"if you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much room"

Monday, July 27, 2009

for the love of a Jelly Bean

We were up really early Saturday morning. We had the alarm set for 4:30 am anticipating leaving the RV by 5:20. Mother nature had a different alarm set. We had a heavy thunderstorm roll thru about 2:45am that woke us both up. The wind was blowing, the RV was rockin, the lightning was flashing and the thunder was boomin. The rain was heavy at times and we even had some hail. The storm lasted about 30 minutes and the rain lingered on and off for another hour or so.

We met up with Kadingers and Remleys at the gas station just up the road from the KOA at 5:30 and then headed north to Lafayette for breakfast. We then met the rest of the group at a shopping center to start our week end trip to the Jelly Belly factory near Racine Wisconsin.

The further north we rode the better the weather looked and we were soon under sunny skies and started shedding coats. The ride got a little hairy going thru Chicago but we all made it safe and sound. We stopped for lunch, and a much deserved break, at a nice family style restaurant just south of the Illinois/Wisconsin state line.

With our bellies full we rode the final 35 miles to the Jelly Belly Factory for our tour. The place was not crowded and we we lined up just inside the entrance to wait for our turn to take the tour. We were all given paper hats that we had to wear since there were food products in the area. We then boarded our tour "train".

The driver/tour guide then drove us around the so called factory which in reality was just a warehouse and distribution facility. I expected to see Jelly Beans being made or at least the equipment to make Jelly Beans. Instead we rode the tram to several different stops in the warehouse that had TV's set up and we were shown video clips explaining the process. It was pretty disappointing but we all got a free sample bag of Jelly Beans when we exited the tram, of course you have to go thru the gift shop to actually exit the facility. They do have a large selection of flavors and you can also buy "belly flops" which are rejects due to size or maybe 2 or 3 were stuck together but still taste good.

With the shopping over we all loaded up and headed to our motel. Rudee and I went to the pool to relax and were joined by Kadingers. That hot tub sure felt good after the long ride. One of the group got directions to a lighthouse on Lake Michigan and we all headed over to check it out and find a place for dinner.

The Windy Point lighthouse was built in the late 1800's and is in excellent shape. We were not able to tour the interior and the museum was closed but we enjoyed reading the information signs on the grounds.

We ate dinner at a nice place next to the harbor in downtown Racine. Rudee and I shared the nightly special of Ribs and Shrimp, yummy. After dinner most of our group headed back to the motel. Two couples decided to try their luck at the Casino near Milwaukee. Rudee and I enjoy an occasional gambling trip but with the earlier than usual start to the day we decided we had enough fun and needed some sleep!

Sunday morning we all met for breakfast in the lobby of the motel. We all agreed that we didn't want to ride back through downtown Chicago so we decided on a longer but less congested route. We stayed off the interstate and wound our way back thru the Illinois corn fields and into Indiana. Niles was our leader on the way back and had a little trouble telling the differance between right and left. He would turn on his left turn signal and announce over the cb radio we were turning right. After doing this several times Rudee decided he needed some help so she labeled his hands so he wouldn't forget!

We made it home about 6:00pm tired and hungry. Rudee heated up some ham and beans for supper and we just relaxed the rest of the night.

The new cargo carrier worked out great. I really liked that we could take it off the bike and just wheel it into the motel room and Rudee liked having the extra space for all of our goodies. We have no big plans for the week. We do have a project to complete on the 5th wheel so maybe we can get that done in between working and playing. I'll keep you posted.

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