After 11 years we finally returned! It was exciting and fun to visit Hershey - the town we lived in while Wes attended medical school. It was a wonderful, nostalgic walk down memory lane!
And of course the first stop was one of our favorite places - Chocolate World!!!
Addie was freaking out she was so excited! We only had Addie and Isaac while we lived in Hershey and Addie is the only one who remembers anything. We rode in a cocoa bean for the tour - which was almost exactly the same. Even the music! We were singing right along!
And of course we bought TONS of chocolate!
We couldn't get enough of Chocolate World!!
Cate looking darling as always!
After our visit to Chocolate World, we drove around Hershey. We drove past Stu's parents' home - lovely as we remembered. We noticed a little girl in the driveway and wondered if we should stop by but we weren't sure they still owned the home. It turned out to be Stu and Carolyn's daughter and we just missed them before they left for Virginia. So sad! We are kicking ourselves for not stopping by!
We then spent some time walking around Shank Park - another one of our favorite places. Once when my parents were visiting us, my mother collected ferns here with Addie. Addie was about 4 years old. Together they pressed the fern and put it in a frame. we still have it on display in our home.
Then we visited the student housing at Penn State to see our old apartments. UME! This was our two bedroom apartment - the one on the bottom. We moved here with Addie when she was 18 months old.
Wes made this dent in the light post with the moving truck. He drove it up on the lawn and found out later that was against the rules. It's still there!
There used to be some rickety swings here.
Once Isaac was born we moved into a three bedroom apartment. We felt like it was a mansion! That's our building with the basketball hoop.
We lived in the upstairs apartment. While we lived there, that patio was home to a garage sale grill (and the story that goes with it!), the potting bench that Wes built, a vintage green patio chair that we picked up for fifty cents at a garage sale, among other furniture and flower pots. We loved our patio!
Our storage shed is pictured below. The storage building is shared between 4 apartments and the areas inside are just divided by a few boards. We started to notice a strange smell in our storage unit and one night decided to investigate. We took a flashlight down to our storage unit and peered inside. I will never forget when our light flashed against the empty eye sockets of 3 large, ugly dried fish that were hanging in our neighbor's storage compartment. It scared us to death!! And it reeked! Our neighbors were from India and I believe they used the dried fish in their cooking.
The original playground for the 3 bedroom apartments was probably 20 years old! The slide was metal and rickety with paint peeling off. There also was a metal merry-go-round that was fun and dangerous at the same time! While we lived there, the playground was replaced with a new one. It was still fun and extra safe. But we kind of missed the old fashioned playground! We spent so much time playing and talking with friends and neighbors in this community area.
A group of us decided to have a garage sale at this location. It was a riot and we ended up with many stories to tell (the Asian boy peeing in the water bottle, Stu selling his toiletries, the man with the gold chains and chest hair and of course, the guy who bought Chris' computer and called for tech support later that day - only to pay Chris and Wes with warm Pepsi. Just to name a few.)
Another view of the playground.
We walked over to the hospital and medical center and Wes showed us around.
It took a while to get used to hearing the Life Lion fly overhead several times during the day and night!
Where Wes trained and where Isaac was born!
I heard so many stories about these lockers but this is first time I had actually seen them! This is where the medical students - male and female - would change into scrubs for their anatomy labs when they would dissect the cadavers. Wes and the other LDS students (especially Carrie) often talked about how awkward this was!
Wes said that after working in the labs dissecting the cadavers, the students would often just throw away their shoes because they smelled so bad.
We entered one of the classrooms and saw some lecture notes on the white board. It brought back a lot of memories for Wes! It was in this room that a group of LDS students (Wes included) hosted a meeting for anyone who wanted to learn more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Penn State Medical School was impressed with Mormon students and accepted quite a few each year.
Wes spent a fair amount of time in this office!
And a lot of hours sitting in these huge lecture rooms!
The new children's hospital at Penn State is very impressive!
This is a strange and new kind of crosswalk.
After we toured the medical center we drove out into Amish country with the kids to see the beautiful people and the stunning landscape!
We stopped at one Amish farm for fresh lemonade, played with the dozens of kittens and then bought a lovely Amish quilt - something I've always wanted to do.
Dinner was at one of our favorite pizza places. Jo-Jo's.
Pizza and garlic knots. Yum!
One last walk to some of the Hershey sites. The Hershey Theater where we attended Stake Conference.
We spotted an albino squirrel.
Chocolate Avenue with candy kiss street lamps.
Intersection between Chocolate Avenue and Cocoa Avenue.
The street signs have been taken down but at this exact location, we took our Christmas family picture 15 years ago - just Wes, me and Addie - under the sign that said "Chocolate Avenue" and "Cocoa Avenue." Addie was 18 months old.
In a lot of ways this is where it all began! Hershey, Pennsylvania - "The Sweetest Place on Earth" - we love you so!