Published: November 11th 2012November 11th 2012
Still at Jellystone, one of the days, Shannan and I decided to take a mini day-road-trip. The ultimate destination? Well! Keep in mind, we were travelling with 2 little boys. We didn't tell anyone, but we headed out for the Jelly Belly Factory, which includes a train ride through the factory (warehouse).
It was around 105 degrees Farenheit, and we needed air conditioning - the kids were up to a road trip, so we headed south, with Lake Michigan to our East.
We went right through Racine, Wisconsin, to Kenosha. Does Racine sound familiar? You can watch "A League of Their Own" and see why that matters! (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104694/, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racine_Belles). It was kind of ironic, because we'd been around so many baseball movies sites and themes, this was just an extra bonus! (No pictures - just happy thought that we were there!)]On our way, we saw from afar a sign that said "Warning! Killer Margaritas!" Well! mix together extreme heat and vacation mode, and no particular destination (well, particular destination with no deadline - as long as we got there before it closed) with "margarita" equals "pulling over for lunch!" (extreme heat+vacation+no deadline=killer margarita)
Not ONLY did La Fogata
have DELICIOUS Mexican food (which, by the way, is sadly lacking in Calgary*, and generally abundant in the States, and is an off-and-on topic throughout this particular trip), which was ALSO very picturesque (Mexican food rarely looks as delicious in pictures as it tastes in real life), BUT they also have "Killer-ritas"! (THIS, according to the menu, is a 22 oz margarita, with a Corona or Dos Equis inverted and inserted). GREAT STOP! (http://www.eatatlafogata.com/
MUCH later, we continued along to...drum roll... the Jelly Belly Factory! (http://www.jellybelly.com/
). Oh, were the boys (ALL of them) EVER excited!! The adult boys were trying to be all "cool" about it, but they were pretty excited to get into their factory hats! (OK, me too!)Because it's a factory, you have to wear a hat, and because they are constantly creating fascinating and delicious new tastes, there's no pictures allowed once the tour starts... but, I did find the tour very interesting!
Did you know that Ronald Reagan was a lover of Jelly Bellys? not only were there Blueberry Jelly Belly's created for his presidential inauguration in 1981, BUT during his presidency, Jelly Bellys were served in the Oval Office AND
(this is my favorite part), on Air Force One, there's a special Jelly Belly holder that was designed so that the Jelly Bellys wouldn't spill! He's quoted as saying "“You can tell a lot about a fellow's character by the way he eats jelly beans.” I bet that's true - one at a time, by the handful... I just don't know how to translate the message...
(Apparently, there's a portrait of Ronald, in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, made of 10,000 Jelly Bellys...)
(OH! LOOK WHAT I FOUND!
YOUR OWN PICTURES IN JELLY BELLYS!!! http://www.jellybelly.com/fun_stuff/bean_art_maker.aspx !!! )
After the highly informative train tour, we were greeted with a sample bag of Jelly Bellys, which I LOVE! and dropped off at the gift shop.
There is a sample bar in there of every flavor they've ever invented. They have everything!! and there are some yummy flavors! YUMMY! My all-time favorite is Buttered Popcorn, and then there's the classics (cinnamon, very cherry, and watermelon), there's the "icky" flavors.. (They can be found (on line) in the "BeanBoozled" section.) They include: Canned Dog Food, Pencil Shavings, Barf, Vomit, Baby Wipes, Booger, and the list goes on...
Now, on the tour, they specifically tell us that they spend aLOT of time making certain that their flavors are accurate... and I canNOT even imagine how they test those things with the icky flavors, but... I believed them when they said they prided themselves on accurate taste matches...
SO! When we got to go for samples... Peter decided to try - yeah - uh huh DOG FOOD!! FIVE HOURS LATER, he was still complaining about the taste of dog food!!! Nobody else could tease him tho - Shannan tried "Baby Wipes"!! I'm serious!!
I, on the other had, believed the tour guide when they explained that their flavor names matched their actual tastes - and chose (and here's where the theme of the blog comes in) MARGARITA!!! WHY would I choose "Vomit" when I could have "Margarita" and "Kiwi"!!
YAY ME! Everyone else had icky flavors stuck in their palates, and I got Margarita! woooooo hoooooo!
However, my experience was far less funny than theirs. The 10 year old boy, after trying "Booger" flavor, confessed to his mother that he had to "spit it out" cuz he "thought it would taste better than it did!" (SO FUNNY, and SO GROSS all at once!!) Oh goodness - makes me laugh even still.
The rest of the day was spent back at Jellystone Park... Wednesday, we are heading off towards St. Louis, and Rich & Shannan and crew go back towards Michigan...
*(I did just hear, today, of a Mexican restaurant in Calgary, called Paloma, that is getting great reviews! I'm excited! Will be trying that out as soon as possible.)