We had never eaten Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream before
The original factory was near where we were staying in Vermont. Since we love ice cream and it was really close by, the decision to visit Ben &Jerry’s ice cream factory was easy. This place was more touristy than places we usually choose to visit and we knew that going in. The hope was that we could learn something about how their business is run and how ice cream is made commercially. Although the tour was short and the factory floor was between flavors so only the cleaning crew was working, we still learned lots during our tour.
Rocks. This family is a big fan of rocks. The kids collect them, we all are fascinated by their different formations, and of course climbing on them is fun too! So when we got to Vermont and heard they had this place called Rock of Ages we just had to go check it out. When we pulled into the parking lot we noticed a big yellow metal rider box. This is what they use to lift workers out of the granite quarry and they had one here that we could get into. Rock of Ages makes many things out of granite including some famous monuments. One of these famous monuments is the WWII memorial in Washington DC, this was pretty cool for us because we have recently visited the monument.
The granite quarry Rock of Ages gets it’s material from is one of the largest in the world. They had a really great visitors center where we were able to watch a video about how they get the blocks from the quarry and then turn them into beautiful works of art. We read the time line of the history of the company and then checked out some of their works as well. Just outside the visitors center and across the parking lot was the real reason to visit this place. In the 1950’s they were experimenting with making bowling lanes out of granite because it is very durable and weather resistant. If you have been to a bowling alley since the 1950’s you have probably noticed that the lanes are not made of granite. The reason for this is that the granite is too hard and overtime will break the bowling balls. However they still have one of the prototypes from that experiment available to anyone that visits to try out. The only difference is that you will be bowling with a rubber bowling ball and let me tell you it is very different. We tried it many times, it was a blast.
After several rounds of bowling we wandered into the factory for a free self guided tour. Unfortunately everyone had just gone to lunch so there wasn’t any work being done but we got to see the factory floor and some works in progress which gave us a pretty good idea of the process for completing their works. Before we left we stopped by the free sample bin to pick out small piece of granite to take with us. It was a very cool and interesting place and worth stopping in if you are ever in the area.