"Croquant chocolate confits..." ~ Jane Eyre
I still smell like chocolate.
Snow was falling gently as Sarah and I ascended the hilly roads that led us to the Hershey Hotel late Friday morning. Stepping out of the car, one could smell the chocolate in the air. We were greeted with smiles and big chocolate bars at the front desk.
The perfect start to a perfect weekend.
Settling into the room was lovely. The hotel has a Victorian feel to it, and our room was cozy and comfortable. I always sleep best in hotels, and this bed was just right for long sleeps: puffy pillows and a pillowtop mattress.
We both had spa treatments in the late afternoon, so we took a walk down to the fitness area and spent some time on the treadmills. The windows faced the gorgeous garden at the hotel, a garden I would like to see when in bloom sometime. Still, even in the midst of winter, it was beautiful.
Arriving at the spa at 3pm, we were greeted and given our robes and a tour. The women's locker area wasn't exactly a locker room. The lockers were all wooden, the sinks were porcelain, there were high mirrors, and there were plenty of luxurious products at our disposal. There were three rooms in which we could wait in and relax in inbetween treatments: the quiet room, the silent room, and the aromatherapy room.
The quiet room was the main waiting area. There was coffee, tea, water, fruit, muffins, spice cake, and, of course, hot chocolate. The room had a fireplace and lots of big armchairs. There were plenty of magazines to read as well as copies of The Washington Post. The silent room was for meditation, with a small fountain. It had a beautiful window in the shape of a cross with frosted glass; I loved sitting in there. The aromatherapy room was my favorite room. The scent all weekend was creme brulee, which was filtered in by air ducts into a garden-type setting.
My first treatment was the rain shower. A blue mosaic-tiled shower is filled with many faucets all over, and there is a technician there with a hose that sprays onto your muscles. In my chocolate-colored swimsuit, I was under water for twenty minutes. It was not relaxing; it was work! I felt at times like I was drowning since the above showerhead was directly over me, but in the end I centered myself and just pictured myself somewhere under a waterfall.
A massage was next. It was an excellent massage; I heard one of my favorite Enya songs play during the experience: Caribbean Blue. My tension goes to my left shoulder blade, so feeling the knots being worked out was quite a relief. Afterwards was my reflexology treatment. I am so glad it was just my feet being worked on by this particular technician because he was a male; a very cute one! His name is Brennan and I didn't enjoy the treatment as much as I enjoyed our ten minute conversation about football! He had just been to the Orange Bowl, so we had a long discussion, which included his upset with T.O. and the Eagles. He wished me and my Giants luck, which was actually sincere to my surprise!
Back at the room, Sarah and I changed for dinner. We decided to head into Harrisburg to a Brewery called ABC: Appalachian Brewing Company. (www.abcbrew.com) We had some excellent beer. I had a wheatbeer called Water Gap Wheat (I ended up bringing a six pack home!). After dinner, we went back to the hotel where we both fell asleep fairly early!
Saturday morning was for more spa treatments. We woke up and decided to go to the spa early for breakfast. Sipping coffee and munching on muffins, we got great lounge seats in front of the fireplace. Both Sarah and I were schedule for baths that morning, so we went down together and though we had separate rooms, they were adjacent to one another. My bath was a whipped cocoa bath and hers was a noche azul soak. The aromatherapy candles on my tub were "peppermint pattie" scented; so I felt like I was in the middle of a York. Unfortunately, the bathtubs were not made for petite ones like Sarah and me, so later on we both agreed that we had a hard time getting comfortable. We headed to the sauna for a bit, but I stayed in for a short time because it was just too much for me! We both waited for our next treatments: Sarah had a massage and I had a coffee body polish.
The coffee body polish was the first spa treatment I ever had where I felt like chatting with the technician. She was really nice and we both discussed our coffee addictions. The scrub smelled so good, and the entire experience was refreshing and relaxing. Afterwards, I went back to the silent room for a bit before leaving the spa.
Sarah and I got lunch at a Panera after our treatments and then went to Chocolate World, where we walked around a bit and saw a video on how chocolate was made at the Hershey plants. It was interesting, but the best part was the end when we were given chocolate: Take 5 bars. Mmmm. We went on to visit the Milton Hershey museum. This man was phenomenal. He failed twice before creating his company. He was an amazing philanthropist as well.
When we got back to the hotel, we drank red wine (Channing Daughters Fresh Red), read, listened to NPR, and then got extremely drunk. We went to the Iberian lounge and ordered martini cocktails, and then ate at the bar in the fountain cafe and I had a beer and Sarah had more wine. Needless to say, at the end of dinner, we tried walking in a straight line down the hallways of the hotel. It didn't work. Instead, we did silly walks and arabesque leaps.
This morning we woke up rather quiet; none of us really hung over, but certainly feeling the effects of the alcohol we consumed! Sarah got us coffee and we read for a bit and listened to NPR. She then went to the fitness center on the treadmill, but I opted to do my exercising outdoors; the garden was practically a track. We checked out by noon, and we had the most amazing brunch in the Circular Dining Room. It was a buffet, which I had no idea about until we got there! It was delicious. The highlights of the meal included poached eggs with a charon sauce (I got the recipe for it from a very nice server), brie and fruit, some roasted lamb, and key lime pie for dessert.
Coming home was hard since the weekend was so relaxing and enjoyable. Despite being tired, I dropped off the souvenirs I purchased for my family. I got to see Jack for a bit, so that was nice. For some reason I never fully enjoy being away because I always end up missing my family and call them at least once during any trip. The nice part is that Sarah is a sister to me, so it was nice to be on vacation with someone I consider family...
I hope you go get some chocolate to eat after reading this entry. My favorite Hershey chocolate product will always be the Reece's Peanut Butter Cups.
Reader, welcome to my life.
- Name: ThursdayNext
- Location: New York, United States