Friday, August 26, 2011

Iowa week: Van Dees Ice Cream


5915 Merle Hay Rd
Johnston, IA 50131

I felt like a little kid as my excitement grew as we pulled up onto the tiny red gravel pebbles that is the parking lot. For some reason that's a sound etched into one of my childhood memories. Growing up this ma & pa ice cream shop was the place to ride your bike to or work at as a teenager and it's only open during the summer.

I have never been able to find an ice cream cookie sandwich with twisty (vanilla & chocolate) ice cream swirled inside that taste quite as good as theirs. The Big Chipper is what I was looking to get on my trip back to the mid-west.

I went there with my family clan and everything was exactly as I remember it... minus the 2 cow statues that used to sit on the front lawn. People used to steal them as a prank and place them somewhere in Johnston. They must have gotten tired of retrieving them. My aunt said she remembers driving up there with her friend Erika and living off their onion rings while hanging out with friends that worked there. I fondly remember getting to go there as a treat after daycare or after a school field trip. I would always want an orange push pop. As I got older my best friend Megan and I would ride bikes there and I would get a buster bar, or oreo blitz with caramel.. but my fav is still the Big Chipper.

My grandma & me!

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