Posts Tagged With: chocolate

Thousand Trails Hershey RV Resort, Lebanon, Pennsylvania – Day 1

Yesterday I drove the motorhome the about 50 miles from Dillsburg to Lebanon, Pennsylvania. We are parked at Thousand Trails Hershey RV Resort only a few miles from the famous chocolate-making factory which we toured in 2010. To view that Blog entry,,,click this link…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…


Here’s the usual dinette window photo…


I’ve been here three times before…whenever I’m heading for New England…like I am again this year. A couple of days ago I read in an Internet article that there will be 58 million RV’s on the road this weekend and I have no desire to be out there among all the nuts. So, we’re hiding out here through the weekend and expect to move along on Tuesday morning.

Normally we do not have anything on our schedule calendar. However, Mary has a grandson graduating High School in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 6th…so she booked a June 5th flight out of Newark, New Jersey. She wanted a non-stop flight so had to fly out of a major airport. Then back to her home in California for a July 4th family reunion. She is currently scheduled to fly back to rejoin me on July 16th at Hartford, Connecticut.

Once she departs Newark, I’ll continue on with the motorhome to my son’s home in southeastern Connecticut where my oldest grand-daughter graduates High School on June 20th. I’ll visit my son, daughter-in-law and grand kids until Mary returns. We’ll then visit some of my cousins and long-time friends until we depart for the State of Washington on or about August 8th.

The weather has been really crazy…some more!. Two days ago we were sweltering in the heat and humidity. Yesterday it was cold rainy and windy. We hid out inside the motorhome where Mary had the heater running to stay warm. We’ve had a lot of trouble finding nice sunny 69 degree days in 2013. Ever since we started the year deep in south Texas it seems as though it’s been either too hot or too cold. 88 one day…55 the next day kind of thing.

Enjoying Thousand Trails RV Resorts is another joy of the full-timing lifestyle!

The red dot on the below map shows our approximate location in the State of Pennsylvania. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…


Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein


On October 27, 2012, I created a two-minute video titled America The Beautiful. The music America The Beautiful is by Christopher W. French. The photos, which I randomly selected, are from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia (not shown in that order)…are mine. Yup, That’s me standing in front of the Post Office in Luckenbach, Texas…Y’all!

Click this link to start the video. Make sure you have your speakers turned on and go to full screen asap.

If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2013
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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Peg Bracken, noted cook and cook book author, claims the best way to keep cookies is in a can marked Rat Poison. I wouldn’t go that far, but it is tempting to save your favorite ones for a later time when you can savor them the more.

Doug arrived first and we made room for his tins. He has several to deliver to the neighbors since I’ve given over the cookie baking to the kids.

Then Laurie unloaded her stash of tins and bags until there was no room.

But, somehow, we stacked tins and Virginia unloaded her treasures.

The many types are the result of Doug trying to out-do Virginia and Vice-Versa. Laurie brings the family favorites and adds something new each year, which happened to be gluten free almond chai cookies and marzipan stollen, so the list goes on and grows. With 22 different kinds of cookies, Virginia wryly commented, the ratio of cookie bakers to cookie eaters is out of kilter with four cookie eaters missing. She was referring to Daughter Kristannne, her husband and two boys who were unable to come for Christmas because of their son Alec’s work schedule.

The cookie factory started years ago when I made cookies with the kids, and sometimes the neighbor kids, allowing them to cut and decorate sugar cookies with paint brushes and bowls of colored frosting.

We traded painted cookies each year with the Evans/Dollar family and one year Joanne Evans said enough, and brought a variety of yummy cookies that didn’t have to be decorated. A nurse, she worked full-time,  often with duty hours during the holidays.  So, the cooky factory got started with more and more different types of cookies, easier to make and better tasting.

It is hard to pick a favorite, but, you might try this one:

1 8oz. package dates chopped., 1/2 cup firmly pkd. brown sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup orange juice, 1 tsp. grated fresh orange rind. Cook first five ingredients over low heat, stirring until slightly thickened. Remove from stove and cool a bit.

Beat in two eggs, 2 1/4 cups flour that has 1 tsp salt and 3/4 tsp. of baking soda mixed in it. Add a 16 oz. package of chocolate chips, and 1 cup chopped walnuts and stir.  Drop by rounded spoonfuls  2 inches apart on ungreased sheets. Bake at 375* ten minutes. Remove at once to racks.  Makes 3 dozen. If you cool the ingredients a lot, the chocolate chips stay chunky. If you leave the batter quite warm, the chips get melty. I like them melty.


