Thursday, November 11, 2010

Philadelphia Journey Continues with This......

There is much to write about our last journey so here is more of the tale. Of course, it wouldn't be a complete trip till we stopped at a quilt shop. No photos were allowed inside the shop, so this one was snapped outside. All the quilts were for sale--not elaborate quilts or quilting but this one was appropriate for fall.
Of course, there is no way you can go to Pennsylvania unless you go through Hersey and yes, it is true, you can smell the chocolate as soon as you hit the city limits.
This is just one portion of the chocolate shop--you can purchase any Hersey candy here. We didn't buy much just enough to satisfy our sweet tooth for the rest of the trip.
Chocolate World is one big amusement park--pick what you want to do, pay and you are off on a chocolate adventure. We only took the short 15 minute free ride through the simulated factory tour. At the end of the tour, you are given a Hersey chocolate. This day they handed us cookie and creams piece--not what we were looking for but guess they need to promote their new flavors somehow.
Oh, pleasure--a chocolate manicure! Well, we thought we would have our hands dipped in chocolate and be able to lick it off--NOT! They use a chocolate/sugar scrub and now our hands are resting in paraffin. But, sure would have been nice to have the paraffin at least be chocolate scented!
Nail color--death by chocolate!
We found one winery in our area--only open on certain evenings--$6 to taste 6 wines. None to our taste so no purchase. The girls are still trying to find a winery where we can beat the free 13 pours we got in Washington state--so far, no success.
A driving tour through Valley Forge gives you an overview of how George Washington commanded his troops to win. Few replicas of log cabins stand today to give you a sense of how the troops survived that brutal winter.
A tour of Independence Hall was next and this favorite symbol of our freedom--the liberty bell!
Hillsides were covered with milkweed pods--all bursting forward with their little fibers--soaring on the winds.
"Today, nature lovers treasure the common milkweed because it offers crucial habitat to the monarch butterfly. But back in 1944, military planners treasured the plant as a raw material in the war against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.
Milkweed seeds have white, wispy hairs referred to as "floss." When the seed pod cracks open, the seeds are distributed by the winds, an ingenious evolutionary adaptation employed by the dandelion, cottonwood tree and many other species.
In an era before the pervasive use of synthetic fibers, the value of milkweed floss lay in its buoyancy. The armed forces used it in the manufacture of life preservers needed for its airmen and sailors. Life preservers were critical to Allied success, since so much of the war was fought on or over the seas.

Milkweed, though, was not the first choice for life preserver stuffing. During World War II, the Japanese gained control of the Dutch East Indies (today Indonesia), cutting off the main U.S. supply of floss, which came from the tropical kapok tree. Like the common milkweed, kapok seeds are carried aloft by delicate strands of cotton-like fiber.
Luckily, milkweed proved an acceptable substitute. One problem, though, was that it would take upward of three years to produce a commercial crop. Thus the government had no choice but to make the unusual call for the collection of seed pods wherever the plant grew wild. "
This information came from Pantagraph

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