Richard Stroobant (left) makes a stop at Enderby’s D&E Drive Inn on the Ice Cream Tour 2015 with his daughter Danica (middle) and is joined by some friends and cousins Matt

Richard Stroobant (left) makes a stop at Enderby’s D&E Drive Inn on the Ice Cream Tour 2015 with his daughter Danica (middle) and is joined by some friends and cousins Matt

Passion for ice cream heats up in the Okanagan

A father/daughter team is dipping into some of the sweetest shops around on a cool tour sprinkled with fun

A father/daughter team is dipping into some of the sweetest shops around on a cool tour sprinkled with fun.

Richard Stroobant and his 11-year-old daughter Danica are on the Ice Cream Tour 2015 across southeastern B.C. and Alberta.

On a hunt for the best ice cream on this end of the country, the team is hitting up shops and stands that make their own cool treats from scratch.

“The whole theme behind this is just me and my daughter spending time together,” said Stroobant, while in Vernon last week.

“The ice cream is just the cherry on top.”

Among their 20 stops, the Calgary team (who even had T-shirts made) found some tasty treats in the North Okanagan.

“It’s all word of mouth,” said Stroobant, of how they decide where to stop.

After checking out D Dutchmen Dairy in Sicamous, the tour made its first soft-serve stop in Enderby at the D&E Drive Inn.

“One thing for sure, it beats any other soft serve ice cream I’ve ever had,” said Stroobant on his blog (www.icecreamtour.ca). “Maybe I’m a hard ice cream kinda guy but we gave it 8.5 licks out of 10.”

But it was stop No. 8 that gained nearly top marks, for more than just its ice cream.

Vernon’s Blue Stream Motel and Garden Ice Cream Parlor took the cake for the best name and earned 9.5 licks.

The shop boasts 56 homemade flavours, but for Danica, the bubble gum (which is one of her favourite flavours) won her heart.

“It tasted like real bubble gum,” said Danica, who even pulled a real gum ball out of her bowl.

But the highest scoring ice cream so far goes to an Indian restaurant in Kelowna called Poppadoms, for it’s Indian spice cream.

“It’s not like you’re eating butter chicken,” said Stroobant, who actually had the butter chicken for dinner (which was the best he has ever tried).

“The East Indian spice just brings out the flavours.

“A must try… our taste buds are still dancing.”

They also visited the Log Barn in Enderby and Vernon’s Marble Slab Creamery, but there was so much more to the trip than ice cream.

Mara Lake, the Last Spike, go karting and ziplining were among their adventures.

“The Oyama Zipline was just phenomenal,” said Stroobant.

Danica agreed.

“I think her dad was more scared than she was,” said Stroobant.

They also met up with some friends and have been making memories along the way, including making headlines in newspapers, starring on TV and chatting with radio stations.

HelloBC and Travel Alberta have also been tapping into the blog, as well as Tourism Vernon.

The whole trip, he said, was actually spurred over a bowl of ice cream (a favourite treat at the Stroobant house – they’re not really cake or candy people).

Mom had to work so dad suggested he and his daughter go try out some tasty ice cream shops.

“Ask any 11-year-old that question and you’ll get a ‘ya let’s go.’”

The trip-turned-tour grew from there and now Stroobant is the one eagerly saying, ‘are we there yet?’ just before each stop.

 

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