Tagged with "learning"
9 Aug
2017
Posted in: travel
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Take a Trip: Ben & Jerry’s Factory

Ben & Jerry's photo op

During the initial planning stages for our epic road trip this summer, I made a list of all of the states we’d travel through and researched top destinations. The Ben & Jerry’s Factory continually popped up in my research as a fun family destination in Vermont, but it was more north than we planned to be in Vermont and seemed out of the way. We were making the trek to the Northeast to see first-hand where important beginnings of our country occurred. We can now confirm that a short tour of the Ben & Jerry’s Factory and the promise of ice cream is a great family-friendly excursion among the history lessons.

Ben & Jerry's factory tour ticket

Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is a a treat we indulge in occasionally while our children sleep. They’re on to us, so visiting the factory was like joining a club their parents had been keeping secret from them. You can’t purchase tickets ahead of time for the 30-minute tour. During summer the tours run 9 a.m.-8 p.m. We arrived at 5 p.m. to a full parking lot and a crowd of people. If you visit and find the parking lot packed, don’t panic yet. We learned there is a second parking lot up the hill toward the milk tanks that had plenty of parking. While the gift shop was crowded, it was easy to get all six of us on the next tour. We paid $4 per person over the age of 12, and those 12 and under were free.

ice cream milk and sugar tanks at Ben & Jerry's Factory

The tour starts near the gift shop. The color choices throughout the area are reminiscent of Ben & Jerry’s packaging. There are tables to sit and wait at with various historical ice cream related items like scoops around the vicinity. The tour takes visitors up a flight of stairs to a small theatre where a short video is shown giving an overview of the history of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. It was engaging and informational.

Ben & Jerry's ice cream line

The best part of the tour is one you can’t take photos or videos of: the factory floor. Visitors are taken to an enclosed area looking over the factory floor. They were producing pistachio ice cream during our visit. Each step in the process is explained while visitors watch it happen. We’ve been on a couple factory tours and seeing how things are made never gets old. Ben & Jerry’s did not disappoint.

ice cream sample testing at Ben & Jerry's Factory

The end of the tour concludes with a sample of ice cream and some funny jokes from the tour guide. It’s a generous serving of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. You don’t have a choice in flavors, but I don’t know that you can go wrong with Ben & Jerry’s. Visitors can also purchase more ice cream outside, including a maple walnut variety only available at the Vermont factory. We enjoyed waffle cones of ice cream before walking around the grounds surrounding the factory.parents eating ice cream at Ben & Jerry's Factory

Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor graveyard

A Flavor Graveyard sits at the top of a hill overlooking the factory. Tombstones are engraved with puny, witty epitaphs dedicated to flavors that are no longer manufactured. The tombstones fit perfectly with my own sense of humor. We walked around the small graveyard reading each tombstone before taking a short walk to visit a couple of dairy cows that live on the property.

Ben & Jerry's ice cream headstone

The Ben & Jerry’s Factory was a manageable tourist destination. I’m more of a museum and memorial person, but enjoyed our visit. Vermont is a gem in the U.S. It’s called the green mountain state for a very good reason. The rolling hills covered in green are a treat to drive through. I loved the quaintness of the small towns we were in, and the people were sociable. It’s in the top five of states I’d moved to if I was forced to leave Wyoming, and a state I’d love to explore more.


 
40
By     |    Feb 20, 2017
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40

Forty years…that seems like a lot of life and yet not much at all. I won’t shed tears over this milestone. I’ve been celebrating this birthday since last month when we visited California. We spent my birthday weekend snowshoeing in Grand Teton National Park. I said goodbye to my 30s and hello to this new decade with multiple adventures. Growing older has taught me to make experiences happen, and I’m abundantly grateful to have another year of living written in... [Read More]

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May Madness
By     |    May 13, 2016
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May Madness

The month of May is when I’m in high-mama gear. Four school-aged children means that on any given weekday from now until the last day of school, someone has a field trip or track or junior Olympics or an assembly or a concert. Some days it’s multiple children requesting a parent make an appearance. If field tripper was a profession, that would be my career in May. The build-up to the end of the school year starts at the beginning... [Read More]

