We hit the road on August 3rd and made our way to Hershey, Pennsylvania. Our visit was part of a twelve day journey to Connecticut, where we’ll visit family, before heading on to coastal Maine in September. Central Pennsylvania was a beautiful place to begin our travels and it perfectly melded several characteristics we were looking for. A quiet and peaceful environment, with minimal traffic, and lots of things to see and do. We wasted no time getting started.
Our first night, we headed to Troegs Brewery in Hershey. The facility offers tours, tastings and a full menu, as well as retail sales of beer and merchandise. Given the near perfect weather at sunset, we sat outside on the deck and ordered a sampler of the brewery’s six year round beers…..
I’d read that the kitchen was highly respected for whipping up food more consistent with a higher end restaurant than a beer hall, and the food we ordered did not disappoint. We tried the saffron noodles, a seared octopus taco, a smoked beef stick (which, strangely, I did not get to try because: Kevin) and the lamb falafel sandwich — All were really good. As for the beers, the standouts were the Dreamweaver Wheat and the Perpetual IPA.
Since we were also trying to spend time with Kevin’s friend from high school, and because we did not want to over-plan every minute of our time, we skipped the amusement park. Instead, we chose several lower key items on our list. One day, while Kevin worked on some projects in the RV, I grabbed my camera and headed out to find pretty things to photograph.
In 1942, Milton Hershey commissioned a rose garden as a gift to the community and to honor his wife. Over the years, the small garden grew to eventually encompass some 23 acres of hilltop overlooking Hershey Park. Hershey Gardens now includes an arboretum, a butterfly house, a rose garden, an herb garden, a Japanese garden and a children’s garden. The grounds are absolutely beautiful, and even though the weather was not particularly cooperative for photography purposes, I really enjoyed wandering through them.
While the weather was uncooperative for my attempts at outdoor photography, the butterflies were happy to pose for my lens.
In another photography project, we took advantage of Discover Lancaster’s self guided driving tour of some of the county’s historic covered bridges. We visited five different bridges in the course of an hour or two.
Throughout our short stay in the area we were happy to find winding country roads and bucolic settings. Coming from an area known for constant, overwhelming, and utterly maddening traffic congestion, simply being able to get from Point A to Point B without a single incident of uncontrollable road rage was a breath of fresh air.
Indeed, as we drove back to the campground one evening, I remarked how shocked I was that there was NO ONE on the road. Kevin responded, “It’s the country, Laura!! That’s how it is out here!”
At that moment, I seriously considered taking the wheels off Barney and just setting up shop forever. Alas, there are many other lovely places to see, so onward we must go!!