Remember at Christmas time this year, I mentioned that Momma & Poppa Cox gave Jarid and I an all expenses paid trip to “A Weekend to Remember” in Hershey, PA? Well, that took place from February 15-17th and we were blessed with the opportunity to stay in the Hershey Lodge for the entirety of the conference. It was absolutely stunning inside and out.
Being in the land of chocolate during Valentine’s month is a pretty neat experience if I do say so myself. Everywhere you turn, there are chocolate demonstrations or tastings.
There are also VERY strict rules 😉
The inside of the lodge is completely cozy and romantic.
There were little lounge areas spread throughout the lobby and fireplaces around every corner.
It was beautiful, relaxing, and homey. Being a girl that’s always cold, they sure knew how to keep me toasty with all those fires blazing!
No matter where you went while you were in the lodge, you could smell cocoa — which, I’m totally NOT complaining about 🙂 After the 2 hour conference session on Friday night, from 7-9PM, we were thrilled about how the weekend would unfold. We decided to explore the lodge a bit and unwind in our room.
We were in the “Reece’s” wing, so everything was peanut butter cup themed, including the signs. The lodge had its very own mini golf course, too! Of course, it was snowed over and much too cold to golf, but still a neat attribute for a lodge to have.
Not only was the wall paper in the bathroom chocolate kiss covered, but the wall art in our room was hiding some chocolate bars, too! Check out the one on the right and tell me if you can spot them?!
After unloading, finding the pool & workout area, and getting in comfy clothing, Jarid checked over the room service menu. I could’ve guessed what he planned on ordering before he even told me…
Boneless BBQ wings… at 10 o’clock at night… haha. I love my husband. I was quite content just sniffing the goods in the bathroom — that sounded super dirty & creepy, but we’ll go with it. Everything was cocoa scented from the shampoo & conditioner to the lotion. I found it later for sale in the gift shop!
The rest of the night, while Jarid’s food digested, we just hung out, watched som TV, and relaxed. It was just what we needed to end the work week!
The next morning, I hit the lodge gym before the conference started. This picture was taken the night before, while we were exploring. Unfortunately, it was MUCH more crowded in the morning. It was fun to watch all the couples workout together, though.
Luckily, I snagged the last treadmill available and started with cardio. I only did about a 7 minutes warm-up there, doing intervals between 6mph-9mph before an elliptical became available. After the elliptical, I did some abs and obliques before returning to the stationary bike. I finished up with a steep incline walking on the treadmill at about 4mph. It was a pretty decent workout for just being there a little under 45 minutes!
Breakfast was next on the agenda. Since I knew hotel meals would be kinda pricey, I decided to pack what I most enjoy. Oat bran, banana, & peanut flour. We also packed lunch items, so Jarid ended up eating some Samoa Girl Scout Cookies & a deli meat sandwich for breakfast. He is so easy to please… one of the many things I adore about him.
I also made some coffee in the room for us to take to the conference. It was hands down the best hotel room coffee I’ve ever had. Annnddd, we were off to our first session!
Brian & Jen Goins were the total highlights of the conference in my eyes. They gave such wonderful insight about marriage, life with kids, what NOT to do, etc. They were totally relative because they were REAL with us as people. They didn’t give off some false idea that they had the perfect marriage. In fact, they gave examples of times that they should’ve done things differently and how so. Being that Jarid & I are newlyweds, we haven’t had many issues yet, but I feel so much more prepared for how to handle things when trouble comes our way. It taught us each how the other one works.
For example, to women, LOVE is most evident when they’re shown attention and affection. To men, they feel most loved when it’s obvious that you RESPECT them. It’s just a simple difference in love languages.
Another huge thing that I took away from the conference, is the fact that if your relationship with your spouse isn’t a positive one, you need to look at your relationship with Jesus. If that isn’t right, your marriage could be in danger. We need to be ACTIVELY pursuing a relationship with HIM. He teaches us everything we need to know about having a successful marriage! Unconditional LOVE is something that was stressed a lot, too.
Thirdly, in priority order, your life should always revolve around these three things:
It was really neat that, between sessions, we had little “projects” that we were supposed to do, which would help us as a couple to apply what we had learned to our personal relationships. The second one was my favorite… we had to write each other love letters! It really taught me to appreciate the things that I had maybe previously identified as “weaknesses” in Jarid. It’s so cool to me that Jesus uses those things to shape me into the person that he wants me to be.
For example, I’m a logical & practical thinker. I like to do things the most efficient way possible, and almost always, I think things the whole way through to make sure it’s the best option/decision. Jarid isn’t like that. He doesn’t always think ahead, but he is much better at appreciating the moment instead of always looking to the next thing. He helps me work on my patience, because it is most definitely one of my weaknesses. Jesus created us each this way to help mold one another. Slowly, but surely, I am determined to become a patient person… especially since I plan on having children! I hear it’s kind of a necessary trait 😉
We breaked for lunch at about 12:30PM. I had some more goodies packed from home… a salad with Lite Gazebo Room dressing and cucumbers, a Pepsi Max, and an orange. I also sneaked some of my Valentine’s chocolate for dessert 😉
After the break, we went back into another session. Saturday night was also DATE NIGHT. We ended up going to a nearby eatery that served up home-style food, Jarid’s favorite kind.
We had made reservations at Harvest, which is in the Hershey Hotel, but called to cancel because we looked up the menu online (ridiculously overpriced) and didn’t feel like getting dressed up to go out. I was just in the mood for something simple. Plus, I wanted to save room because I’d done my research and found a fro-yo shop in Hershey that was nearby. I would literally go anywhere with this man.
I stuck with the grilled chicken (1-piece), which came with two sides… I went for the steamed broccoli and the farm bean soup (which was a bit disappointing and I didn’t end up eating — all the more room for dessert! :))
Mine was supposed to come with biscuits too, but I asked to substitute for whole wheat toast instead. It was no problem. I slathered up the slices with some of the “good stuff”, aka sugar free Smucker’s Blackberry Jam.
I’m going to need to find some of this… stat. I took the extra packets that I didn’t use home with me. No shame.
Jarid picked the roasted turkey dinner with stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. He also was feeling ambitious and ordered a side of mac n’ cheese.
Afterward, we drove around until we found Mixies Frozen Yogurt!
Yep, another self-serve fro-yo place! I was immediately attracted to THIS flavor and Jarid totally called it.
It was the first time I’d ever tried the “tart” flavor too, which I ended up loving.
There was a huge selection of toppings, but I’m more of a plain Jane. Jarid did, however choose to top his chocolate fro-yo with some Butterfinger topping. We got them to go, but they were out of lids, so we opted for saran wrap.
We also stopped next door, because Jarid had a hankering for some Tröegg’s, to pick up a cheap-o $10 six pack to take back to the room with us. He loves the local brews!
Before we settled in for the night, after consuming our fro-yo, we took a little trip down to the pool area and unwound.
First, we soaked in the hot tub, and then we got too hot so we made our way into the pool. Soon, we got sleepy and up to our room we went. Jarid enjoyed a beer while he watched the dunk contest on TV and I drifted off to dream land. It was a fantastic Saturday night.
Part II coming soon!