This morning we woke to the smells of eggs, bacon, grilled potatoes and peppers, and pancakes AND watermelon! and last night’s banana bread. Uncle Matt was cooking up a huge breakfast for us and we decided then and there that we should visit a whole lot more!
The kids got their envelope and it was a fast forward. They had a choice: they could either empty the pool using spoons or complete an obstacle course Aunt Suzette set up for them. Aunt Suzette handed them spoons to get started, but they smartly chose the obstacle course. They hopped on plastic domes, rolled and tossed hula hoops, did the robot walk, shot baskets, and weaved around Molly the dog who wanted to be a part of everything.
Once they successfully finished the obstacle course Aunt Suzette gave the next clue. We were to go to a factory that produces favors like juicy pear, buttered popcorn, and even booger! It was time to go to the Jelly Belly factory! We drove 2 hours to the factory where we took a tour and watched the whole process from above the workers. We then got to taste test several flavors. I wanted to be adventurous and chose moldy cheese. I can’t describe the utter disgustingness of that single jelly bean! I gagged, but actually swallowed. Mr. John tried it and couldn’t finish it. They are not messing around when they create a flavor. If it says dog food, it will taste like dog food. Some other crazy flavors were sausage, pencil shavings, centipede, and even barf!
The challenge for the kids was to make a recipe of beans to create the flavor of lemon meringue pie. They chose sour lemon, toasted marshmallow, and buttered popcorn. Success! It was the perfect lemon meringue pie recipe!
The next clue had us driving again, this time to Santa Rosa where we went to the Wells Fargo Performing Arts Center. Trace Adkins was performing, but before his show we were able to meet him! We went through the line and got a quick picture with him. We said hi and he said in the most unbelievably deep voice, “tell me about these shirts you’re wearin’.” we explained our vacation and he laughed and said, ” your family has fun vacations!” he saw that Bailey and Sage were carrying their travel journals and he said, “Give me your book baby.” and he signed the girl’s books. “how bout you son?” and Denver handed him the only paper he had which was the clue to get to the concert. Trace read it and laughed. He wished us a fun vacation and that was it. The kids were so excited and Trace was incredibly sweet with them.
The concert was unbelievable! He is an amazing singer and performer. He told stories about his songs and has a very funny and dry sense of humor. He sang through lots of songs and then during his finale, he pointed to Bailey and motioned for her to come up to him. Bailey pointed to herself and asked ME?! He nodded his head and she went up to the stage. Trace put his black Stetson on her head and Bailey’s eyes got huge and the crowd went crazy! He kept singing and Bailey dazedly walked back to her seat with us. About halfway through the song she asked, “do I get to keep this?!”
After the show it was like she was a celebrity herself. Everywhere she walked people were saying, “Look! It’s The Hat!” or they would congratulate her, tell her how cute she looked, or how lucky she was. Bailey writes stories, poems, and music all the time and she declared, “every time I write I’m going to wear this hat!”. I could see in her eyes that Trace Adkins had just created a fan for life with Bailey! It was incredibly special and something Mr. John and I could never have planned.