Yesterday, Tim and I spent the day at the ultra-fabulous Celestial Seasonings. Why is the company ultra-fabulous? You might think it's simply because it makes wonderful teas (not to mention because it picked QUEEN OF THE ROAD as its Adventures At Every Turn book club selection this summer). After spending the day there, I can tell you it's an ultra-fabulous company because of so much more: What a great place to work! I was told this again and again by the employees, although it was easy to tell - the whole ambience of the place, don'tcha know. (Yeah, yeah. The teas are the best. I know this. That's why they're the only thing I drink - before 5pm.)
Herewith, our Celestial day:
It started with a reading/signing/royal shtick in the cafeteria. Celestial Seasonings, in its infinite wisdom, purchased 300 copies of QUEEN OF THE ROAD for employees and their families. Now, isn't that a company that cares about the welfare of its workers? (And, I'm not just saying that because it was my book purchased. No place I've ever worked for has bought me any book! Uh... not you, House of Random. You made me a book - and a Queen - after all.)
Prior to the signing, I handed out boas to the employees in attendence - actually just the women. (The men, not so much - not secure enough, eh fellas?) It wasn't that I was being nice (really, don't we know each other well enough by now?) I just didn't want to feel overdressed myself - it was 10 o'clock in the morning, after all. (Sorry for all the feathers shedding all over the place. If you end up with one in your tea, you'll know why.)
Then, David Ziegert introduced me to the crowd...
... who, you can see, was already excited. (I had to remind myself they make tea. I mean, they probably get this excited... er, caffinated... every morning.)
This is me shticking. Yeah, I get into it. What do you want from me?
But, the audience seemed to, as well. (Maybe no one bothered to tell them I'm not real royalty?)
Afterwards, they had lots of questions about our story. My favorite was, "Since you're planning to sell your house and full time in the bus, where will you park?" I told them, "In the Celestial Seasonings parking lot, of course" and Dave did nod his approval, so we're all set! Hope they sell lawn gnomes in the Tea Shop.
Then, I signed all their books. They kept asking if I was getting writers' cramp. Were they kidding? Any potential pain was totally medicated by the adrenaline buzz I got soaking up their energy. (I'm way too lazy to produce my own. So, I soak. So sue me.)
By 11 am, Tim had parked the bus in front of Celestial Seasonings to give employee tours.
Then, Tim and I were treated to a fabulous lunch in Dave's office, with various of the wonderful staff. Part of the fabulous QUEEN OF THE ROAD promotion Celestial Seasonings is doing involves a recipe contest (what are you waiting for? Click that link and enter for "prizes fit for a Queen.") For dessert, they served an utterly divine Chocolate Raspberry Bliss Mousse made with their Chocolate Raspberry Bliss Herbal Tea (just reading that makes you sigh, right? Just wait 'til you try it.) The recipe (which I just printed off their website) is in the archives of the Celestial Seasonings Adventure At Every Turn Book Club. I can't wait for Tim to make it!
This is Dave, Tim and me. (Note our waaaaay cool official badges!)
And, with Jennifer and Tracie who were responsible for picking QUEEN OF THE ROAD for the book club in the first place! (Eternal thanks! You are now, officially, Ladies of the Realm.)
So, what to do... what to do after lunch. We had a little while before the signing in the Tea Shop. Hmmm....
Months ago, when we knew we'd be spending the day at Celestial Seasonings, but before we knew the itinerary, Tim (aka Project Nerd: Domestic Superhero, for those who haven't read QUEEN OF THE ROAD, and why haven't you?) informed me, "I'm going to get them to give me a private tour." I responded, "You can't ask them to do that!" But, Tim was adament. Fortunately, it didn't come to that, as when we got the day's agenda, it actually said they would be happy to give us a private tour, or we could just rest for a bit. I informed Tim about the offer, saying, "So, I told them we'd be tired and just wanted to rest." A divorce nearly ensued. Here's Tim in PN heaven with the adorable (and very patient) Jessica:
Afterwards, I headed to the Celestial Seasonings Tour Center where I signed books for visitors to the tea shop (one woman was heard to tsk tsk as she read the back cover, "They went to a nudist RV park!") and the public tour. (If you've never taken this tour of the world's most advanced tea production site, it's a must: The mint room alone is worth the price of admission - which is zero. Oh, and you also get free tea samples. Really - what are you waiting for?) While I signed books, Tim gave public tours of the bus:
Talking about the love of his life is probably Tim's favorite thing in the world.
Then, as if the company hadn't done enough for us, they gave us each presents: A http://www.homedepot.comHome Depot gift certificate for Tim and a spa package for me. (Someone there obviously already read the book.)
All that was left before we left, was to exact a promise that if a position as Company Shrink ever opens up (doubtful - everyone seems so happy, but still: It doesn't hurt to ask), Celestial Seasonings will hire one of us.