Saturday, February 28, 2015

Dublinia Revisited 2015


This is still a very interesting place to visit. I think that some of the exhibits have changed a little from when I wrote this originally. It was a little more difficult to get excited this time since the museum of crowded with foreign students practicing their English and we could not even get close to many of the exhibits. My lesson in this is visiting in the off season is preferable but having said that, you will enjoy this I am sure. 

This is probably the closest most of us will ever come to visiting the medieval world. You begin by reading about the early history of Dublin. One of the earliest exhibits fascinated me. It is an audio exhibit. You listen to several different residents of early Dublin speaking in their different languages. I was totally enthralled. The Norman French mixing with the local Gaelic and Danish, it was amazing.


After this you pass into a medieval faire. You get to see examples of the food they would have purchased at a faire, and the cloth which was one of the main reasons to have a faire. This is not all visual either. There is the smell of spices from the spice vendor. All very interesting and as you move through the exhibits at your own pace there are some displays that have audio buttons for you to push, available in five languages.



You will be struck by the horrible impact of the black death that decimated the population in the 14th century and the impact that church had on the daily lives of the peasantry. Customs and celebrations are also dealt with in an entertaining and informative way. You even get to walk through a merchant’s house.

 
The second floor however was my favorite especially the part of the museum where I was not allowed to photograph. There is an excavation from Wood Quay. There is a skull of a woman in her 40's that was found and a forensic anthropologist has recreated the face of this woman. What was really interesting were the details that they were able to isolate and explain from just this one head. She would have been in almost constant pain from her teeth which were in very bad condition. They could see the accesses. There were lots of other items of food, clothing, and pottery that were found in this dig. I could have spent the recommended 45 minutes in just this one room.



 The third floor has an exhibit on the Vikings including a longboat. Al liked this room the best and I imagine that it will be a big favorite with any children that come here. This is a museum that the whole family can enjoy, even young children.



If you are going to visit Christchurch Cathedral you will get a discount by buying both tickets. Before you enter be sure to have your picture taken in one of the cutouts because when you leave you will be exiting across the bridge to Christchurch Cathedral.



Take a look at the building that houses Dublinia. It was once the Synod Hall for Christchurch Cathedral and is a very attractive building designed by G.E.Street who was the architect for the renovation of Christchurch Cathedral in the 1870's.


Friday, February 27, 2015

Farmers Market in Davenport, Iowa

I
I thought it might take our minds off of the several feet of snow piled in our yards if we could focus instead on some of the joys of summer. In August 2013, Al and I were in Davenport, Iowa on a press trip and we enjoyed a morning stroll through the local farmers market. The warm sun, the smell of ripe peaches, it brings it all back. 







We might want to forget my attempt at riding a Segway!!


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Flashback Thursday Old Sturbridge Village



Bring your imagination and your most comfortable shoes; you are going to be taking a walk back into the world of 1830. Old Sturbridge Village (OSV) is a non-profit living museum founded in 1946. The buildings were brought to this site from all over the country. This is not a real village but rather a recreation of a village of 1830.


Your first stop may be the Friends Meeting House. Here you can sit and view an orientation video. This will help you to understand what to expect from your visit. There are 40 structures on over 200 acres of property. This is not a stagnant place, there is always something changing. 



This is a great place to visit with children. There are plenty of farm animals and, in warm weather, there is a boat ride on the little lake. They were in the process of setting up a skating rink on the green in this picture.



I love visiting the church. Families purchased their box seats in the church; they are all decorated a little differently with carpet, cushions, and small stools. You needed small comforts to survive an religious service that were hours long.



The village has several exceptional shops. A great bookstore is available and they have a catalogue for their regular shop, which includes items made by the characters in the village. Wrought iron items made by the smithy, pottery from the potter, barrels from the cooper etc. are all for sale. Everything made from authentic material in an authentic fashion.


This is truly a living history museum. You will be tantalized by the smells of cooking in many of the homes. We watched as a seed cake was cooked in the fireplace and in another kitchen, they were using the leftovers from the Thanksgiving feast to make a pie. If you want more modern baked goods, there is a bakery that makes one particular cookie each day, our day was chocolate chip. You can also get a cup of hot coffee as you walk around.


You needed a whole day to appreciate OSV and if you have your ticket validated when you leave, you can return free within 10 days. Walking around the village involves a great deal of exercise. We did see someone in a wheel chair but it will not be easy to cover the whole grounds. Depending on which season you visit you may see the fields being plowed, the seeds being sown, vegetables being planted or picked. Every season has its own interesting work going on, just as it would have over 170 years ago.



Children will particularly enjoy the schoolhouse. Here the teacher will discuss the curriculum as well as the timing of school. Many children in 1830 only attended during the very dead of winter when they were not needed on the farm to help.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Ohio's Wine, Cheese and Chocolate Trail

Our Chocolatiers

Ohio's Heartland Wine Cheese and Chocolate Trail
From the Amish countryside to the Canton cityscape, many local chocolatiers produce fine chocolates for visiting shoppers as well as large retail outlets. Chocolate making tours, old-fashioned soda fountains and delicious samples combine to tickle the tastebuds.


Coblentz Chocolate CompanyCoblentz Chocolate Company
4917 State Route 515, Walnut Creek, Ohio 44687
Phone: (330) 893-2995 • www.coblentzchocolates.com
Featuring artisan chocolates created using wholesome ingredients and time-honored recipes. Jelly Bellys, panned fruit and nuts, fair trade coffees and candies are in abundant supply! Watch chocolates being made from our viewing gallery.

Eiler Candy ShopEiler Candy Shop
225 West Third Street, Dover, Ohio 44622
Phone: (330) 343-3411
A Tuscarawas County tradition! Enjoy homemade chocolates, candies and old fashioned sodas and floats in a nostalgic atmosphere!

