A Delightful Way to Beat the Heat

We’ve had a very warm summer here in Vermont, and the whole of the continental US has seen some record breakers too. Hot, humid weather throughout July brought the Rock of Ages Visitors Center very busy mornings and slower afternoons.  By 2:30 or so our traffic would drop right off. You could just about set your watch by the traffic nose dive every mid-afternoon as folks flocked to beaches and rivers to get a break from the heat. In fact attractions all over Vermont experienced the same phenomenon. As my friend and colleague from Billings Farm, Susan Plump, remarked at a recent attractions meeting, “Cow manure and heat just don’t go together.” Well a granite quarry doesn’t exude an image of cool and inviting either when the mercury climbs faster than an F-16 at an air show.

Now one Vermont attraction that benefited from the hot, sticky weather was Ben & Jerry’s. Always a popular Vermont destination, this quirky ice cream factory was beset with perspiring clientele looking for a way to cool off.  I am in total agreement that Ben & Jerry’s is a great place to cool off, but I’m going to suggest that the pleasures and nostalgia of a creemee (soft-serve ice cream for those of you not from New England) is another terrific way to cool down on a humid summer day.

Just recently Channel 3 News Weather Department broadcast from a series of creemee stands across Vermont in search of the tastiest treats. I didn’t see enough of the series to know what place turned out to be Sharon’s favorite stop, but I have a few suggestions of my own.

If you wish to experience an iconic Vermont flavor incorporated into soft-serve ice cream, visit Bragg Farm or Morse Farm while in Central Vermont and treat yourselves to a maple creemee.

One of my personal favorite places to go is to the Dairy Crème at 320 State Street in Montpelier, VT.  They offer a variety of tantalizing flavors and gooey concoctions, but my absolute favorite is the black raspberry-pistachio twist. At first hearing, the flavors might not impress you as being particularly compatible, but give them a try and I think you’ll soon be as big a fan as I am.  But I must warn you, their portions are generous. The “baby” cone is not quite enough for me, so I order the “small”, which is a challenge to consume. Somehow I always manage to rise to that challenge, but I’m stuffed when I’m through. For that reason, I always eat a light supper if I plan to take in an evening creemee at the Dairy Crème.  Consider yourselves forewarned—their cones are big! Now they don’t offer this particular flavor combination every day, but they do offer it quite often. If you can’t order the black raspberry-pistachio twist, you’ll not be disappointed in the selection of other delicious flavors available. And the service is fantastic! They are always busy when I go, but the line is dealt with in short order by the most efficiently run creemee stand I’ve ever encountered.  When it Central Vermont, give them a try. I think you’ll be impressed.

And when in Central Vermont, please do come and visit us at Rock of Ages. We offer our quarry tours, factory tours and sandblast activity until mid-October. We’ll do our very best to show you a great time. And if you can’t come to us, please let us come to you. Please check out the great gift items we have for sale at: