Zeb the Duck Tours and Tastes at Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory

Today I, Zeb the Duck, took mom and one of her friends to Boulder, Colorado.   We visited and toured the international headquarters for Celestial Seasonings Tea Company.

We love tea

We love tea

Our first stop was signing up for the next tour.

We sign up for free tour here.

We sign up for free tour here.

All tours are free.   There were some great seasonal decorations here.

Seasonal decor

Seasonal decor

We received a packet with 4 tea bags of Sleepytime Tea.   This is our ticket for the tour and a great, tasty souvenir.   Sleepytime is the most popular tea blend, so we will certainly enjoy our gift.   While waiting for our tour, we sampled several tea blends.

Many flavors of tea ready to sample

Many flavors of tea ready to sample

Some teas were hot and some cold.   A menu of all teas is also on the counter and we could request any of the teas.   We did try an additional blend and all of them were delicious.   Also available, for purchase, were these gorgeous pastries and other snacks.

So tempting

So tempting

Some small tables by a window made waiting for our tour a pleasant break.   Here is a picture of Mo Siegel, one of the founders and current head of Celestial Seasonings.

The beginning of Celestial Seasonings

The beginning of Celestial Seasonings

As the herbal tea blends became popular, tea bags were needed.   This sewing machine was used to make the first muslin tea bags.

Sewing machine

Sewing machine

Our tour was called, so into the theater we went.   After watching a short video about the company, including the humble beginnings, international source of tea, and shipping Celestial Seasonings Tea to various countries around the world.   All tea is packaged in Boulder and distributed from this Boulder factory.   On display is this ensemble.   The dress, shoes, hat and purse are all made from Celestial Seasonings tea packages.

Dress, shoes, purse and hat all made from Celestial Seasonings tea packages.

Dress, shoes, purse and hat all made from Celestial Seasonings tea packages.

This dress was commissioned in support of the Heart Truth campaign of 2006, to raise awareness about the risk of heart disease in women

After the film but before entering the factory, everyone must put on a hairnet.

Visitors wearing required hairnets.

Visitors wearing required hairnets.

Men with beards also needed to wear a beard net.  The humans did look a little funny, but nothing except tea and herbs will be in our next cup of tea.    Sadly, we are not allowed to take photos inside the factory.    In the processing area we touched and smelled samples of the product of the moment.   They were making teas with lemon grass.   I like lemon and this smelled so good.   We passed large sacks of tea blends that have been certified by the tea master, insuring proper quality and flavor.   The conveyor belts fill, wrap and seal the boxes.   There are boxes of various sizes for various foreign countries.   One of the most memorable stops on the tour is the mint room.   We love mint, but the aroma was so strong that I, Zeb the Duck, and most humans could not stay in the room very long.   The room is sealed shut most of the time to prevent the strong mint flavor and aroma from dominating all tea blends.   Did you know that the tea blend, Tension Tamer contains catnip?  Yes, the same stuff that cats love.   It is even listed on the box as an ingredient.   The tour ends in the gift shop, or tea shop.  This is just one wall of tea varieties.

So many tempting types of tea

So many tempting types of tea

So hard to decide, but of course we purchased Tension Tamer with catnip.   And with all this tea, how should we drink it?  Here are a few suggestions for mugs and teapots.

Love the mugs

Love the mugs

Want more choices?

Presentation is important and so much fun with tea.

Presentation is important and so much fun with tea.

And there are even more.    Mom has several teapots and teacups, so we did not purchase more.   But this is what we brought home.

Look what came home with us. And we already had a lot of tea. Yes, we do like many varieties of tea.

Look what came home with us. And we already had a lot of tea. Yes, we do like many varieties of tea.

We already had several blends of tea at home, but we do really love and drink a lot of tea.

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Boulder Creek Hometown Festival 2018

We love festivals.   And we love festivals in Boulder, Colorado.   Labor Day Weekend, the first weekend in September is one of our favorite festivals.   There is a Farmer’s Market.

A Farmers Market in the festival

Yes, we can purchase Colorado lamb and cheerful cut flowers. (Sept 2014)

We like flowers and Colorado lamb

These vegetables are so colorful.

Yum

Makes ducks and humans hungry.   Also so many venders here.

