Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Hot, Dry, Dog Days of Summer

Remember being a kid and getting ice cream in the summer time? When the tar bubbles on the street, and the sidewalks were too hot to go barefoot on, there was always a relief in the form of ice cream. What a treat it was to go with my parents to the Shake Shack and get a Slush Puppy, a Boston Shake, or even a simple dipped cone. The Shake Shack was all the way across town from our house, but it was so worth the drive. (And by across town, I mean the equivalent of a dozen blocks, across the railroad track and across the main road through town. There was only one main road.)

Shake Shack opened up the same year we moved to Camp Point, IL, 1988. It was a pretty big deal. In our town of 1200 people, there was no McDonald's, no Dairy Queen, no Baskin Robbins, just good ol' locally owned businesses, started up by the folks who lived there. At Shake Shack, you could get a meal as well as an ice cream treat. In the 8-table dining area, we would chow down on the best Bar-B-Q Beef I have ever had. It was the perfect balance of sweet and tangy. Their Bar-B-Q pork was a force to be reckoned with too. But the real teat always came after we finished our "real food''.

It was always a hard decision. Should I get a banana split, or a brownie treat? A shake or a slushie? So many options.

The Shake Shack is still there, owned and operated by the local crowd. No one has bought it, changed it or tinkered with it in 26 years. In fact, I took Carrick there after meeting up with some old school friends a couple years ago, and everything was exactly how I remembered it. The Bar-B-Q beef even tasted the same. What a comfort to know that some things don't change, and that you can go back to your childhood, especially for ice cream.

In Sedona, we don't have a Shake Shack, but we do have several ice cream options, most of which are national chains. One of our favorite places for cold deserts is actually one of the few locally own places, call Zainey's. They are a mix-and-match frozen yogurt place where you pay by the ounce. We go there pretty regularly since it's so close to our house. (And it's usually on Corey's Fun Dollars, which is why you don't hear about it on my posts.)

But sometimes, I just crave a simple twisty cone, with all the milk (and fat) that I associate with summer. For that, I escape to Oak Creek Canyon, which is where our local Dairy Queen is located. The other day, it took me the better part of an hour to get my phone and Corey's new phone set up at the Verizon store. Carrick needed minimal attention while we were there, but poor Lily was way overdue for a nap, and wan't shy about letting everyone else know that it was nap time. Carrick contented himself by coloring in his new coloring book. Then, when we got in the car, he said, "I was so good, I should get a treat!" I laughed, and told him that we could all use a treat after what we just went through.

So, I took him to get a small vanilla cone in the canyon. I treated myself to a medium twisty cone. It was a delicious $4.00. We don't go to DQ that often, but when I do, I think back to those hot summer days with my parents, getting treats at the Shake Shack. I love sharing these moments with my kids. I know they will form their own memories of summer, and I am happy to share Fun Dollars to bring a little joy to the hot, dry, dog days of summer.

2 cones at Dairy Queen- $4.00

Balance this pay cycle- $53.00

Happy Spending!

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