Friday, December 30, 2011

First Snow and Hershey trip.

I couldn't believe it.  After being in the 60s a week ago, we got snow.  And, it just started coming down as we pulled into Hershey's Chocolate World for our vacation-from-vacation-overnight-mini-break.

Avinash was delighted.  Snow!!  It's Christmas, christmas day!!
We twirled and tried to catch snowflakes on our tongues.  And, Ryan and I tried to capture the snow on film as well.  May-be we are in withdrawal from too much Texas, but it felt so magical. 

And, even though it isn't technically Nandini's first trip to Hershey, it is her first time out of my tummy and first overnight stay here.  It was also her first real snowfall.

This year.

Last year.
Does it always snow outside of chocolate world, or are we just lucky?

We rode the chocolate tour three times.  Nandini was so excited she was bouncing up and down in my lap the first time.  Avi sat by himself very proudly on our last ride.  We played chocolate bingo, Avi was one of the winners, and made kiss ornaments, which is when Avi eats as many kisses as quickly as he can and both mommy and daddy fail to get any kisses to stick to the styrofoam.

I don't know, does it look like this kid was having a good time?  I can't get over that pose (for his hershey factory ID).  Who taught him that?

Eating out at Hershey is great, because at even there are crayons and high chairs at even the fanciest restaurant.  We ate at the Circular Dining Room, one of our old favorites.  We had the most amazing vegetarian consumme soup there last year, but it did not make a reappearance this year.  We were trying to count how many trips to Hershey we have made over the years and couldn't keep track.  That consumme alone is enough to keep us coming back.
{Ryan dressed her in her cutest dress, is it any wonder I kept taking pictures of her throughout dinner?}
We asked for a vegetarian sampler and it outshined most of the top restaurants in Houston.  Hmmm....they combined sweet potato puree, spaetzle, swiss chard and some crispy potato gallette with a grape/red wine sauce.  It was so nicely balanced and flavorful.  Sweet, soft, rich, crispy and tangy.  Yumm.  And, that was after eating two slices of olive bread and one of chocolate bread.  Nandini loved the olive bread too.  Somehow, all Avinash wanted was carrots and cucumber for dinner.  Is it possible he had too much chocolate?   He still had some room for more kisses with dessert luckily.
We drove through the sweet lights display after dinner.  The best part was the Fairy Tale section, driving through a forest with lit up displays of all the different fairy tales along the way, so magical.  Avinash of course did a few laps around the lobby when we got back.
Even after all that excitement, the sugar high had not worn off.  And it was somehow contagious?  Because Nandini couldn't sleep until after midnight either. Sigh....bad parenting maybe, but you try to stop a three year old from eating kisses when he is being showered with chocolate at every turn, ha.
In another classic move, we failed to realize that the actual hershey park isn't open during the day this time of year.  Uh-oh..  Well, Avinash didn't seem to notice or care.  He and I went swimming in the morning and then we all walked through the Hershey gardens after breakfast.  (Wow, still can't believe that I took a pre-breakfast swim.) 
The gardens were really beautiful, even if, not exactly in bloom.  I was recently reading about the power of visualization and I decided to try it.  It took me from worried and disappointed to happy and relaxed.  Avi very happily held the map and directed us to the butterfly garden, over the bridge and under the rainbow colors.  So, so cute.  Nandini was beyond tired and fell asleep right there in Ryan's arms.  I know she won't remember anything, but I wonder if Avi wil remember this trip.  It was short, but very sweet.

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