Harry London ChocolatesHarry London Chocolate Factory
5353 Lauby Road, North Canton, Ohio 44720
Phone: (800) 321-0444 • www.harrylondon.com
The aroma of fine chocolate and exquisite tasting samples await you. Explore the factory from high above the production floor. Once your 45-minute guided tour has ended, enter the 5,000 square foot retail store, the largest in the Midwest. Discover over 500 varieties of gourmet chocolates and candies, ready for gift-giving or self indulgence.

Hartville Chocolate FactoryHartville Chocolate Factory
114 South Prospect, Hartville, Ohio 44632
Phone: (330) 877-1999 • http://www.dmpweb.net/hartvillechocolate/
A unique old-fashioned candy store that features its own hand-made chocolates and a large selection of sugar-free items. Generous ice-cream cones are available in warm weather. Cookie cutters, Gund and Ty bears, gourmet foods, and candy-making supplies such as bulk chocolate and molds are also available.

Heggy's Candy and Nut ShopHeggy’s Candy and Nut Shop
3200 West Tuscarawas Street, Canton, Ohio 44708
Phone: (330) 454-6611 • www.heggysnutshop.com
Heggy’s has been a Canton classic for over 60 years. They feature Ben Heggy’s fine chocolates, nuts roasted fresh daily & homemade ice cream.

Milk and Honey Candy and Soda ShoppeMilk & Honey Candy and Soda Shoppe
3400 North Cleveland Avenue, Canton, Ohio 44709
Phone: (330) 492-5884
Milk & Honey is a Canton tradition and local favorite. Milk & Honey features an old fashioned soda shop, restaurant, and gift shop that carries their delicious homemade chocolates and confections.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Hop On Hop Off Dublin Bus Tour



I am a big believer in the value of a comprehensive city tour especially when you are unfamiliar with the area. Now granted I visited Dublin once before but on that trip, Al and I were driving, we parked along St. Steven’s Green, walked to the National Museum and the National Gallery and drove to the airport where our hotel was located. This is not a trip conducive to knowing your way around.
National Museum of Ireland

On this second trip we had two full days and our hotel was in Ballsbridge. We were as clueless about location as we would have been if this were our first trip. On our first day we ventured out on foot since we were visiting things more or less in a straight line away from us. Second day we headed up to Merrion Square to pick up the bus.



You may go up to Upper O’Connell St. to start the tour at the beginning or you can choose to do what we did, find the stop closest to your hotel and get on there. 



Once you have your ticket you have to put it into the machine on the bus which dates and times it, it is good for 24 hours. When I put my ticket into the machine, it broke. Needless to stay this was fodder for our very humorous driver for the next 20 minutes. The drivers are what makes this tour a real “must.” Not only to do they have a constant flow of fact and trivia but as I was a fine example of they use whatever is going on to enhance the tour.



If you stay on for the full tour, it will run approximately one hour and a half.  There are two separate routes red and yellow and your one day ticket is actually good fr two days so you can feel free to hop on and off quite a lot.



I would do this tour again in a heartbeat but you need to realize that once rush hour starts at about 3:30 the times between buses rises to about 20 minutes and after 5 p.m. no more buses leave the start so in our particular case we got back on at number 12 at about 4:15 and there was no way at that point we could get back to Merrion Square. We took the tour as far as O’Connell Bridge and then had to walk.

One of Dublin's iconic colored doors


For current information about stops and prices, go to their website.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Let's Visit Ireland for a few posts

How about a little change of scenery. Let's head to the Emerald Isle. I have visited Ireland 3 times. The first time was 19 years ago when Al and I went alone on a genealogical search for my ancestors. We began in  County Offlay where the Genealogical Center was for the former Kings and Queens Counties at Tullamore. 

While I only found one very small thing, Julia Tallent's baptism in Raheenahoran, it was an important finding especially since her mother was Mary Moran. Many of my O'Connell ancestors have Moran's as god-parents, most likely cousins it would seem.

From there we spent one day in Dublin and then drove south stopping at the Rock of Cashel. It was quite a lucky stop since it was once a Donahue stronghold, who knew?

From there we spent two days in Killarney which is Donahue central. This was the first place in Ireland that touched me in an emotional way. I don't have scanned pictures from this trip, but one day I will scan them and add them to this post.

Instead I will include a photo from one of my other two visits. This pub is in Dublin.



Friday, February 20, 2015

Photo Friday: A Fall visit to Jamestowne Settlement and Jamestown

Recreated Jamestown at the Jamestowne Settlement

Ship at the Jamestowne Settlement

Commemorative cross at the location of Jamestown

Jane who died and was canibalized

Al on the boardwalk going to to Jamestown
Yes I was here too enjoying myself

Sculpture of Pocahantas
The first two photos are from Jamestowne Settlement and the rest are from the National Parks Jamestown. Both are worth visiting and offer different experiences while educating about the same events.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Flashback Thursday Old Homestead Bed and Breakfast Barnet, Vermont

Located in the peaceful village of Barnet, Vt, The Old Homestead B&B has it’s own homey charm. Our room was located on the second floor and was reached by climbing some very steep stairs. The room itself is good sized with a king bed and also a love seat that turns into a single bed which was perfect for us since we were traveling with Brandon, our grandson. There are hooks on the wall for anything you might want to hang up and also an open closet (more of a niche in the wall.) There is also an antique dresser with a doily on top. Two luggage racks are provided for those who are luggage challenged.

With this room you also have two porches, one screened and one with windows. It gave us lovely views of the backyard and the very pretty flower gardens. The porches both have seating areas and there was a small table and chairs in the glassed-in one. I sat there with my computer and was able to get some work done. We had arranged with Gail to arrive a little outside of her target time 4-6 p.m. and she was there to greet us with a smile when we arrived. Brandon’s bed even had two stuffed animals waiting which was a very nice touch. It is not always easy to find a bed and breakfast that is willing to tolerate children and here they are made to feel very welcome and Gail encouraged Brandon to go out and explore in her expansive yard.



