I recall the first time Son #1 flew solo on an airplane. Well-traveled and independent, no anxiety preceded his flight (well, maybe a little on my part) and he boarded his flight in Baltimore headed to St. Louis where his grandparents would sign for him like a fine piece of carry-on luggage. Over the years, he would travel without me many times, and Son #2 would follow with an equal lack of trepidation. My expert travelers moved through security seamlessly even when they reached the age that they didn’t need their mom slowing them down. How I miss their childish outlook.
Like every well-themed attraction, we dump into a gift shop featuring all things Hershey, Reese’s, Kit-Kat and Kisses adorned, as well as plenty of chocolate delights in all sizes and quantities – little boy heaven. With photo ops, food, and five-year-old fun, there is no reason to explore any additional parts of this adorable town. Everything a child’s imagination invents exists in this warehouse-sized store. On the drive back to DC, even the exceptional sugar content couldn’t keep a little person awake after a full three hours of chocolate fantasy overload. Fully spoiled by his bite-sized adventure, these hours of candied adventure pale in comparison to three-weeks of spoiling Son #1 receives at the hands of his grandparents. Nevertheless, on this day, I think of my distance from Son #1, while Son #2 remembers Chocolate World as a child’s chocolate nirvana. And I remember their distant childhood as a parent’s heaven.