Friday, October 7, 2011

Welcome Back to the Land of Milk and Honey (and Chunks of Fudge!)

Our reentry into the U.S. was anticlimactic, to say the least.  Here's a snippet of our border crossing conversation:

"Hi!  Welcome back!  Where are you all from?  Georgia?  Our training facility is in Brunswick.  Loved it down there!  Me?  I'm from New York."  While swiping passports, "Why were you in Canada?  Vacation?  Did you have a good time?  Anything to claim?  No?  Have a great day!"

Let's you know how bad French Canadians can be when they make a New Yorker sound like Andy Taylor.

To celebrate our safe return to the Mother Land, we went straight to Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Factory in Waterbury, Vermont.  Talk about a dream field trip!  If I were a teacher in Vermont, I would plan one visit per month, at least.

On the gorgeous fall day, we walked up to the factory to be greeted by a replica of the famous Ice Cream Truck that Ben and Jerry drove across the country giving away free ice cream all along the way.  The original truck caught on fire on their way back to Vermont which captured the duo national headlines and put their ice cream on the front page.  As most know, you literally can't buy advertising like that!  With a freak accident, Ben and Jerry's was catapulted into ice cream history.

We hadn't told the kids we were going so they were thrilled to get out of the car and into some ice cream. Tours cost $3 for adults and free for kids.  They last about 30 minutes beginning with a short movie about the history of the company (where I learned about the famous ice cream truck fire) and ending with free samples.  In the middle, we saw the actual factory (no photography allowed) and our guide explained how to make extra premium ice cream.  They were not making ice cream when we toured, but were preparing to make Chunky Monkey.  The Flavor Room was a treat (pun intended) where we sampled today's special flavor milk and cookies.  Thumbs up!

Wyatt found his dream job!

Happy Kids!

Outside the factory, they have an ice cream stand where you can buy every flavor.  There is also a huge playground overlooking Vermont's beautiful Green Mountains.  Past the playground and up the hill is a bizarrely fun spot called the Graveyard of Flavors where they permanently retire old flavors each complete with its own headstone and poem.

Creepy? No, just silly fun for October.

They may need to revive this flavor...

I loved the sixties peace signs everywhere and the company's three part mission statement and green initiative.  Though no longer owned by hippies, Ben and Jerry, the company seemed the best of both worlds: putting local Americans to work and supporting sustainable ingredients obtained in a free trade economy.  What a better way to return to the USA than with a tour of capitalism at its best!  And yes, we bought an ice cream Christmas ornament in the gift shop.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading and commenting! Heaven knows, I need some interaction...