Weekend Hodgepodge: New Year’s Edition!

Happy New Year! I am writing this while wrapped up in blankets, desperately hoping that I feel better by Tuesday when I have to go back to work. What started out as a stuffy nose last week has developed into a full on chest cold complete with chills and a mysterious rash on my wrists. Perhaps the doctor will be in order tomorrow, if they are open on “New Years Observed” …

Regardless, I am so happy that I was able to fend off whatever this is until today, which allowed me to have a blast in Hershey with Kevin this weekend!

The weekend started out with an unexpected meal out, since we lost power Friday evening. Not a clue why it went out, but Kevin jumped at the opportunity to try The Mint Gastropub, which I had been to before, but he had not.

Apple "Pie"

This picture doesn't do it justice, but we shared this Apple "Pie" appetizer that was sooo good. It consisted of an herbed shortcrust topped with thin sliced apples, sharp cheddar and bacon lardons. I MUST learn to recreate this! Our entrees were good too- I had "Hodgepodge" with veggies on polenta, and Kevin had truffled mac & cheese. Including drinks, it was cheaper than the Brew Works and (I think) even tastier.

Driving

Saturday morning, we hit the road for the hour-and-a-half drive to Hershey, with Jumbars sandwiches in hand. This is my hardcore driving face, apparently.

Clouds Hershey

Arriving in Hershey, the clouds looked a bit threatening, but it didn't rain. We stopped and got some white pizza at Phillip Arthur's Fine Food & Ice Cream (owned by the Fenicci's people), then checked into our hotel before heading to the park.

Hershey Park

Hershey Park was open at a steeply discounted rate for "Christmas in Candyland," plus we had downloaded a ton of coupons from the Hershey Advent Calendar for extra savings. Did you know Hershey park was originally a park for Hershey factory employees?

Kevin Candy House

After an afternoon riding the kissing tower, the skyview and the Reeses Xtreme Cup Challenge, we headed over to Hershey's Chocolate World for a snack and tour. We also saw this huge Victorian house, built completely out of Hershey confections.

The Forebay

One of the great coupons on the Hershey Advent calendar was for a free entree at The Forebay, so we checked it out! The food was great, and the wine list was impressive. Kevin thoroughly enjoyed a rosemary braised lamb shank with chorizo & bleu cheese corn pudding, and I had crab cakes with maple sweet potatoes & brussels sprouts.

Big Kiss

After dinner, we wandered downtown to the big New Year's Eve gathering. According to the emcee, 6000 people attended. This 300lb Hershey Kiss was waiting to be raised (instead of dropped) at midnight.

Kissmobile

The "Kissmobile" was stationed at one end of the festivities, distributing free samples.

We the Kings

Live music was the centerpiece of the Hershey NYE celebration. We missed the local opener, and there's not much to say about Nickelodeon's Ariana Grande, who was the national opener. She whined on stage. Enough said. BUT, We the Kings, the main show, was great! They are musically talented, and we liked their style, although their lyrics could use a little depth. They had great energy and even got us dancing (we aren't really dancers, but it helped us stay warm!). The Hershey characters came onstage at the very end.

Kiss Raise

The giant Hershey Kiss was raised from 11:59-12.

Fireworks

At midnight, a big fireworks display started. It was a great show, and we could see the people setting them off, which was neat.

 

Mini Ammo Can Geocache

Sunday, we found a couple of geocaches in the Hershey area before heading back home for me to collapse with this awful cold. It was a great New Year's Eve, and I'd have to say that Hershey knows how to do it right!

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