“What do you go to Lake Wallenpaupack for?  Some people go to their vacation homes.  Some people go boating and jet skiing on the lake.  Even more make the trip to witness the beautiful scenery that the lake has to offer.  Me?  I only go for the ice cream, more specifically – Coutts Ice Cream (you know, Across from PPL Environmental Center Between High School and Dam 570-390-4…) Oops, that’s obviously a copy-paste from their website.  I’m better than that, and I can wholeheartedly say their ice cream is too.

It’s a typical mid-August summer day – sunny, hot, and exciting.  The five of us leave my buddy’s house in Allentown and make the hour long drive up to the lake.  On the way up, we speed excessively over the speed limit, sing along to late-90’s pop hits (can someone say Spice Girls?!), and my friend tries to convince us that he’s not bi for playing ‘Barbie Girl’ by Aqua.  After being intrigued but grossed out by a live-bait vending machine at a gas station, we finally make it up to the lake and to our first and most important stop of the day…

Not Coutts Ice Cream Parlor.  We pull into the place where we’re going to be renting our boat and jet skis for the afternoon and all five of us are automatically enthralled by the view from the long descending driveway into the lake.  Inside, the paint on the wall complement nicely with the colors on their website and shop looks well-stocked with water sporting goods.  A woman eyes us from the counter along the far wall and asks us if we need help.  “Hi, we would like to rent a boat and a few jet skis for half a day?”  The woman’s smile fades.  “We’re sorry, but we’re all booked up for today.  You should have called in advance.”  Our smiles fade.  My friend replies, “About that, we tried calling yesterday and your phone was off the hook.”  The woman responds, “Hmm, I honestly don’t know what to tell you about that as we’ve been receiving calls all day today.  You really need to call at least a week in advance to reserve boats here…”  A moment of silence ensues to let this all sink in (heh, wordplay).  With this being our first time here, I ask her “Well do you know of any other places around here that would still rent?”  “Most places are done renting for today but I do know that there is a public beach a few miles up the road that you guys can go to…  Also, there’s a great ice cream place as well.”

Minutes later, we sadly exit without the keys to either a boat or a jet ski.  Our moods slightly lift when a woman on the boat makes the most obnoxiously high pitched laugh, echoing to us.  I wonder if everyone on that boat is now deaf thanks to her.  We decide to hit the public beach once we’re back in the car and bust jokes about what just transpired.  “An ice cream place??  Who seriously recommends that?  Oh, we have a beautiful lake here, beautiful public beaches, scenic trails and such BUT THE ICE CREAM!  You HAVE to try the ice cream!”  We may all be laughing about it now but I can assure you, in a few hours, we wouldn’t be.

We eventually find the public beach and loudly drag our cooler full of bottles of Bud Light Lime and Twisted Tea.  We see a few families with kids down by the water and I almost feel bad for displaying public drunkenness in front of them.  In no time though, that’s quickly washed away by the breathtaking scenery.  We stay there for an hour or so and watch the sun start to set.  With the evening in full swing and all our booze gone, we decide to top off this (almost) perfect summer day with a bang.  Let’s go get some ice cream!  Maybe the woman’s advice wasn’t bad after all.

Using our phones, we find the conveniently placed Coutts Ice Cream Parlor near the beach and head inside.  The building is cozy but has enough seating for a couple families as well as some outside seating.  The beer pretty much cooled our bodies down but we still opted to sit inside.  I walk up to the counter to go place my order and the variety of flavors instantly catches my eye.  I opted for 2 scoops instead of 3 (which was still a lot of ice cream) and got chocolate chip cookie dough and a specialty flavor that unfortunately I can’t remember.  I take my first lick and my eyes immediately widen.  WOWZERS, THAT’S GOOD ICE CREAM!  I start licking faster trying to lock in the amazing flavors that are hitting my tongue.  I look at my friends and they’re just as amazed as I am.  At some point, I heard someone in our group mention that they had to use the rest room but I didn’t even see him leave because I was too busy enjoying this blissful treat.  The beer must have been hitting his system fast because if I were in his shoes, I would have held it to cherish every second of this amazing treat.  The bathroom can wait…  This ice cream can’t.

Ben and Jerry’s? What’s that? Penn State Creamery ice cream? Never heard of it! Coutts Ice Cream? PLEASE EXPAND INTO A NATIONWIDE CHAIN SO I DON’T HAVE TO DRIVE FROM LONG ISLAND, I BEG YOU!!!!” – George S., Garden City, NY

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WOWZERS, THAT’S GOOD ICE CREAM!