Jelly Belly Factory

Adam had a few vacation days left so instead of using them all at once at the end of the year, we decided to use one this past Friday.  We wanted to do something fun but not have to travel too far to get there.  So, we decided on a place that Eliel and especially Daddy would enjoy... The Jelly Belly Factory!
Just ridin' in the car
Most of you know that Adam loves Jelly Bellies but did you know that Eliel does too?  It all started because Adam as a Jelly Belly dispenser on his desk near the computer.  He occasionally eats one or two and once Eliel started to realize that the colorful things were edible, he wanted to try one.  Once he did, it was all over.  He knows he's only allowed one so he will ask for them by running up to you and (in his own language) saying 'one' and holding up one finger.  It's really quite cute because he gets this devilish look on his face with a little smirk!  So, since it's his 'favorite' candy (actually the only one he eats) we decided going to the factory would be lots of fun for him.
The factory is in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin and just so happens to be down the road from the outlet mall! :P  It took about forty-five minutes to get there and Eliel had a blast in the car seeing all the trucks and heavy equipment on the highway on a weekday.

When we got there, there was luckily no line and we only waited about ten minutes before going a tour.  The tour of the warehouse is given in a train and so Eliel was quite excited about it.  We picked the front row so he could see everything, as well as the engine.  The tour was about 30 minutes long and while it was very informative, there wasn't too much to see.  The tour takes you on a short trip around the outside of the warehouse.  Unfortunately, you don't actually get to go into the factory where they make the beans.  Instead, they show you a series of videos about the process.
Now imagine having a one year old on your lap and telling them to watch five or six different movies of which he cannot really understand what's going on.  Yeah.  I got a little nervous once I realized what we weren't going to see.  Luckily, there was a man on a floor cleaning machine going up and down the aisles so that kept Eliel busy for quite some time.  He was fascinated by the machine.  For the rest of the time, he just kept yelling 'GO!' at the train conductor every few minutes we weren't moving.  All in all, he was soooo good!  I was very surprised at how well he sat and 'paid attention'.  The best part?  At the end of the tour, we all got three small bags of Jelly Bellies!  Now, that made the little guy smile!

Even better, there was a factory store at the end of the trip that had a sampling bar.  Eliel was able to go up to the bar and tell the man which flavor he wanted to try.  He had a ball with this... and so did Daddy! It was well worth trip to spend time as a family doing something different.  If we were to go back, I would probably skip the tour and head straight to the sample bar but it was fun to see at least once!