Showing posts with label Living in New England. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Living in New England. Show all posts

Monday, September 9, 2013

Living in New England: Seasonal Ice Cream Stands


There are many aspects of life here that are so unique from other parts of the country, and I want to share those things with my family, and perhaps with you- if you have never been here. I do a collection of posts called : "Living in New England" that highlight quintessential New England sights, events, situations, and experiences.
I know of many people who have lived here in New England their entire lives and perhaps don't realize that some of the events and sights that I will describe don't happen elsewhere in the country. Or, maybe you are originally from New England, but have moved away... I hope these posts will bring back some fond memories for you. 
In any event, I wish to share New England with you through the eyes of this Southerner!



I hail from the land of DQ... 
Dairy Queen
I grew up with the iconic ice cream shop that is Dairy Queen.  (Texas is home to the largest number of DQ's in the U.S.)  It was open almost every day of the year- always there at your beck and call for a soft serve cone, a Dilly Bar or a beloved Blizard (chocolate covered cherry is our favorite! :)  When I was a child my father would make a DQ run once a month and stock the freezer we had in the garage with Dilly Bars.  He always said he was buying them for me, but I think I was just his cover!!
I wasn't expecting to find any Dairy Queens in New Hampshire, and I have not.  We did; however, find some in Maine!  I remember my little "taste of home" excitement at the sight of the first one we spied... right up until I read the sign..

"Closed for the season."

 Whaaaat?  (I can hear the collective *gasp* coming from all you southerners!  Ohhh the horror of a closed DQ!! ;)  The Dairy Queen below is in Kennebunk and serves only ice cream- no food. They also give out puppy-cookies to one very happy, little black dog!  We have since found one DQ in southern Maine that appears to be open year-round, which is a good thing, cuz when you want an Oreo-Blizzard in January, you want it now, not five months from now! :)




What New England doesn't have in Dairy Queens they make up for in walk-up, seasonal ice cream stands!  
These stands are an honored tradition here in New England!  Opening day is much anticipated and people flock to the shops throughout their "open" season!  The "season" is spring to fall, and larger shops make their own ice cream.  Seeing the crowds standing in line to order, you would almost think you couldn't find ice cream for sale at the local grocery stores!  The first time we encountered this New England tradition we were just a couple months new to the area and were driving in the middle of nowhere when we spotted a crowd of about 20 people in front of a little shack and said, "They must be having an estate sale!"  Only to realize- no- they were selling ice cream!  
And, what a tradition it is!  Traditions are big in New England- that is one of the many things we love about living here!



This is serious business people!




Stands can be large and famous in an area, or little out of the way stops, like this one!



This little "walk-up only" stand is an exception and is open year round!  You have to really want an ice cream cone to walk through 3 feet of snow to get to the window!



I snapped this photo at opening time, usually the parking lot is full!



If this photo had been taken on a "peak" day there would be at least 100 more people standing in line to get ice cream.... I kid you not!  



Guess what they sell?!



This charming little Dairy Bar is in Vermont.



It's a charming (and tasty) New England tradition!
 Do you have any memories/stories from seasonal ice cream stands or Dairy Queen?!  Would love to hear them :)


To read other "Living in New England" posts visit HERE!)




Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Living in New England: Signs


There are many aspects of life here that are so unique from other parts of the country, and I want to share those things with my family, and perhaps with you- if you have never been here. I do a collection of posts called : "Living in New England" that highlight quintessential New England sights, events, situations, and experiences.
I know of many people who have lived here in New England their entire lives and perhaps don't realize that some of the events and sights that I will describe don't happen elsewhere in the country. Or, maybe you are originally from New England, but have moved away... I hope these posts will bring back some fond memories for you. 
In any event, I wish to share New England with you through the eyes of this Southerner!



We have lived in various cities in the South and the Pacific Northwest and have traveled (via road trips) many times across the country, yet it wasn't until we moved to New England that we have come across the following signs:





What's the most unusual thing about this sign is its age.  In most places this sign would have been replaced decades ago when it first began to rust!  



The following signs are commonly seen in small towns.  I think they are a nice way to remind drivers to slow down and take precaution.  There is also a "deaf person" sign, but I couldn't find one to photograph for this post.  A person applies with their town to get a sign posted on the road close to their house.




A what?!  
A jughandle!  Per Wikipedia a jughandle is a type of ramp or slip road that changes the way traffic turns left at an at-grade intersection.  Got that?! But, once you see one you see why the name is so perfect for the type of turn!   More info here.



Many shops are "seasonal" only open in the late spring or summer when the tourist arrive.  Coming from the land of 24/7/365 this is an unusual sight!







Patriotism is very strong here in New England, as you might expect, and veterans are honored.  Love this!



After growing up in Texas where air conditioning is a given everywhere these signs advertising a.c. always make me smile!





  

Dunkin' Donuts!  
I realize these aren't just in New England anymore, but they are such a staple here I couldn't leave them out.  You can hardly throw a rock here without hitting one!  Think Starbucks, but with donuts!








I remember our first winter here thinking "what's a frost heave?!"  After driving over your first one you immediately get why there are signs posted for them- they can be quite jarring to both you and your car's alignment.  For those of you who have never seen this sign, a frost heave is a large rise, or bump in the pavement that makes driving certain roads a nightmare!  They result from ice forming beneath the surface of soil during freezing conditions.  They appear in the winter then recede in the spring.  More info here.




