Weekend in South Central Pennsylvania – Hershey Gardens
This blog post continues details of our extended weekend vacation (August 5-8) in South Central Pennsylvania. The first day of our vacation was mainly a driving event. We drove 5 1/2 hours from our home in Warren, PA, to our hotel in Jonestown, PA. On the second day of our vacation (August 6) we took a stroll alongside Union Canal in Lebanon and visited the quaint village of Mt. Gretna, where we saw Leon Redbone in concert.
When on vacation we do not set an alarm. We get up … whenever. We tend to be early risers, so “whenever” is usually before 7:00 AM. I guess we were pretty tired on our third day of vacation (Saturday, August 7). We were sound asleep at 7:00 AM when the hotel’s fire alarm went off. The fire alarm went off twice. During its second squealing, the local fire station’s fire siren went off as well. The first time we thought it was OUR fire alarm (battery died?). The second time we knew it was the entire hotel sounding the alarm. We hurriedly got dressed and went out into the hallway (I was carrying my socks and shoes). There were lots of people standing outside their doors, in a variety of stages of dress, wondering what was going on. Our neighbor’s son and father had gone downstairs to see if we had to evacuate. They came back upstairs within seconds of when we stepped outside our hotel room. Someone put too much laundry in the washing machine and burned out the bearings. There was smoke, not fire, in the laundry room. There was no need to evacuate.
We finished getting dressed (remember the shoes and socks that were in my hand?) and went downstairs for breakfast. As expected, the breakfast room was packed. A young girl (teenager?), in jeans and shirt, did a bang up job keeping the food stations amply supplied! Can you believe someone complained to the front desk about the false alarm? I’m thankful that the hotel’s security system worked, that the alarm didn’t go off in the wee hours of the morning, and that there was no fire!
After breakfast we returned to our room. After showering and getting dressed, we left en route Hershey. In April 2006 we visited Hersheypark and Hershey’s Chocolate World with Wom, our exchange student from South Korea, and our niece Emily. We didn’t visit Hershey Gardens during that trip. The reason to go to Hershey was for the express purpose of visiting Hershey Gardens. We arrived at Hershey Gardens by 9:15 AM.
Hershey Gardens is a 23 acre botanical garden and arboretum. It sits up on a hill overlooking Hersheypark. Hershey Gardens was built as a gift from Milton S. Hershey for his community and to honor his wife, Catherine. Bob and I enjoyed strolling through the well-maintained flower gardens and arboretum; walking through the Children’s Garden; seeing all the butterflies in the butterfly house and looking at the many birdhouses on display.
We walked round and round this fountain.
It is beautiful from all locations!
We ate lunch at Cross Roads Cafe, which was located only a short distance from Hershey Gardens. Bob’s lunch was grouper fish sticks with fries and Maryland Seafood Soup. My lunch was chicken pot pie (made the Dutch way; dumplings instead of crust) and tossed salad. For dessert we each ordered a slice of cake. Our lunches were delicious. I recommend eating at Cross Roads Cafe, if you are ever in the Hershey area.
Later in the day we visited Indiantown Gap National Cemetery and attended a cruise in at a campground located across from our hotel, both of which will be blogged about separately.