The bathroom is basic with a shower and toilet and plenty of towels. The pedestal sink was located within the bedroom. The bed was very comfortable and covered in a white spread with floral shams and king sized pillows, there was a chenille throw if you want to lie down and not mess up the bed. Al had an end table with a lamp on his side of the bed, I had a small table covered with a floral cloth. There is a large ceiling fan as well as lighting on the ceiling and two other lamps around the room. The floors are wide wooden boards and are covered with a carpet in the center and several throw rugs around. The feeling is warm and comfortable and you would think that you are visiting a member of your family.



This is a traditional bed and breakfast where you come to get away from the stress and the hustle and bustle of daily life. There are no TVs, telephone or WiFi in your room. At first it scared me but reading and relaxing is a very good thing.




Breakfast is served between 8 and 9 a.m., family style. Great attention is paid to any allergies you may have and no wheat or eggs were used in the delicious pineapple upside-down cake we had.


For those who may have difficulty with stairs there is one bedroom located on the first floor.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

20 Pennsylvania Sweet Shops & Tours



From Hershey’s® massive chocolate kingdom to gourmet shops specializing in everything from truffles and maple creams to ice cream and popcorn, Pennsylvania is home to masses of artisans eager to fill your stomach with sugary delights.

Read on to uncover some of the best sweet shops in Pennsylvania, perfect places to take the family or pick up a yummy gift for a loved one (or yourself).

1. Bring your appetite to Chocolate-Covered February in Hershey, when the town gets even sweeter with chocolate-dessert buffets at The Hotel Hershey®, hot-chocolate slumber parties at Hershey Lodge®, opportunities to create your own truffles at The Hershey Story Museum® and much more.

2. Admire reindeer, elephants, castles and other whimsical displays — all made of chocolate — at Daffin’s Candies’ Chocolate Kingdom in Sharon. Guests can pick up homemade candies, chocolates and gifts onsite at the world’s largest candy store.

3. Taste the sweet bounty of northeastern Pennsylvania’s forests at Loch’s Maple in Upstate PA’s Endless Mountains. In addition to producing its own maple syrup, the family-owned company also makes decadent maple creams, candies, toppings, popcorn and more.

4. See how pretzels and other goodies receive the perfect chocolate coating during the Asher’s Chocolates factory tour in Souderton. Snack on delicious samples and take home your favorites from the retail store.

5. Pulakos Chocolates’ signature chocolate-covered strawberries and sponge taffy have brought smiles to Pennsylvanians since 1889. Taste the confections for yourself at the chocolatier’s flagship store in Erie.

6. Lauded as the “best chocolates in America” by Bon Appétit, Éclat Chocolate in West Chester features master chocolatier Christopher Curtin’s dazzling concoctions. Imagine Shiraz-infused truffles and Destination Bars featuring chocolate blended with exotic ingredients like Osaka wasabi and Peruvian corn.

7. Generic hot chocolate packets will never satisfy you again after a visit to Sazon Restaurant & Café in Philadelphia, where you can choose from more than 20 varieties of gourmet hot chocolate and 12 flavors of truffles, along with a menu of home-style Venezuelan cuisine.

8. Nestled in a former 1932 bank building in quaint Foxburg, Divani Chocolatier’s goodies are handmade in small batches with a signature Belgian chocolate. Enjoy a soul-warming beverage from their barista while you take in the cozy atmosphere.

9. The Mountain Marshmallow, a treat of homemade caramel and marshmallow blended with walnuts and milk chocolate, is The Sweet Shoppe’s signature treat. Craving something out of the oven? The shop also supplies the city of Kane with a lineup of cupcakes, cream horns, cannoli, cookies and pies.

10. Locals adore the variety at Finney’s Chocolate Shoppe in Crawford County. Take home more than 40 varieties of chocolate and 15 kinds of fudge; the triple-chocolate-covered strawberries are heavenly.

11. Peanut brittle gets a pleasing makeover at Brittle Bark in Mechanicsburg, where flavors like CinnaSwirl and Cherry Pecan Tart keep customers coming back for more. Try the Pretzelmania: salted pretzels, cinnamon crisps and ribbons of coconut covered with brittle made from almonds and pretzel balls. Then, the dreamy concoction is draped with white and dark chocolate.

12. Live demonstrations at Callie’s Candy Kitchen in the Pocono Mountains allow visitors to see how mouth-watering chocolates, brittles, hard candy and fudge are made. Just one taste of the Pocono Crunch will reveal why the combination of butterscotch, rice crispies and cashews is the artisan’s best seller.

13. Whether you fancy traditional caramel corn or newer flavors like cookies and cream and birthday cake, Incredible Popcorn in Bloomsburg has a mix to tickle every palate. Dessert flavors include rocky road, s’mores and caramel turtle.

14. Founded by in 1931, New Wilmington’s Tavern on the Square is an eatery in the heart of Western Pennsylvania’s Amish Country known for its comfort food offerings and legendary sticky buns — so moist and delectable you might even be compelled to take a Sticky Dozen home.

15. Penn State Berkey Creamery, the largest university creamery in the nation, uses about 4.5 million pounds of milk per year to meet demand for its ice cream, sherbet and cheeses. Look for flavors named after the university’s faculty, like Cherry Quist, a creamy black cherry and vanilla ice cream that pays tribute to John Almquist, a professor emeritus of dairy science.

16. Visit Gardners Candies® Ice Cream Parlor and Candy Museum in Tyrone to learn how 16-year-old James “Pike” Gardner founded the business in 1897, and fall in love with his appetizing inventions, including the Original Peanut Butter Meltaway®.

