Candy And Cacti

 Posted by at 8:15 am  Nick's Blog
Mar 242010

When our friend Cindy DuBois told me about the Ethel M. Chocolate Company factory in nearby Henderson, Nevada, taking a tour went to the very top of my bucket list! After all, chocolate is the fourth major food group, right?

Mere minutes after I told my pal Greg White about the factory tour, there was a great screeching of tires in the road outside our motorhome as Greg slid sideways to a stop, yelled “Hurry up! Get in!”, and we tore out of the Thousand Trails campground like we were on our way to a fire.

Located just a short drive from the Las Vegas Strip, the Ethel M factory offers free self-guided tours, where you can look through a glass wall and watch workers making all sorts of delicious confections. I hope their janitorial crew had a good supply of Windex in stock, because Greg and I left a lot of drool on that glass wall!

Candy workers

And what’s a candy company factory tour without a free sample at the end? This is Joanne, and if polygamy had been legal in Nevada, I think Miss Terry might have had a sister wife! Anytime a pretty lady wants to give me free candy, I’m in love!

Candy sample lady

Of course, while there may be free samples, there are no free lunches, or free desserts either. But don’t despair, because once we finished the tour and got our free candy sample, the gift shop was just steps away, where they had all kinds of goodie on sale. Here’s Greg deciding how much candy his budget and blood sugar level will allow. Doesn’t he look happy? Wouldn’t you be happy too, with all of that candy around you?

Greg White candy counter

The Ethel M factory also has an impressive cactus garden, where you can walk off some of the calories you just purchased inside. The garden has cacti from all over the United States, and even rare species from South America!

Cactus 2

We spent some time strolling the paths through the garden, and of course, the battery in my digital camera died about then. But never fear, Miss Terry’s camera is never out of reach, and she is a much better photographer than I am.

Cactus garden 2

They call this a Teddy Bear Cholla, but don’t be in a big hurry to hug it, or you’ll find out that this Teddy Bear has claws!

Teddy Bear Cholla

This barrel cactus is another plant that is just loaded with thorns. I lived in the desert for many yeas, and learned to give the native plants a wide berth.

Barrel cactus

Of course, not everything in the desert has thorns or looks forbidding.  There is a lot of beauty here too. This is a Fairy Brush, and Terry did a great job of zooming in for a close-up shot, didn’t she?

Fairy brush plant

Here’s another close-up photo, and Terry’s favorite of all of the ones she took yesterday.


It’s pretty, but I think I prefer this one. To each his own.

Cactus flowers

Greg and Jan love Chinese buffets as much as we do, and we’ve been on a quest to find a good one here in Las Vegas. We’ve tried two so far, and we’re still looking for a good one.

After an early dinner, we returned to the Thousand Trails, and as we pulled up in front of our Winnebago, longtime reader Ron King was knocking on our door. Ron has an interesting blog called Chicken Fried RV, and we had a nice chat with Ron and a friend who was with him, and I got to get my puppy fix with Bubba, a friendly Schnauzer who was inside Ron’s pickup, just squirming with eagerness to get some loving.

Free candy, pretty plants, good friends, and I got to scratch a friendly dog’s ears. All in all, that’s a good day in my life!

Bad Nick doesn’t have time to play though, that boy is all work! Yesterday while I was out having fun, he was home writing a new Bad Nick Blog titled Do Something, Even If It’s Wrong! Check it out and leave a comment.

Thought For The Day – Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. – Helen Keller 

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  4 Responses to “Candy And Cacti”

  1. Nick,

    Now this is so unfair. Here it is 1:30 a.m. in Cottonwood, Arizona and I am starving out of my mind for some chocolate candy after reading today’s blog. Well ….. at least you provided some nice photos to accompany my hunger pangs.

    It was interesting to see candy being hand made and not by huge machines.

    Isn’t this life style just the greatest!!! One day we are taking a tour, the next day we might be in a museum and in between we get to see some great scenery as we move from location to location.

  2. George, I second that. This is our 11th year and we still haven’t seen it all, done it all, or been there (wherever there is) yet.
    Nick, you didn’t mention touring the water system at Ethel M so you must not have even seen it. It is quite interesting. They recycle all the water they use in the candymaking and it is a very educational tour. Oh, darn, another tough decision. I guess you will have to go to Ethel M a second time. I’m sorry I’m creating this tough goal for you, but I think you are up for the challenge. By the way, when we first started going to Ethel M it was a drive in the country!
    We never found an exceptional Chinese buffet in Las Vegas.

  3. Just love the pictures of the flowers Miss Terry took. They are just out of this world. Have fun

  4. Candy… whay more could one person want!!! Loved the little tour of the factory and cactus garden. Hope you have continued fun while your there! Travel safe my friend.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.