Monday, November 23, 2015

Sweetness Overload at the Blue Bell Creamery

In our rewind through the summer, we have now moved into August.

During the first week of August, my children, my mother-in-law, and I attended the second of two Classical Conversations Homeschool Practicums (a.k.a. conferences) in order for me to learn as much as possible about the homeschool curriculum I had selected for this new journey we were soon to embark upon. 

This practicum took place just outside of Houston, Texas (in Spring, Texas), so we had a mini vacation over the course of the three days we spent in the area. As we were headed back to Northwest Louisiana, we made a bit of a detour in order to visit the Blue Bell Ice Cream Factory in Brenham, Texas.

Yes, our visit was during the excruciatingly extended time that the factory was shut down due to the infamous contamination. So, no, we didn't get to tour the factory itself...BUT...the offices and gift shop were still open. We actually enjoyed ourselves quite a bit and got to meet some nice people who worked there. The gift shop lady told us some of the harsh realities of the shutdown, which included many layoffs and such. Thankfully, at the time of our visit, production was very close to beginning again. Literally any day, though even the gift shop lady had not yet been told a date.

Anyway, even though there was no ice cream to purchase, we did support them the best we could by making a couple of purchases in the gift shop. It was quite sad, however, to see the ice cream shop so bare and void of both ice cream and visitors.

I guess we did them a favor by bringing some sweetness back into their facility. :)

So, with all of that said, here are some pics of that adventure as well as a few random pics including kiddos and grandparents.

Sweet baby fell asleep in her high chair. Full tummies make sleepy babies!
A lady at the practicum in front of me came fully prepared with her own supply of hot tea. :)


On the left, an excerpt from a book called The Core written by the creator of Classical Conversations. Yet another reason I am glad we chose this curriculum.
On the right, a tutor's tri-fold memory work board at the Classical Conversations Practicum

Baby Girl with Pops
Baby Girl and Big Brother with Lottie
Baby Girl LOVES her Pops!
And Baby Girl LOVES her Lottie, too! 
In Brenham, Texas we ate lunch at a historic saloon and steakhouse. This sign they had inside was PERFECT for my little man!
Little Man with his Lego Dinosaur who came in to eat with us.
Little Man ordering a root beer at the historic saloon.
You really have to see this place in person to appreciate the beautiful woodwork and lighting.
Little Man in the parking lot of the Blue Bell Creamery. 
Those big white silo-looking tanks behind him are FILLED with yummy Blue Bell Ice Cream ingredients. 
They are marked with what is in each one. 
A couple have granulated sugar. A couple have milk. 

And, oh my goodness, a couple have CONDENSED MILK!!! 
No wonder that ice cream is so addicting!!!
Me and the kiddos
Lottie and the kiddos

Foot-stompin' mad about the tour and ice-cream factory being shut down!
Empty ice cream cartons...behind glass...and pictures of ice cream cartons...he is soooo dreaming!

Drooling over empty ice cream cartons again. ;)
And that door behind him is the door for the tour...the one that is not happening...hence the zero minutes on the clock. :(

He and his Lego Dino friend are sad that all of those ice cream tubs are EMPTY...FOR DISPLAY ONLY! :(
And all of those ice cream service tubs at the serving counter are completely EMPTY as well.
Truly this was a depressing site thinking of all of the bustling that was normally happening in this ice cream shop.
No patrons (except us). No servers.
All of the tables were EMPTY as well.
The only staff we came in contact with were the gift shop ladies and the secretary/receptionist in the other building.
A sad day at Blue Bell. But still very glad we got to go.
Such an understatement. Such a perfect shirt for him. We bought it. And a couple of other things. He still wears the shirt often. Even in Qatar.
And he still mentions Blue Bell every time we eat ice cream or even authentic Italian gelato. He misses Blue Bell. :( 

Saying goodbye to the lonely Blue Bell Ice Cream Parlor.

Mommy with her sweet kiddos...and the Lego Dino.
That's the elevator to the Ice Cream Parlor and Gift Shop we are standing in front of, by the way. Cute!

A couple of bumper stickers we bought that he used to decorate his homeschool notebook.
Later he scratched some "future plans" in the notebook while we were watching Fixer Upper and The Carbonaro Effect.
Well, that's all for the Blue Bell tour. I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. 

Now, I'll wrap this up with a few more random kiddo and grandparent pics. :)

Baby Girl and Paw Paw (one of my two precious daddies)

Can you tell I have a hard time picking which pic I like best?! Tell me you have the same problem...
Love those three!

Didn't I tell you this was a SWEETNESS OVERLOAD post?! ;)
Mommy and her kiddos
Lottie and Pops and the sweet grands
Baby Girl looking sweet and pretty in her Sunday best
Baby Girl hanging out playing her piano
Ending it where I started it. Sweet Baby Girl sleeping in her high chair.
Yep! She ate herself into a stupor again! ;)
Hope you enjoyed that rewind! Ship us some Blue Bell if you feel the need! lol! ;)

Until next time...