It’s finally June. While it’s been fun these last few weeks alternating between knit hats and sun hats, at this point I’m inclined to think summer is sticking around for good. And thank goodness for that. My son, for one, has about had it with being told to change his clothes every morning he races downstairs (pants? It’s going to be Florida hot today! shorts? Honey, it might snow). After the fifth day in a row he threw up his arms in exasperation asking, “What do I look like? The weatherman?”. Oh, Vermont. You crazy.
The pay off for sticking out the winter and surviving those last few cold snaps, when you wonder if you’re going to make it, is large. Besides the swimming holes, picturesque green mountains and occasional lazy afternoon at the lake, Vermont packs the perfect addition to a summer day: the creemee. It’s also the easiest way to spot a tourist. “A creemee? What’s that?”
Though the spelling or moniker in general may be up for debate, there is no arguing with the cold, hard (well, soft actually) fact that the creemee is the cornerstone of Vermont summer. And despite my propensity for making the creemee stand the destination in and of itself, sometimes you need a little more adventure. Here are some of my favorite picks for a sweet summer afternoon, or evening, with a creemee on the side.
Nothing says “summer is on the way” quite like the first day you cruise onto North Avenue in Burlington and like a ray of sunshine, there sits the big yellow Beansie’s Bus. Parked from April-October right next to prime sunset peeping real estate, Beansie’s and Battery Park is a regular evening destination. The creemees are no frills vanilla, chocolate and twist, making decisions light. While not my favorite cone on the tour (full disclosure: I’m a maple gal, myself), there’s something about ice cream from a bus that makes people happy. As an added bonus, on Thursdays in July and August you can catch the Battery Street Concert Series. Free and family friendly, there’s no better (or cheaper!) way to spend a beautiful summer evening!
Overlooking Mallets Bay in Colchester, Bayview Eats has rocketed to the top of my creemee destination list. For one thing, the location is unbeatable. As the name so aptly points out, the bay is right there for peeping or jumping in if you come prepared. Across the street is the sprawling Bayside Park complete with skatepark, beach volleyball, tennis courts, playground, picnic area and pavilion. Secondly, their creemees are top notch. They’re made with fresh St. Albans Co-op Creamery milk and of course real maple syrup in the maple flavor! What sort of abomination would it be otherwise? I also have to give them an extra creemee high five for the inclusion of the “baby size”. Sometimes you just want to enjoy your own creemee and not just the drippy, soggy cast offs of a sticky, sloppy two year old. And sometimes it’s the third night in a row you find yourself bellying up to the creemee window and you think, maybe I have a problem. I’ll go easy. It’s called moderation kids!
Ice Cream Bob’s
A creemee-in-hand stroll along the waterfront is a summer ritual of tourists and locals alike. Located at the very bottom of College Street right across the tracks from the ECHO Center, Ice Cream Bob’s is a great, no frills pit stop when you’re meandering along the lake or breezing down the bike path. On a recent chilly day we took a trip to the ECHO Center, and so as to not let the fall like temperatures get the best of us, we popped by for a creemee anyway. Do you hear that, weather? We’re ignoring you until you get with the program! To mix things up a bit, I opted for the black raspberry which was subtly fruity and delicious. I’d tell you about the vanilla chocolate twist, but my son inhaled it like someone was going to steal it from him. I guess that’s a good sign.
Bluebird Coffee Stop
My family has spent many a summer evening on Church Street eating, people watching, and causing general mayhem. The first warm night we venture downtown to find restaurant tables spilling onto the street while the sounds of street performers drift from block to block all nine and a half months of winter are forgotten. Obviously none of those evenings are complete without dessert. Though there are many choices available, my hands down, no question go to is Bluebird Coffee Stop on the corner of Church and College. I’m not exaggerating one iota when I say this is the best creemee I’ve ever had. Unable to choose between mocha (mocha!?) and maple? No biggie — they have it twisted. Need something to get you through the final push until bedtime? They’ll pour a shot of espresso over a dish and toss some chocolate covered espresso beans on top. Is that even legal? Seriously. I’m considering teaching my kids a few show tunes and bringing a hat for people to toss change in while they perform just to support my habit.
About Sara Goldstein
Wife of a rock star, mother to his proteges. Snack slinger, band aid applier. Amateur comedian on stage and off. Professional laugher. You can follow along with her here.