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Mad Martha's Ice Cream

ice-cream1Okay, yes. We are Newbie parents. We kept as much sugar our of our baby girl’s life as possible during the first year. I have already received mockery from friends and family for this (no TV either. How shocking…) so no taunting the blog-guy!

Now, however, we have discovered the joys of “Icey Creeem” as Kate calls it. We can no longer share a cone with her. She seizes the cone and burrows into it. She can spot an ice cream shop at a hundred yards it seems and gives us a look that says: “So where’s my cone?”

Therefore, our quest for the Best Cone Ever began. So let me review the Shoppes we have purchased our bits ‘o freezy goodness from so far. I will list them from my least favorite to my most. Although I bear no ill will to any…someone has to be last! Remember: I am evaluating by Travelling-With-Toddler criteria. My main concerns are: how hard is it to keep track of Kiddo in this shop and how expensive will this child’s new outfit moistening snack be, since she will wear most of it (not to mention anoint us as well).

Mad Martha’s- This is a popular spot on North Water Street and has a wide array of sundaes and frappes available as well. It shares the space with a sandwich shop so it is usually crowded. The ice cream is great but a tad pricey. (Okay it is the Island so everything is a little more expensive than other places, but I dislike waiting in a crowded shop to pay quite a bit more for ice cream.) They also have no kid’s cone option.

Scoops- They have a great location on the corner of Main and South Water Streets and are a lot roomier inside as you enter. They have a great selection of flavors but not as wide an array of non-cone choices, but that’s okay. They are called “Scoops”. They have a great price on a kid’s sized cone. The only problem I have with their cones is this: they are always super melty. The freezers are open topped and are open all the time and when we buy a cone, it is a race against time to consume any of it before it has liquefied and is dripping off my hands. Maybe the ice cream staying softer prevents the full-time scooping staff from strained wrists or something. (I am not a big fan of sticky mess, as anyone who knows me can attest. Okay…it is ice cream and summer and that combination is never a good combo for anti-sticky lobbyists, but I feel that having to perform bottom-of-the-cone melt control slurps before you have stepped away from the building is asking a bit much of me.)

Carousel- I don’t often get to Oak Bluffs in the summer, but we made a special trip one Sunday afternoon and had a delightful time at Carousel. The kid’s cone was a good size for a great price, the flavors were numerous and the shop was big enough not to seem too crowded. The person who served us was what made us enjoy our “icey creeem” the most. He was more than happy to let us try a few different flavors as samples before we committed to a full cone of that flavor and was more that willing to sell al three of us kid sized cones. Some places have to be cajoled into that deal. (Let’s face facts. I am a large, round man. I don’t NEED three whole scoops of ice milk and sugar in my system…the less I have the better, frankly. A small scoop is treat enough for me). When we said we had experienced reluctance from other shops about small cones he grinned and said “Come on! It’s ice cream! They shouldn’t be so serious. I love this job!”

It was a refreshing bit of friendliness during the busy middle of the summer doldrums and it made us instant fans. So many servers and clerks reach that tired point that it felt good to smile at his enthusiasm. He made our day!

So there you have my findings thus far, from least favorite to most.

“There’s one more,” he says in a whisper, casting furtive glances over his shoulder. “The Quarterdeck has a small soft-serve, $2.50 street value. Perfect for when the kid needs her ‘icey creeem’ fix and yer short of cash. It’s our secret vice! Tell them Kiddo sent ya!”

Image courtesy of tedkirwin

 

Plan a Visit to the Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival
Where to Get the Best Pizza on Martha’s Vineyard Near Edgartown
Explore Memorable Things to Do & See in West Tisbury
Spend a Day at the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest
See the Next Big Thing at a Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival
A Guide on How to Get to Martha’s Vineyard
A Look at the History of Our Edgartown Hotel
Celebrate the Season | A Guide to Christmas in Edgartown
4th-of-July-by-CitySteph
4th of July by City Steph

You can’t come to Martha’s Vineyard without noticing the vast number of different accents you encounter in your day – the girl at the coffee shop is Russian, the guy who drives the cab is from Bulgaria, your housekeeper is Jamaican and thishotel manager is Scottish. To many, it’s part of what makes the Vineyard so special – almost everyone is from somewhere else and bring with them their own traditions and perspectives while adopting a good measure of the local culture.

This weekend will be my 11th July 4th celebration – 10th on Martha’s Vineyard. In Scotland, holidays are still mostly the old Christian calendar holidays with a couple of ‘Bank Holidays’ thrown in (basically an administrative day off for the whole country), so I have come to love my American holidays – Memorial Day to celebrate those who protect and have protected, Labor Day for the workers, Thanksgiving reminds us all how lucky we are, but my favorite of all has to be 4th of July!

On my 1st July 4th on Martha’s Vineyard I was lucky enough to be swept up by my American colleague, “Let me show you all the fun of a real July 4th!” Well, I’m pretty game for an adventure, so I put myself in her hands and boy am I glad that I did!

The 1st stop was the lawn of the Old Whaling Church for a good old fashioned BBQ. Burgers, dogs with all the fixins’, kids screaming and laughing, parents chasing, grandparents sitting back and enjoying – good old family fun!

Down to North Water Street next for ice cream from my favorite spot, Mad Martha’s – voted the Best of the Vineyard for several years, and in the Top 10 in the USA Today a few years ago – it really is a fantastic place – cones, cups, sundaes, toppings – everything a dessert lover could wish for.

So, ice cream in one hand and flag in the other, we found a perch on the steps of theColonial Inn courtyard to watch the parade – and oh, what a parade it is! Having never seen a big city parade, my frame of reference is limited, but I am assured it is small town Americana at its best. The parade starts at 5ish (remember – you’re on Vineyard Time) and confuses many by looping through town in the opposite direction to the usual traffic flow. It starts at Edgartown Elementary School, takes a Left at Pease Point Way and loops behind the town center to head along North Water Street in the ‘opposite’ direction and then UP Main Street.

The Selectmen from all the towns lead off in antique vehicles, many local businesses decorate floats with many varied themes, lots of kids sports teams and other non-profits have tons of fun entertaining the crowds – skaters, dancers, musicians, gymnasts and many others besides. The towns’ fire trucks are decked out, the Island Veterans always get a huge cheer and imagine my surprise when a group of men in kilts and ladies in tartan processed by followed by a Bagpipe Band – did they do this just to make me feel a part of the fun? Alas no, it’s the local Scottish Society (although it sure did make it all feel a bit more familiar).

After the fun of the parade we took a break, enjoyed the great atmosphere in town and then headed up to Lighthouse Beach to stake out our spot for the fireworks. They are set off from a barge just off-shore of the Lighthouse, in the outer harbor, so the beach is really the best vantage point, although you can see them from other locations a bit farther out. They usually start around 8.30 – 9pm (once it’s dark enough) and the show never disappoints.

Who wouldn’t love this holiday!! The events continue this year, in the same way they did on my 1st year here – will we see you? What are you doing for the 4th?

 

Plan a Visit to the Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival
Where to Get the Best Pizza on Martha’s Vineyard Near Edgartown
Explore Memorable Things to Do & See in West Tisbury
Spend a Day at the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest
See the Next Big Thing at a Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival
A Guide on How to Get to Martha’s Vineyard
A Look at the History of Our Edgartown Hotel
Celebrate the Season | A Guide to Christmas in Edgartown