May 15, 2012
By Nick Larsen
Nick’s log, star date 65834.6, most likely May 14th; the grand cross country journey to ring in the end of another school year and the end of college for my fellow adventurers, Dan and Victoria, has begun. Starting in New York and ending in Texas, our first of many stops has led to Hershey, Pennsylvania. Home to chocolate, roller coasters, and cows; we arrived to a nearly empty Chocolate World and sporadic rain showers but with the rain coming down the crowds dispersed leaving more candy for us!
Our first place to visit…the bathroom! A series of challenges have been given for my journey, two of which are getting a 3DS street pass in every state we visit and going to the bathroom in every state as well. I can proudly say, I am on my way to completing both tasks. Also a little clone trooper pal of mine is making the journey with me as well, making the occasional picture in each major stop. Look forward to a possible game of “Where in the country is the clone trooper?”. Time to get back to chronicling the adventure.
Hershey is a sleepy little town during the parks off season. The occasional school field trip visits the area and you can see the rides being tested in the distance while the park is closed. Small construction projects are scattered inside of Chocolate World taking up small spaces previously used as gift stands and being repurposed for future use. The tour ride itself is still a great experience to be had and fun for a nostalgia trip for those of you who have grown up with Hershey like I have. The best part though, is always the free candy at the end of the ride, this months flavor, chocolate covered almonds. A bonus treat came in the shape of being asked to take a survey based on my use of chocolate baking powder.
While Victoria and I completed the survey, Dan was asked to sample a future candy that could be released within the next year or so. In exchange for our time, we were given free full size Hershey chocolate bars! A fair trade indeed. On top of the free candy from both the tour and the survey, a table near the gift shop gave away free samples of Rollos and Reese’s Minis! Free candy all around! One can not live on free candy alone though, I know, I’ve tried; it was lunch time so time to get some more food. Ordering a personal cheese pizza, I added on something new, a Jolly Rancher themed slushie. Most slushies taste a little bit like the flavor they are made after, but this slushie tasted perfectly like the candy. If you ever get the chance, I recommend trying one. With the added bonus of a massive sugar rush (and the downfall of a massive brain freeze), Hershey became a personal playground.
Running around as fast as possible, attempting (failing) to juggle, and dancing to every song on the radio, our adventure led us to the city of Harrisburg. With the goal in mind to check in at our hotel eventually we looked in shopping outlets, thrift shops, and video game stores to see what wonders we could find. We found an army of clothes, clothes, and more clothes! Our exploration led us to our hotel, where we devoured a meal at a local brewery followed by exploration of the hotel itself. After locating the fitness room, we returned to the room to eat snacks, watch Disney movies, and to type the first of several articles over the next few days following the grand adventure. Until next time my fine feather readers, next stop is camping at Lake Erie. More updates to come with the first chance I get! I hope you enjoy your summers as much as I am!
Nick Larsen’s Cross Country Road Trip, Part 1