Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wayne County Chocolate Trail Report 2

Today is the second of our three part report on our attempt to do a day trip for the Wayne County Chocolate Trail in Indiana.  To read the first part, go HERE.  The tourist folks up in Wayne County primarily push this attraction as a girl's weekend thing but we wanted to see if we could do it as a day trip since we live apart 2.5 hours southwest of Richmond.  This second report will reveal that we learned the hard way that it was not a day trip which is very sad because ultimately as long as the economy is struggling, (and your Chocolate Priestess thinks it will continue to struggle as long as we don't train and protect workers while we allow big business to rape nations, towns, and workers) then people will be far more likely to do a day trip than a weekend or mid week excursion, girlfriends or not.

We had a challenge after we finished with the stops in Richmond because now we had to venture out to the areas nearby in Wayne County.  The fact is that every thing on this list is about 20-30 minutes distance from Richmond but how to plan that out.  We worked on a plan during out lunch at the Ghyslain Bistro and then tried to stick to it. The greatest challenge was that some shops closed at 4pm though why we honestly can't understand.  Staying open until 5pm would have made this very feasible for a day trip especially if we had left 10 minutes or so earlier.  We had four cities to get to and we chose the one farthest from Richmond so we could work our way back for the dinner we had reservations for -- more on that next week in the last of our report.

We drove to Hagerstown, northwest of Richmond and almost straight north of our next two planned stops in Cambridge City.  In Hagerstown we found Abbott's Candy which also offered us a box of candy for a featured review you'll see this Saturday, Sisters and Brothers.  As you can see with one of our sister travelers in the frame, it is a large but rather non-descript building that really could use a much larger sign.


Inside the two ladies were very helpful to us including calling the next two stops we had planned in Cambridge City and delivering the bad news that they would be closing in about 25 minutes -- it would be a 20 minute trip the GPS said.  So as a group we decided we'd have to skip Pour House Antiques & Crafts as well as Building 125.  We were deeply disappointed but we wanted to spend some time in each chocolate stop. 


At this stop we each could choose a chocolate from their main display case which you see beyond this display case in the photo to the left.  Other than the ice cream from Parker's and the winery, this was the only stop where I ate my freebie right away.  I was so disappointed by having to skip the next stops.




These are other displays in their shop.  In each one, if there was a visitors log we logged in as a group "The Chocolate Cult" so check out the visitors books if you go visit, Sisters and Brothers.  The freebie dark chocolate covered caramel I had was great with a nice crunch from the top of the caramel which crystallizes a bit.



Now I hate to drive but my hubby didn't bring water with him, and with some of his meds this can be a big problem.  Not having insurance to cover our two riders, I had to drive so I drove us to the next stop which looked to be along the highway, I-70, but was really a little tricky with a long back driveway.  Of course you can't miss the Warm Glow Candle Outlet with this huge candle out front!



The actually entry is here and next to it is the Model T Ford Museum & Gift Shop you can't see in this photo but I'm hoping one of our sister travelers will leave a note about since she went to have a look through it.  When we passed it earlier the parking lot was full but after 4:15pm when we arrived it was more empty as you can see.  That just gave us more space inside.



Inside are a ton of candles plus an area for chocolate which I didn't take a photo of since they don't make the products there.  This photo is of the right hand side as you walk into the building -- the left hand photo turned out too dark to share. 






They don't make their candles in this building but one three miles away the store manager told me during a private tour he gave me of their displays.  The two chocolate scents -- Chocolate Cherry Cordial and Grandma's Brownies -- were given to us as freebies in their oversized votive type of candles.  In this photo you can see part of the scents they make.



Here is the other side of that oversized votive display of scents.  Now our Chocolate Fruit Acolyte said she found a third chocolate scent called "Mocha" but I bet they count that as a coffee scent.  None of the scents are made with real chocolate or cocoa -- they said that would be too expensive to make on the scale they do.





There is also a cafe in the outlet which seems to be owned by other business, I'm unclear.  If so, they might want to look into working with the Chocolate Trail as well in some fashion -- chocolate milk in the summer with a hot chocolate in the winter maybe?  By that time we were all very thirsty.




Two of our group headed back home at this point and I drove the remaining four of us to the J&J Winery stop between the candle outlet and our dinner reservations.  Like the previous stop this too was a bit tricky to find even though it was off a main road -- we had to turn around and go back to find the driveway which was long and rocky.  They really need a bigger sign.  Here you can three of us in the bar area where we had the freebie wine tasting.


The information on the passports we all got at the Welcome Center said we'd get a glass of chocolate wine and chocolate drops -- no drops but the wine was great.  A semi-sweet red with a definite chocolate flavor and no alcohol burn which has been a huge problem with another chocolate wine I had.  As you can see there is no label on the wine bottle because they don't have the right to sell it yet.  So we got to taste it but couldn't buy it.






However they also let us sample other wines, I didn't because I knew I needed to drive to our final stop.  Their special wines are all labeled with mythological names, mostly Greek but also some Roman names.  I hope our Chocolate Fruit Acolyte leaves a few comments because she bought two bottles of wine.  In Indiana, you can't have wine shipped in from other states nor mailed to you though I know they've been talking about changing that law.  So if you find a wine you like, you have to buy it when you find it.  I wish the chocolate wine had been available for purchase.

Next week on Monday we'll take you to our final stop where we have a five-course chocolate dinner that blew us all away and was well worth the price.

4 comments:

Rene said...

Yes indeed! I heartily recommend J&J's Eros - it's a very sweet and fruity red that would be a fabulous dessert wine. I can't wait to go back for more of this one!

I also couldn't resist their Apple Ambrosia. That one is a white, fairly sweet, and almost like a cider with a strong cinnamon flavor over the apples. To me it tasted a lot like Glühwein - only in white! I'll heat the Ambrosia before I serve it later this year. :)

TheChocolatePriestess said...

I wish I could have tried more but with as little alcohol as I drink, I was afraid to push it and drive.

Cooking Rookie said...

What a delicious trip :-)

TheChocolatePriestess said...

Wait until you read about the final stop in Monday's part 3 of the series, Cooking Rookie.

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