Monday, December 6, 2010

Ice Ice Baby

The awesome ice slides with carpet at the bottom, thankfully, to slow you down!!

How did I spend my weekend?? Looking at 2 million pounds of sculpted ice in a venue that was only 9 degrees! Can you say BRRRRR?!?!?! But it was incredible and well worth my frozen nose afterwards. The Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center at the National Harbor in Maryland brought in ice sculptors from China to carve 2 million pounds of ice into scenes from Dr. Seuss's "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" - plus a nativity scene at the end of the event - into one production called "ICE." It was a very cool set up because when you walked in, as you waited in line to enter ICE, they had a whole museum collection of sketches, magazine/book covers, poems, etc. that belong to the Seuss estate and are on loan for this specific event. There are also videos playing that show how ICE was created and the origin of ice sculpting. The sculptors from China spent 1 month prior to the opening of ICE working around the clock in 12 hour shifts to sculpt everything. As you can see from the pictures, these are not your ordinary ice swan sculptures! The scenes are very intricate with lots of colors and details and they are least life-size if not larger for some of the pieces. The ice slide was awesome and we could go down it as many times as we wanted :) There were people standing at the top not only telling you when to go but also giving you a push so you really went flying! Ha!

So, the down side to ICE is that it was 9 degrees in there, which is to be expected because after all it's ICE we're dealing with and it has to stay cold so we don't all end up swimming, but if you wanted to go down the slide, you had to wear the blue parka coat they provided to each guest. Just before entering the exhibit, everyone is handed a fluffy, blue parka to wear to keep warm. Sounds like a nice thing, huh?? Maybe to some people, but my mind immediately went to lice and bed bugs as these jackets are transferred from one person to another after you exit. I asked the coat attendant how they disinfect for lice and he said they spray the coats with Lysol....ummm really??? Hate to break it to them but Lysol is not a lice killer even though it sounds the same. As for bed bugs, he said he didn't know. *Sigh*. I was now faced with the dilemma of do I wear the coat, stay warm, and enjoy the slide or do I not wear the coat, not stay warm, and not enjoy the slide all for the chance that I might get lice and bed bugs?? Well.....the slide won out and I donned the coat and pretended for a couple hours I wasn't a paranoid germaphobe. Two days later, I am lice and bed bug free, so I guess it was a good choice :)

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