New England or Bust, Part 4

One of my family’s bucket list goals is to get our kids to all 50 states.  Why?  Because a) we want to see the country, 2) it’s a goal that has both measurable progress and is fairly easy to keep track of, and D) it’s easier than trying to meet a goal of saving for college, or other such nonsense.  As luck would have it, our kids hadn’t crossed the border into Vermont yet, so guess where we were headed next?

New state!

(No points for guessing that one.  I mean, come on.  It was obvious)

Our first destination was the town of Waterbury, deep in the heart of the Green Mountains.  Slightly north of town is the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory.  The appeal of a visit here should be perfectly obvious: they have public restrooms available for weary travelers.  Also, they offer a tour that includes free ice cream samples!

I could think of worse office locations.
So many little time.

We reached the factory at 10:00 a.m.  Outside temperature was 27 degrees.  Naturally, we all felt it was time for ice cream.  The tour started with a 6.5-minute film about Ben & Jerry’s in which they spent 2 minutes telling you about how the company got started and 4.5 minutes extolling the virtues of fair trade and the dangers of bovine growth hormone while the kids’ eyes glazed over.  Soon after that, we saw the factory floor (no photos allowed) and feasted on our free sample of Choc-COW-late Chip ice cream.  For some reason, I feel like Barry will appreciate that name.  It was vanilla ice cream with chocolate cows mixed in.  We all gave it a thumbs-up!

This place was the Cathedral of Ice Cream.
Ice cream for breakfast!

The tour was both short and fun.  Being Disney veterans, you’ll never believe this, but it emptied out into a gift shop!  After wandering through, we decided we hadn’t had enough ice cream for breakfast and went to the scoop shop to satisfy our cravings.  Julie won the prize for most interesting flavor: she chose “Late-Night Snack”, which was vanilla ice cream, caramel swirl, and chocolate-covered potato chip clusters.

You ate what?!

Yes, you read that right.  She blessed this flavor with a declaration of, “It’s soooo good!”

Is it me, or are Ben & Jerry getting better-looking?

We also toured the Flavor Graveyard.  This is an area up the hill from the factory where they have placed headstones commemorating their failed ice cream inventions.  Our favorite was the Peanuts! Popcorn! flavor which, according to the tour guide, had the consistency of flakes of cardboard in your ice cream.  Here’s how Ben & Jerry summed it up:

How could a flavor like this fail?

So I guess we wouldn’t be trying that one.  The kids memorized that headstone and proceeded to recite the poem for the next 30 minutes in the van.

We had lunch in the picturesque town of Stowe.  It’s a charming town at the base of Mt. Mansfield, the highest point in Vermont, and a popular ski destination in the winter.  We ate at a place called Piecasso’s Pizza, which turned out to make one heck of a good pie.  Julie declared it her 2nd-favorite pizza ever.

Satisfied customers.

And we couldn’t leave you without a special treat for Barry.  This restaurant not only had very good pizza, but it also featured the one and only…

Pablo Picowso.  Ahem.

How can you not take a picture of this?

Coming Up Next: More wandering in Vermont, and dinner in a train car.

3 thoughts to “New England or Bust, Part 4”

  1. White Mountains, Green Mountains, what’s next? Plaid Mountains?

    [scribbling Choc-COW-late Chip ice cream on my shopping list] Thanks Mark!

    Ice cream, funny poems repeated ad nauseam, and the 2nd best pizza ever sounds like an almost perfect day. Then you top it all off with Pablo Picowso? Now it’s Udderly Fantastic!

    (I’m sorry, that last comment was milking it a little bit, wasn’t it? Although, if you think about it, the steaks are pretty high around here. I’d butter beef up my repertoire of puns. It is time to moove on, though. I herd people start to get pretty cheesed off after 10 or so. Perhaps one of these made you laugh, but if my track record holds, no pun in ten did.)

  2. Great update there Mark, and as for Julie’s 2nd favorite pizza, we’ll fix that this summer. (it’ll soon be 3rd on the list).

    Barry, your track record held. 🙂

  3. Wow Mark, what a great trip report! Until you stooped to Barry’s level.

    I love the idea of trying to get to all 50 states. I think it is a great goal and there’s plenty to see out there. I actually think an even better goal might be to try ice cream and pizza in all 50 states. It looks like you’re off to a great start there!

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