ice cream secrets.

Growing up, most of my family’s vacation time was passed with one day flowing casually into the next.  Certain excursions, however, were required to fit into our two week stay.

One such adventure was creatively titled, ” Daddy Days.”  We used to vacation with close family friends who also had two children, and for one full day on the vacation, the mothers would escape for a girls day, while the fathers would take responsibility for the kids.

Daddy Days might include the beach, or a lunch bowl of pasta at Billy’s Chowder House.  The days could bring us to an arcade, as video games were not allowed in our home (a rule that in retrospect, I am thankful for).  After hours of conquering waves with our tie-dyed body boards, running circles around our hotel’s backyard, and beating alligator heads for arcade prizes, we were more than deserving of cool, creamy scoops of homemade ice cream.

Our destination was officially titled Scoop Deck, though we had our own name for it: “The Secret Ice Cream Place.” Secret, because we never took the moms there; it was an in-the-know location for our eyes only, experienced once a year on those days with the dads.

ice cream flavors

Everyone but me would pause at the billboard-sized sign outside, perusing the flavors, debating which were worthy of a spot atop a sugar cone.  I didn’t need to deliberate; I was getting chocolate with chocolate sprinkles, no extra thought needed.

The multitude of flavors were housed inside a whitewashed barn; the line of eager parents and children always snaked far out the door.  Inside, paper signs on the walls revealed the mysteries of more complex flavors, such as Boston Blackout or Dinosaur Tracks, a concoction that concealed malt balls inside a cerulean-colored cream.

scoop deck

When the wait finally ended, teenagers in t-shirts and ponytails scribbled orders in shorthand on stenographers pads.  To this day, the cash registers are computer and credit card free, and each minute of the experience could occur equally in 1950 or 2009.  

In the backyard, permanent black marker handwritten on miniature chairs advised, “If you’re old enough to read this, you’re too old to sit in this chair.”  But chairs were unnecessary; with liberal scoops in our hands (a warning out front cautions that ice cream can be “habit-forming”), we’d stroll around the backyard, licking sprinkles before they melted onto the grass below our toes.  


We’ve let my mom in on the secret now, but otherwise – some things never change.

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?



Filed under restaurant, snacks

15 responses to “ice cream secrets.

  1. Gosh–that is like asking a mother who her favorite child is. I am going to have to narrow it down to a few flavors:

    1) Vanilla bean (it must include the black specks of the bean)

    2) Cookie dough ice cream

    3) Oatmeal cookie ice cream

  2. No question, mint chocolate chip! I love the pic, btw!

  3. cafecouture

    Oh my god, too many flavors! I read through each one, haha. I like coffee, mint chocolate chip, and cookies and cream.

    What a great place–so many memories for you. You look adorable with your cone!

  4. fruitsveggieslife

    Cute – my ‘daddy days’ consist of sushi. That’s what we love, and we share every roll!

  5. lowandbhold

    I’m so loving your vaca memories! I am a chocolate girl all the way. Rocky Road and German chocolate varieties are never scorned.

  6. A

    How cute!! Tasty memories are the best! I don’t really have a FAVORITE ice cream. Just whatever looks good at the time!

  7. i love independent ice cream shops! i’m all about anything with caramel and cake batter. so delicious!

  8. Do you still always get chocolate with chocolate? I’ve been a mint chocolate chip lover since I was a little kid and have never wavered from that love…

  9. I love coffee ice cream. And I currently obsessed with Deep Purple Cow Yogurt (raspberry with blueberry pieces and white and dark chocolate chips)

    Love the picture!

  10. Oh no, that’s a question I could never answer. Sometimes plain vanilla will make me happy. Other times, chocolate, matcha, red beans, strawberry, ube… Oh I just love ice cream! 😀

  11. that place looks great! i always end up getting mint chocolate chip…

  12. what a great post 🙂 love the idea of ‘daddy days’– i have many memories like this with my dad as well 🙂

    you have such a wonderful way with words leslie! such a pleasure to read your posts ❤

  13. joannasutter

    I love this post. I am a Daddy’s girl (even as an adult). This is bringing back some warm memories of cool treats with my dad.

    Ice cream is now on my list of things to do today.

  14. Yum! Sounds like a great place…

    My favorite icecream would have to be honey with cinnamon, bubblegum orrrr plain old vanilla!

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