Travel Tuesday: Jelly Belly Factory Tour

My recent visit to San Francisco unfortunately coincided with the Wine Country wildfires, so I had to pivot on some of the excursions I was planning on doing with my mom while my sister was working. Particularly I tried to think of things to do that were indoors to avoid possible poor air quality. One of the destinations that I ended up choosing to take my mom was the Jelly Belly Candy Company, and try out their free Jelly Belly Factory Tour and do some shopping for candies she could take to relatives in Thailand. It was more of a trip for her since she loves candy, but I think I ended up having just as much if not even more fun. It was much cooler then I thought it would be for someone like me that loves the idea of sweets but doesn’t love eating sweets. There’s a lot that go into making a Jelly Belly bean!

Jelly Belly Factory Tour in Fairfield, California, entrance area Jelly Belly Factory Tour in Fairfield, California, cafe area

The location of the Jelly Belly in the Bay Area is out in Fairfield, which is north towards Napa, and also happens to be across the street from an Olive Oil and Vinegar tasting room and also the Budweiser Tasting Room, so you can make this a productive day excursion for the one hour drive. If you’re staying by Napa, consider it to take a break from wine. We only stopped for the Jelly Belly Factory Tour, which I’ll share here.

It’s best to visit on a weekday because then you’ll see the machines working with the people running them, vs when it is not operating on weekends or holidays. Overall, I recommend going to the Jelly Belly Factory Tour because it is cool to learn how the jelly beans are made and prepared for sale, and Jelly Belly really strives for a mix of efficiency with machinery but also relies on people for quality every step of the way. The workers seemed happy – several waved at me and smiled, and I’m not a cute kid on a tour. Though I think the paper hats they require you to wear the whole tour are both silly (so non functional) and cute.

Jelly Belly Factory Tour in Fairfield, California: the rainbow of 50 flavors and more of Jelly Belly Jelly Belly Factory Tour in Fairfield, California: the rainbow of 50 flavors and more of Jelly Belly

I am all for technology and progress I don’t believe it means completely displacing people out of jobs, though it may mean changing the job description to work with the technology. As fascinating as automation is, seeing it paired with people too is heartening – and if you come on a working factory day you’ll be able to watch that interaction.

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Travel Tuesday – Jaffa and Tel Aviv in Israel

Last week, I shared how I attended a Pop Up Shabbat dinner. Today, for Travel Tuesday, I wanted to share a few photos from Israel, specifically Tel Aviv, from my last visit there on a 4 day work trip in May. Previously, I have visited Jerusalem which if this is your first visit to Israel, I highly recommend whether or not you are religious. However, in the evening if you want to have multiple activities to do, or if you just love the beach, I recommend you stay in Tel Aviv. That’s why I did on my trip – and on my first couple hours there I did a little walking by the beach on the boardwalks of Jaffa and Tel Aviv in Israel.
Travel Tuesday, walking in Jaffa and Tel Aviv in Israel
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Oregon Travel: Visiting the Adelman Peony Gardens

If you love peonies, you should not miss visiting the Adelman Peony Gardens located in Salem, Oregon, just an hour south of Portland. The peonies are in bloom generally from May – June. During this bloom time the Adelman Peony Gardens has an open house daily 9 AM – 6 PM to allow you to visit their display gardens, their peony production fields, and they have an indoor display showroom. Their open house is also free!

Visiting the Adelman Peony Gardens just north of Salem, about an hour south of Portland is free and open generally from May-June during bloom season Visiting the Adelman Peony Gardens just north of Salem, about an hour south of Portland is free and open generally from May-June during bloom season
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Travel Israel – Jerusalem

In a few days, I will be leaving for a very quick business trip and travel to Israel. I’ll only be there Saturday-midnight on Tuesday and be back in Portland  by Wednesday morning. While there, my days are full of all day meetings with the exception of Saturday, the day I land. Having already enjoyed wandering around Jerusalem on my last visit to Israel in 2012, this time I am opting to stay in Tel Aviv, even though it means an hour commute each way to the office in Haifa. Here’s a quick summary of what I think I will do, call for any recommendations, and a few photos from my previous trip to Israel – aka chapter Travel Israel – Jerusalem.

Travel to Israel - Jerusalem. First view of the Old City of Jerusalem, within the walls you see.
Photos from my 2012 trip to Israel, where I explored Jerusalem – this was my first view of the Old City of Jerusalem, within the walls you see
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My Recap of Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner

Today’s post is a photo journal of a the Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner. Our Secret Supper is another one of my picks for the EaterPDX Top Pop Ups and Supper Clubs in PDX. Our Secret Supper, led by Eva Kosmas Flores with Danielle Firle of Table Culture and working with Tournant, is differentiated from others in the Portland area because they bring together food and people with scenery. The location is generally at a destination guests must travel to (and often spend the night), making it an adventure event outside the meal itself.

The exact location of the dinner is kept secret until 24 hours before hand, adding an element of surprise – all you know is everyone always shares one long table usually set up outside at a beautifully tablescaped and thoughtfully curated space. Each event almost seems like you have stepped into a fairytale or glossy magazine photoshoot that you get to live in for a few hours.
Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner Menu

Our Secret Supper has been on my to do list for a while, but this past April when I saw their date of their spring dinner, “Leap“, coincided with my birthday to the exact date, I decided to stop waiting for friends’ budgets and schedules to free up and treat myself. Here are the photos and my experience from my guest perspective of the Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner. [Read more…]