Roadside Summer: Donnelly’s Ice Cream

If you’re in the Adirondacks near Saranac Lake, NY make sure to stop by Donnelly’s Ice Cream on Route 86. A small white building on the side of the road has been making soft serve ice cream since 1953 (with the same ice cream maker!). You line up in and out of the building to order, but only choose your size as their is one flavor per day. Homemade, locally made and a local favorite – what more could you want from ice cream in the summer? There’s plenty of parking and a great view and it’s delicious ice cream. Enjoy!

The front of Donnelly's.

The front of Donnelly’s.

The Registry of Very Special Places (Please do not confuse with the National Register of Historic Places).

The Register of Very Special Places (Please do not confuse with the National Register of Historic Places).

This is much appreciated for those of us who are indecisive.

This is much appreciated for those of us who are indecisive.

The smallest size.

The smallest size.

Adjacent to the ice cream shack.

Adjacent to the ice cream shack.

View while eating ice cream.

View while eating ice cream.

Donnelly's (and Annie O'Shea, USA Skeleton athlete).

Donnelly’s (and Annie O’Shea, USA Skeleton athlete).

The rear of the building.

The rear of the building.

Busy on a Sunday afternoon.

Busy on a Sunday afternoon.

Summer Days

I remember cool summer mornings, waking up to hear my mom watering the garden or cutting cantaloupe in the kitchen, getting us girls ready for the day. We might be heading to the beach that day, which meant we were responsible for finding the pails & shovels, beach blankets, chairs and any other toys we wanted for the day. We’d spend all day at the beach, moving the blanket if the tide came too close, digging holes in the sand, getting covered with sand and salt water. On the way home, near the day’s end, we’d pass around what was left in the jug of lemonade and the bag of pretzels, enjoying our saltiness while Mom drove with the windows open and the radio playing. Or the day might call for staying home and playing the backyard, climbing trees and eating ice pops. Sometimes we’d head to the public library to return our books for new choices, adding to our summer reading program list. Summer evenings were filled with barbecues, gymnastics routines on the front lawn and often ice cream cones while we sat on the front stoop. You could say that we were living the ideal suburban childhood summer, no responsibilities but being a kid in the summertime.

Recently, I’m struck by how far away those childhood summers seem, and wondering what it could possibly feel like to have that again: the imagination of a child and the freedom of days without a to-do list. What wonderful memories; these are the kind that I would like to store in a box and revisit now and then, and maybe someday relive some of those stories.

How do you feel? You have all probably been working for years or decades, beginning as teenagers and continuing through college and now as adults. Summer is different now; generally calmer than other seasons, easier, adventurous. As adults we get to choose where we’ll spend the days and what we’ll do, perhaps visiting places we never did as a child, and trying new things. It’s a different kind of fun, but perhaps one that is easier to recall and store in our memories, since adulthood is longer than childhood.

So I ask, how do you keep your childhood memories dear? Have you written them or keep them only in your memory? Do you return to your childhood home? Perhaps you relive your childhood through your children. Or maybe every so often something triggers a memory that you didn’t remember. Maybe it’s a certain way the breeze feels, or the smell of low tide or seeing kids racing around the block on bicycles. Regardless of how often you think of your childhood summers, or how you choose to remember them, I hope they are thought of fondly.

For my sisters: the side beach in Point Lookout.

Preservation Photos #90

Chelsea Royal Diner on Route 9 in Brattleboro, VT: where many of the flamingo girls stopped for a meal. Vinny and I enjoyed ice cream at the attached ice cream stand. Recommended!

Classic roadside sign, but we didn’t see it at night so I don’t know if the neon still functions. Anyone?

Preservation Photos #37

Happy Summer!! This is the famous Carl’s Ice Cream (c 1947)  in Fredericksburg, VA. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Read the nomination here.

Road Trip Report 15

Brief notes on the trip, state by state, with sights, places, and photographs.

Ohio

After Wisconsin, on a bright, sunny day, we drove the state highways and camped at Potato Creek State Park in Indiana for a few days. Our last destination was Columbus, Ohio to visit our fellow PiP writer, Maria. We didn’t know what to expect from Columbus, but we ended up having a great time and enjoying the city. Vinny and I took our own running tour of a few neighborhoods. Since it’s faster than walking and safer than sight seeing while driving, running is the best way to see a new place.

With Maria we explored the German Village, which is a beautiful neighborhood full of mid 19th century houses with slate roofs. Schiller Park in the center of the neighborhood is perfect for strolling and taking pictures. There is a stage for Shakespeare in the Park, a pond, a playground, and it is overall a pleasant place to spend an afternoon.

A view from the park.

A view from the park.

More of the houses that overlook the park.

More of the houses that overlook the park.

In Schiller Park.

In Schiller Park.

One of the best parts of the day was exploring the 32 rooms of books in The Book Loft, an independently owned bookstore in German Village. The bookstore is like a maze and each room has different sections of books. Sometimes we forget from where we came and had to follow the exit signs! The books are endless. There are also calendars, magnets, bookmarks, and posters, among other things.

The Book Loft in German Village.

The Book Loft in German Village.

Pathway to the Book Loft.

Pathway to the Book Loft.

Our favorite part about Columbus was being able to walk to many of the neighborhoods. We walked to get coffee, dinner, and ice cream. Ice cream in the Short North neighborhood at Jeni’s Ice Cream tasted beyond delicious.  It may be a bit expensive, but the ice cream was from an organic, grass fed dairy farm in Ohio. It was definitely worth the one time price ($5 for an ice cream sandwich). We strolled through the streets lined with impressive, historic homes. Maria said that she showed us only the good parts of Columbus so we’d be sure to return, and she planned effectively as we really liked visiting Columbus. It was a relaxing last stop to have, as I find that I prefer visiting cities where friends live.