The ramblings of a freelance writer, novelist and avid reader.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Month of Fundays: Day 15 – Go for Ice Cream

A mini-break should be about lazily wasting time; letting it spool out around you like golden thread. It’s about long walks and sipping lemonade on porches and swimming and sun bathing and also ice cream. On our way out of Duluth we hit some rush hour traffic, so Chris and I decided to go down near the Lake Walk again and uncoil a little more time before heading toward points north.

I’m not sure what it is about ice cream exactly, but it makes me think of summer fun-times more than almost anything else. In elementary school, we used to walk over to Bridgeman’s on one of the last days of school for ice cream. I remember I couldn’t wait for these walks and the ice cream. The Dairy Queen Dilly Bar treat day was a favorite at the corporate office job, and you can’t possibly visit Italy without stopping for gelato every two hours or so. Going for ice cream is something everyone likes (except the lactose intolerant. I’m glad I don’t have that allergy!) and it brings an instant smile. Who doesn’t scream for ice cream?

There’s this tiny little hole-in-the-wall malt shop in Duluth and I love it. Chris and I walked up to it and then back down as a farewell to Duluth. To start our walk, Chris pointed out the Cold Stone Creamery practically on top of where we parked the car. I shook my head at him disgustedly; we were going to enjoy a nice long walk to a ma & pop Duluth icon, dammit! Walking along the boardwalk watching the Lake Superior shoreline go by is really quite something. It was another beautiful day and since the seagulls were already busy harassing those people with mini-donuts, we got away with strolling while eating ice cream. Maybe their tiny bird brains get brain freeze? Remind me to force feed a seagull ice cream one day… As we were walking, we rounded a corner and saw the smoke stack for Fitger’s on the Lake; I was a little concerned. They have a Bridgeman’s stand on their deck and it seemed to be fairly popular. I like Bridgeman’s ice cream and everything, but don’t take away my malt shop. I shouldn’t have worried; we climbed the steps up towards the malt shop and found a plethora of ice cream fanatics standing by the little stone building, patiently waiting for their turn to order something sweet, cold and scrumptious. I ordered a Caramel Caribou shake – caramel ice cream with caramel swirls and caramel filled chocolate cups the ice cream people called truffles. Chris ordered the same but in a waffle cone. SO GOOD!!

The malt shop highlight: An inane conversation between the girl behind the counter and a man ordering for his family of four. Something about no vanilla flavoring just vanilla ice cream so he couldn’t order a vanilla malt with strawberry ice cream. He would just have to order a strawberry malt. I really thought we were in a Kafka novel for a bit. The next lady, from some central European country by her accent, wanted a float with coffee and the women behind the counter was really confused. Once she told the EU lady what a float was, she said, “Eww!” and made a disgusted face; then she asked for a double chocolate waffle cone instead – again proving the ice cream float can only be consumed by peoples of North America. We’re the only ones who can eat pickles too for some reason. I haven’t figured out why this is…if you have hard facts and truthfulness on the subject (root beer too. What’s wrong with you peoples not of North America?!) let me know in the comments!

We ambled back along the boardwalk and only felt guilty when the marathon runner ran past us obviously smelling our ice cream as he went. No, you don’t need a seaside/lake-shore view, seagulls or any scenery to go out for ice cream. I suggest picking a flavor that is new or strange to you. Getting a single scoop vanilla cone is NOT going out for ice cream. Enjoy summer in a cone, float, bowl or shake!

Picture: What flavor did you choose? Who are eating ice cream with? What are you looking at? Where did you go? The creepy ice cream truck in your neighborhood…these are all good choices.

Song: It doesn’t fit the picture I just painted, but Ani DiFranco’s “32 Flavors” works for me.

Tomorrow: Taking Time for Tea (and also celebrating my wedding anniversary)

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