17. At Wilbur® Chocolates Candy Americana® Museum and Candy Store in Lititz, you can browse candy-related memorabilia, watch chocolate makers in the candy kitchen and pick up a box of Wilbur Buds®, the iconic company’s signature specialty.

18. Hand-dipped caramels, clusters, pretzels, crackers and more are heaven at Wolfgang Candy Company in York. Their Das Sweeten Haus Retail Store offers a wide selection of treats and a peek into the candy-making process.

19. Sarris® Candies’ old-school ice cream parlor in Canonsburg is a delight for all ages, while their retail store features a photo-worthy 1,500-pound chocolate castle and sugary gifts for all occasions.

20. Those with special dietary restrictions find safe haven at Sweet Freedom, Philadelphia’s first gluten-free, vegan and allergy-friendly bakery. The cookies, cupcakes, cakes and muffins are so yummy you won’t be able to tell they are made with special natural ingredients.
 

truffles and maple creams to ice cream and popcorn, Pennsylvania is home to masses of artisans eager to fill your stomach with sugary delights.
Read on to uncover some of the best sweet shops in Pennsylvania, perfect places to take the family or pick up a yummy gift for a loved one (or yourself).
1. Bring your appetite to Chocolate-Covered February in Hershey, when the town gets even sweeter with chocolate-dessert buffets at The Hotel Hershey®, hot-chocolate slumber parties at Hershey Lodge®, opportunities to create your own truffles at The Hershey Story Museum® and much more.
2. Admire reindeer, elephants, castles and other whimsical displays — all made of chocolate — at Daffin’s Candies’ Chocolate Kingdom in Sharon. Guests can pick up homemade candies, chocolates and gifts onsite at the world’s largest candy store.
3. Taste the sweet bounty of northeastern Pennsylvania’s forests at Loch’s Maple in Upstate PA’s Endless Mountains. In addition to producing its own maple syrup, the family-owned company also makes decadent maple creams, candies, toppings, popcorn and more. 
4. See how pretzels and other goodies receive the perfect chocolate coating during the Asher’s Chocolates factory tour in Souderton. Snack on delicious samples and take home your favorites from the retail store.
5. Pulakos Chocolates’ signature chocolate-covered strawberries and sponge taffy have brought smiles to Pennsylvanians since 1889. Taste the confections for yourself at the chocolatier’s flagship store in Erie.
6. Lauded as the “best chocolates in America” by Bon Appétit, Éclat Chocolate in West Chester features master chocolatier Christopher Curtin’s dazzling concoctions. Imagine Shiraz-infused truffles and Destination Bars featuring chocolate blended with exotic ingredients like Osaka wasabi and Peruvian corn.
7. Generic hot chocolate packets will never satisfy you again after a visit to Sazon Restaurant & Café in Philadelphia, where you can choose from more than 20 varieties of gourmet hot chocolate and 12 flavors of truffles, along with a menu of home-style Venezuelan cuisine.
8. Nestled in a former 1932 bank building in quaint Foxburg, Divani Chocolatier’s goodies are handmade in small batches with a signature Belgian chocolate. Enjoy a soul-warming beverage from their barista while you take in the cozy atmosphere.
9. The Mountain Marshmallow, a treat of homemade caramel and marshmallow blended with walnuts and milk chocolate, is The Sweet Shoppe’s signature treat. Craving something out of the oven? The shop also supplies the city of Kane with a lineup of cupcakes, cream horns, cannoli, cookies and pies.
10. Locals adore the variety at Finney’s Chocolate Shoppe in Crawford County. Take home more than 40 varieties of chocolate and 15 kinds of fudge; the triple-chocolate-covered strawberries are heavenly.
11. Peanut brittle gets a pleasing makeover at Brittle Bark in Mechanicsburg, where flavors like CinnaSwirl and Cherry Pecan Tart keep customers coming back for more. Try the Pretzelmania: salted pretzels, cinnamon crisps and ribbons of coconut covered with brittle made from almonds and pretzel balls. Then, the dreamy concoction is draped with white and dark chocolate.
12. Live demonstrations at Callie’s Candy Kitchen in the Pocono Mountains allow visitors to see how mouth-watering chocolates, brittles, hard candy and fudge are made. Just one taste of the Pocono Crunch will reveal why the combination of butterscotch, rice crispies and cashews is the artisan’s best seller. 
13. Whether you fancy traditional caramel corn or newer flavors like cookies and cream and birthday cake, Incredible Popcorn in Bloomsburg has a mix to tickle every palate. Dessert flavors include rocky road, s’mores and caramel turtle.
14. Founded by in 1931, New Wilmington’s Tavern on the Square is an eatery in the heart of Western Pennsylvania’s Amish Country known for its comfort food offerings and legendary sticky buns — so moist and delectable you might even be compelled to take a Sticky Dozen home.
15. Penn State Berkey Creamery, the largest university creamery in the nation, uses about 4.5 million pounds of milk per year to meet demand for its ice cream, sherbet and cheeses. Look for flavors named after the university’s faculty, like Cherry Quist, a creamy black cherry and vanilla ice cream that pays tribute to John Almquist, a professor emeritus of dairy science.
16. Visit Gardners Candies® Ice Cream Parlor and Candy Museum in Tyrone to learn how 16-year-old James “Pike” Gardner founded the business in 1897, and fall in love with his appetizing inventions, including the Original Peanut Butter Meltaway®.
17. At Wilbur® Chocolates Candy Americana® Museum and Candy Store in Lititz, you can browse candy-related memorabilia, watch chocolate makers in the candy kitchen and pick up a box of Wilbur Buds®, the iconic company’s signature specialty.
18. Hand-dipped caramels, clusters, pretzels, crackers and more are heaven at Wolfgang Candy Company in York. Their Das Sweeten Haus Retail Store offers a wide selection of treats and a peek into the candy-making process.
19. Sarris® Candies’ old-school ice cream parlor in Canonsburg is a delight for all ages, while their retail store features a photo-worthy 1,500-pound chocolate castle and sugary gifts for all occasions.
20. Those with special dietary restrictions find safe haven at Sweet Freedom, Philadelphia’s first gluten-free, vegan and allergy-friendly bakery. The cookies, cupcakes, cakes and muffins are so yummy you won’t be able to tell they are made with special natural ingredients.
- See more at: http://www.visitpa.com/articles/20-pennsylvania-sweet-shops-tours?utm_source=email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=February+2015+Enews#sthash.KjrIFN1F.dpuf

