Few things in Boca Raton have remained the same since the early 80’s when my family moved there from Long Island, New York. I watched State Road 7 go from miles of endless strawberry fields to dozens of shopping centers and thousands of homes. As a very little girl in the ’80s, I remember going to the only Carvel in West Boca Raton, FL. It is still the only Carvel in West Boca Raton. So many memories of my life were shared there at that little ice cream shop. Over a Carvel cone of vanilla soft serve with chocolate sprinkles, I have laughed, cried, made major life decisions and somedays, just thought about nothing, which is often necessary for a person to do. It was my special place growing up and later became my secret spot for happy alone-moments, but now, my 4-year-old son Jack is old enough to finally appreciate the magic of this West Boca Carvel too.
While Fudgie The Whale reigned supreme when I was a kid, now Carvel has moved onto emoji ice cream cakes to keep up with the times. But honestly, Carvel doesn’t have to do much to still appeal to the masses. The ice cream is the same great formula and taste since 1929. Sure, there are a bunch of new, trendy ice cream shops around town, but none are like Carvel. Just the other day, I took Jack to enjoy some vanilla Carvel soft serve in a baseball helmet. It brought back delightful memories for me. Over that ice cream, we just talked. There were no iPads or iPhones out. No TV blaring in the background. His two month old brother slept in his baby carriage while we caught up about life on a lazy Saturday afternoon. We talked about the week he had and some ideas on what he might want to be for Halloween. He mentioned a new library book he wanted me to read to him. The older I get, the more I remember how important moments like those were to me.
So here I am, the mom of two boys now, just sitting in a Carvel smiling and in awe that I am the grown up now and it’s time for a new generation to savor the magic of Carvel’s vanilla soft serve. Sometimes you just need a good old fashioned American classic to remind you that no matter how stressful tomorrow might get, this moment is pretty sweet.