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Chocolates, Caves, and an Italian Mouse

July 24th, 2008 (11:53 pm)

current mood: sleepy

We came up with some fun and at least kinda educational day trips to take this week, the last week of my son's summer vacation.

On Monday we drove to York, Pennsylvania ("Factory Tour Capital of the World") for a tour of a candy factory. Wolfgang Chocolates is a small, family-owned business that makes various kinds of chocolates, including some of the ones that schoolchildren sell for fundraisers. My little boy was thrilled with the free chocolates he received for taking the tour, and he especially liked the machine that coated pretzels with different kinds of chocolate.

Today we headed west to the Shenandoah Valley. Our destination was the town of New Market, home of Endless Caverns, one of the few remaining tour caves in Virginia that we hadn't yet visited. Justin, our tour guide, was one of the best I've heard in a local cave; he seemed to have actually learned something about the geology, instead of just reciting a memorized script. We had a small tour group - only seven of us - which always makes for a better experience. And the cave was an interesting one, with more exposed limestone and less calcite than others I've toured in the region, but with some really interesting formations, including some magnificent rimstone and several large shields. It wasn't too commercialized, and some of the formations were still active, too. Sorry, I'm sounding like a geology nerd. My inner geosciences editor is struggling to reassert herself. (I was once an editor for Geotimes and Earth Science magazines.)

On the way out and back, my little music lover first requested his favorite Beatles CD. Unlike most six-year-olds, he's a major Beatles fan. He also wanted to hear (repeatedly) Lou Monte's classic song, "Pepino the Italian Mouse" and its little-known sequel, "Pepino's Friend Pasquale the Italian Pussy-Cat." This evening I even managed to find a translation for the Italian lyrics in "Pepino." I always wondered what they were singing in the lines of Calabrese.

Those are our last weekday trips for a while. My son's elementary school follows a "year-round" calendar, with an abbreviated summer break supplemented by extra breaks of a week or two spaced throughout the school year. So this week ends our summer vacation. First grade starts on Monday!



Posted by: Tim W. Burke (timwb)
Posted at: July 25th, 2008 05:40 pm (UTC)

You are such a cool mom!

Posted by: petrini1 (petrini1)
Posted at: July 25th, 2008 08:01 pm (UTC)

Thank you! That's so nice of you to say.

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