My Trip to Ashland with Harry & David

by jenna on August 21, 2012

Last week, I was lucky enough to head up to Ashland, Oregon with some of my best blogging friends to visit Harry & David!

It was a very spontaneous trip for me (I found out I was going two days before!), but was absolutely amazing. It was my very first time visiting Oregon! And wow…I think I fell in love. We stayed at the lovely historic Ashland Springs Hotel , which was in the center of everything. I highly recommend this hotel if you are going for a visit. It has the most comfortable hotel bed that I’ve ever slept on! Plus, they have complimentary happy hour AND “late night snacks” in the lobby. Enough said.

Ashland is known for its famous Shakespeare Festival, and the town was alive with people. I’m already looking for an excuse to go back! Maybe when it’s not so hot though—it was about 110 degrees when we were there last week!

It was really cool to see what Harry & David was all about.

Going into this trip, I really didn’t know anything other than “they have the best pears I’ve ever tasted”. My parents used to get the gift baskets when I was a kid and my brother and I always fought over who got to eat the special “gold wrapped pear” (remember those?!). I swear, the pears are magical or something because no matter what, they are always perfect. Always!

I had no idea that they actually grow the pears (and peaches!) right there. Had no idea they make all the chocolates and candies on site. Had no idea how passionate the Harry & David folks are about providing the best product possible to their customers. They really love their jobs and were some of the nicest, most generous people I’ve ever met. It was cool to go behind the scenes and get the inside scoop!

That’s Rebecca. She’s fabulous and was part of the group of inspirational bloggers I felt privileged to hang out with all week. Rebecca is the mastermind behind the slow cooker chicken tikka masala. She also is a mom to five little boys. I introduced Rebecca to her very first margarita on this trip!

Unfortunately I had an awful allergic reaction to laundry detergent during the trip and was covered with splotchy red bumps. Don’t mind me.

Oh, look! There’s my boyfriend! Isn’t he a hottie?

Here I am with Jess and Maria. I love these girls! Over the past few years, we have formed an awesome close friendship and just have the best time when we all get together.

One of the nights, we headed over to Red Lily Vineyards for dinner. It was one of the most spectacular places I have ever been. Words can’t describe how gorgeous this place is….just check out the sunset!

I know…right?! It was unreal.

Here we all are in front of the winery (thanks for the photo, Sandy!):

From the left: Rebecca, Maria, Jess, Rachel, Amy, Sandy, Heidi, Bridget, Lori, Kristen and me!

I have to say though, my favorite part of the trip was when we got to hang out with Charlie in the Harry & David candy kitchen!

Charlie has been working with Harry & David for 32 years and LOVES chocolate {to say the least}.

He gave us the opportunity to play a little bit with decorating chocolate so we’d get the feel for what really goes on behind the scenes. I don’t think my chocolates will be winning any decorating award soon {I positioned myself next to Bridget at the table for a reason!}, but it was super fun. Playing with chocolate at 10am? You don’t have to ask me twice!

We were also given the opportunity to make our own gift baskets (I sent mine to my parents!) and hit up the Harry & David country store, which I envisioned to be the size of a gas station but was really the size of a Whole Foods….and just PACKED with Harry & David stuff!

Moosemunch cheesecake was eaten.

Mojitos {and margaritas!} were drank.

And new friends were made. Thank you, Sandy, for hosting us all at your beautiful home for dinner! Can I live in your garden?

And a  huge thank you to Harry & David for making this trip possible. It was absolutely amazing and beyond generous. I can’t wait to come back one day soon! Until then, I’ll be eating my pears and practicing my chocolate painting skills.

 

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{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen August 21, 2012 at 3:58 am

What a beautiful group of bloggers!

Jenna – do you/how do you practice yoga when you take all your trips?

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Gabby (Quest for Delicious) August 21, 2012 at 3:58 am

What an amazing sounding trip! Your pictures are beautiful!

