DC Road Trip Part 2 – Hershey, Intercourse and Philly!
Yeah, you read the title correctly. No, it wasn’t a typo. I totally visited a little old town called Intercourse yesterday. More on that a little later…
My first night sleep at Aubrey’s was pretty solid. I woke up, stretched, yawned, showered and made it out the door by 9:30AM.
My first stop of the day would be to Hershey’s Chocolate World in Hershey, Pennsylvania – a chocolate lovers paradise!
The majority of the ride out to Hershey was on Rt. 78W. It felt as if I was driving across farm land for 50 miles.
If you enjoy watching corn stalks dance in the wind, you would probably call this route scenic. In other words, the ride out there is filled with a whole lot of nothing but straight fields and farm land!
About two hours and forty minutes later (due to some traffic), I passed this huge billboard as I entered Hershey, PA. I did a quick u-turn and swung back by to snap a quick photo of it.
Welcome to Hershey!
On my way to Hershey’s Chocolate World, I stopped off at the Hershey Gardens.
As I rounded the corner thinking that I would be able to just stroll into the gardens, I was stopped by a woman at a kiosk. “Sir, you need to pay please!” Huh? Pay to look at your plants and flowers!? Believe it or not, they wanted $11.00 to walk the gardens. Needless to say I headed back to my car as quickly as I got there.
Here’s what aggravates me about my short lived experience at the Hershey Gardens:
I passed by this little dude below and he didn’t mention anything about paying to get in this place…
and I should have known by the look on this eagles face that I would be nabbed by the ticket nazi on the following corner…
“I’m guessing that there must be some sort of incredible chocolate fountain in the middle of the gardens that you can frolick around in naked in for $11.” <– This is a direct quote from the angry eagle above. In other words, it’s just not worth the money in my opinion regardless of how pretty the flowers are.
Hershey’s Chocolate World
Upon arriving at Hershey’s Chocolate World I caught a glimpse of three things that excited me. One was the bad ass touring motorcycle in the parking lot
1. Fully Loaded Touring Motorcycle
2. Hershey Trolleys
3. PEP Stations?
I have never in my life seen electric car charging stations in a parking lot before. Is this what the future is going to look like? It’s pretty amazing when you think about it. This little charging station pumps energy into your car while you’re inside pumping chocolate down your throat. Can you say… PERFECTION?
Note: Please ignore the fighting couple in front of the entrance that ruined this photo. Also, please note that the guy dressed as the conductor to the right is NOT playing with a yo-yo OR an invisible puppet. It just looks that way…
Once you step inside Chocolate World, it screams “TOURISTS… GIVE ME YOUR MONEY!”
I skipped out on the 3D show and the “official tour” to take the FREE Hershey’s Great American Chocolate Tour.
I walked through a short history lesson about Hershey’s before making my way on to this weird conveyor belt with cars on it.
The staff walked me over to the car while giving me these odd looks. Little did I know, this tour would be best suited for 9 year olds. Later I realized they were looking at me like I had two heads because I was one of the few people taking this tour at the time and I was about 18 years over the appropriate age limit. Moving on…
These little cars shown above took me on the tour around the faux factory in order to show me how Hershey originally started the company, how the chocolate was processed and how it was packaged.
Overall the tour was just alright… I would definitely recommend it if you’ve got kids in tow. I’m guessing the $40 Chocolate Enthusiast tour would have been a better bet for someone my age. At least I would have been able to get access to the real factory and see the chocolate being made right in front of me.
After the tour, you’re given two Hershey Kisses and you’re conveniently dumped off into Hershey land, or the biggest Hershey themed store you’ll ever see!
I finished up my sweet time at Hershey and I got back on the road. After a left on W. Chocolate and a quick right on Cocoa Ave, I was on my way to my next destination of the day.
Welcome to Intercourse!
I passed through a small town called Bird in Hand before breaking into Intercourse.
Believe it or not, there’s a town here in PA called Intercourse. You can read all about it here. As you would imagine, the sign posts here in Intercourse are frequently targeted by thieves.
To be honest, there’s not much to do or see in Intercourse, other than a few farmers markets and antique furniture shops. Lancaster, Intercourse and other towns like Bird in Hand, and Blue Ball are all considered to be a part of Pennsylvania known as Amish Country. It’s a place where the women mow the lawns with push mowers while the long gray haired bearded men drive erratically in their horse and buggies.
After cruising through Intercourse I made my way towards Paradise, yet another town with an odd name in Lancaster County. As a matter of fact, here’s a short list of funny town names in Pennsylvania Dutchland…
- Bird in Hand
- Blue Ball
I really only had a day to see everything out in Hershey, Lancaster County, and Philly. I was interested in seeing some sights in Philly but what I was more interested in was chowing down on a traditional Philly cheese steak.
When I arrived in down town Philly, I threw some change in a meter and set off down South Street. I snapped a few photos along the way of some stores, and even some really cool glass/tile murals that were hidden down different alley ways along South street.
Philly is gritty to say the least. I felt safe walking down South street during the day but I definitely wouldn’t be walking down there at night.
After about two minutes walk I arrived at Jim’s Steaks. My visit to Jim’s was based solely on a recommendation from a friend of mine. Supposedly Geno’s and Pat’s are the most popular cheese steak joints in town, but I didn’t really want to try the “most popular” one. I wanted to experience the best tasting cheese steak in the city.
I ordered an American cheese steak and sat upstairs by the window over looking the city streets…
Overall, the cheese steak was excellent. Although, it was certainly the best cheese steak I’ve ever had (I don’t eat them much), I still think the cheese steak is too “plain and simple” of a meal considering it’s pretty much the staple food of Philly. Also, I should mention that the staff at Jim’s was miserable. All of them! I was seriously disappointed in the lack of smiles and the way that they treated their customers.
After Jim’s I strolled up and down South Street before finishing up my trip to Philadelphia.
No, I didn’t see the Liberty Bell, Betsy Ross House, etc but it’s okay! I’ll be back to Philly one of these days to explore it a little more…