truffles and maple creams to ice cream and popcorn, Pennsylvania is home to masses of artisans eager to fill your stomach with sugary delights.
Read on to uncover some of the best sweet shops in Pennsylvania, perfect places to take the family or pick up a yummy gift for a loved one (or yourself).
1. Bring your appetite to Chocolate-Covered February in Hershey, when the town gets even sweeter with chocolate-dessert buffets at The Hotel Hershey®, hot-chocolate slumber parties at Hershey Lodge®, opportunities to create your own truffles at The Hershey Story Museum® and much more.
2. Admire reindeer, elephants, castles and other whimsical displays — all made of chocolate — at Daffin’s Candies’ Chocolate Kingdom in Sharon. Guests can pick up homemade candies, chocolates and gifts onsite at the world’s largest candy store.
3. Taste the sweet bounty of northeastern Pennsylvania’s forests at Loch’s Maple in Upstate PA’s Endless Mountains. In addition to producing its own maple syrup, the family-owned company also makes decadent maple creams, candies, toppings, popcorn and more. 
4. See how pretzels and other goodies receive the perfect chocolate coating during the Asher’s Chocolates factory tour in Souderton. Snack on delicious samples and take home your favorites from the retail store.
5. Pulakos Chocolates’ signature chocolate-covered strawberries and sponge taffy have brought smiles to Pennsylvanians since 1889. Taste the confections for yourself at the chocolatier’s flagship store in Erie.
6. Lauded as the “best chocolates in America” by Bon Appétit, Éclat Chocolate in West Chester features master chocolatier Christopher Curtin’s dazzling concoctions. Imagine Shiraz-infused truffles and Destination Bars featuring chocolate blended with exotic ingredients like Osaka wasabi and Peruvian corn.
7. Generic hot chocolate packets will never satisfy you again after a visit to Sazon Restaurant & Café in Philadelphia, where you can choose from more than 20 varieties of gourmet hot chocolate and 12 flavors of truffles, along with a menu of home-style Venezuelan cuisine.
8. Nestled in a former 1932 bank building in quaint Foxburg, Divani Chocolatier’s goodies are handmade in small batches with a signature Belgian chocolate. Enjoy a soul-warming beverage from their barista while you take in the cozy atmosphere.
9. The Mountain Marshmallow, a treat of homemade caramel and marshmallow blended with walnuts and milk chocolate, is The Sweet Shoppe’s signature treat. Craving something out of the oven? The shop also supplies the city of Kane with a lineup of cupcakes, cream horns, cannoli, cookies and pies.
10. Locals adore the variety at Finney’s Chocolate Shoppe in Crawford County. Take home more than 40 varieties of chocolate and 15 kinds of fudge; the triple-chocolate-covered strawberries are heavenly.
11. Peanut brittle gets a pleasing makeover at Brittle Bark in Mechanicsburg, where flavors like CinnaSwirl and Cherry Pecan Tart keep customers coming back for more. Try the Pretzelmania: salted pretzels, cinnamon crisps and ribbons of coconut covered with brittle made from almonds and pretzel balls. Then, the dreamy concoction is draped with white and dark chocolate.
12. Live demonstrations at Callie’s Candy Kitchen in the Pocono Mountains allow visitors to see how mouth-watering chocolates, brittles, hard candy and fudge are made. Just one taste of the Pocono Crunch will reveal why the combination of butterscotch, rice crispies and cashews is the artisan’s best seller. 
13. Whether you fancy traditional caramel corn or newer flavors like cookies and cream and birthday cake, Incredible Popcorn in Bloomsburg has a mix to tickle every palate. Dessert flavors include rocky road, s’mores and caramel turtle.
14. Founded by in 1931, New Wilmington’s Tavern on the Square is an eatery in the heart of Western Pennsylvania’s Amish Country known for its comfort food offerings and legendary sticky buns — so moist and delectable you might even be compelled to take a Sticky Dozen home.
15. Penn State Berkey Creamery, the largest university creamery in the nation, uses about 4.5 million pounds of milk per year to meet demand for its ice cream, sherbet and cheeses. Look for flavors named after the university’s faculty, like Cherry Quist, a creamy black cherry and vanilla ice cream that pays tribute to John Almquist, a professor emeritus of dairy science.
16. Visit Gardners Candies® Ice Cream Parlor and Candy Museum in Tyrone to learn how 16-year-old James “Pike” Gardner founded the business in 1897, and fall in love with his appetizing inventions, including the Original Peanut Butter Meltaway®.
17. At Wilbur® Chocolates Candy Americana® Museum and Candy Store in Lititz, you can browse candy-related memorabilia, watch chocolate makers in the candy kitchen and pick up a box of Wilbur Buds®, the iconic company’s signature specialty.
18. Hand-dipped caramels, clusters, pretzels, crackers and more are heaven at Wolfgang Candy Company in York. Their Das Sweeten Haus Retail Store offers a wide selection of treats and a peek into the candy-making process.
19. Sarris® Candies’ old-school ice cream parlor in Canonsburg is a delight for all ages, while their retail store features a photo-worthy 1,500-pound chocolate castle and sugary gifts for all occasions.
20. Those with special dietary restrictions find safe haven at Sweet Freedom, Philadelphia’s first gluten-free, vegan and allergy-friendly bakery. The cookies, cupcakes, cakes and muffins are so yummy you won’t be able to tell they are made with special natural ingredients.
- See more at: http://www.visitpa.com/articles/20-pennsylvania-sweet-shops-tours?utm_source=email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=February+2015+Enews#sthash.KjrIFN1F.dpuf

