Chocolate Season Leads into Springtime in our Valley
Greetings from Romance Headquarters! Our Inn has been filled since January with couples from all over the east coast, coming here to have a getaway together, to enjoy one another and to reconnect, recharge, and to find time to just simply…take it easy for a while. Did we mention to also enjoy chocolate? We joke that Annville is the “Buckle of the Chocolate Belt”, just as Oklahoma, where we had our businesses before returning to Rosalie’s hometown of Washington, DC was called the “Buckle of the Wheat Belt.” Here, chocolate abounds.
Everyone knows of Hershey Chocolate in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Did you also know that just 10 miles south in Elizabethtown is Mars and Dove? Or that in Lebanon, just minutes from Annville Inn is a chocolate manufacturer older than Hershey? That would be Wertz’ Chocolate…you may have seen them featured on “America’s Dirtiest Jobs” (cleaning up chocolate making equipment is a chore) and some time back, “Better Homes & Gardens.” But wait…there’s more! We have the famous Wilbur Chocolate Co. in Lititz…Wilbur is much loved by commercial bakers and have built up a worldwide following for their “chocolate buds,” which are instrumental in cooking and baking. An interesting bit of chocolate history stakes its claim just north of Annville Inn. In fact, if you are staying in our Country Comfort Room or the Mardi Gras Room, you can see out your big double windows Lickdale Gap, a break in the mountain range. The Appalachian Trail drops down there, and the Swatara Creek joins it as they both flow out of the Gap. At the base of the mountain is the small town of Lickdale, which has strong ties to Ghirardelli Chocolate in San Francisco. James Lick, a partner of Ghirardelli, lived there a while and is part of the roots of that chocolate empire.
Of course, as the weather warms up, spring welcomes more activity outside starting with the Amish “Mud Sales” and spring concerts, and of course our own botanical gardens, abounding with over 3,000 bulbs, 500 roses, and 3 full acres of gardens…not to mention three ponds, huge koi that are so entertaining to watch, and much more. We’ll talk about all that is coming in the spring in our next blog post. Thanks for reading! Rosalie and Craig