2018 – Sightseeing York-Gettysburg-RV Show

We enjoyed going to the county fair in York, PA. This fair is called America’s First Fair, originating in 1765! We drove in paid our parking and walked toward the entrance wondering where we paid our entry fee and realized later that it was Senior Day and we got in free! We went through many of the buildings. It was fun watching the pig and “Hot Dog” (Dachshunds) races. We saw large and small farm animals ranging from big bulls and beautiful horses down to rabbits and guinea pigs and various birds. In one hall they had pregnant pigs, sheep, and cattle as well as mothers with babies born this week. This was a very popular spot for all ages. One building had an impressive model trains display while another had a wide variety of hand crafted items and art work. It was a fun and tiring day.

The next day, after spending the day at the fair, we headed for the “largest RV show in the country” at the Giant Center in Hershey, PA. The arena floor was filled with vendors of all kinds selling mostly RV/camping related items. The food vendors were doing a brisk business. Outside there were many acres of RVs of all makes and models. We enjoyed both the vendors and the RVs. After a day at the fair followed by the RV show we came home ready for some down-time.

I didn’t know how much food industry takes place here in this area. Many of our well known companies produce products here. We toured two of them. The first was nearby Martin’s Potato Chips at Thomasville, PA. This is mainly an east coast company. Their snacks, we were told, have been stocked on Air Force One through the last several presidencies. Our tour guide started us outside where the potatoes are brought in by huge trucks and started on their way through the factory. We then walked along the production line where the potato chips were being fried, salted, dried, inspected, and packed. The guide brought us some chips, still hot, right off the line. They were delicious, the best we’ve ever eaten. There’s a well stocked factory outlet store and, of course, we took advantage of their low prices!

From the Chip factory we drove to the Snyders of Hanover factory where our guide took us to a windowed corridor above the area where the pretzels and other items are made. It was fascinating seeing all the people keeping up with the automated line and how the items were labeled so they could be sorted by both people with scanners and automated equipment. Of course I had to buy some cookies and taste the pumpkin spice pretzels. It was a very interesting, fun, and tasty afternoon.

Our last major sightseeing trip in this area was to Gettysburg, PA. I was surprised to learn that this famous Battle was only three days long (July 1–3, 1863) yet resulted in a huge loss of life in those few days. We did the driving tour of the Battle of Gettysburg locations. We saw many monuments to the men from both the North and South who fought for what they thought was right. Our last stop was the National Cemetery. We walked to the site where Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address and saw where many men and women from not only the battle of Gettysburg, but also later Wars and conflicts, are buried. Walking that hallowed ground was a humbling and sobering experience for us. It was also amazing to us to actually be at the site of such historical significance.


See individual photos with captions here.

2018 – Hershey Thousand Trails – Lebanon, PA

We were looking forward to this two week stop at Hershey, PA Thousand Trails and it didn’t disappoint. We enjoyed this campground when we were here a few years ago and knew this would be a good longer stop this year after several weeks of one week or less stays.

When we were at Hershey before we picked a site on the hill of Loop H. The 50 amp sites in that area don’t have the $3 a day surcharge that is charged for all the other 50 amp sites in the campground. However, I must confess we got a bit tired of the big hill. For this stay we decided to check out Loop B. We found a great spot and felt we made an excellent choice. About all but the sites in Loop A (which has some very nice spots) are full hookup. Honestly, it isn’t hard to find a nice campsite in this Thousand Trails.

Every interaction we had with the staff was positive and we appreciated their helpfulness.

My only complaint is the lack of internet connectivity. My Verizon signal was poor leaving me with only a fair data connect. Campground WiFi is only available at the Activity Center and it is even slower – think old time dial-up speeds. It isn’t that the campground hasn’t tried to supply WiFi. The area providers simply aren’t willing to come out to the campground.

My satellite TV signal was easy to dial in. There are many interesting things to see and do in the area as well as a nice pool and other facilities right on the property. Lots of shopping and restaurants are within 30 minutes.

It is easy to see why Hershey Thousand Trails is one of the most popular campgrounds in the system. We are already thinking about our next visit.


See individual photos with captions here.

2018 – Sightseeing Hershey and Lancaster, PA and area


We did a lot of sightseeing when we were here a few years go. This time, with near record setting heat, we made a few return visits but mostly enjoyed the campground and some downtime.

We did, though, want to revisit Bird-in-Hand, a town well known for its Amish food and shops. One of the favorite places there is the Farmers Market. On the main level we found all kinds of foods ranging from fresh baked goods, meats, cheese, candies, prepackaged mixes, and food to buy and eat on the spot. We bought fresh, hot pretzels, butter cheese, and Lebanon bologna. The market also has a variety of crafts and tourist items for sale.

Near Bird-in-Hand is Good and Plenty Restaurant. We very much enjoyed a meal there. The fried chicken and apple pie was terrific. Also, near our campground at Mt Gretna is a well known ice cream and burger restaurant called the Jigger Shop. We tried their trademark concoction – a million calorie sundae called “a jigger.”

Of course, I wanted to return to Hershey Chocolate World. The oversized candy bars made great photo opportunities and the shopping in the store was fun. I enjoyed the free ride through a chocolate factory, singing candy bars and singing cows and all. The highlight of our entire say was that on our way toward the door a lady asked Scott if he would take a picture of her and her husband. He recognized them as friends we hadn’t seen in years! They now make their home in Missouri and have been in the area for just a week. Seeing Pat and Donna after nearly 20 years was one of those “small world” experiences and an unexpected blessing.


See individual photos and captions here.