Most people have this hard to get out of their head idea, that when traveling, you need to go to the exciting big cities. Big cities are where all the new and interesting things to see and do is. There is somewhat of a belief that when traveling that the small towns and hamlets should get overlooked because nothing exciting goes on there. I had a friend that once told me she stayed away from the small town because, in her opinion, everything they have to offer can be found in where she lives.
I have learned in my journeys that there are hidden gems around this country and world that only exist in the small towns. The locals know it, but they want to keep it a secret, because let’s face it, why share a good thing.
Well, I found one! And no longer will it be a secret. In the town of Fruitland Park, Florida, in an everyday strip mall, is probably one of the best ice cream shops I have ever been. And this is a person who has been to Jacksons and Serendipity.
Mystic Ice Cream Shop claim to fame is adult ice cream. Ice cream with alcohol in it. My mother was the one that found this place, and when we were up visiting her, she insisted that we go there. Didn’t take much to twist our arms, I mean, who doesn’t want to eat ice cream with liquor in it.
On a Tuesday night, after diving Devil Dens, we got in the car and drove into one of the small towns that littered Florida.
The shop itself reminded you of someone’s basement back in the 60s and 70s, with a vast collection of lava lamps, black lighted posters and bongs (yes, bongs). Inside you are usually greeted by the owner and creator of the ice cream, or one of the town locals who loves the place. There are two menus; one is for the kids, and the other is for the adults. Make sure you bring your ID because she does carded. And even though you can order regular food, the ice cream is what they are known for.
Around the room are various couches, chairs, and tables. Once we got our ice cream, we claimed one of the couches and sat there and talk, enjoying our amazing ice cream. I got up and wandered around the room, looking at all the different knickknacks and other stuff that was all over the room shop. One could spend hours looking at everything. There were bookcases, end tables, and coffee tables stacked with books, movie figurines, and other such cool things, the brings back memories of my youth (and my parents). The place was more museum of American Icon and less restaurant feel to it.
Each day of the week they have entertainment, we made the mistake of coming in during Karaoke Night. A bunch of older people singing off-turn to a bunch of songs I have never heard about isn’t what I would call entertainment.
The ice cream was fantastic. I had gone with a traditional Mudslide, and all I can say is wow. It wasn’t much to look at, being stuff inside a Styrofoam cup with a pretzel stick, but the taste was out the world. Between the alcohol and the ice cream, I was in a different state of mellow than I had ever been (now the room decorations were starting to make sense).
They give you a lot, so if you aren’t looking to get drunk off of ice cream, then sharing isn’t going to be in issue.
I don’t remember much that night after the ice cream, but I was in such a mellow state that I could care less either.
The next time, you are in Central Florida and looking for something new and exciting, skip Orlando or Tampa and head towards, Fruitland Park.
And if I got anything wrong, again I was in mellow state when I wrote the notes for this blog.