Sunday, August 30, 2015

Long Road Home (aka Magnaball Trip Part 5)

Monday morning.  Rumors of morning rain were circulating the campground, which gave a hurried attitude to lots of campers.  Some people had already packed up and left on Sunday night.  I was in no hurry to go anywhere.  We did slowly pack everything in the van, but we lingered, taking plenty of time to hang out with our campground friends for the last time and saying goodbyes (which, honestly were sometimes tearful ones).

With the car all packed up, I loaded Blossom into the wagon once again and walked up to the festival field, checked lost & found for some missing items, looked for ground-scores on the field (and found a few good ones!), walked to another campsite in search of other friends for goodbyes, said lots of goodbyes to people waiting in lines of cars, and finally meandered back to our van.

Only a couple miles from the raceway where the festival was held is Watkins Glen State Park.
Over thousands of years, the weak rock in this mountain has eroded away under the force of this river to create a most magnificent gorge with lots of waterfalls and small pools.
When planning this trip, I had planned to stop here on our way out of Watkins Glen.  But, like the many of Phish fans there, we should have planned it prior to the festival.  We were beat.  The scene looked like half tourists and half dirty festival goers resembling zombies.
So many stairs to climb!  We did a very short part of the trail, since we were all so worn out.  Thankfully, there were plenty of resting spots along the way.

We loaded back in the car and made the four hour drive south to Hershey, Pennsylvania to relax in a hotel room!
The following morning, we chose one last adventure which was very sweet!  We toured Chocolate World in Hershey.  It had a little ride (It's a Small World style) that showed the process of making chocolate through singing animatronic cows and lots of factory machinery.  We then headed into the Chocolate Lab.
Through computers, we designed our own chocolate bars and watched them be made on the assembly line.
This was a winner for both kids, of course, and we left with delicious chocolate bars!
A sweet ending to a long trip!

I had another stop in mind on our way home after Hershey, but at this point in the trip, my funds were depleted, so about 9 hours later, we were back in Asheville!  We had such a great trip, everyone got along and had a great time (minus a couple to-be-expected 4 year old meltdowns).  We saw new places, made great new friends, and have loads of fun memories!

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