June 9, 2018
Cookie Monstah, Boston, Massachusettes
When in Boston, speak as Bostonians speak, or more correctly spell as Bostonians speak .. Cookie Monstah is an ice cream truck and cookie truck – their specialty is the convergence of the two – cookie topped ice cream. – Renee and I both had Green Monster ice cream (mint ice cream with oreo and fudge swirl) with a double chocolate chunk cookies. The cookies were large and the ice cream tasty. Since there was no seating available, we ate as we walked toward the harbor so I had a difficult time giving the treat a valid taste test – I can say service was amazingly fast,, the product was attractive and was perfect for our walk today. But I will never really be able to speak as a Bostonian. The ice cream cookie truck was located in downtown Boston where a gay pride parade was taking place – there were rainbows and a lot of people everywhere!
In the area: walking along a waterfront park we found the coolest playground with the best slide and merry-go- round ever!
We also caught an open house of the Portuguese naval ship Sardis – this huge three mast ship is used for training Portuguese military and included modern computers and automated stuff as well as all the ropes sails and other scary associated with historic ships like the Mayflower. I would rather cross the ocean on the Sardis than the Mayflower.
May 21, 2018
Mr.D’z Route 66 Diner, Kingman Arizonia
Walking into Mr. D’z Diner gave us a great feeling – it was 1950s style – bright and fun-looking with a casual, relaxed atmosphere welcoming to both visitors (like us) and regulars (like most everyone else). Like most diners there were tables and a counter
to eat at – we went with the counter for the whole effect. The menu was “comfort food” that looked and smelled appealing, but we were just there for ice cream, so we resisted. I got a Tin Roof Sundae (hot fudge and peanuts) with mocha ice cream – a totaly enjoyable treat in a great diner.
In the area: we started out the morning visiting the Hoover Dam. Fascinating, especially for nerds like us. The amount of planning and engineering involved in this project was amazing: developing a crane system to get the concrete where it needed to go; new technology to cool the concrete quickly and evenly using refrigerated pipes; over-sized railroad tunnels to transport goods . The size of the dam, the technology and the politics were all a tribute to the men and women involved.
We then drove through north-western Arizona, much of which was a desolate, mountainous desert. We stopped at Willow Beach in the be Lake Mead National Recreation Area to hang out dipping our feet in the Colorado River and visit the fish hatchery with rainbow trout and endangered Razorback sucklefish.
We then continued on to Kingman, where we got ice cream sundaes, visited their Route 66 museum and locomotive park. We then had to experience that famous Route 66 – the road used to cross the United States before inter state 40 was built. Driving to Oatman, Arizona was as an adventure of hairpin turns with steep drop offs – no guard rails, intriguing landscapes – we even had to stop for s few burros in the Road.
I cannot imagine this road with traffic jams when it was a major throughfare. We enjoyed walking around the small, charming town of Oatman, Arizona before continuing on to Ludlow California.
May 13, 2018
Carvel, Nepperhan Avene, Yonkers, New York
Today is Mother’s Day, and to celebrate we made to trek to Yonkers to take my mother-in-law for an outing, which included ice cream (of course). Carvel ice cream shops are not uncommon in New York State, but they do vary tremendously. We found this Carvel on Nepperhan Avenue in Yonkers to be on the lower end of the Carvel spectrum.
Entering the Youkers Carvel, we observed floors in desperate need of sweeping and three uninterested people “working” behind the counter . One was serving ice cream, two were doing nothing. We waited in line as the one working employee was dealing with a customer whose order was wrong. When the customer finally got her order corrected, I inquired about sugar free ice cream for my mother-in-law, which they did not have (she is not so passionate about ice cream, so she did not care). I ordered a Banana Foster Sundae, which was actually quite good (every cloud has a siilver lining). The shop had both hard and soft ice cream including seasonal flavors such as Kit Kit (hard ice cream) which I sampled, and many different delicious-looking cakes and sundaes. I would say I would have to come back to try them, but I think I will try a different Carvel location.
April 21, 2018
Ghirardelli Ice Cream, Quincy Market, Boston, Massachusettes
Recently I read that the most over rated tourist attraction in Massachusetts is Quincy Market , so naturally I had to visit it. I wanted to see an over- rated tourist attraction and I was not disappointed! It was just an overpriced shopping mall. While I was there I had to stop for ice cream – and Ghirardelli Ice Cream seemed like a good choice.
The shop was very attractive with walls of beautiful looking chocolates and candy. The ice cream menu had numerous attractive pictures enticing me to to want every sundae on it! The only problem was the calories and the price – $12.00 for 1200 calories – a penny per calorie. Maybe the milkshates were a better deal $8,95 for 2000 calories. I do not like when calories are listed for any food I eat – “ignorance is bliss”. This was the most exensive sundae that I have purchased to date, but what did I expect from Quincy Market?
I ordered a Mint Bliss Sundae made with Mint Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip Ice Cream chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Both the chocolate sauce and the whipped cream were made in house and were wonderful, The choclate sauce was best I have ever tasted. Likewise the ice cream was exceptional with an amazing rich flavor and perfect texture – I guess I got what I paid for.
We were in Boston to visit our daughter. We took a harbor cruise, and it was the most lack-luster guide I have ever seen. She read from a script with limited information, she seemed to know nothing and cared little about Boston. I guess here we did not get what we paid for.
