Stop the Ride, I Want to Get Lunch

July 12, 2011

Oh, vacation — so good and yet re-entry is so hard!!

We had a great time during our week off, combining a few days at the beach with a few days around Hersheypark. The only drag was I got a cold partway through — summer colds are the worst! I’m still trying to get rid of it.

Many of you may take your families (or yourselves!) to amusement parks — Hersheypark, Disney, Sesame Place, Sea World and the like — we have a strategy that I promise will make your day more enjoyable: book a reservation for lunch at an indoor restaurant with air conditioning and table service. Really.

At some of these places, it costs a little more and oftentimes comes with up close and personal visits with characters, but it is worth it. At Sea World we had lunch with Shamu. At Sesame we were shut out of lunch (and had to wait for almost an hour in the miserable cafeteria line) but had dinner with Elmo and friends. At Disneyland Paris we had lunch on the pirate ship at the Pirates of the Caribbean, and dinner with the Princesses at Auberge de Cendrillon (ok, the latter was insanely expensive, but that was the exception).

At Hershey, we had been many times and eaten our overpriced Subway sandwich out in the hot sun time and time again. This time, I asked my sister (the Hershey expert) if there were any inside, air conditioned restaurants. She said no but then remembered there was a place just outside the gate — it used to be called Tudor Grill, but now it’s Hersheypark Place, and it’s on OpenTable! You have to get your hand stamped for re-entry, but it’s worth the few steps outside the gates. First, if I haven’t mentioned it, it’s air conditioned. (90 degree heat takes its toll — on you and the little ones.) Second, you can sit like human beings in a not crowded room and order decent food off a menu. Sandwiches, salads and yes, beer too. Third, the service is incredibly friendly and helpful — they’ll answer any questions you might have. Fourth, the costume characters come in to entertain the kids — Hersheybar Guy even took our picture. And fifth, they give the kids Hershey Kisses and Hershey pins as souvenirs…come on!

The only caveat I will give is that a lot of these experiences fill up, so you need to reserve in advance. And there’s not really a rhyme or reason to it. Sesame Place did a huge lunch business, but our waiter at Hershey told us dinner there was usually the much busier time.

Those long days are always so draining, and taking an hour or so out to rest and refuel always makes it more bearable. After doing this a bunch of times, I definitely think it’s a must.

And make sure you have your camera!

Sandwich Anyone?

Underrated (or under-utilized) sandwich, courtesy of Elvis: 2 slices of whole wheat bread, toasted, peanut butter, sliced banana with a drizzle of artisanal honey. Mmmm! Makes a nice breakfast or a light dinner, with a cold glass of milk. (I believe Elvis also liked bacon on it and it was deep fried — but we know what happened to poor Elvis…)


You know the old, “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity” saying? I’m prepared to say it’s actually everything. Heat, humidity — it’s all unbearable. Especially with a cold.

Today was getting everyone off to camp day! Our daughter started ballet camp — very cute. There will be a recital on Friday, and she already told me, “Mom, don’t forget your camera!”

Hope all is well…


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