Singing Bowls from the Himalayas.

We love the singing bowls from the Himalayas.   Kids can get inside balls.

Walking on water in a bubble

Doesn’t this look fun?    Or, if you don’t want water, try these bumper balls.

Bumper Balls

And you can watch artists at work.

Artist at work

 

These are great!   But this festival has something special.

So many huge zucchinis

Zucchini Races.   Kids can purchase a giant zucchini.   The wheels are then put on the zucchini for the young human.   There are many choices for these little ones to use for decorating their zucchini.

Work in progress

Now it is time to race.

And the race begins

These races occur every 10-15 minutes, depending when the decorated zucchinis are ready.   Isn’t this fun?  The young human keeps the decorated zucchini.

Zucchini

If you have ever planted zucchini in your garden, you know that it grows quick.   Zucchini is a very prolific plant, so there are always giant zucchinis.   Humans can only eat so much zucchini in one summer.

Racing zucchinis

But that is not all for this festival .   On Monday, the duck races occur.   Of course, we love duck races.   Duck races are to raise money for a good cause.   The organizers of the duck races have hundreds or thousands of ducks that look almost like us.   People or businesses buy (really rent) a duck or ducks.  But they are not allowed to touch the duck.  Each duck has a number, so humans know which is their duck.   All ducks are dropped in Boulder Creek.  And the races begin.

Ducks

Many humans are needed to catch the ducks at the finish line.

Wow! At the finish line

The water carries the ducks to the finish line.

Some of the many ducks

The person paying for the winning ducks receive prizes.   Everybody loves to watch the ducks race down Boulder Creek.   These duck races are very popular and many towns feature duck races in the local festivals.  We hope you watch duck races near you and, of course, think of us, the Colorado Traveling Ducks.

Boulder Creek Hometown Festival 2017

Two weeks ago, Labor Day Weekend in the United States, we went to the Boulder Creek Hometown Festival   Even though Labor Day marks the official end of summer, we love this festival.   First we headed to the Farmer’s Market.

Yum

Don’t these vegetables look enticing?   And, there is more.

Cheerful flowers

The flowers are beautiful.   Pappardelles, The Fine Art of Pasta, had many types of pasta available.

So many types of pasta

Makes us hungry just looking at them.   Next we saw the Big Taste Grill, a truck by Johnsonville.

Big Taste Grill by Johnsonville

This is the world’s largest touring grill.   It weighs 53,000 pounds, is 65 feet long and 6 feet wide. It can cook 750 Brats at a time, or 2,500 Brats per hour.   440,000 BTU’s are heat by propane fuel.   Since 1995 the Big Taste Grill has been raising money for charities.   The profits from this weekend are aiding victims of Hurricane Harvey that severely damaged Houston, Texas and surrounding areas.   We ducks are on the stairs, ready for Brats.   Festivals are great for kids to play.

Play area for small humans

Oh, sometimes we wish we were human.   Next we sampled ice cream.

Interesting place and delicious ice cream

We love ice cream.   What are these kids doing?

Bumper Balls

It looks like so much fun.   They can bump into each other.   Of course, it is called bumper balls. End of summer means all gardens have too many huge zucchinis.   What to do with them…  Decorate zucchinis.

Zucchini

Then race the decorated zucchinis.   You buy a zucchini and the decorations are there for you to decorate.   Wheels first.   After the zucchinis are decorated, let’s race.

And the race begins

Such fun.   Next to the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art we spotted this statue.

Near Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art

Just not sure how to describe it, but it certainly got our attention.   OK moms, let’s eat.   We love the Dushanbe Teahouse, also known as the Boulder Teahouse.

Let’s go in

This was a gift from Dushanbe, Boulder’s sister city in Tajikistan.   The teahouse is serene, located on the banks of the Boulder Creek and surrounded by beautiful gardens.

Flowers everywhere

While eating, you hardly hear any of the activities of the Boulder Creek Hometown Festival.   We ordered a Cuban sandwich and Indonesian Noodles with chicken.

Our lunch

So very tasty.   Since this is a tea house, we ordered a display tea.   This is Jasmine Bouquet, a hand tied green tea around yellow chrysanthemum and jasmine buds.

