Carolina: Cruising Past 70: Baking with Chocolate, Building with Steel OLA: Pennsylvania, Part 1

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Baking with Chocolate, Building with Steel OLA: Pennsylvania, Part 1

Hershey's Kisses being packaged in Hershey, Pennsylvania factory...
with Terry Allen in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania gave us so many finds so this is just Part 1! Hershey, Pennsylvania,baked with chocolate, offered us the opportunity to be children all over again!  Further west is Pittsburgh, the city built from steel, where Bill met with a colleague, Terry Allen, from Fiserv Document Solutions where Bill served as President.  

Hershey, Pennsylvania
the real Hershey factory in Hershey, Pennsylvannia

The Hershey School in Hershey, Pennsylvania
Contrary to popular belief, Hershey, Pennsylvania is a census-designated place (CDP) in Derry Township, Dauphin County with no legal status as an incorporated municipality. With a population over 12,000, it is popularly called ‘Chocolatetown, USA, the Sweetest Place on Earth.’ It is a must-see for children of all ages (like 68-year old Bill and 63-year old Carol): Chocolate World, Hershey Park, Hershey Factory, Hershey Museum, Hershey Hotel, Hershey Garden, Hershey School among all Hershey things!

the Hershey Hotel in Hershey, Pennsylvaniad
view o Hershey factoryy and Hershey Park from atop the hill
 at Herhsey Garden, Hershey, Pennsylvania
The Chocolate World was where we stayed the longest. Its Chocolate Factory Tour is free and so we took it twice! We also saw seen a film about the history of Hershey. It was the best 3-D (actually it was 4-D) film we have ever seen. Then we learned all about the different kinds of chocolates…how they taste, sound, and look! Even the gift shop is by itself an amazing experience with all kinds of chocolate goodies. Good thing there were enough free samples to last the day and not spoil the diet!

Carol at Chocolate World
Bill with a 5-lb Hershey chocolate bar at the Gift Shop
The real Hershey Factory is at the center of downtown with two Hershey smokestacks prominently seen from anywhere around the city. We had quite a day looking for the best angle to shoot from. We finally found it atop the hill where the Hershey Hotel, the Hershey Garden, and the Hershey School were located. It also gave us a more panoramic view of the Hershey Park, a good-sized theme park (Guess what the theme is?). It was truly a whole lot of fun for new kids like us!

the Hershey smokestacks at Hershey, Pennsylvania
PPG Place in downtown Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The city of steel has grown to a city of charm. The PPG Place is a three-block area of glass buildings surrounding a charming little park. The Heinz Chapel stands on a corner of the beautiful campus of the University of Pittsburgh next to the Cathedral of Learning. The only National Aviary in the US, home to 600 species of birds, is at the city center.  And the Three Sisters, the only trio of almost identical bridges in the US span the Allegheny River in downtown Pittsburgh.  Self-anchored suspension bridges , they are built with steel and steel eye-bars instead of cables, and are all colored yellow!!! 

Three Sisters on the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
the Cathedral of Learning
I was also thrilled to find out that there will soon be a Philippine Room at the Nationality Rooms of the University of Pittsburg, a unique collection of 29 classrooms in the Cathedral of Learning depicting and donated by the ethnic groups that helped build the city of Pittsburgh. The rooms and the building are both designated as historical landmarks and are still utilized daily, mostly as study rooms, but also in an extensive intercultural involvement and exchange program.

the India Room, one of 29 of the Nationality Rooms at the University of Pittsburgh 
Duquesne Incline, hugging Mount Washington
The Duquesne Incline is a funicular that scales Mt. Washington, the highest Pittsburgh hill. Completed in 1877, it is 800 feet long, 400 feet high, and is inclined at a 30 degree angle with an unusual 5 ft gauge. But we drove up the hill instead taking the Incline and found a panoramic view of the city, Heinz Stadium, the many bridges that span the Allegheny River. We also discovered there the dramatic statue of George Washington and Guyasuta who probably served as a scout for the young Washington in 1753. 
Statue of Guyasuta and George WAshington atop Mount Washington, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

the Saint Anthony Chapel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
But our biggest discovery was Saint Anthony's Chapel, built in 1880 by Fr. Suitbert Mollinger, pastor of the Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Troy Hill. The chapel houses 4,000 to 5,000 religious relics, the largest collection outside the Vatican! Our guide told us how Fr, Mollinger built the collections, mostly from his own money through the years. We also found out that there are the three classes of relics: first class-from the body of a saint or one near sainthood, second class-an object once in the possession of a saint, and third class-something touched by a first or second class relic. The chapel is truly amazing!

Other Lovely Towns in Pennsylvania
the handsome Pennsylvania State Capitol, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
the original pretzel factory, Lilitz, Pennsylvania
Hershey is next to the city of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania which has the handsomest state capitol in the land!.And the Sturgis Pretzel House of Lititz, Pennsylvania, founded in 1861,is the oldest commercial pretzel bakery in the US and remains active today. Just 6 miles south is Lancaster, Pennsylvania where the Hershey campground of the Thousand Trails System was our home for 3 weeks.

Amish Village in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Wheatland, home of James Buchanan in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Bill met with another colleague from Fiserv, Gene Natale, at the outskirts of Lancaster. Since I did not join them, Bill brought home photos of the Mennonite and Amish life which flourish in the area. Tours gave him the difference between their lifestyles. Wheatland, home of James Buchanan, 15th president of the US when the country was at the brink of the Civil War, is also a landmark.
with Gene Natale in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is filled with great finds…from chocolate to steel, from universities to churches, from funiculars to bridges, from old to modern ways of living.  And we haven’t even talked about Philly yet!


  1. sooo--- lots of chocolate, sounds good to me

    the chapel and the nationality rooms and some of the other thigs you got to see are really interesting. I'll have to make the trip sometime

  2. One of my dream US trip is to visit Hershey's.


    1. You should! Am now thinking of how i can bring our grandkids there!


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