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A 30-something living in the foothills of the Virginia mountains; I'm saved by grace, addicted to coffee and my little sister is my best friend! I devote most of my time to exploring, reading, attending as many Nationals games as possible and documenting life here. My Prince Charming got lost somewhere along the way...but I'm trying to remain hopeful that true love exists.

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Pedicures, Pitching Nightmares & Pennsylvania

There is a fall-like feeling in the air and I'm loving it! I'm also crossing my fingers in hopes that it will stick around. After all, I had a Pumpkin Spice Latte this week for the first time and nothing says "Fall has arrived" like a good ol PSL.

September is a month filled with stuff to do and I absolutely love it! I know some people would feel ill knowing that every weekend of a month had stuff planned for them to do; I am not one of those people. This past weekend was no exception - I had a fairly chill week and then a full weekend. I do love having things to do and people to do things with. Maybe I'm making up for the three years that I hardly ever had plans? I don't know...but I'm loving all the adventure!

Watson watching "Salem" with me on a lazy Labor Day Monday.

Perhaps the final pedicure for this Spring/Summer season?
Monday was Labor Day, so of course I made every effort to do as little "labor" as possible. I slept in and then Watson and I finished binge watching "Salem" on Netflix. Once my family returned from living like animals in the woods all weekend (I'm kidding guys...sort of...) my Mom and took part in some tried and true Labor Day activities: pedicures and shopping! Which really wasn't as extravagant as it seems...we both got pedicures and we both bought one thing at Kohl's, so you see...really living large! I rounded out the night watching Nationals baseball...which I probably shouldn't have, but I'll touch on that later.

Autumn has truly arrived - the PSL is back!

The best tweet...until it wasn't...
Tuesday was another pretty chill day, even with it being the start of a work week. I yet again ended my day watching Nationals baseball...until I just couldn't take it anymore and so I had to cut it off. You see, in Monday's game Wilson Ramos hit a grand slam and the Nationals had a glorious lead over the Mets - until our relief pitchers came in and gave up the game. Tuesday, having not learned from Monday's awfulness, I turned on the game and watched as the Nationals kept raising the score...and then Michael A. Taylor hit a Little League Grand Slam (the ball never left the yard) and the Nationals had a 7-1 lead. Once again, our relief pitchers came in and in the span of one inning...lost the lead...and the game for the Nationals. I was so worked up it was a little pitiful...and after seeing the meltdown made the number 1 news story on Yahoo on Wednesday morning, I refused to watch the game on Wednesday night...and thank goodness, since we lost that one too. *sigh*

Yes - that's exactly what you want. For your bullpen to help out the other team!!

Retail therapy - awesome!
Wednesday and Thursday seem like they positively sped by! I had some Old Navy cash that I put to good use on Thursday, snagging another pair of jeans (gray...I know, I'm getting crazy with jean colors, right?) a sweater, a cardigan and scarf to pad my Fall wardrobe! I thoroughly enjoyed my Thursday evening walk thank in large part to the much cooler weather...and thankfully made it back to the house before the rain started to be too much of an annoyance. I also cooked a pretty delicious pot roast on Thursday that went over really well with the family - so that made me pretty tickled. Friday's work day took a little bit longer to pass than usual, but I'm sure it was because I was looking forward to the weekend! That's always the case, right?

On the road again...
Best Italian Food ever - Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake, Three Cheese Ravioli & Crostini with prosciutto, fresh mozzarella & basil. YUM.
We spent the weekend in Hershey, Pennsylvania (the sweetest place on Earth!) which is only about 2 hours from the house. It's definitely a great weekend get away spot and there is enough to make a weekend visit feasible and not feel overly crowded. Granted, my family likes to stay busy from sun up to sun down...so if you don't roll like that, maybe you'd need more than a weekend. We arrived around supper time on Friday and we had reservations at Piazza Sorrento - and let me tell you, pretty sure it was some of the best Italian food I have ever eaten! The restaurant makes all their pasta and sauces there by hand and it was so delicious; ever bite was amazing and since we were in Hershey, I couldn't pass up the Chocolate Peanut Butter cake for dessert...I mean, that was why I got the small serving of Three Cheese Ravioli!

