Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Spring Break, Part B

Not quite so summer-like today (but darn close).  I actually turned on the A/C - not because of the heat, but because the boys were really feeling all the effects of the current pollen explosion.  But back to Spring Break...

JC really liked Champlain College.  Majors, campus, philosophy of teaching, dorms (almost all old Victorian houses that have been renovated inside.  No two rooms alike), environment,... pretty much everything.  So I had suggested that we tour University of Vermont, since we were there anyway, and while he agreed, there was not much interest on his part.

Tuesday, we went to the UVM information session, again at 10am.  It was much more crowded (bigger school), and while they did a good job, it didn't grab any of us as much as Champlain.  The tour was fine, it's a lovely campus - not as hilly as Champlain, despite the fact that they are about a block apart.  Nice mix of new and old buildings, and a big emphasis on "green" design.  After the really good experience the day before, it may have been inevitable that UVM was a bit of a let-down.  Honestly, though, they just didn't have any majors that JC was really interested in.  Oh well.

So we sought out some lunch (downtown again), and headed off to Waterbury, VT.  Home of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory.  And better yet?  It was Free Cone Day.

William was ECSTATIC when he saw the silos by the building - the grey one says "Sugar" and the white ones say "milk" and "cream".  Yes, they really do contain those ingredients (well, liquefied sugar).  We asked.

This was our very entertaining guide.  I'm sorry, I didn't write down his name and therefore do not remember it.  This is actually the end of the tour - no pictures allowed in the factory area.  But the 10 minute or so film of Ben&Jerry's history was actually quite entertaining.
This is the door to the Quality Control lab.  The kids got all upset when I took this picture.  "Mom, he said no pictures!"  "Yeah, in the FACTORY area.  This is not factory."  Nobody arrested me.
This is the line for free ice cream when we came out of the tour.  Fortunately, we had taken the wise advice of the guide when we bought our tickets (which turned out to be free on Free Cone Day), and gotten our ice cream then.  And we had a generous sample at the end of the tour, and while we could have waited in line again, we'd actually had enough ice cream for a while.
Yes, this is the continuation of the line from the previous picture.  It goes all the way down to the bus.  And I didn't take a picture of the DJ and free popcorn that were behind me.  It got pretty crowded as the afternoon wore on.
The original of this bus, which Ben and Jerry drove around the country dispensing samples from, actually caught fire outside of Cleveland, which actually made for pretty good publicity - "World's Largest Baked Alaska"
A little dark, but it says "Flavor Graveyard".
There were about 30 "headstones", all with funny poems/sayings about the departed flavors.  I won't put in all the pictures of them that Rachel took, but I did like this one...

The most amazing event of the day?  William wanted more popcorn after we wandered around the graveyard.  So without quite asking permission, he ran back around the other side of the building to get more.  I didn't actually see him go, and after a while realized he was no longer playing on the playground.  About the time we were starting to actually wonder where he was, he came trotting back with his popcorn...and a t-shirt.  Seems he had been standing next to the DJ booth when they started a trivia contest, and he knew the answer to the first question they asked, because he'd been paying attention on the tour.  He won a "Life is Good" t-shirt, signed by Ben and Jerry, for answering this question:

What's the WORST flavor they've ever produced?

Sugar Plum.  Created in honor of a production of the Nutcracker, it was apparently just... not good.  Retired quickly.  But good for a free t-shirt!

No comments: