Remember when I told you last week we were white-knuckling the heck out of summer? Well, that came with a healthy dose of the never-exercises and the eat-like-a-hogs.

I don’t know how else to do vacations. I sure as heck am not going to diet and pound it at the gym when I could be sitting on a beach eating funnel cakes and getting the world’s best farmer’s tan instead.

I assure you, the following phrases all came out of my mouth during the course of our vacationing.

“Yes. Please deep fry that bacon.”

“Let’s go to somewhere right next to the beach so we don’t have to walk. Walking sucks.”

“Either my pants shrunk or I… yeah, pass me a maple bar.”

“Why does it feel like I’m sharing my shirt with a walrus right now?”

Yes. That has been the daily language of the past six to eight weeks.

Eat. Don’t exercise. Whine about how good I’m going to be after the next trip is over. Eat some more. Don’t exercise some more. Whine some more, only this time with a more fatty rasp to my voice.

Anyway, while at Chocolate Word in Hershey a few weeks ago, we took a chocolate taste testing course. In that course, they placed all sorts of little chocolate bars in front of us and taught us how to taste the differences in the different types and qualities of chocolates.

It was all very educational and eye-opening as chocolates go, but the chocolate guru who was teaching the course said something that kind of hit me. He said (as we all let a piece of their high end chocolate melt on our tongues), “there. Now you’re tasting chocolate instead of eating it.”

I’ve bought fancy chocolates and cheap chocolates. Milk chocolates and dark chocolates. And never before had I ever taken the time to do anything but shove the chocolate into my mouth and hope I don’t choke because I was so eager to swallow that I never chewed at all.

Okay, it wasn’t that bad. But seriously. I always ate chocolate hand over fist. Fast, speedy, and done.

But as I sat in that class, and I let a piece of $6 chocolate melt on my tongue ever so slowly, I suddenly tasted things I had never tasted. I could taste the hint of banana and the hint of rain forest (if I were to imagine what rain forest tastes like). The melting chocolate created an aroma that filled my nostrils and left me really loving every moment. After the class, I vowed that I would never eat chocolate the same way again. I would only taste chocolate from there on out. And I have kept that promise.

And here’s what I’ve learned. Some chocolates are assertive, others empty, others sweet, others velvety. Some have a floral taste to them, others earthy, others nutty, others milky, and others roasted.

All this chocolate I’ve been eating all these years had all these tastes, and I never appreciated or even knew about any of it.

And the more I have eaten chocolate since Hershey, the more I have realized something.