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Taking a Chance with School Involvement
By     |    Oct 5, 2015
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Taking a Chance with School Involvement

We’ve had children at the same elementary school for eight years. I’m comfortable with the staff. I have a good understanding of how things work, how I can be involved as a parent, and the best avenue to take when issues arise. We’re in year two of middle school. I was more nervous for that first day of middle school last year than our son. I was clueless on what to expect from parking to volunteering to knowing teachers. I... [Read More]

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Relieved about Mothering a Teenager
By     |    Sep 20, 2015
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Relieved about Mothering a Teenager

I woke up this morning the mother of a teenager, and I feel relieved. Yes, time goes too fast. Yes, I cannot believe our oldest is 13 years old. BUT, despite all the times I’ve felt like I failed our son, he’s thrived for 13 years, and I can see the all those lessons we’ve taught him taking hold. Today I’m patting myself on the back and high-fiving Craig. We’ve been parents for 13 years with no instruction manual or... [Read More]

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Preschool Time is Over
By     |    May 21, 2015
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Preschool Time is Over

I believe Father Time is mocking me. I can hear a voice taunting me to keep up to the pace that’s been set. My breath hitches quite often theses days when these children of mine hit a milestone or some new physical change becomes abundantly obvious, even if I live in denial of anything changing. I mistakenly believed I was sad about the quick passing of time. While I do think sadness lurks in there somewhere, I’m more in awe... [Read More]

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Mother’s Day: I Had No Idea
By     |    May 10, 2015
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Mother’s Day: I Had No Idea

I knew I was potentially in over my head almost 13 years ago when I was preparing to bring my first baby home and the hospital staff only cared if I had a car seat. I remember sitting in the backseat staring at this little boy and thinking I had no idea what I was supposed to do when we arrived home. We spent a great deal of the coming weeks just holding and staring at that little guy. I... [Read More]

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Learning More than Teaching
By     |    Mar 6, 2015
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Learning More than Teaching

I’m certain when our last child moves out of the house, years from now, that I will have learned more from them than what they learned from me. Over the last 12 years, I’ve learned more about myself from mothering than any self-reflection exercises I ever attempted. I have a better handle on my strengths and weaknesses. The parts of my attitudes and habits I don’t necessarily enjoy about myself have been magnified with parenting. I’m quick to anger and... [Read More]

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Power of the Pan Flute
By     |    Jun 23, 2014
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Power of the Pan Flute

I believe there’s magic in a pan flute. More precisely, I believe music is magical and has the power to transform moods, circumstances and people. There are multiple studies on the topic, but I’ve witnessed it first-hand in my family this summer. Making and learning to play the pan flute was the one and only thing my 9-year-old wanted to accomplish this summer. Rewind a few months to when my Facebook status update referenced J’s desire to play the pan... [Read More]

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Denver Zoo: Bunk with the Beasts
By     |    May 19, 2014
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Denver Zoo: Bunk with the Beasts

Last week we spent the night at the Denver Zoo as part of the Bunk with the Beasts program. I hear the words “field trip,” and I begin to reorganize my schedule. It’s hard to say who likes them more in our house: me or the kids. For the last few years, the elementary school our boys attend has celebrated the end of 5th grade with an overnight field trip to Denver. The trip is educational, but also a culminating... [Read More]

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Encouragment for Standardized Testing
By     |    Mar 5, 2014
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Encouragment for Standardized Testing

Standardized testing is my least favorite phrase. My skin prickles every time testing comes up in conversation. March has been ruined for me. Before sending children to public school, the month of March meant the near-end of winter and the start of spring. Now March means PAWS…Proficiency Assessments for Wyoming Students. It’s our state’s annual testing to gauge academic progress. My children will tell you PAWS stands for Punishing All Wyoming Students. That’s just how much they love it. The... [Read More]

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