The roller coaster champions on a mission to conquer....
The not roller coaster champion...chilling under the umbrella! 
Saturday dawned gloomy, with a chill in the air and the promise of rain looming large in the forecast. It actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise because when we arrived at the park around 9:45, there weren't very many people there. My parents were bound and determined to ride all 12 roller coasters that the park boasted and since they knew that heavy rain would likely mean the coasters would close, they immediately started riding coasters...one after another...and I just watched the craziness. Around noon they'd gotten through 7 of the 12 (okay, Jeffrey only made 6 before he started feeling less than stellar) and the rain was really starting to pour, so we got our arms stamped, grabbed some lunch and headed back to the room to change.

Hershey Chocolate Company - delightful!

A tasting flight of 6 drinking chocolates - absolutely amazing!
The Hershey Story was a new(ish) museum in downtown Hershey that told all about the life of Milton Hershey and so we headed there for a couple hours. Milton Hershey invented Hershey's chocolate (obviously) but was also an incredible force in building Hershey as a community; he even opened a boys school to educate impoverished young boys...and the school still operates today, offering a K-12th grade education for under privileged children who are housed with families in the town of Hershey and provided school supplies and wardrobe throughout their education. Mr. Hershey was certainly a credit to his name and did a lot for the town of Hershey....a lot more than just chocolate!

One of my favorite parts of the museum was the opportunity to do a tasting flight of six different drinking chocolates (this is different than hot chocolate) from all over the world, to give tasters an idea of how palates differ from country to country. I thought it was so interesting..and plus...you got to drink chocolate! Hello - that's awesome! I discovered I'm definitely more of a dark chocolate fan and I was able to purchase a set of the tasting glasses as a souvenir! Awesome!

Crazy hair, courtesy of the moisture in the air....

Being scrambled!

Adieu for the evening Mr. Hershey - your park was fun!
Around 4 PM the rain finally stopped, so we headed back to the room, changed again and went back to Hershey Park. Remember how I said the rain was a blessing in disguise? Yea - when we went back to the park, there was next to no one there - we waited in maybe one line, for all of five minutes. Everything else we just walked on to and rode, it was crazy! We got back to the park around 4:45 and by 7:30 we'd rode everything else we wanted to and my parents had conquered all the roller coasters that Hershey Park had to offer! We had supper at Red Robin (yyyuuuummm!) and even made it back to the room in time to watch the MSU game - even though it ended on a disappointing note. *sigh* It wasn't a good week for my sports teams...the Saints couldn't muster a win on Sunday either.

Just making chocolate...like they do...

My personal favorite would be Reese's Cups!
We had a delicious breakfast on Sunday morning at the Hershey Lodge - you guys, they had whipped chocolate butter! I couldn't even contain myself over that...it was amazing. After that delicious start to the day, we stopped at Chocolate World to ride in a cocoa bean on the Hershey Factory Tour and buy some souvenirs from our weekend in the sweetest place on Earth, which of course included some chocolate! We also had to stop in at the outlet mall and I picked up a new pair of running shoes since my other pair are looking pretty frightful and we rounded out our visit to Hershey with a stop at the Hotel Hershey, which is absolutely beautiful. I'm planning to stay there on my next visit!

The town of Hershey from the veranda of the Hotel Hershey!

The fountain lobby - so pretty!
We had a scenic ride home through Pennsylvania, Maryland and finally back into Virginia and we picked up Watson from his exciting weekend at the kennel. My parents went out with friends and I went on my weekly Target excursion...because seriously, that's a thing. Watson and I enjoyed a lazy Sunday evening and I have to say - as much as I love the weekend travels, I'm always happy to be at home again!

My amazing new pajama pants!

Hands down - one of my favorite views!

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