adventure

Ice Cream

Who wants ice cream? This girl I suppose. I haven’t really beeen a super big ice cream person but in the past few months I’ve been tempted or teased by available options especially when traveling.

I was on trip to Maryland and had a chance to grab an ice cream at a local dairy farm shop. It was delicious. Tons of homemade flavors that were ever so creamy and tasty. This has been my favorite treat this summer and I’d classify it as a must stop again spot.

On another adventure in Colorado I had a different ice cream experience. Here you picked your flavor but you got Mix-ins. I opted for the tasty cream flavor and mixed in some graham crumbles. The little gritty feeling and taste made this one a good choice. On the flip side my kiddo opted for cinnamon ice cream which was good if you tasted it solo but she chose all the crazy fixings like colored sprinkles and others. That dulled the ice cream flavor and left it half eaten or more wasted than eaten. Two similar experiences, two different outcomes. This was good but not great when I consider available options.

I have a spot I hit in the mountains on my travels to the farm. Locally made. Creamy. Limited flavors but the best butter pecan I have ever had. Hours of operation are limited and the lines are long so I don’t stop often. When I do stop, I enjoy the indulgence.

Then I was in the famous area of Hershey, Pennsylvania where I once again landed in an ice cream shop. Here it was Hershey ice cream that was served of course. They had many flavors but not out of this world creations. This was a big disappointment for me. The ice cream seemed like what you would get in the grocery store. A big dud for me.

Now as I got this calendar reminder for ice cream it was yet another sign to see what was out there on my next trip. Cape May, NJ area had a big selection. Funny though I was going to have an afternoon treat before dinner after a day by the ocean. Fate said otherwise. Most shops were closed and don’t open until 4 or 5pm. Had to skip the ice cream as the good rating places were not open during my available time to indulge.

Late night it was for me at the end of the short stay. A trip to Ben and Jerry’s shop on the street. I got two scoops of my favorites smeared on a cookie. No cone for this girl. A soft freshly baked cookie bottom. Such a treat. Maybe the same flavor from the local grocery store but the vibe was present in the locally-owned shop on the stretch of street that folks visited for shopping and dining. This store flavor was different than the Hershey experience above. Kudos to the Ben and Jerry brand for consistency in their deliverables. 

My ice cream adventures surely added to my waistline this summer but it also took me down memory lane. Visits to boardwalks and barn-like shops when I was a kid to get a treat. I even extended the experience to my mom who doesn’t get out as often these days. Taking a pint to go can make for a great delivery to a loved one. It was nice to reciprocate with my kids and share the stories of yesterday when sharing some sweet treats on the road too.

Orange sherbet from the local dairy stand where I grew up will still have my most memorable days of childhood but today I look to add to my list with my kids and savor the flavor of many places in as many new towns as we get the chance to explore.

Travel with an open heart and an eye for adventure but keep Yelp close for a sweet treat stop to fill in a bit of your day. You can skip the calorie or carb count for a few hours!

health

That Cup of Coffee

I like to have a cup of coffee in the morning when certain circumstances arise to put me in the mood for a cup of joe. Sometimes it’s a group coffee event while other times I’m solo or maybe even in a dynamic duo.

I could be at the farm and want to look out at the hillside and smell the fresh air with a cup of coffee in hand. It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s hot, cold or something in between. It’s the environment and the coffee seems to be a warm and soothing way to take in all in.

Today I had a cup of coffee by the window in my kitchen. I was sitting solo while others slept in. I just watched the trees with a gentle breeze on a pretty weekend morning. Nothing fancy but a good way to kick start a busy day. Today’s coffee was warm from the keurig with a squirt of sugar free vanilla syrup and a splash of creamer. Just right for me in my cute mug I picked out. It’s funny how sometimes the cup I choose makes me smile as much as the coffee. Simple pleasures.

Somedays it’s a Starbucks kind of morning. If it’s chilly I go for the hot caramel macchiato: if it’s warm outside I’ll take the iced version. When I get the iced coffee it’s all about the presentation. A photo is normally taken by me when it’s just right. The milk about half full. The coffee floating on top. The caramel drizzling sliding down the side. It’s a delightful sight that makes me smile. Some days the field trip to the coffee shop is just the break I need from the chaos of the day.

Then there is the plus one coffee. I may meet a friend for a cup of coffee. I may make a crazy tiktok coffee with my kiddo to test the latest fad coffee. The last one was a hit with almond milk and my frother. I’ve even had a coffee date drive-up style during Corona to keep my 6 feet distance. Sipping side by side in vehicles. Only in a pandemic would that seem normal.

Sometimes I just want to sit outside at a little bistro table and sip away. I could be a party of one or two. I could be at home or out and about. It doesn’t matter to me. It’s the comforting feel of the warm coffee and the environment. The fresh air. The scenery. The smell of fresh brewed coffee. Sometimes the company is good but sometimes the silence is even better.

That cup of coffee. Just one cup. Many thoughts. Many conversations. That cup of coffee is such a sweet addition to my week.

mental health, perspective

Take A Chill

Sometimes we all need a moment to chill out. Just relax and really not do anything. For me that was a visit to my back deck one morning.

It was not too hot out, just right before 8am. The birds were chirping away and cars were passing by in the distance. Just some slight background noise.

A brief time out from life. A break from the computer. A break from today’s masked world. A little frisbee with pup before the sun hits the deck.

As I sit here and contemplate my day, my life happenings and the world as a whole I think about peace. I am at peace with where I am, where I am going and who is on board for the ride. It’s good to take inventory of life from time to time.

We all need to make sure our co-pilots are traveling to the same destination. We need to know our cheerleaders in life are truly there working with vs. against us. We need to make sure our mindset is in tune with all of the above.

This is sometimes a reset, refresh, recharge moment for people. It sometimes needs to be done multiple times a year. It may even require one to put a wall up, exclude, or ignore the Negative Nellies of one’s inner circle who are circumventing success. That’s a lot for some to overcome.

I am in a peaceful state in life. Maybe it comes with age. Maybe it’s maturity. Maybe it’s luck. Whatever it is, I am thankful. I am thankful for the bumpy roads in life that have taken me to today. I look forward to tomorrow. I look forward to the memories, milestones, and bumpy roads.

May you explore your refreshing moments like me on my back deck. One day or two. Make the time. You are a priority.