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Claire @ Live and Love to Eat August 21, 2012 at 4:21 am

Moosemuch cheesecake?! Must have been a glimpse of heaven.

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Heather Michelle @ A Sweet Simple Life August 21, 2012 at 4:31 am

Lovely Pics! Looks like a great trip!

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Chase August 21, 2012 at 4:56 am

Looks like a great trip! PS I love that necklace in the photo with Jess & Maria! Where did you get it?

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Em August 21, 2012 at 5:25 am

What a fantastic opportunity! Way to make the most out of it. And such a neat way to connect with other lovely bloggers. Great pics.

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Danielle August 21, 2012 at 5:26 am

What fun! And so freaking beautiful, too :). I love last-minute, spontaneous trips like this one; there’s not enough time for expectations so they always end up being more amazing than you could ever hope for. Glad you enjoyed.

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jenna August 21, 2012 at 5:27 am

what a fun time. those pears look sooo good.

love your skirt!

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Molly @ RDexposed August 21, 2012 at 5:30 am

Pop-up allergic reactions are so annoying! I usually react with swollen face parts. Picture Will Smith in Hitch.

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Laura August 21, 2012 at 5:36 am

what an amazing trip, this sounds like a brilliant company to get to know and it looks like you all had a blast.

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joelle (on a pink typewriter) August 21, 2012 at 5:39 am

AWESOME recap.. This makes me want to see if Harry and David are hiring for chocolate painters.. ;)

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Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy August 21, 2012 at 5:44 am

I read Jessica’s recap a couple of days ago — this sounds like such a fun event!

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Ali @ Gimme Some Oven August 21, 2012 at 5:48 am

Great photos! Looks like such a fun trip…with a GREAT group! :)

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat August 21, 2012 at 5:50 am

Oh wow, what an amazing trip! All of you ladies look absolutely gorgeous! I think my favourite bit would have been the candy making too. I remember going to a candy making factory on a field trip once in primary school and thought it was the coolest thing ever. Glad you had such a great time!

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Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots August 21, 2012 at 6:02 am

the pictures are amazing and it sounds like it was a fantastic time!

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Lindsay @ prettylittleparadise August 21, 2012 at 6:37 am

Hi Jenna,
I was wondering if you could do a post about your journey away from running… I have been reading your blog for a long time and since it’s called ” eat live run” I think it would be cool to see a post about your running days and your gradual movement into other activities…. Maybe you already have one like this, but I couldn’t find it! I would just love to hear how your lifestyle and body changed when you moved away from running and more into yoga etc. Thanks and let me know if it’s already there somewhere and I am just missing it!!
Lindsay

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jenna August 21, 2012 at 7:58 am

I think this might be the post you are looking for! http://www.eatliverun.com/why-i-quit-the-gym/

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briana August 21, 2012 at 6:46 am

Please tell me where you got that skirt! Gorgeous!

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jenna August 21, 2012 at 7:58 am

Gap :)

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amy walters, aDESIGNdock August 21, 2012 at 7:08 am

Love your outfit. And wait, did I just see cheesecake? Mmm…yes, that’s def. cheesecake. What a fantastic trip!

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Kristen August 21, 2012 at 7:11 am

So glad to have spent this great few days with you, Jenna!

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Lily O' Dare @ Candied-Life August 21, 2012 at 7:21 am

i remember fighting for that pear with my sister too!! we loved getting those gift baskets. yummy! seems like it was a lovely trip.

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Katie August 21, 2012 at 7:21 am

I’m dieing to go to Oregon. I’m so jealous.

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Samantha August 21, 2012 at 7:22 am

Jenna, your hair looks completely beautiful in every photo!

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Kelly @ Kelly the Culinarian August 21, 2012 at 7:31 am

It looks amazing! The pears from Harry and David are to die for. I hope you ate a ton of them!

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Kristen@Slender Kitchen August 21, 2012 at 7:38 am

That trip looks amazing!

