Saturday, September 21, 2013

Luke's Birthday Stop #1: Jelly Belly Factory in Pleasant Prarie, WI

Well, it happened:  my baby turned 4.  It was bittersweet for all of us, but almost especially for Luke.  He breathlessly anticipated his birthday for about a week, watching me cross of each day on the calendar and getting ever closer to the BIG DAY!  So when the big day came, he almost didn't want to admit it was really here.  At such a young age, he realized that looking forward to something you really, really want is almost better than actually getting it. 
But, at any rate, we had a birthday to celebrate and Chris had the day off so we loaded up the van and went to it.  First stop:  The Jelly Belly Factory in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin.  We got there just in time to don our paper hats and take the 1/2 hour tour.  The kids loved it!

The tour had many displays of mosaics created out of jelly beans and these great dresses, also made of jelly beans.  Lady Gaga needs to get in on this!

We learned about how jelly beans are made (it takes 7 days!) and how they come up with their unique (more on that later!) flavors.  Jelly Belly also makes taffy and several other confections.  At the end of the tour, you get to keep the paper hat AND they give you a bag of Jelly Belly's.  Not bad for a FREE tour, eh?

The boys LOVED the sample bar in the store.  You can try anything you want.  I went for a Dr. Pepper Jelly Belly and a Frosted Cupcake piece of taffy.  The boys and Chris were a bit more adventurous:

Check out some of these "flavors."  Pencil Shavings?  Baby Wipes?  BOOGER???  Chris tried quite a few, including dirt, but the only one he spit out and barely recovered from was Canned Dog Food.  Why on earth anyone would even TRY some of these flavors is BEYOND me.  Must be a boy thing.

 I was weirded out enough by these flavors of fudge.  Jalapeno Mango Fudge?  I asked about the Kicking and Screaming flavor, which looked like a harmless chocolate fudge but she told me it has crushed red pepper flakes.  Ew.  I prefer mine with walnuts, thank you very much!

 Of course Jelly Belly had to pay homage to perhaps the most famous of all jelly bean lovers:  Ronald Reagan.  They mentioned him during the tour and had a beautiful display of memorabilia.  I especially loved the quote....

"There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit."
It was the first of a few stops on our whirlwind celebration day yesterday.  The boys gave this one two enthusiastic thumbs up!

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