Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Texas pilgrimage

There's a little creamery in Brenham, Texas, where they make the best ice cream in the whole world. It behooves every Texan to, at some point in their lives, make a pilgrimage to this hallowed spot.

Last Saturday was the day we set aside every summer to get up long before dawn and set out on a southerly trek to pick up Miss Alice at Camp Spike 'n Wave, located at the Camp For All grounds in Burton, Texas. Burton is very near Brenham, so after we picked her up, we went to visit the Blue Bell Creamery there.

The grounds of the creamery are impeccably groomed, and we were delighted to see that there was a bronze statue depicting the same little girl leading a cow that's silhouetted on every container of Blue Bell Ice Cream. See up there under the name? That little circle? That's the one.

Of course, we had to go in to the gift shop, where we were elated to see that they sell individual scoops of every single flavor they produce. YUM! I can't have any, of course, since I haven't found any major brand of ice cream that isn't made with corn syrup. But that's okay; it was fun to see Mom and the girls enjoying theirs. Plus, Mom got me a Blue Bell Ice Cream t-shirt instead.

The drive down there was spectacular, even though I was about as tired as I could be (thanks to Mom for doing most of the driving) because we've had lots of late nights with the play and I had to leave my house at 3:30AM just to get down there in time. This year they've had plenty of rain, unlike previous times I've been there, and the fields and roadsides are lush and colorful and juicy-green and gorgeous. We even saw the largest, thickest stand of Mama Alice flowers (Ipomopsis rubra, or Standing Cypress) that either of us had ever seen in our whole lives... just amazing. Some of the stalks had to have been eight feet tall -- I do not kid. We didn't even know they grew that far south, but according to the web site at Lady Bird Johnson Center, that flower is specifically native to Central and East Texas (although it has spread sporadically to other states). In any case, they were magnificent.

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