Celebrate travel blog carnival: A salute to ice cream

Welcome to the monthly Celebrate Travel blog carnival sponsored by The Mother of all Trips, Walking On Travels, and WanderMom. Every month we’re going to have a little party in honor of a different quirky holiday in the way that we best love: By sharing a curated list of themed blog posts from travel bloggers.

Did you know that June is National Ice Cream Month? What better time to share tales of sweet treats than during a month that celebrates one of the great travel rewards: A delicious ice cream eaten strolling down a new street.

For me sharing a travel ice cream story is more like asking what travel story do I have that doesn’t involve ice cream? It’s my go-to snack on the road, an afternoon pick-me-up that never fails to turn frowns into smiles, whines into song, dragging feet into skipping ones…well, you get the idea. Whether we’re eating our favorite ice cream in the world in Paris or enjoying a special maple creemee, ice cream has played a role in more travel days for my family than I care to count.

This rhubarb sorbet is organic, tart, and totally delicious.

In fact, yesterday was yet another travel day rescued by ice cream. We had an inauspicious start to our journey to Washington, DC – I forgot the gift card we needed to pay for our hotel room (oops) and didn’t realize it until we were 20 minutes down the road. We hit bad traffic on the Baltimore-Washington Expressway, which tacked on another 45 minutes to our trip. The kids were pleading insatiable hunger, no matter how many carbs I plied them with in the car, and I was perhaps a little less than cheerful with them. We chose an Indian-fusion restaurant for lunch, and although the food was delicious, the samosas I purchased Teddy were pretty spicy. Words were exchanged about this, gloom descended, and we hadn’t yet made it to the Air and Space Museum. Plus it was starting to rain and I hadn’t packed umbrellas.

Then Tommy suggested that perhaps our mood might lift if we stopped by Pitango Gelato, which was right next door. It just so happens that this little shop sells fabulous artisinal gelato that is also organic and sustainably sourced. One helping of chocolate chip, another of rhubarb sorbet and suddenly the world was brighter even as the rain drizzled down.

A little chocolate chip gelato makes everything better.

Of course, I’m not the only one whose world has been changed even slightly by gelato.

Keryn from Walking On Travels found that “food can create amazing memories, but none more so than that first succulent taste of creamy gelato as it hits your tongue and bursts through your taste buds. One little boy’s experience took his mom down memory lane, and reminded her why special treats are important for the whole family, especially when you travel.”

A silver dish of ice cream at Berthillon is a lovely treat

Lisa Goodmurphy of Gone With the Family also connects many of her favorite memories of Prince Edward Island with the famous Cows Ice Cream that’s found there (and she has the adorable photos to prove it).

Ann of Travel Turtle found that ice cream not only created memories of the cathedral in Cologne for her family, it connected her to strangers in a way that she didn’t expect.

You might not imagine that a post about ice cream would contain tales of the wild, but then you wouldn’t be hanging out with travel bloggers. Sandra of Albany Kid shares the tale of the day that “I decided to return to the Pine Bush with my family for a hike that turned out to be more of an adventure than what we had bargained for.”

Jessica of Ice cream and Permafrost (and with a blog name like that, I’m so glad she’s here) shares that she “had a hard time adjusting to life in the Alaskan tundra. Once I did, though, there were rewards – especially in berry season, when I was introduced to a local specialty called Eskimo Ice Cream.” I bet you’ll be surprised by the ingredient list.

Some bloggers like to get right to the source of things when it comes to their ice cream. Tonya Prater of The Traveling Praters asks “What better way is there to spend a hot summer day than touring an ice cream factory, eating the fresh ice cream right as it’s packaged, and wrapping up the day with a fun taste test of several flavors?”

Terri, of Travel 50 States With Kids read about Jeni’s Ice Creams in Columbus, Ohio and just had to see what all the fuss about. What she found there was flavors to make every member of the family happy. Kids might opt for “The Milkiest Chocolate in the World” while parents can choose from more sophisticated flavors like “Goat Cheese with Cognac Figs” or “Riesling Poached Pear.

Jody of Family Rambling says “You can’t talk about ice cream without a mention of the Ice Cream Capital of the World!  More ice cream is made in the town of LeMars Iowa by a single company than anywhere else in the world.  While you may not recognize the Well’s name, it’s likely you’ll know their product: Blue Bunny Ice Cream.” She recommends planning a visit is during the 3rd week of June when the town becomes a cone-ival and celebrates Ice Cream Days. Visitors from across the globe come for the fun, music and, of course, ice cream

If you can believe it, this is a "small" ice cream (in a homemade waffle cone)

Cheryl of Kids on a Plane also traveled to get her ice cream, this time to Seattle, where she found ice cream was so good it made an excellent lunch.

Carole of Travels With Carol takes a historic view of ice cream saying,  “America’s most popular dessert was invented in 1300 by the Chinese! So I recommend a visit to Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. In this tiny little NYC shop, it is married mostly to exotic Chinese flavors—almond cookie, avocado, black sesame, durian, lychee, red bean. More common flavors are also options. ”

There are as many opinions about where to find the best ice cream in the world as there are ice cream shops, but Liz  of Travelogged makes a strong case for a particular gelato in Portugal. She says that when she’s traveling in Europe, she loves to eat gelato. “It’s rare that I don’t eat gelato once a day…. It’s the perfect pick-me-up during a long day of sightseeing!” No argument here, obviously.

Rebecca of R We There Yet Mom? says that her go-to ice cream is close to home in Texas, and recommends visiting Blue Bell Creameries to sample her favorite.

Eating a creemee at Maynards Snack Bar Moretown,Vermont

In Vermont, everyone has ideas about their favorite place to get a maple creemee; Sara at Find and Go Seek shares a few popular maple creemee stands and definitely expresses some ideas about which is the best.

And Heidi of Wagoners Abroad also has strong opinions, this time not so much about the ice cream, but about the cone.

And finally, every blog carnival has its contrarian. Farrah of The Three Under is not a fan of ice cream. But as she shares her stories of daily expat life in the Netherlands with her two-year-old twins and four-year-old she’s learned that they seem to enjoy European ice cream very much

Reader Responses

14 fellow travelers had this to say

  1. I once heard that goes like this; ‘Money can’t buy happiness. But it can buy ice cream and it’s just kinda same thing.’ This post proved it true. I’m just glad that I am not the only one enjoying the pleasures of ice cream :)

  2. Hi Mara, Loved the whole idea of an ice cream blog. We are planning to travel to Paris next year and had already heard there was a good ice cream place near the Notre Dame – so now I know all about it.
    Cheers
    Robin

  3. I am wrapping up our DC trip and Pitango Gelato is really good, we ventured there this weekend!

  4. I’m all about travel themes, choosing itineraries based on a particular kind of quest. After this post, I have a new one–the pursuit of ice cream.

  5. The worst travel days are always made better by ice cream! Thanks for hosting such a fun carnival!!

  6. So I guess my “ice creams to try” list got a lot longer with this post. Good thing my stomach can handle it ;) Thanks for hosting Mara!

  7. I think this is the best subject for a blogging carnival I’ve ever seen. Why can’t every month be ice cream month?

  8. I wish we do the same here in Costa Rica

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