truffles and maple creams to ice cream and popcorn, Pennsylvania is home to masses of artisans eager to fill your stomach with sugary delights.
Read on to uncover some of the best sweet shops in Pennsylvania, perfect places to take the family or pick up a yummy gift for a loved one (or yourself).
1. Bring your appetite to Chocolate-Covered February in Hershey, when the town gets even sweeter with chocolate-dessert buffets at The Hotel Hershey®, hot-chocolate slumber parties at Hershey Lodge®, opportunities to create your own truffles at The Hershey Story Museum® and much more.
2. Admire reindeer, elephants, castles and other whimsical displays — all made of chocolate — at Daffin’s Candies’ Chocolate Kingdom in Sharon. Guests can pick up homemade candies, chocolates and gifts onsite at the world’s largest candy store.
3. Taste the sweet bounty of northeastern Pennsylvania’s forests at Loch’s Maple in Upstate PA’s Endless Mountains. In addition to producing its own maple syrup, the family-owned company also makes decadent maple creams, candies, toppings, popcorn and more. 
4. See how pretzels and other goodies receive the perfect chocolate coating during the Asher’s Chocolates factory tour in Souderton. Snack on delicious samples and take home your favorites from the retail store.
5. Pulakos Chocolates’ signature chocolate-covered strawberries and sponge taffy have brought smiles to Pennsylvanians since 1889. Taste the confections for yourself at the chocolatier’s flagship store in Erie.
6. Lauded as the “best chocolates in America” by Bon Appétit, Éclat Chocolate in West Chester features master chocolatier Christopher Curtin’s dazzling concoctions. Imagine Shiraz-infused truffles and Destination Bars featuring chocolate blended with exotic ingredients like Osaka wasabi and Peruvian corn.
7. Generic hot chocolate packets will never satisfy you again after a visit to Sazon Restaurant & Café in Philadelphia, where you can choose from more than 20 varieties of gourmet hot chocolate and 12 flavors of truffles, along with a menu of home-style Venezuelan cuisine.
8. Nestled in a former 1932 bank building in quaint Foxburg, Divani Chocolatier’s goodies are handmade in small batches with a signature Belgian chocolate. Enjoy a soul-warming beverage from their barista while you take in the cozy atmosphere.
9. The Mountain Marshmallow, a treat of homemade caramel and marshmallow blended with walnuts and milk chocolate, is The Sweet Shoppe’s signature treat. Craving something out of the oven? The shop also supplies the city of Kane with a lineup of cupcakes, cream horns, cannoli, cookies and pies.
10. Locals adore the variety at Finney’s Chocolate Shoppe in Crawford County. Take home more than 40 varieties of chocolate and 15 kinds of fudge; the triple-chocolate-covered strawberries are heavenly.
11. Peanut brittle gets a pleasing makeover at Brittle Bark in Mechanicsburg, where flavors like CinnaSwirl and Cherry Pecan Tart keep customers coming back for more. Try the Pretzelmania: salted pretzels, cinnamon crisps and ribbons of coconut covered with brittle made from almonds and pretzel balls. Then, the dreamy concoction is draped with white and dark chocolate.
12. Live demonstrations at Callie’s Candy Kitchen in the Pocono Mountains allow visitors to see how mouth-watering chocolates, brittles, hard candy and fudge are made. Just one taste of the Pocono Crunch will reveal why the combination of butterscotch, rice crispies and cashews is the artisan’s best seller. 
13. Whether you fancy traditional caramel corn or newer flavors like cookies and cream and birthday cake, Incredible Popcorn in Bloomsburg has a mix to tickle every palate. Dessert flavors include rocky road, s’mores and caramel turtle.
14. Founded by in 1931, New Wilmington’s Tavern on the Square is an eatery in the heart of Western Pennsylvania’s Amish Country known for its comfort food offerings and legendary sticky buns — so moist and delectable you might even be compelled to take a Sticky Dozen home.
15. Penn State Berkey Creamery, the largest university creamery in the nation, uses about 4.5 million pounds of milk per year to meet demand for its ice cream, sherbet and cheeses. Look for flavors named after the university’s faculty, like Cherry Quist, a creamy black cherry and vanilla ice cream that pays tribute to John Almquist, a professor emeritus of dairy science.
16. Visit Gardners Candies® Ice Cream Parlor and Candy Museum in Tyrone to learn how 16-year-old James “Pike” Gardner founded the business in 1897, and fall in love with his appetizing inventions, including the Original Peanut Butter Meltaway®.
17. At Wilbur® Chocolates Candy Americana® Museum and Candy Store in Lititz, you can browse candy-related memorabilia, watch chocolate makers in the candy kitchen and pick up a box of Wilbur Buds®, the iconic company’s signature specialty.
18. Hand-dipped caramels, clusters, pretzels, crackers and more are heaven at Wolfgang Candy Company in York. Their Das Sweeten Haus Retail Store offers a wide selection of treats and a peek into the candy-making process.
19. Sarris® Candies’ old-school ice cream parlor in Canonsburg is a delight for all ages, while their retail store features a photo-worthy 1,500-pound chocolate castle and sugary gifts for all occasions.
20. Those with special dietary restrictions find safe haven at Sweet Freedom, Philadelphia’s first gluten-free, vegan and allergy-friendly bakery. The cookies, cupcakes, cakes and muffins are so yummy you won’t be able to tell they are made with special natural ingredients.
- See more at: http://www.visitpa.com/articles/20-pennsylvania-sweet-shops-tours?utm_source=email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=February+2015+Enews#sthash.KjrIFN1F.dpuf