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Averie @ Averie Cooks August 21, 2012 at 7:39 am

What a rockin’ fabulous event! I saw other pics of it from others who attended & the whole thing just looks first-rate from start to finish. And the ladies who went – what a blast it must have been! Everyone looks awesome and playing with chocolate at 10am or drinking wine and eating great dinners — yeah, not bad. And gotta love the 2 day advance notice! :)

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shelly (cookies and cups) August 21, 2012 at 7:40 am

That cheesecake look like the best ever! So glad all you girls had such a great time :)

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Jane {In the Pink and Green} August 21, 2012 at 7:41 am

This looks like an amazing trip, I love Harry & David! That Moosemunch stuff is seriously like crack. My husband is from Oregon (Portland though), so we’ll definitely have to make a trip to Ashland one of these days! My in-laws make the drive down there just to go to the Harry & David store and absolutely love their cheesecake….so cool you got to go on this trip! Btw, I feel like you would just LOVE Portland!! xoxo

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Tracey Evans August 21, 2012 at 7:43 am

Oh how nice! I would love to visit their. Absolutely loving your hair and that necklace….. love it! :)

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katryn@rampantcuisine August 21, 2012 at 7:43 am

You probably get sick of questions like this but I LOVE your orange necklace, your turqoise necklace and that orange skirt!! Do you mind me asking where you got them?

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jenna August 21, 2012 at 7:57 am

thank you! the orange necklace – Target. turquoise necklace – cheerfully charmed (online store). skirt – gap :)

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Maria August 21, 2012 at 7:43 am

I want to go back! Now!!! Miss you like mad! It was such a fun trip! And I love the picture of you and your boyfriend:) He is begging you to come visit:)

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Kelly August 21, 2012 at 7:43 am

I went to college in Ashland and my husband and I dream of the day we can move back down there. I love it there! Your pictures bring back so many memories and remind that it’s time for our annual trip back. :) I’m glad to hear you love Ashland as much as I do!

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Sandy @ RE August 21, 2012 at 8:01 am

Loved meeting YOU, one of my greatest gifts of the weekend. xo

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Ashley August 21, 2012 at 8:28 am

Great post, Jenna. Love to hear about all the awesome places you get to go to. And like always, I’m envious.

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Caroline L. August 21, 2012 at 8:52 am

That looks like such an awesome trip! Glad you were able to have a great time!

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Sam @ Better With Sprinkles August 21, 2012 at 8:53 am

That cheesecake looks amazing! So many blogger meet ups happening recently – so jealous!

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Julia August 21, 2012 at 9:26 am

I was following all of your guys’ instagram pics and it looked like you had tons of fun!!!! Such a gorgeous group!

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Emily @ Life on Food August 21, 2012 at 9:41 am

The photos are amazing! I am completely jealous of this trip. I am jotting down references for future vacations. Now if only I could manage chocolate classes.

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Angela August 21, 2012 at 9:48 am

I LOVE your outfit!! especially your necklace!!

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JulieD August 21, 2012 at 10:41 am

Love all of the pictures, Jenna!! What a great group of ladies!! Thanks for sharing and I love Harry & David pears too!

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Quinn August 21, 2012 at 10:51 am

I have the exact turquoise necklace, don’t you love it? So cute. :-)

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Lauren @ Sassy Molassy August 21, 2012 at 11:05 am

As an Oregonian, I didn’t even know they grew their fruit at H&D! Looks like an awesome trip.

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Amy August 21, 2012 at 11:06 am

Wow! It seems like a dream trip!

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sanderskn August 21, 2012 at 11:38 am

Very rare for it to be 110 in Oregon. The North American heat wave this summer is insane…and scary!

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Sana August 21, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Lovely pictures and a lovely trip!