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Can’t think, brain numb, inspiration won’t come. My destiny for today.

I worked apples yesterday, putting up bags of apples in the freezer for later use. Since I had a bag of frozen cranberries I thought I’d make cranberry sauce. With a sink full of apples, the combination intrigued me so I put them together and found it very tasty. After dinner, I thought about the ways I’d used cranberries. I remember putting them still frozen in the brownie mix  just before putting them in the oven.  A huge success. In the market, cranberries, cherries, ginger, nuts of all kinds and pomegranate seeds are paired with chocolate.  I decided to have a dish of warmed cranberry applesauce with chocolate.  It was okay. Not great, just okay. I guess I could experiment with the amount and type of chocolate and come up with a better result. A chocolate sauce instead of grated. Or perhaps chocolate chips. Maybe a bit of brandy? You know, somethings are just best left alone. I like chocolate and I liked the sauce.   Nuff said.

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A Nice Visit from Jaime

Jim says:

Another hot and humid day yesterday. While in the air-conditioned motorhome about 11:00 AM doing computer research about our upcoming return trip to California, my nine-year-old grand-daughter Jaime knocked on my door. She had a chess set and a deck of cards with her.

We had an interesting game of chess. She beat me by bending the rules a little! 🙂

Jaime’s ready for our chess match.

She discovered our stash of Belgian Chocolate…need I say more?

She loves our Belgian Chocolate!

Then a hot game of cards playing her specialty…Slapjack. A little more rule-bending and I was defeated once again. 🙂

We got to talking about old TV shows which prompted her to go fetch her Cartoon DVD collection.

We watched two hours of Cartoons.

We enjoyed a late afternoon snack of sliced chicken, cheese, crackers and pepperoni. She left about 5:00 PM. A nice six-hour visit. She’s such a real fun little gal!

I was in the mood to watch a little more TV, so I dug out our DVD set of the old On The Road with Charles Kuralt. The first volume ran two hours…four 30 minute programs. It was a really great series about the interesting people and places one comes across while On The Road. No wonder I like RVing so much!

A great RVing series!

Eric and I are going to a minor league baseball game today. Forecast is for a high of 84 degrees. Somewhat better than the high 90’s we’ve experienced for the last few day…but still too hot for the Weather Wimp…that’s me!

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2009
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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Welcome To Hershey…The Sweetest Place On Earth!

Well, at least that’s what the sign says when you arrive in Hershey, Pennsylvania. It’s the Home of the Hershey Chocolate Company and Hershey’s Chocolate World!

Upon arrival at this huge facility…you notice two things. Every business in town appears to be owned by Hershey and even on a rainy Tuesday morning there were lots of tour buses already here that bring tourists from all over the world.

A number of years ago I stopped and took the factory tour which was quite interesting as you could see the many HUGE vats (perhaps 100 feet long by 10 feet high and 25 feet wide) of liquid chocolate being stirred by huge mixers. But no longer…the tour has been changed into what I call a Chocolate Disney World ride. Mary and I rode on what looks like an old roller coaster car on a about five-minute ride through a tunnel full of animated singing cows and an animated manufacturing process complete with accompanying dialogue. Cutesy, but not near as interesting as the old tour.

Happy cows make the finest milk!

What is interesting though are the production numbers. The below photo was taken about 10:30 AM…which makes you wonder what the daily totals are.

Production figures at 10:30 AM.

After the tunnel ride you are dumped into a HUGE store where you can buy every product they make. Including Hershey pillows and socks and everything else you can imagine with a Hershey name on it. The marketing people left no cocoa bean (excuse the pun 🙂 ) unturned of what they can offer to separate you from your money. Fortunately Mary and I do not like or eat Hershey Chocolate products, so we escaped without buying anything.

To see the other 35 photos I took, click this link…

Here’s the Hershey Chocolate World official website link…

Here’s a Wikipedia informational link about Hershey, Pennsylvania…,_Pennsylvania

After leaving the Hershey Chocolate World we drove the motorhome to the Thousand Trails Hershey RV Resort about 10 miles distant where we spent last night. Shortly after our arrival a Canadian Geese Family provided us with a parade on the next parking space.

Mr. & Mrs. Canadian Geese and family.

Today we will explore the nearby Amish Country around Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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