Jasmine Bouquet, a display tea

With the glass of hot water, we received the tea ball.   Drop the tea into the hot water, and soon it will sink to the bottom of the glass.   It was interesting to watch the tea ball open and the buds come into view.

Tea with buds coming into view

The display was fascinating and the tea tasted very nice.   We do like green tea, so we were very happy.   We also go to the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse when there is no festival.   Isn’t the inside beautiful?

Indoor pool with Seven Beauties

When inside, don’t forget to look up.

Ceiling. Made by hand, no power tools.

We really enjoy visiting this tea house.  When in Boulder, Colorado, we hope you visit the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse.   And don’t miss the Boulder Creek Hometown Festival the first weekend of September.

The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse with Zeb the Duck

I, Zeb the Duck, like tea.   My mom also likes tea.   We love the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse in Boulder, Colorado.   We met some human friends there for lunch and want you to see this Teahouse.   Boulder, Colorado is a sister city to Dushanbe, Tajikistan and Boulder received this magnificent gift.   Our teahouse was built completely by hand from 1987-1990, by more than 40 artisans in several cities of Tajikistan.   Let’s visit the Teahouse.

Boulder Dushanbe Teahous

Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse

The Teahouse is on the Boulder Creek, in the heart of Boulder.   The entrance faces a city park.

Let's go in

Let’s go in

Before we go inside, we want to enjoy the flowers.

Flowers everywhere

Flowers everywhere.   Isn’t this ceramic panel colorful.

Eight colorful ceramic panels, created by Victor Zabolotnikov, grace the building’s exterior and display patterns of a “Tree of Life”.   The beautifully landscaped outdoor dining area create an oasis within the city.

Relaxing outdoor dining

Relaxing outdoor dining

I, Zeb the Duck, met some friends.   My friend, Channel the Bear was there and a little duck friend, the Caped Crusader.

Zeb, Channel and Caped Crusader

Zeb, Channel and Caped Crusader

Our moms let us have our own table, until it got busy at lunch time.   Here is the Boulder Creek.

Boulder Creek

Boulder Creek

It is nice to hear the water as we eat.   So peaceful.   We ate outside, but let’s enter the Teahouse now.   Inside the Teahouse are eight large, intricately carved white plaster panels, designed and executed by Kodir Rakhimov.   You can purchase green tea here.

Green tea. Beautiful hand carved column

Green tea.   Beautiful hand carved column

As we look around, we see more tea supplies.

Gorgeous teapots and tea supplies

Gorgeous teapots and tea supplies

We love this place.   The central pool features seven hammered copper sculptures by Ivan Milashevich, based on a 12th century poem, “The Seven Beauties”, in which a princess from each of seven different nations narrates a fable that expresses important cultural values.

Indoor pool with Seven Beauties

Indoor pool with Seven Beauties

We love any restaurant or teahouse that has a pool inside.   Don’t forget to look up.   The ceiling of the Teahouse was carved and paint with intricate patterns traditional of Persian Art.   The teahouse ceiling was originally built, carved and painted in Tajikistan.

Ceiling. Made by hand, no power tools.

Ceiling.   Made by hand, no power tools.

Absolutely no power tools were used in the original construction.   The work was crafted by hand exactly as it was centuries ago.  Of the twelve cedar columns, no two columns are like.   This Teahouse was completely built by hand in Tajikistan and then taken apart.   Carefully packed in large crates, the pieces were shipped to Boulder, Colorado.   Master woodcarvers, Manon Khaidarov and Mirpulat Mirakhmatov helped reassemble the Teahouse in Boulder and carved their names in the ceiling.   Several craftsmen from Tajikistan were in Boulder to reassemble and ensure that our Teahouse was as intended.   As we left the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse, we needed to have one more photo of this beautiful place.

So sad to leave. We come back often

So sad to leave. We come back often

We hope you visit the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse soon, at 1770 13th Street, Boulder, Colorado.   Visit http://www.boulderteahouse.com for more information and additional photos.   There is so much more.   They have a farm to ensure fresh ingredients.   They also serve afternoon tea.   This place is wonderful.

