20 in 20: Restaurant Rundown – Carter’s

New England is known for its ice cream stands, with fresh, creamy goodness that will satisfy any sweet tooth!  My personal favorite is one in Bradford that is scoops above the rest!

Carter’s was the one place I looked forward to visiting every summer as a kid.  We’d go, usually as a treat, on hot, humid summer nights, and would wait in line with all of the other ice cream hungry patrons.  The yellow overhead lights would illuminate the moths attracted to the glow, and casted a moonlit-like glimmer on our freshly scooped treats.

I remember trying bubble gum ice cream for the first time when I was about 8 or 9 and thinking how cool it was that some brilliant person put those two sweets together!  Inevitably, it was every kid’s favorite, but for me, it was only awesome for about five seconds when I realized that chewing gum and swallowing ice cream didn’t quite mix.  How was I supposed to separate the two?  Do I chew the gum or swallow it?  Do I eat around the gum and save it for later?  And it was cold, so the gum was hard, and it was just all around awkward.

After that I stuck to the regular flavors…

In high school I was introduced to Carter’s Mint Patty frozen yogurt, and life as I knew it was changed forever!  Besides loving the combination of mint with chocolate, this particular frozen yogurt was creamy, and teeming with chocolate mint cups!  The first time I found one, I was thrilled and it changed how I viewed mint ice cream and frozen yogurt for life.  Not only did this fro’ yo’ include whole mint patties, the patties had a mint filling!  Woah!  My taste buds and inner fat kid were delighted beyond words.  I savored every morsel and made sure I gave each patty the rightful attention it deserved. Mmmm…

Every time since that first discovery, I only get their Mint Patty frozen yogurt.  It reminds me of home.

When I was in Africa, my mom and all of the families of us world travelers, received emails from our group leaders telling them that there was a chance we’d all come home feeling a little culture shocked and that we’d all need some special comforts.  To my mom, this meant buying me a container of Carter’s Mint Patty frozen yogurt.

The day I arrived back in Boston, I felt like the weight of the world crushed my shoulders, and all I wanted to do was hop back on a flight back to Africa.  I walked through the never-ending terminal, tears dripping down my face, wondering what I was doing back in this place – a place that once felt familiar and comforting, but just didn’t in this moment.  I needed something familiar and comforting, but I just didn’t know what.

When my mom arrived to fetch me, I was a bit of a wreck.  She somehow knew I’d respond this way because she quietly comforted me on the 15 minute drive back to my condo.  Once we got inside, she pulled out the container of my beloved frozen yogurt!  Oh how I needed that!  I tore it open and dove in with my spoon faster than I could even breathe.  Home… this tasted like home… “Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou,” I cried into my minty treat.  I couldn’t get enough, and calmed down with each bite.  So simple, yet so crucial in my reentry into my life back in Boston.  It was just what I needed.

Today was also one of those transition days, where something familiar needed to happen.  I have spent an exorbitant amount of time focused on getting all of my life organized and sold so that I can quietly move across country with just my necessities.  And after a looooong day, my SoulSister and I were riding back to Eric’s house with the last of my belongings, and we passed Carter’s.  I pointed it out, saying that it is my favorite ice cream place.  She instinctively asked if we could stop, and stop we did! I was so excited that I had a chance to relish in the deliciousness of my Mint Patty frozen yogurt again before I head west.  I needed one last time to enjoy the taste of home, and share my version of my home life with one of my SoulSisters.

Now if only Carter’s would open a shop in Denver…

A perfect little ice cream stand!

A perfect little ice cream stand!

Mint Patty frozen yogurt, smeared with chocolate Jimmies, and a Mocha Chip for the SoulSister!

Mint Patty frozen yogurt, smeared with chocolate Jimmies, and a Mocha Chip for the SoulSister!

Obligatory ice cream selfie, showing just how much we looooove Carter's!

Obligatory ice cream selfie, showing just how much we looooove Carter’s!

After a long day of moving and organizing, I am delighted by my first bite!

After a long day of moving and organizing, I am delighted by my first bite!

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