April 22, 2018
Zingarella Pizzaria and Ice cream Cafe, Southington, Connecticut
Today we discovered two great new places -The Farmington Canal Heritage Trail (discussed below) and Zingarella Pizzaria and Ice Cream Cafe. The cafe was conveniently located along the Heritage Trail – what more could anyone want than to find a wonderful ice cream shop along a wonderful rail trail?
Entering Zingerella Pizzaria and Ice Cream Cafe surptised us – it was an upscale pizzaria – nice tables, dimmed lighting, liquor license – it looked more like a place for a nice dinner date or family outing than a “pizzaria”. But we were here for ice cream. There was an outdoor walk-up ice cream window but that was not open today – probably too early in the morinng or too early in the season. In addition to ice cream they had beverages including “Connecticut’s Own Avery Soda” with flavors like “Toxic Slime”, “Bug Barf” and “Orange” (is there nothing gross that is orange?).
They sold Gifford’s of Maine Ice Cream, which I have had before, so I wanted to choose flavors that I have not had before – I ordered Cake Batter (choclate frosting and shortcake cubes in a cake batter ice cream) and Maine Deer Tracks (expresso ice cream with toffee and chocolate fudge) ice cream. The ice cream was good, but not as chocked full of flavor as I prefer – could have used more toffee, chocolate fudge etc. Zingarellia’s made nice sundaes and was a friendly place to visit. And what could be better than a nice ice cream cafe with romantic indoor seating and attractive outdoor seating? a place not to be missed along the Farmington Heritage Trail!
The Farmingron Canal Heritage Trail started out as the tow path for the Farmington Canal, later it became the site of a railroad, and today it is a scenic rail trail. It is evident that this trail is loved by many people, not only because of the number of
people using it, but because of all the adornments along it ranging from interesting painted murals on buildings to creative seating options (butterfly-shaped benches, bike-style benches, wooden benches), to historical placards giving a history of the trail. The patrons were all friendly and everyone seemed to be enjoying the beautiful day, some walking, some running, some roller blading and some, like us, biking.
April 7, 2018
Thee Ice Cream Parlor, Flemington, New Jersey
Welcome to a decade gone by – Thee Ice Cream Parlor is a 1950s style ice ceram shop with the red seating booths, high top tables and an old fashioned ice cream counter. The walls were outfitted with 1950’s music- themed decor including records, posters and plaques – all beautifully displayed. We had our picture taken in front of the ‘record wall’ that they were rightfully very proud of.
As we looked at the ice cream selection. I asked if they made it there and was told no – this lead to a funny intersection with the boss teaching the employee the proper answer is ‘it is made for us by a family in Pennsylvania’. There was a wide variety of featured fun sundaes, so naturally I had to choose one from the list. I got a choco cherry sundae with peanut butter Chocolate covered Pretzel Ice Cream and Salted Caramel ice cream. Don got a Chocolate Covered Strawberry Sundae. We sat at a high topped table next to the record wall while we ate. We actually knew most of the atrists featured on the albums – not sure if that means we are old, young, or somewhere in the middle.
March 24, 2018
Nonna’s Italian Coffee Parlor, Doylestown, Pennsylvania
Walking into Nonna’s Italian Coffee Parlor in downtown Doylestown, PA we first eyed a showcase of nice looking baked goods. Then came the gelato showcase and lastly the ice cream. (the “Italian Coffee” did not interest me). As we stepped up to the counter we were quickly offered an opportunity to try any of the ice cream flavors – an opportunity I would never pass up! I was informed that the ice cream was made by Delaware Valley College students (a school my daughter almost went to for food science). I started with the Death by Mint, which was their version of mint chocolate chip – and it was wonderful, very minty (I have not tasted many mint ice creams that I did not like!). I then tried creamsicle – a blast from my childhood – this was creamy and tasty. I then got a scoop of Peanut Butter cup (good texture and taste, but the peanut butter cup pieces should have been smaller) a scoop of Tiramisu (an ice cream variation one of my favorite desserts- They caught all the essence of tiramisu, including just the right amount of rum flavoing – not over powering, but also not a “subtle nuance” – in a creamy, tasty, fozen form). I loved this ice cream!
There were plenty of tables both inside and outside and the day was just warm enough to be comfortable outside. I do not know who Nonno is (I assume someone’s sweet Italian grandfather, but he has a very nice little shop.
In the area: First let me say that we love Doylestown, PA. It has a very nice down town – lots of nice shops that are fun to wander through and scenic houses throughout the town. We came here once again to visit Fonthill. We were scheduled to go on a “Behind the Scenes” tour that let us see many of the 44 rooms that we did not see in the original tour. I loved the narrow spiral staircases and I was intrigued by the whole experience, but most amazing part though was the tour guide’s description of the builder (Henry Mercer). Was Mercer actually a successful hard working professor and tile entrepreneur or a spoiled rich kid the earlier tour guide presented him as? I guess there are really three sides to every story.
On the way out here we stopped at Peddler’s Village, a place I have heard of, but never stopped at before. It was a great experience. There were plenty of interesting shops and eateries. We got peanut flavored popcorn, had fun examining every kitchen item we could think of at a kitchen store, saw a lot of nice and reasonable priced clothing. We ate at the Buttonwood Grill (worth a visit). We visited a store that made plaques with Coats of Arms and family name histories, and learned that our last name must be very rare – it was not in the book of the million last names to chose from. Does that make our family better than one in a million?