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A Hershey Thanksgiving This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   It was a cold but clear Thanksgiving afternoon. The leaves hadfallen and winter was right around the corner. We were on ourway to the Hershey Hotel to spend our holiday together. The45-minute drive from my aunt's home seemed much longer; thescenery was dull and the trees looked cold and naked withouttheir leaves. Halloween was long gone, although some housesstill had decorations up. It looked odd.

Hershey,Pennsylvania was founded by Milton S. Hershey, who built theHershey chocolate factory. He also constructed an amusementpark, houses and, basically, a whole town for his workers.Eventually he built the Hershey Hotel. A friend had told ushow beautiful it was. It had quite a reputation and I waslooking forward to having Thanksgiving dinnerthere.

When we finally arrived, it was one of the mostbeautiful places I had ever seen with a bright green tile roofand Mediterranean look. Each section in the parking lots wassurrounded by trees and flower beds. If you wanted, you coulddrive right up to the front doors.

The doors slid openand I was met with a velvety red carpet. There were portersready to help with whatever we needed. As we came to the endof the hall there was a large, open room. The ceiling waspainted like the sky with clouds of different shapes andsizes. The carpet was green like grass and looked freshlycleaned. There were canopies and balconies which made it feellike we were outdoors, with a gorgeous fountain in the center.Soft colored flowers were in pots along the edge with greenplants hanging over the fountain as if they were trying tokiss the water. The floor had tiles of odd shapes, sizes andcolors. Wooden chairs and large plants were placed all aroundthe room.

The dining room was the most beautifulroom I had ever seen with large stained-glass windows on oneside. They had pictures of flowers with hidden birds, and notwo were alike. Instead of an ordinary square room, though, itwas circular; Mr. Hershey never wanted anyone stuck in thecorner.

The long-awaited moment arrived. There was along horseshoe-shaped table in the center with several smallertables, all loaded with food. There were main courses on thelarge table with leg of lamb, ham and turkey as the basicchoices. A large ice sculpture was in the center, and in frontwas a tray with a variety of dinner foods, including smokedsalmon, linguini, bread stuffing and smoked brooktrout.

The smaller table had vegetables and fruits,miniature corn, special potato salads, mixed vegetables andfruit salads. The table next to the main table had desserts.Of course, since this was Hershey, the chocolate town of theworld, this was the most unique table. There were chocolatepies and cakes, white and dark, in all shapes, sizes andcolors. There were fruit cakes, sugar cakes, even cream cakes.It was heaven.

The smallest table had breads andcheeses. It was a multicultural festival of breads witheverything from rye to sourdough. Cheeses came in slices,spreads and every way you can think of. Swiss, American, Goudaand all of the best cheeses in the world. Nothing was leftout.

The best touch of all was the live music. They hada pianist and a violinist playing great classical pieces andmemorable show tunes. Everyone complimented them.

Themusic never stopped and the service never ended. When Ifinished one plate, they took it away so I could get another.They kept bringing clean plates. If I used a fork, they wouldbring me a fresh one. All the waiters wore black suits. Theywere probably told to be polite and were as nice as could be.At the end of our meal, they placed small finger bowls on ourtable to dip our fingers.

As we left the staff all saidgood-bye. It was as if we were royalty leaving the palace. Thesmells of the food lingered in my mind the whole way home. Thememory of the hot banana-rum-caramel cake stayed with me theentire night. The pizzazz of the tiny corn, and the smokedflavor of the salmon were engraved into my mindforever.

Soon it will be Thanksgiving and my mouth isjust watering, knowing that the wonderful smells and tastesof a Hershey Thanksgiving will soon be enjoyed again.






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By Gary N., Houston, TX
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Published by The Young Authors Foundation, Inc. - A 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
Copyright 2006 by Teen Ink, The 21st Century and The Young Authors Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved.
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This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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