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  • Writer's pictureTerri Tomoff

Savoring the Serene in Hershey, PA

And the little things...

A midweek car trip (2 hours) to Hershey, PA, AKA the Sweetest Place on Earth with my guys, was one of the best decisions to make this spring. As with so many others in the last two years, celebrations for various reasons had to be moved, canceled, or postponed, and this trip was no different for us. Our timing with being the shoulder season before the amusement park opens next month and staying at their premier hotel for one night (two full days) was a delight, and we are still giddy about our little getaway.

Initially, I made the mistake of booking the Hershey Lodge, but Bill and Ryan wanted to make our time there even more special and requested I cancel the lodge and rebook with The Hotel Hershey. I am so glad I did. It’s a hidden gem built in 1933 and still going strong today.

In fact, I decided to go one step further and purchase the packaged deal, which included dinner at one of their five restaurants and breakfast in the morning, plus tickets to the Hershey Story (we did not go) and entrance to the lovely Hershey Gardens (we did go!).

So many positives came out of our two days that I’m savoring our time away like a good piece of hard candy, sucking and savoring the juicy details of kindness and awe sprinkled all over the sprawling campus.

First awe—butterfly bathing! If you are familiar with forest bathing — absorbing the forest atmosphere with the practice of simply spending time in nature — no actual bathing required, butterfly bathing can be done similarly at the Hershey Garden Butterfly Atrium. But since it is so so hot inside, wearing a bathing suit could be warranted.

The Hershey Gardens Atrium contains hundreds of butterflies from around the world in a tropical setting that features colorful plants and a soothing water feature. Only one of 25 indoor, tropical butterfly atriums in the country, Hershey Gardens’ Butterfly Atrium is home to dozens of rare butterflies from South and Central America, Africa, and Asia. The last time I was in the Atrium was in 2008, and from what I can tell, it is still a beautiful place to be among hundreds of fluttering butterflies and photograph as many as I could.

I strolled leisurely down the hill from the hotel to the gardens and spent a lot of time in the hot Atrium, coming in from a sunny but cool and windy afternoon. I promptly shed my sweater and coat to remain comfortable in the tropical temperature. Then, while observing the floral and fauna where the butterflies like to land and hang out, I asked a docent about one of the butterflies. A few moments later, a large butterfly landed and stayed a good while on my left shoulder. I quickly handed my iPhone to the docent to take a quick pic of my new buddy, who stayed there for longer than I thought she would.

Wow! Butterflies like people!

But that’s not all. For the first time in my life, I saw a butterfly pee. Yep, right there near me (not on me). I was pretty taken aback at first and once again questioned the docent about it. Of course, butterflies pee and poop too!

We never get to see that in the summertime with a few monarchs flitting around our backyards.

I left the Atrium high on butterfly life to meet Bill, who would tiptoe with me through 21,000 blazing-with-color tulips in the gardens!

What does Tiny Tim have on us?




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