From Hershey’s® massive chocolate kingdom to gourmet shops specializing in everything from truffles and maple creams to ice cream and popcorn, Pennsylvania is home to masses of artisans eager to fill your stomach with sugary delights.
Read on to uncover some of the best sweet shops in Pennsylvania, perfect places to take the family or pick up a yummy gift for a loved one (or yourself).
1. Bring your appetite to Chocolate-Covered February in Hershey, when the town gets even sweeter with chocolate-dessert buffets at The Hotel Hershey®, hot-chocolate slumber parties at Hershey Lodge®, opportunities to create your own truffles at The Hershey Story Museum® and much more.
2. Admire reindeer, elephants, castles and other whimsical displays — all made of chocolate — at Daffin’s Candies’ Chocolate Kingdom in Sharon. Guests can pick up homemade candies, chocolates and gifts onsite at the world’s largest candy store.
3. Taste the sweet bounty of northeastern Pennsylvania’s forests at Loch’s Maple in Upstate PA’s Endless Mountains. In addition to producing its own maple syrup, the family-owned company also makes decadent maple creams, candies, toppings, popcorn and more. 
4. See how pretzels and other goodies receive the perfect chocolate coating during the Asher’s Chocolates factory tour in Souderton. Snack on delicious samples and take home your favorites from the retail store.
5. Pulakos Chocolates’ signature chocolate-covered strawberries and sponge taffy have brought smiles to Pennsylvanians since 1889. Taste the confections for yourself at the chocolatier’s flagship store in Erie.
6. Lauded as the “best chocolates in America” by Bon Appétit, Éclat Chocolate in West Chester features master chocolatier Christopher Curtin’s dazzling concoctions. Imagine Shiraz-infused truffles and Destination Bars featuring chocolate blended with exotic ingredients like Osaka wasabi and Peruvian corn.
7. Generic hot chocolate packets will never satisfy you again after a visit to Sazon Restaurant & Café in Philadelphia, where you can choose from more than 20 varieties of gourmet hot chocolate and 12 flavors of truffles, along with a menu of home-style Venezuelan cuisine.
8. Nestled in a former 1932 bank building in quaint Foxburg, Divani Chocolatier’s goodies are handmade in small batches with a signature Belgian chocolate. Enjoy a soul-warming beverage from their barista while you take in the cozy atmosphere.
9. The Mountain Marshmallow, a treat of homemade caramel and marshmallow blended with walnuts and milk chocolate, is The Sweet Shoppe’s signature treat. Craving something out of the oven? The shop also supplies the city of Kane with a lineup of cupcakes, cream horns, cannoli, cookies and pies.
10. Locals adore the variety at Finney’s Chocolate Shoppe in Crawford County. Take home more than 40 varieties of chocolate and 15 kinds of fudge; the triple-chocolate-covered strawberries are heavenly.
11. Peanut brittle gets a pleasing makeover at Brittle Bark in Mechanicsburg, where flavors like CinnaSwirl and Cherry Pecan Tart keep customers coming back for more. Try the Pretzelmania: salted pretzels, cinnamon crisps and ribbons of coconut covered with brittle made from almonds and pretzel balls. Then, the dreamy concoction is draped with white and dark chocolate.
12. Live demonstrations at Callie’s Candy Kitchen in the Pocono Mountains allow visitors to see how mouth-watering chocolates, brittles, hard candy and fudge are made. Just one taste of the Pocono Crunch will reveal why the combination of butterscotch, rice crispies and cashews is the artisan’s best seller. 
13. Whether you fancy traditional caramel corn or newer flavors like cookies and cream and birthday cake, Incredible Popcorn in Bloomsburg has a mix to tickle every palate. Dessert flavors include rocky road, s’mores and caramel turtle.
14. Founded by in 1931, New Wilmington’s Tavern on the Square is an eatery in the heart of Western Pennsylvania’s Amish Country known for its comfort food offerings and legendary sticky buns — so moist and delectable you might even be compelled to take a Sticky Dozen home.
15. Penn State Berkey Creamery, the largest university creamery in the nation, uses about 4.5 million pounds of milk per year to meet demand for its ice cream, sherbet and cheeses. Look for flavors named after the university’s faculty, like Cherry Quist, a creamy black cherry and vanilla ice cream that pays tribute to John Almquist, a professor emeritus of dairy science.
16. Visit Gardners Candies® Ice Cream Parlor and Candy Museum in Tyrone to learn how 16-year-old James “Pike” Gardner founded the business in 1897, and fall in love with his appetizing inventions, including the Original Peanut Butter Meltaway®.
17. At Wilbur® Chocolates Candy Americana® Museum and Candy Store in Lititz, you can browse candy-related memorabilia, watch chocolate makers in the candy kitchen and pick up a box of Wilbur Buds®, the iconic company’s signature specialty.
18. Hand-dipped caramels, clusters, pretzels, crackers and more are heaven at Wolfgang Candy Company in York. Their Das Sweeten Haus Retail Store offers a wide selection of treats and a peek into the candy-making process.
19. Sarris® Candies’ old-school ice cream parlor in Canonsburg is a delight for all ages, while their retail store features a photo-worthy 1,500-pound chocolate castle and sugary gifts for all occasions.
20. Those with special dietary restrictions find safe haven at Sweet Freedom, Philadelphia’s first gluten-free, vegan and allergy-friendly bakery. The cookies, cupcakes, cakes and muffins are so yummy you won’t be able to tell they are made with special natural ingredients.
- See more at: http://www.visitpa.com/articles/20-pennsylvania-sweet-shops-tours?utm_source=email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=February+2015+Enews#sthash.VC1MSf7d.dpuf
