Pleasant Prairie - Racine - Rome, WI - 06/22/2011

Published at 10:31 PM in , ,

Today is Jim's birthday!!  He is thankful for all those who thought of him and took the time to wish him well through calls, texts, or Facebook.

We left Naval Station Great Lakes this morning.  We were leaving yesterday, but there were bad storms headed our way and we didn't want to be caught in them, so we stayed where we were.  We were really glad we did, too, because it was awful for a while.

Wisconsin Welcomes You

We headed into Wisconsin (our sixth state!) aiming for the Jelly Belly Jelly Bean Center.  They offer tours of the facility and free jelly bean samples.  This place can get very busy, especially during the summer.  It had a very steady stream of visitors today, too.

Jelly Belly Tour!

The history of Jelly Belly

Visitors are guided through the center on a colorful jelly bean colored train.  Throughout the warehouse there are different jelly bean displays and videos of the history of Jelly Belly and what it takes to make the perfect jelly bean.  Photographs are only allowed at the beginning of the train ride due to proprietary information, so that's why our photos of the center are limited.

The tour begins!

At the end of the tour, you get to visit the Jelly Belly store, but not without receiving your free bag of jelly beans first.  Not only do they carry every flavor of jelly bean that they make, they also carry other candies made by the company.  You can buy your favorite jelly beans in bulk or in pre-packaged quantities.

Lunch at the Jelly Belly Snack Bar

If you aren't sure what you like, the Sample Bar lets you taste it all.  Jim tried a mix of root beer and cream soda for a root beer float.  I decided I liked the pomegranate cosmo flavor.  The girls didn't have a particular favorite.  Michael tried the root beer and liked it.  The employee who was working the Sample Bar tricked him.  He asked her if there was a pizza flavor.  She said no, but that there was a flavor that started out like pepperoni pizza.  So Michael agreed to try it.  He just about gagged.  It turns out she gave him the "Vomit" flavor.  There is a Harry Potter themed line of flavors that include not only "Vomit", but also grass, dirt, boogers, soap, and baby wipe flavors.  YUCK!  I kind of felt bad for him, but he was so hysterical about it anyway that it was hard to keep a straight face.

We really enjoyed the Jelly Belly Jelly Bean Center.  If you are ever in Pleasant Prairie, WI, or even visiting Milwaukee, make time to visit this neat place.  For more information, visit Jelly Belly Wisconsin Visitor Center.

While at the Jelly Belly Center, we met a very nice family from the local town of Racine, situated between Pleasant Prairie, where we were, and Milwaukee.  She said that if we were looking for something 'Wisconsin," to really experience a part of the local culture, then we should try a Danish Kringle.  A Danish Kringle is a pastry shaped like a ring.  It is made of many layers of flaky pastry and filled with one of many options - such as apple, raspberry, or strawberry.  We were told that the best place to get a Danish Kringle is the O & H Bakery in Racine, Wisconsin.

The O & H Danish Bakery, Racine, WI

Since part of the whole reason for our trip is to show the kids America, we thought what better way than to shop at a local bakery for a cultural favorite.  We headed on over to the O & H bakery.

A Danish Kringle

This bakery was packed with people, and continued a steady flow of business the entire time we were there.  There was a whole section of just kringles.  The flavor of the month was ruhbarb, so we tried their free samples.  Jim ate so many we thought they were going to start charging for the free samples.

We decided on the apple kringle and a chocolate pecan kringle.  The kids didn't care much about trying the kringle, although they did try the rhubarb.  They wanted the freshly made donuts instead.  So we made our purchases and got ready to go.

You can order kringle online from O & H Danish Bakery at their website.  They are more expensive on the website, but well worth it.  They have been voted Racine's best kringle many times, and President Obama stopped in Racine once just for their kringle.

Our kringles and donuts

After stopping Racine, we decided to bypass Milwaukee and head for Rome, WI, where we were staying that night.  It was an hours drive, but with afternoon traffic and road construction, it took us a little longer to get there.

We stayed at the Rome Riverside Campground, right on the banks of the Bark River.  This was a pretty little campground nestled in the woods by the river.  The service was top notch!  They even recommended a great local restaurant for us to take Jim to for his birthday.  Sullivan's, in the nearby town of Sullivan, was a great little restaurant, and Jim enjoyed an elk burger.  I had the turkey burger, and the kids went for pizza and chicken tenders.  With free Wi-Fi, we were able to Skype with Taylor, so that made Jim's birthday complete.  Thanks for the great recommendation, Bridget!

We headed back and had Jim open his birthday presents, which I had managed to hide in the RV.  Overall great day, with lots of fun activities and birthday celebrations.

For more pictures, go to the Photo Gallery.

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1 Response to Pleasant Prairie - Racine - Rome, WI - 06/22/2011

June 27, 2011 at 3:31 PM

Loved the look of the kringle.

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