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Laurie {Simply Scratch} August 21, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Looks like so much fun! You all are so LoVeLy! XO

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bridget {bake at 350} August 21, 2012 at 12:36 pm

*sigh*

Jenna! I just loved meeting you….you are beautiful inside and out! You had it backwards….I positioned myself next to YOU! Hello, Miss culinary school! ;)

Really hope you’ll let me know next time you’re through Texas…I’d LOVE to see you again and get more of a chance to chat!

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Jessica August 21, 2012 at 12:58 pm

I just loved this post! It looks like you had a great time and had so much fun.

Super cute outfits, too!

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Alicia August 21, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Those pictures look amazing! I have been to Oregon before but that place looks amazing! I would really love to go there during the Shakespeare festive. Those blogging events look like so much fun!

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KT August 21, 2012 at 3:37 pm

I love your blog, Jenna! And I loved this latest post. I really have to visit Ashland, Oregon soon! What a beautiful trip. Great pics too.

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Leatitia @ The Sweetest Year August 21, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Omg, the pictures of melted chocolate?? DROOLS!

Wow it looks like a beautiful trip! Lucky you! :)

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Rachel - A Southern Fairytale August 21, 2012 at 4:28 pm

I simply adore you!

LOVE the pic of the chocolate eggs that you got – you had an awesome angle!

I’m still giggling over the margaritas and mojitos and that bar in the hotel.

Jenna, you are a treasure and a truly talented, wonderful person! SO thrilled to have met your precious ‘no bigger than a minute’ self.

<3

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Brittany @ eatingbirdfood August 21, 2012 at 7:45 pm

It looks like this trip was such a blast – a great group of bloggers and tons of chocolate, what’s not to love. I’m completely jealous of the Moosemunch Cheesecake.

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Michelle August 21, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Wow! I would have never guessed that the Harry & David place was like that. Thanks for showing us a behind the scenes take of it. I can’t wait to take another trip down the coast and make a couple stops at places like this. That Ashland Springs Hotel looks awesome!
-Michelle

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Liz (formerly VeggieGirl) August 22, 2012 at 2:57 am

Beautiful surroundings and wonderful company (especially Jess)! Kudos to you for going with such short notice, haha – I would’ve freaked out :D

Sorry you had an allergic reaction to detergent :( Hope you’re all better now!

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Cacmuffin August 22, 2012 at 11:13 am

That cholocate looks amazing!!!!

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Rebecca (Foodie With Family) August 23, 2012 at 11:59 am

Jenna, It was such a treat to meet you in real life. I can’t wait ’til our paths cross again. Hopefully, it’ll be in a chocolate/wine/great food/great company environment again! :-)

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Heather August 23, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Those PEARS! I thought I was the only one:) They came to my office for Chrismas last year and no one knew why I was so giddy. I ended up taking all six and hiding then in my cube, then felt incrediby guilty and put back four;) There were four new converts into the “pear cult” after that.

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jackie August 23, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Jenna – I grew up in Ashland, OR. I’m so glad you loved it there. I feel so fortunate to call that place home. Come visit again – there are SOOOOO many hidden gems in Ashland/southern, Oregon.

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Pita August 28, 2012 at 4:13 pm

I live in Southern Oregon and work for an organization that promotes rights for migrant farm workers. Please watch this video, which showcases a women whose story paraellels the lives of many who labor for Harry and David.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-klein/tomato-farming-florida-immokalee_b_1381421.html

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Jessica August 31, 2012 at 10:25 am

That’s my home town! I live in Boston now and miss it, especially in the summer. Glad you had fun! They have amazing chocolate and wine, who needs anything else.

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Aaryn September 3, 2012 at 9:30 pm

My boyfriend and I LOVE Ashland, it is so much fun to walk all around downtown where the Ashland Spring Hotel is. We went to this cafe/ice cream parlor (yes, BOTH) and they had the best flavor combos. And we loved staying at the ASH too–super cute and a very different atmosphere than any other hotel I have stayed in. One thing, the shower was really tiny…it was weird. Haha!

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