s driveway. Our tickets to the garden were compliments of the hotel.
I’m not a huge fan of bugs, even the pretty ones. Of course, my family wanted to go to the butterfly room at the gardens first. I was a little scared at first to walk into a room where a butterfly could land on me at any moment (yeah, I know…. I just admitted I’m afraid of butterflies…), but I took a deep breath and embraced my fear. The butterfly room was really cool. There were so many gorgeous butterflies roaming around, eating fresh fruit, and even interacting with the humans. I got so many awesome Boomerangs and pictures. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw them on my story last Thursday.
We walked around the huge gardens, which are apparently 23 acres large. Out of everything we saw that day, my favorite part was the rose garden. My favorite flowers are roses, so I went crazy in this garden. It was absolutely stunning. There were so many different colors and varieties of roses. I was in complete awe.
My sister and my dad went back to the room to rest, while my mom and I found ourselves at one of the hotel bars, Iberian Lounge. Iberian Lounge is such a cozy bar. The room looks like something out of a 1920s jazz movie. I ordered A Toast to Tequila, which was tequila, agave, lemon juice and prosecco. It was a very interesting drink.
After spending some time enjoying the lounge, I went to dinner with my entire family at Harvest. I love this restaurant because it’s incredibly vegetarian and vegan-friendly. All of the food is also incredibly fresh. I got the quinoa pilaf stuffed mushrooms. The dish was supposed to be vegan so I ordered a side of cheddar cheese to go with. Although, I ended up eating a lot of the mozzarella off my mom’s salad. The mozzarella had a slightly different texture, but it was SO GOOD!
Megan got a chickpea and spinach burger. I had a few bites and was instantly jealous I hadn’t ordered that instead. I liked that it was a twist on the typical veggie burger. While I liked the meal ordered, there just wasn’t as much to
it as I had thought. It was only really the mushrooms and quinoa.
I also ordered the rum punch at Harvest. It had a few different rums in it, including coconut, and was topped with pineapple juice and orange juice. It tasted like a tropical island.
Megan and I took a few pictures by the gorgeous fountains in the hotel gardens before retiring to the room for the night. Before going to bed, I ordered an apple crumb pie from room service. The apples were sliced a little thinner than how I prefer them, but they were baked to perfection with cinnamon. The crust and crumb were definitely my favorite parts of this pie. The entire pie tasted like it was made by a gourmet pastry chef. Definitely a sweet ending to the night!
Megan and I woke up early to go to yoga at the hotel gym. The instructor moved the class outside to the gardens. It felt so tranquil being able to do yoga surrounded by gorgeous scenery. The peaceful mindset followed me for the rest of the day, especially since I went to the spa right after.
Megan and I both got chocolate facials at the Spa at the Hotel Hershey. It felt so relaxing to be able to sit back and just be pampered for an hour. There are a lot of amenities at the spa, in addition to the treatments. After our facials, we grabbed a complimentary cup of tea and a muffin and sat in the aromatherapy room for a little while. We then went to the sauna before deciding to use the hotel pool.
It was a cloudy, slightly ominous day, but the rain had been holding out. My parents joined us, and we enjoyed a poolside lunch. I got a Greek salad with grilled zucchini. Again, the vegetables were incredibly fresh. I was impressed since we ordered from the pool snack bar. I also enjoyed a few bites of Megan’s zucchini, chickpea, and avocado wrap.
We moved over to the whirlpool, but it started to rain a few minutes later. Luckily, the hotel has an indoor pool and whirlpool. We stayed there for about an hour before lightning was reported in the area, and we had to get out.
There was a General Managers’ Reception that night, complete with complimentary appetizers and wine and beer. A number of the hotel managers were there interacting with the guests. We spoke with the Food and Beverage Manager and the Manager of Security. It’s nice to know that the managers genuinely appreciate their guests.
I also wanted to note that I spoke to a number of employees during my trip. They were all extremely friendly and so obviously happy with their jobs at Hershey. It’s refreshing to see employees who genuinely love where they work.
That night we ate at Trevi 5, an Italian themed restaurant in the hotel. My dad, sister, and I all ended up ordering the same thing with a few different alterations. The funny part is that we didn’t realize we ordered the same dishes until the food arrived. I got the House Made Gemelli in a pesto sauce with cherry tomatoes and zucchini. There was supposed to be chicken in it, but I subbed in mushrooms. This was definitely my favorite meal of the weekend. The pesto sauce was so addicting, and the freshly made Gemelli pasta made the dish. I still have leftovers of this meal, and I can’t wait to eat it again!