From Hershey’s® massive chocolate kingdom to gourmet shops specializing in everything from truffles and maple creams to ice cream and popcorn, Pennsylvania is home to masses of artisans eager to fill your stomach with sugary delights.
Read on to uncover some of the best sweet shops in Pennsylvania, perfect places to take the family or pick up a yummy gift for a loved one (or yourself).
1. Bring your appetite to Chocolate-Covered February in Hershey, when the town gets even sweeter with chocolate-dessert buffets at The Hotel Hershey®, hot-chocolate slumber parties at Hershey Lodge®, opportunities to create your own truffles at The Hershey Story Museum® and much more.
2. Admire reindeer, elephants, castles and other whimsical displays — all made of chocolate — at Daffin’s Candies’ Chocolate Kingdom in Sharon. Guests can pick up homemade candies, chocolates and gifts onsite at the world’s largest candy store.
3. Taste the sweet bounty of northeastern Pennsylvania’s forests at Loch’s Maple in Upstate PA’s Endless Mountains. In addition to producing its own maple syrup, the family-owned company also makes decadent maple creams, candies, toppings, popcorn and more. 
4. See how pretzels and other goodies receive the perfect chocolate coating during the Asher’s Chocolates factory tour in Souderton. Snack on delicious samples and take home your favorites from the retail store.
5. Pulakos Chocolates’ signature chocolate-covered strawberries and sponge taffy have brought smiles to Pennsylvanians since 1889. Taste the confections for yourself at the chocolatier’s flagship store in Erie.
6. Lauded as the “best chocolates in America” by Bon Appétit, Éclat Chocolate in West Chester features master chocolatier Christopher Curtin’s dazzling concoctions. Imagine Shiraz-infused truffles and Destination Bars featuring chocolate blended with exotic ingredients like Osaka wasabi and Peruvian corn.
7. Generic hot chocolate packets will never satisfy you again after a visit to Sazon Restaurant & Café in Philadelphia, where you can choose from more than 20 varieties of gourmet hot chocolate and 12 flavors of truffles, along with a menu of home-style Venezuelan cuisine.
8. Nestled in a former 1932 bank building in quaint Foxburg, Divani Chocolatier’s goodies are handmade in small batches with a signature Belgian chocolate. Enjoy a soul-warming beverage from their barista while you take in the cozy atmosphere.
9. The Mountain Marshmallow, a treat of homemade caramel and marshmallow blended with walnuts and milk chocolate, is The Sweet Shoppe’s signature treat. Craving something out of the oven? The shop also supplies the city of Kane with a lineup of cupcakes, cream horns, cannoli, cookies and pies.
10. Locals adore the variety at Finney’s Chocolate Shoppe in Crawford County. Take home more than 40 varieties of chocolate and 15 kinds of fudge; the triple-chocolate-covered strawberries are heavenly.
11. Peanut brittle gets a pleasing makeover at Brittle Bark in Mechanicsburg, where flavors like CinnaSwirl and Cherry Pecan Tart keep customers coming back for more. Try the Pretzelmania: salted pretzels, cinnamon crisps and ribbons of coconut covered with brittle made from almonds and pretzel balls. Then, the dreamy concoction is draped with white and dark chocolate.
12. Live demonstrations at Callie’s Candy Kitchen in the Pocono Mountains allow visitors to see how mouth-watering chocolates, brittles, hard candy and fudge are made. Just one taste of the Pocono Crunch will reveal why the combination of butterscotch, rice crispies and cashews is the artisan’s best seller. 
13. Whether you fancy traditional caramel corn or newer flavors like cookies and cream and birthday cake, Incredible Popcorn in Bloomsburg has a mix to tickle every palate. Dessert flavors include rocky road, s’mores and caramel turtle.
14. Founded by in 1931, New Wilmington’s Tavern on the Square is an eatery in the heart of Western Pennsylvania’s Amish Country known for its comfort food offerings and legendary sticky buns — so moist and delectable you might even be compelled to take a Sticky Dozen home.
15. Penn State Berkey Creamery, the largest university creamery in the nation, uses about 4.5 million pounds of milk per year to meet demand for its ice cream, sherbet and cheeses. Look for flavors named after the university’s faculty, like Cherry Quist, a creamy black cherry and vanilla ice cream that pays tribute to John Almquist, a professor emeritus of dairy science.
16. Visit Gardners Candies® Ice Cream Parlor and Candy Museum in Tyrone to learn how 16-year-old James “Pike” Gardner founded the business in 1897, and fall in love with his appetizing inventions, including the Original Peanut Butter Meltaway®.
17. At Wilbur® Chocolates Candy Americana® Museum and Candy Store in Lititz, you can browse candy-related memorabilia, watch chocolate makers in the candy kitchen and pick up a box of Wilbur Buds®, the iconic company’s signature specialty.
18. Hand-dipped caramels, clusters, pretzels, crackers and more are heaven at Wolfgang Candy Company in York. Their Das Sweeten Haus Retail Store offers a wide selection of treats and a peek into the candy-making process.
19. Sarris® Candies’ old-school ice cream parlor in Canonsburg is a delight for all ages, while their retail store features a photo-worthy 1,500-pound chocolate castle and sugary gifts for all occasions.
20. Those with special dietary restrictions find safe haven at Sweet Freedom, Philadelphia’s first gluten-free, vegan and allergy-friendly bakery. The cookies, cupcakes, cakes and muffins are so yummy you won’t be able to tell they are made with special natural ingredients.
- See more at: http://www.visitpa.com/articles/20-pennsylvania-sweet-shops-tours?utm_source=email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=February+2015+Enews#sthash.VC1MSf7d.dpuf