This sign is at our favorite (and only as they are difficult to come by in New England :) BBQ restaurant Goodie Cole's in Brentwood, New Hampshire.  The owners are from Texas (Dallas) and we are very happy to drive the distance (they are not close to us) to get our BBQ fix on!



To read other "Living in New England" posts visit here!)



Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Living in New England: Blackflies


There are many aspects of life here that are so unique from other parts of the country, and I want to share those things with my family, and perhaps with you- if you have never been here. I thought it might be helpful to do some posts called : "Living in New England" that highlight quintessential New England sights, events, situations, and experiences.
I also know of many people who have lived here, in New England, their entire lives and perhaps don't realize that some of the events and sights that I will describe don't happen elsewhere in the country. Or, maybe you are originally from New England, but have moved away... I hope these posts will bring back some fond memories for you. In any event, I wish to share New England with you through the eyes of this Southerner.



image via wikipedia

While it is common knowledge that New England has the great fortune of having four glorious seasons throughout the year, what might be lesser known is that it also has "bug" seasons.   The first bug season is the dreaded blackfly season- this typically runs from Mother's Day to Father's Day.   These small gnat-like flies pack a mean wallop!  Unlike the mosquito that sucks blood, blackflies literally slash the skin and then lap up the pooled blood.  One bite can produce a welt the size of a small orange, and depending on the individual welts can last from days to weeks.  These dreaded insects can cause fear even in the bravest of men!
These are nasty little buggers that have you donning a net hat to do gardening since they are seemingly not deterred by deet or insect repellent. 
This blackfly season has been fairly mild compared to the last several years due in part to our lovely, coolish early summer.  That is why when I went out to plant about a dozen new plantings a couple of evenings ago I thought I would be in and out of the garden in no time and didn't need to vaporize myself in Coleman 40% deet insect repellent that we usually use in an attempt to keep them at bay. 
Wrong.
Two bites on my eyelid later I woke up the next day to a totally swollen-shut eye!  It was not pretty.  I had to wear sunglasses for the next two days so I wouldn't scare people.  Benadryl seemed to help. Now, after reading my next sentence half of you (Southern women) will say "well, of course you did, why wouldn't you?!",  and the rest of you will think its the strangest thing you've heard today ...!
Being a good Southern girl I did put makeup on the good eye!!! :) :) 


Next up is "mosquito" season.  (I can hear those of you in the South chuckling that there is a mosquito "season" since mosquito season in the South generally lasts all year!)   We're expecting a bumper crop since we had such a rainy spring and early summer.  Unlike the Southern mosquitoes that can carry off a small child ;), and by the time you go to swat them they have bitten two other people,  New England mosquitoes are big and fat and slow.  They too, pack a mean bite and can carry the West Nile virus and EEE, but at least you can have the satisfaction of whacking them after they do!
We have a SkeeterVac that works well to keep mosquitoes at bay around the house, but last summer we never even put it out since we didn't have a big crop.  This year will probably be a different story.

I would love to know if you've had any luck with an organic, or non-deet product to keep mosquitoes off as we head into the next bug season!
  


(To read other "Living in New England" posts visit here!)


Friday, February 24, 2012

Living in New England: Christmas in January, February... March & April!


There are many aspects of life here that are so unique from other parts of the country, and I want to share those things with my family, and perhaps with you- if you have never been here. I thought it might be helpful to do some posts called : "Living in New England" that highlight quintessential New England sights, events, situations, and experiences.
I also know of many people who have lived here, in New England, their entire lives and perhaps don't realize that some of the events and sights that I will describe don't happen elsewhere in the country. Or, maybe you are originally from New England, but have moved away... I hope these posts will bring back some fond memories for you.   In any event, I wish to share New England with you through the eyes of this Southerner.

(To read my other "Living in New England" posts visit here!)

Four years ago when we moved to New Hampshire at the end of January we noticed a large number of Christmas wreaths still hanging on houses in New Hampshire and all around New England.  That year was record setting as the 2nd snowiest winter ever recorded in New Hampshire.  We attributed the many, many Christmas wreaths that hung throughout the entire winter to the massive amount of snow on the ground that year- people just couldn't get to the wreaths to remove them.
They were everywhere... everywhere
It became a running joke while driving around New England in the months of February, March and April to announce each and every Christmas wreath that was spotted..  
"Christmas Wreath!"...
"Christmas Wreath!"...
"Christmas Wreath!"...
...on and on.
Then, sometime in April of that year it was as if everyone got the secret memo and all (well, most;) of the wreaths were removed at the exact same time!   There was still lots of snow on the ground that year in April, so it wasn't that the snow had made the difference.  It was just the strangest thing!

This unusual "tradition" has occurred every year since- even when the snow isn't bad, or like this year when there isn't hardly any snow at all (as you can see in most of the photos).  I especially love the photograph of the wreath and the sap buckets- a sure sign of Spring in New England!
 Certainly in other parts of the country you see the "occasional" wreath and Christmas lights still up in June, but that's not what I'm referring to.  I kid you not when I tell you you see them
EVERYWHERE!!!!!
The following photos are but a small sampling;  they were all taken in the last couple of days. 

Merry Christmas.... still! :)













































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