The desserts I ate in Hershey kept getting better as the nights went on. From room service, I got a chocolate cake that was filled with chocolate mouse and topped with a chocolate ganache. I’m not a huge mousse person because of its texture, but the mousse in this cake wasn’t overwhelming. The ganache’s rich texture was a nice compliment to the mousse.
I started my day by getting use out of the hotel’s gym and going to another yoga class. This class was inside and taught by a different instructor. It was vinyasa yoga, and the poses were slightly quicker and harder. I prefer yoga classes like this that are slightly more challenging.
Megan and I decided to explore Downtown Hershey that day. Out of all of the times we visited Hershey, this was the first we explored downtown. We had just missed the morning farmers’ market, but ended up finding an adorable boutique instead. The boutique, Knock Knock, was owned by a young woman, who I assumed was not much older me. The store was filled with an overwhelmingly fabulous amount of jewelry at prices perfect for college students. We probably spent an hour in that store. Megan bought four pieces of jewelry. There was a constellation necklace of my astrology sign, but it was only available in gold at the moment. I left my name and number for when the next shipment comes into the store, and the owner said she can ship it to me. It was such a cute boutique and the owner was incredibly sweet. Megan and I probably could have spent all day there!
We went to Houlihan’s for lunch. I got a berry salad with goat cheese, toasted almonds, and lemon poppyseed dressing. I fell in love with this salad! The lemon poppyseed dressing is really what made it.
Megan got avocado toast that was mixed with some spices and topped with burrata cheese. Her food was just as amazing as mine. This was the first time I had tried burrata cheese, and I was far from disappointed. It’s like a slightly softer, wetter mozzarella. It’s definitely a cheese I’m going to add to my cheese library.
After lunch, Megan and I caught the complimentary Hershey shuttle to Chocolate World. Chocolate World is a huge store that has a few attractions, like a chocolate tour and a chocolate tasting experience. As we always do, Megan and I went on the chocolate tour. The tour is a small ride that takes you through Hershey’s process of making chocolate. We’ve always loved this tour, but it had been updated since we had last been there almost two years ago. The “stops” on the tour were slightly more animated than they used to be.
We’ve always loved this tour, but it had been updated since we had last been there almost two years ago. The “stops” on the tour were slightly more animated than they used to be.
We were going to spend some time shopping after the tour, but there were thunderstorm warnings. We quickly caught the complimentary bus back to the hotel before it started pouring.
I did a little shopping back at the hotel’s boutiques. By the end of the weekend, I ended up getting a cute stuffed dog that has a Reese’s character dog tag, a reusable cold cup that looks like an ice cream cone, and a double chocolate cupcake I have yet to eat.
For dinner, I ordered take out from Trevi 5. I got something called “Zucchini Involtini,” which was similar to an eggplant rollatini. The zucchini was filled with spinach and ricotta, topped with marinara sauce, and came with a side of roasted chickpeas. It was a bit cold by the time I got to eat it, but it was still really good. My favorite part was the marinara sauce and the spinach ricotta mix. The roasted chickpeas were a little dry but still very interesting.
After dinner, my family went to Iberian Lounge for some drinks and live music. This time, I got Gin Blossom. It was made with gin, elderflower liquor, and tonic. I absolutely love this combination. We enjoyed the lounge ambiance and the live music from the piano player before moving outside to the terrace. After all the rain and storming, the terrace was finally peaceful. People were enjoying the fire pit and views of the town.
This time, I got my dessert from the Iberian Lounge. I got a dark chocolate cream pie. It was to die for. It was so rich with the perfect combination of bitterness and sweetness. It was my favorite dessert by far on this trip. It was a good way to end my vacation in Hershey.
Sadly, I’m back at work this week and am starting to prepare for my senior year of college. Going away for the weekend was a nice little vacation. Hershey never disappoints. I had such a beautiful, relaxing getaway. I can’t wait until I go back! For now, I’ll just be living for the weekends in between papers and study.
Enjoy these next few moments of bliss, my Dolls!
What the heck is a relationship? Read my definition in “Real Talk: Relationships.”