April 07, 2018

Family Vacation Photos, Part 4: Ben & Jerry's in Vermont

Continued from Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3...

To recap:

We had quite a whirlwind trip! I have a trillion pictures, so rather than bombard you all with them in one post, I'll just post over the next few days with them. Since I haven't felt like writing much lately anyways, this will be a good way to ease back into (trying to) write regularly.

In a nutshell: Jerry, the kids, and I flew into Boston on Wednesday, and spent three nights there; we drove to Salem and spent one night there; then made a road trip south and back north and then south again, winding up in Portland, Maine. We flew out of Boston yesterday and are home now.

I have a ton of pictures from the trip, so I'll try to narrow it down to my favorites. I have to say, I'm very self-conscious about posting these pictures. It could be the depression making me feel bad about myself, but I feel fat and "exposed" in them, if that makes sense. I almost didn't post most of these for that reason, but one thing that I regret about being 250+ pounds was that I avoided pictures like the plague.

So, even though I'm not thrilled with how my body looks right now (I was up to 143--10 pounds over my goal weight--when we left for the trip. Today, I was up another 5 pounds from vacation weight. I'm hoping to take that off over the next week, since vacation weight is usually temporary water fluctuations, but it still makes me feel bad.)

After spending Saturday night in Peabody, Massachusetts (outside of Salem), we got up early (on Easter) to head out on a road trip--hitting six states in one day! Massachusetts was the first one, so that was a given. But since we were so close to Rhode Island and Connecticut (just an hour south) we decided to knock those states off our lists of places we've traveled to.

I spent some time on Google Maps trying to find a very short way to briefly enter each state, so as not to waste too much time; and I was surprised to see a city called Foster, Rhode Island just near the border! Naturally, being the Fosters, we had to drive through it. I figured out a route that would take a couple of hours before we were able to head up to Ben & Jerry's in Vermont.

So, the story with Ben & Jerry's...

Several years ago, when we still had cable, my family would watch a couple of shows on The Food Network here and there. The show I'm thinking of, with Ben & Jerry's, was probably Man vs. Food or something. Anyway, we saw on the show an ice cream sundae called "The Vermonster".

The Vermonster is exclusive to the Ben & Jerry's factory in Vermont. It's an enormous sundae that consists of:

20 scoops of ice cream
4 bananas
3 huge cookies
1 huge brownie
2 scoops of hot fudge
2 scoops of caramel
3 candy toppings
whipped cream

When we saw that on the show, we all agreed that one day, we just had to go to Vermont to get one. Over the next couple of years, we saw it again on TV a few more times, and each time we said, "Someday, we're going to go to Vermont for that!"

When Jerry and I were deciding on a vacation for this year, we remembered the Vermonster, and considering we wanted to go to Boston anyway, we thought a road trip to Vermont would be perfect. We were SO excited to tell the kids about it, and we waited until until Christmas to spill the beans.

Anyway, on Easter Sunday, we forwent the Easter baskets and headed to Ben & Jerry's in Waterbury, Vermont instead.

First, we did the factory tour. It wasn't anything to write home about--the only part I found interesting was watching the factory line where the lids were put onto each pint, and there was a man whose job was to make sure that there was no ice cream that spilled down the sides. I actually saw him throw away a couple of pints in the few minutes I was there! (insert shocked face emoji)

We weren't allowed to take pictures on the tour, so I don't have anything of that. After the tour, we went into the ice cream shop. When I ordered a Vermonster, the girl who was working looked like she came to life all of a sudden, and asked for help from another girl. They scooped out 20 different flavors of ice cream (yes, I tipped them well) and loaded it up with all the toppings.

When I was carrying it to our table, all the eyes in the store were on me--hahaha! Everyone was fascinated by it.

It was delicious! We had no clue what flavors we were scooping out with each bite, but that made it a bit of an adventure, haha. All of us agreed that we should have left out the bananas (we aren't bananas and ice cream people), but we ate everything around the bananas.

It was so fun to make that "someday we'll go there" a reality!

Before we left, we went to yet another graveyard... this time, it was the "flavor graveyard" at Ben & Jerry's (flavors that used to be produced, but are no longer). I was surprised to see it was an actual "graveyard"--I was expecting a wall of fame sort of deal inside the factory.

There were several flavors that sounded so good--I'm surprised that they were a flop! But it was fun to read about each one.

With bellies full of ice cream, we got back in the car and headed for our final destination... Portland, Maine. None of us had ever been to Maine, so it was exciting to see (yet another) state. We got to Maine just as it was starting to get dark, and once we got downtown in Portland, we could just see the lights everywhere--it was gorgeous! (In the dark, anyway.)

Tomorrow, I'll write about our adventures in Portland, in the fifth (and final) part of our vacation series.

To be continued...


  1. Wow, that is a lot of driving in one day! Ben and Jerry's ice cream is SO good, I bet that was one yummy adventure eating that HUGE bucket of it!

  2. I love these posts because I have not been to many of the places you visited. Thanks for the re-cap so that we can live vicariously through your trip :)

  3. I didn’t realize it was 20 DIFFERENT flavors! I want that!

  4. We loved the Ben and Jerry's museum! We stopped there during our Vermont Half Marathon. HILLS!!! I read their book and loved it. Looks like a fun trip!

  5. Seriously, that Vermonster sounds amazing!!! I'm sure it would be hard to walk after eating it all, but I love the fun challenge of guessing what ice creams were in it! Definitely sounds like it has to be a "family affair" though! LOL!


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