It’s summer, and it’s been hot—too hot. If you’ve met me, you know that I hate the summer heat and the humidity. It’s one of the reasons why I’ve traveled north to Iceland seven times since 2008. Anything to get away from the pall that has, over the years, driven me from the wonderful outdoors and made me physically ill.
But even the accursed heat has a silver lining. When it builds, the lines form outside La Michoacana Ice Cream in Kennett Square. Co-founder Juvenal Gonzalez perfected his ice-cream skills in Mexico City. He came to the United States 25 years ago, initially as a laborer in Colorado. He spent 10 years working the fields out West before moving to Florida and then to Chester County for the mushroom industry.
After an injury left him unable to work, Gonzalez came up with the idea of opening La Michoacana in 2003, taking its name and recipes from the Mexican state known for frozen treats with unusual flavors and textures. Indeed, La Michoacana’s list of flavors is unlike anything I’ve seen—avocado, mamey, toasted cocoa, mango, tamarind, passion fruit, even a mushroom-flavored popsicle. There’s also a Mexican twist on toppings, with offerings like cinnamon, chili and chamoy. More conventional favorites include chocolate, peanut butter and rum raisin—and you must try the top-selling flavor: corn. There are over 75 types of ice cream, 35 of which are served daily.
Last week, a special event took place a bit further than the three steps I typically take. West Grove’s Lisa Stroud and Team Landhope represented the United States at the World Equestrian Festival, Concours Hippique International Officiel in Aachen, Germany. Stroud competed by driving her four-in-hand team Willow Star LLC’s Anesco 4, a 2005 KWPN gelding; Antonio, a 1999 KWPN gelding; Enzo, a 2009 KWPN gelding; Olando, a 1996 KWPN gelding; and Ulco, a 2001 KWPN gelding.
Allison “Lisa” Stroud has been competing in combined driving for many years and has represented the U.S. on numerous occasions at the FEI Pony World Driving Championships. She was part of the 2003 team that finished sixth in Austria, the team that placed fifth in Great Britain two years later, and the 2007 bronze-winning team in Poland. Stroud has won multiple USEF National Combined Driving Pony Team championships, claiming her first title in 2004, then again in 2006 and 2007.
In 2008, Stroud won the FEI Pony Team division at the Live Oak International CAI. She then finished second in at the Garden State CDE with her team. She finished out the season by defending her USEF National Combined Driving Pony Team Championship title at The Laurels at Landhope.
In 2014, Stroud took up a new challenge, as she turned from a Pony Team to a Four-in-Hand Horse Team, representing the U.S. at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.