FREE CHOCOLATE! Beautiful words, aren’t they? Free is a wonderful thing in itself, but “free chocolate” just about makes my head spin. Just thinking about the possibilities makes it hard for me to focus on my work. Fortunately for me, “free chocolate” relates to my work, in the form of a Chocolate Trail experience our Visitors Bureau has created for other chocolate lovers.
It seems like when I get together with my girlfriends for lunch, we always go where we can get some kind of chocolate dessert — either a beautifully crafted dessert at Ghyslain Chocolatier & Bistro, or a piece of fresh fudge at the Pour House. We give each other small boxes of chocolates from Olympian or Abbott’s Candy, or chocolate scented candles from Warm Glow, to show our friendship. I guess it could be said that chocolate enhances the female bonding ritual. For instance, recently I had an amazing lunch while I got to know my new supervisor Nancy, at the beautiful Gennett Mansion, where every course had chocolate as an ingredient (3-course lunches and 5-course dinners with chocolate ingredients are served bi-monthly). I was so pleased to recognize her as a kindred spirit when I saw the ecstatic look on her face as she tasted the fresh green salad with white chocolate citrus vinaigrette.
I think chocolate enhances romantic rituals too. I imagine sipping chocolate wine, as I cuddle next to my husband during a romantic dinner at J&J Winery, warming up to hot chocolate after we take the kids snow tubing at nearby Valley’s Edge, or sharing a chocolate ice cream cone at Parker’s General Store.
So I’m thinking our new Wayne County Chocolate Trail, with free chocolate samples and discounted services or products, is the perfectly-affordable girls’ getaway or romantic adventure. It’s a self-guided journey that takes you to Wayne County’s one-of-a-kind bistros, candy factories and shops, historic homes, spas, a winery and intriguing gift shops. Complimentary chocolate-related samples, ranging from candy to candles to wine, are featured at each stop, and many Chocolate Trail attractions offer exclusive discounts, or Chocolate Bucks, to those participating in the Trail. Even a discounted spa treatment featuring chocolate is offered! Imagine that!
To receive your free chocolate samples, you must present a Chocolate Trail Passport, which is only available at our Old National Road Welcome Center, at 5701 National Road E., Richmond (just off I-70, exit 156A). For more information about the Chocolate Trail, which will be unveiled December 1, or the many attractions in Wayne County which offer chocolate-related products and services, give us a call at 800.828.8414 or visit visitrichmond.org.