Boulder Creek Hometown Festival with Zeb and Soapy

Yesterday I, Zeb the Duck, and Soapy Smith Duck, went to Boulder, Colorado to the Boulder Creek Hometown Festival.    This is a 4 day, end of summer festival.   It began Friday evening, continuing Saturday, Sunday and Monday.   First we went to the kid’s area.   After all, Zeb and Soapy are kids.   Some lucky small humans can get inside these Water Bubbles and try to walk on water.

Water Bubbles

Water Bubbles

This really looks like it is fun.   Wow!   This girl can really jump.

Bungy Tramp

Bungy Tramp

She is on the Bungy Tramp and having a great time.   Of course, every festival must have a bouncing house.

Bouncing House

Bouncing House

Next we headed to the zucchini races.   Young humans choose a zucchini from those available.   The parents can pay the fee.   First the zucchinis get wheels.   Then the young ones decide which decorating supplies will make their zucchini attractive and, of course, fast.   When ready, the zucchini is placed at the top of the ramp.   When the race begins, the board is lifted and the zucchinis race down the incline.

Zucchini race here

Zucchini race here

This is the zucchini that was in the lead.

A winner

A winner

These decorated zucchinis have already raced.

Racing zucchinis

Racing zucchinis

They really look great!   Walking to another area, we really did cross the Boulder Creek.

Boulder Creek

Boulder Creek

It looks so refreshing.   Even dogs like this festival and love to play in Boulder Creek.

Humans and dogs love Boulder Creek

Humans and dogs love Boulder Creek

We listened to some live music.

Enjoying live music

Enjoying live music

Then we watched people throw balls to dunk a cop.

Dunk-A-Cop

Dunk-A-Cop

The proceeds from Dunk-A-Cop go to the Special Olympics.   There was a classic car show here also.

Star Lite Classic Car Show

Star Lite Classic Car Show

We thought this 1924 Ford Model T Fordor was great.

1924 Ford Model T Fordor

1924 Ford Model T Fordor

It was so clean and polished.   Check out these old classic cars.

Classic Cars

Classic Cars

More cars were lined up in various locations.

What is under the hood

What is under the hood

You can even check under the hood on these.   This festival had over 100 arts and crafts exhibitors, but this was one of our favorites.

Singing Bowls from the Himalayas.

Singing Bowls from the Himalayas.

We enjoy the items from the Himalayas, especially these singing bowls.   This booth also had several cloths with sayings from His Holiness, the XIV Dalai Lama.   It was a very nice summer type day;  people can rent a bicycle here and enjoy the great weather.

Rent a bike. Our legs are too short.

Rent a bike. Our legs are too short.

Much better than driving your car.   We hope you are enjoying festivals this Labor Day Weekend.   Whatever you are doing, enjoy the good weather and the long weekend.

The Great Zucchini Race

I, Zeb the Duck, and Soapy Smith Duck went to the Great Zucchini Race.

Wow!  The Great Zucchini Race

Wow! The Great Zucchini Race

Boulder Creek Hometown Festival was Labor Day Weekend. We had never seen zucchini races before. They are fun!

Human kids pick a large zucchini. Then they get wheels and decorate the zucchini.

Decorating the zucchini

Decorating the zucchini

Here are some; we liked them all.

Work in progress

Work in progress

The completed zucchinis and young owners, start at the top of this slope. At the designated time, the board is lifted and the zucchinis race down the slope.

And the race begins

And the race begins

It is so much fun to decorate a zucchini and also fun to watch the races.

Many decorated zucchinis

Many decorated zucchinis

The Boulder Creek Hometown Festival hosted the farmer’s market on Saturday.

A Farmers Market in the festival

A Farmers Market in the festival

These vegetables look so good.

Yum

Yum

We enjoyed some Saturday night.  Very tasty.   The flowers were pretty also.

We like flowers

We like flowers

This festival had the regular wonderful stuff:  great food, live bands, hula-hoops, face painting and more. But the new thing for these ducks was the zucchini race.

So many huge zucchinis

So many huge zucchinis

As summer comes to an end, we hope you visited festivals. If you are near Boulder, Colorado, this festival is going on today, Monday, September 1.  Spend some time here and enjoy Colorado festivals.  There will be more autumn festivals. Attend a festival near you and you will have a great day.

Zucchini

Zucchini