We began the morning with a trip to Ben & Jerry's for a tour of the production, as well as a sample of their flavor of the day. Mom kept calling it Tom and Jerry's - much to our amusement. We had a lot of laughs over that.
Above is Allie and Ceara at the outdoor patio - the tables and benches were wet, but Allie cleared herself a spot. The tour was very well put together - first you see a short film about how Ben & Jerry's came to be - and how it grew. The film was entertaining as well as informative, with lots of things to laugh at.
After the film was over, our tour guide (who was 7 feet tall and very funny to boot) took us through a hall to see the production area. They only make pints, and they only are able to make 2 flavors per day. It was a very small area compared to what other factories look like, and they only produced ice cream on 2 shifts. The 3rd shift was reserved for cleaning the area, cleaning out the huge bins, and preparing for the next day's flavors.
We were then lead to another room where we would get samples of the ice cream. On our way there, in the wall was a little window with a sign that said, "Back up generator" - inside the window was a gerbil running in a wheel.
Above, Jeff and Conor are enjoying their sample of American Pie Ice Cream. Oh, it was excellent! Apple pie blended into vanilla ice cream, crust and all. Mmmmmm, very good. If you look closely at the people pictures I took, you will see that I had a knack for getting people with their eyes closed.
Below is the just the counter area with the people who worked there supplying the samples to the people in the tour group. I do not know anyone in this picture, it was just a general one, so if you recognize anyone - don't ask me who it is!
Conor enjoying his sample above - see the chunks of apple pie? And below are all three kids resting while we finished our ice cream. Allie was apparently done and waiting for us, and Conor is looking a bit suspicious at his...
Everyone had the option of exiting the room through the door, or through the milkshake tunnel. Conor choose the tunnel, while the rest of us walked through the door. Jeff was going to go out via the tunnel also, but the next tour group had arrived and we were trying to exit quickly.
Outside we all got to be Ben and Jerry on the giant lid of some Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream. And, look closely - you will see that a lot of eyes are closed... :)
After our fill of ice cream - we got some full sized servings of various other kinds at the store - we headed to Jeff's college campus - Champlain College. If you click the link, their pictures have more color since they were taken when the sun was shining! :)
This was the best picture I took - not as dark as the others - while taking a tour of the campus. One of the students there was giving a tour to prospective students and... us. It is a beautiful campus, and they have several choices for dining - from simple to fancy. We toured all the buildings - class rooms, teacher's offices, library, dining halls, the book store, and passed by some of the "dorms" - these were actually houses that were used for student housing. It is a very nice community - several blocks of houses that surround the actual campus.
While there, Jeff was able to meet (purely by accident, as we just ran into them during the tour) his advisor, Mark Milne and his favorite teacher (so far), Ken Wade. We didn't think to take a picture with Mark, the picture above is with Ken Wade. They were both so happy to meet Jeff as neither of them have the opportunity to meet with the students they work with because most of them are online students.
Conor and Ceara above - see? Eyes closed! Isn't it amazing how well I can time the pictures? lol
We went into the bookstore and Jeff, Allie, Ceara, and Conor all got "hoodies" with Champlain College on them. By this time we had all worked up quite an appetite and we were told that there were several places to eat down by the water - in the pedestrian mall. This consisted of several blocks of brick streets, blocked off from cars, where you could shop and/or eat.
We chose to eat at RiRa's - and Irish Pub. It was wonderful. They had a picture on the wall of James Joyce - one of Jeff's favorite authors - so he wanted a picture of him sitting below it, reading... a menu because that was all we had. :)
And of course, Conor had to have his picture taken just like his Daddy's.
Along the way, there were several large rocks so we thought we would get a picture of the kids and Mom on one of them.
Conor, on the other hand, wanted his picture on all of them. :) Every one we approached he ran up to - climbing up on top and saying, "Take my picture, Mommy!" Sometimes with others, sometimes by himself.
We all had a lot of fun in all the places we went - it is a beautiful college town. We were all also very tired at the end of the day. We piled back into the van and returned to the hotel. Allie had decided that she wanted to get her hair cut, so later that night, we walked across the street to a place we had seen when we were leaving that morning. They happened to have an opening for her and she got a new look for the return to school. We all went to bed early again to prepare for check out the next day and the trip home, stopping at Niagara Falls along the way.
More to come... Days 4 and 5 :)