Friday, April 27, 2012

Get Outta Town! Part II

When last we left our heroine, she had a bruised knee, a sore ankle, and a serious case of the grumps.  A good night's sleep set most of that back to rights.  Most of it...

Our getaway got off to a bumpy start.  It was my fault!  I admit it.  I am a procrastinator and definitely bit off more than I could chew with sub plans and report cards hitting at the same time.  I didn't think far enough ahead to realize these two events were going to occur simultaneously when I told my honey I'd head out of town with him.  As a consequence of my procrastination, I got the report cards finished before leaving town, but only half of the sub plans.  So, bright and early on the first morning of our mini-vacation I was up and borrowing my honey's laptop to finish sub plans.  Not the best way to start the day.  My honey was great about this turn of events.  He could have gotten mad at me for taking up precious vacay time to do work stuff.  He didn't.

My honey was a real trooper!  He got up before me, set-up the laptop, and made sure I had wi-fi access through the hotel so I could e-mail the sub plans into work when I finished.  He didn't even complain about us getting a later start than he wanted for the day's activities.  All he said was that he was just so happy that I had taken the time off to spend with him.  He got what a big deal it was for me to take two days off during this most busy of weeks.
The Sweetest Place On Earth: Hershey Park's Chocolate World

Now that I was sure everything would be running smoothly at work while I was gone, I was ready for some quality time with my honey.  To sweeten my disposition and get our mini-vacation started right, my honey took me to "The Sweetest Place On Earth".  That's right, we headed to Hershey, Pennsylvania, home of the late Milton Hershey and his world famous chocolate factory.

We had both been to Hershey Park and Chocolate World before this trip.  My family would go every summer when I was younger and now we take Squirt every fall.  We did the requisite Great American Chocolate Tour, where you get to go behind the scenes of the Hershey Chocolate Factory and see how they make the chocolate.  I've been on that ride a thousand times and it never gets old.  It's just so cool!  I bought the picture they took of us during the ride, even though my honey somehow managed to look away from the camera.  Next, we headed off to the Hershey Store to look for interesting t-shirts (my honey got two t-shirts and bought me a Hershey sweatshirt) and check out all the candy!  I busted out my new camera and we took pictures of each other in front of the Chocolate World sign.  When we got home, we would discover that we had accidentally taken video, instead of pictures.  It was a new camera.  I hadn't read the manual.  These things happen. 

This is NOT me getting flirty with Honest Abe!
Since we were already in Pennsylvania, my honey took advantage of our close proximity to Civil War battlefields and drove us to Gettysburg.  Some people might be appalled at the idea of traipsing around Civil War battlefields on a vacation getaway.  In fact, when my honey first told me about his vacation plans, he was worried that his love of history vacations would be a turn-off or a deal breaker for me.  But, lucky for him, I am the daughter of a history teacher.  All of my childhood summer vacations were spent traipsing around some historic site or another.  Plus, I teach American history and I have twelve grad credits towards a Master's degree in American History.  History and vacations go together like peanut butter and chocolate in my family.  Yeah, I'm still thinking about Chocolate World.  Can't you tell?  A trip to Gettysburg sounded like a great idea to me!

We toured the museum, watched the historical movie, and saw the cyclorama painting, which was really cool.  Then, we hit the museum store (a.k.a. souvenir shop) where my honey acquired two more t-shirts (Abe Lincoln asking, "Does this hat makes me look tall?"  How could he resist?) and I acquired a magnet to add to the collection on my fridge.  Since we'd gotten a rather late start to the day, we didn't have time to tour the actual battlefields, but we did have time to pose with the bronze Lincoln on the bench in front of the museum before heading back to the hotel. We ordered room service for dinner (a new experience for my honey) and went to bed early.

 The next day, we got lost. A lot.  My honey wanted to hit the outlet mall and thought he remembered seeing it from the highway on our drive up into the mountains.  So we drove one exit down the mountain and then another and another and another.  No outlets.  It took me four exits to convince my honey we may have gone the wrong way.  So we turned around and headed back past our hotel and one exit further up the highway we found the outlets.  We went shopping for tennis shoes for both of us and my wonderful honey endured twenty minutes of clothing shopping with me.  He definitely wasn't the world's happiest camper trailing behind me through the maze of clothing racks, but he didn't complain or ask if he could go sit on a bench.  If it had been a boyfriend test (which it totally wasn't because outlet shopping was his idea), he would have passed with flying colors.

After our shopping adventure, my honey wanted some Mexican food for lunch.  Mexican is my honey's favorite food and he definitely deserved to get whatever he wanted for lunch since he was such a shopping superstar.  We decided to drive into town in search of a Mexican restaurant.  How hard could it be to find a Mexican restaurant?  Pretty hard, apparently, if you are in the sticks of the Appalachian Mountains.  We found two Mexican places in downtown Hagerstown.  Both were closed and appeared to have been closed for a while if the "for lease" signs were any indicator.  So we drove out of town looking for a Mexican restaurant.  We drove and drove and drove.  Eventually, when signs of civilization were getting fewer and farther between, I talked my honey into asking TomTom how to get back to the highway.  We drove back past the outlets going in the opposite direction and settled for Cracker Barrel, resigned to the fact that there doesn't seem to be any Mexican food in the mountains.

Our next stop was the battlefield at Antietam.  We drove past our hotel for a third time on the way there and I fell into a fit of the giggles because the whole day was starting to feel like we were driving in circles.  I laughed til tears rolled out of my eyes and I was shaking in silent laughter, unable to breathe.  My honey stared at me at first, until I explained why I was hysterically laughing, then he smiled and chuckled a little himself.  Our funny bones sufficiently tickled, we arrived at Antietam, toured the museum, hit the museum store (two more t-shirts for my honey), and toured the battlefield in the rain.  History buffs that we are, a little drizzle didn't stop us from getting out of the car and taking some more pictures.

My honey (Yes, that is really him!) being a goofball,
looking down the barrel of a cannon (in the rain) at Antietam
Battlefield successfully toured, it was time for my honey to drive me home.  I had to work the next day. :'(  We made good time getting home, despite the rain, and had dinner together before he headed back up into the mountains to finish out the rest of his vacation week alone.  My honey later told me the rest of the week wasn't half as much fun without me there. Aww! Isn't he great?

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