*Breaks out in dance to Vanilla Ice’s ‘Ice Ice Baby‘.
Ohhhh. I have company. A-hum *blushes*. Please excuse my erratic behaviour and pretend you never saw that *adjusts collar*.
But really, ice, ice baby perfectly encapulates our Monday night experience… so rightfully named… *drum roll please*…
“The ICE! Experience”.
I know, right? Who’s the genius that came up with that one!?!
I purchased our tickets in advance online and found a promotional code to apply to the Monday – Thursday Adult Online Advance Purchase category:
Papa John’s Promo Code: SCPJP
This should entitle you to a further $3 off each ticket. $15.99 for an adult was a pretty sweet deal. Well, at least I thought so.
Our tickets were for the 7:00pm – 8:30pm time slot. We arrived right on time and picked up our tickets from will call then headed off to get our big, warm parkas. They recommend closed shoes and pants be worn as the temperatures for ICE! are 9ºF (-13ºC)!!! In all honesty, I’d never been in temperatures this insane before so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I brought along my Minnie Santa hat to keep my head and ears warm and snugly.
I slipped into my parka and prepared myself for the unexpected. I’d like to say I wasn’t nervous but I was. Actually, it wasn’t so much a feeling of nervousness, but more so that of anticipation. I’ve never really experienced temperatures below perhaps 39ºF (4ºC) before in my life so I was anxious as to how cold 9ºF would actually feel on my skin (well, whatever skin was left showing… my two hands and part of my face).
As we approached the ICE! exhibit I could feel the temperature decline as the air began to thin. Each breath I took felt sharp and slightly more fresh as each step I paced drew me nearer to the main entrance. An employee working the main door warned me that the temperature was about to drastically decline, and boy, she wasn’t lying!
I cross the line from semi-normal temperatures to freezing cold and it hits me. Just like that; freezing. It begins to feel as though my nose is tightening up and my fingers begin to feel fat and numb; I guess similar to that of the feeling of having arthritis. My cheeks tingle as they adjust to the harsh conditions. While my body continues to react to this unfamiliar coldness, I am already too busy gallivanting in the amazingness that is ICE!
I was in awe. Every single thing around me was a result of thousands of pounds of ice having been carved. It was sensational; I’d never seen anything like it! I don’t know where to look. With each turn of my head something more amazing than the spectacle prior would catch my eye. Back, forth, back, forth. I’m suddenly extremely excited. I feel like a child in a candy store having consumed way too much sugar. I am bright eyed and on edge; reacting to all things made of icy awesomeness.
As we progress through the exhibit, I hear people comment on how cold it has become. I realise that in all my excitement, I have not noticed how much colder it feels now than when we first entered. My parka has tiny ice crystals starting to form along the rims. My fingers feel swollen and numb and my hands are as cold as… well, ice. Haha.
There are so many amazing carvings that I start to wonder how bloody long it would have taken to put this entire exhibit together. It really is out of this world. Well, at first it was just out of this world… and then we came to the ice carousel… then it was just whack. An entire carousel carved from ice. Absolutely insane, yet amazing all at the same time! I sat my big ol’ butt down on a polar bear. Now, in the past I have loosely used the term ‘freezing my ass off‘ to describe the weather. Until this one moment though, I really had no idea what it meant to freeze my ass off until I placed my butt down on that cute, innocent looking polar bear! AHHHHHH! I guess my face expression says it all. It possibly also says ‘hurry up and take the photo so I can jump off this thing!’ I don’t think my butt had ever before felt such a sudden cold shock in all its 23 years of existence. Poor butt. I shall never be cruel to you again! Woops. I lied. Sorry butt, but this promising of non-cruelty came before I even knew there was an ICE SLIDE!!! Yes, you read right. A slide made entirely if ice!!! I made my butt endure a whole five seconds more of icy cold torture before I called it a night.
We reached the end of the ICE! exhibit and returned out parkas. There was still one thing left to do though. Well, two things, but this was the first…
And the second was to check out Gaylord Palms lobby. All the hotels in the U.S.A. that I have been to over the Christmas season seem to go all out in decorating, so I expected nothing less from the already impressive Gaylord.
Ah, Gaylord, thank you for not letting me down. You have impressed me beyond means. The lobby was absolutely beautiful. Never before have I seen any hotel lobby anywhere in the world decorated so elegantly. There was a ginormous brightly lit tree raised up on the centre stage with fairy lights draped from the extremely high ceilings surrounding the tree. Below were a handful of musicians performing Christmas carols for all to enjoy. A small crowd had gathered on the benches in front of the stage to engage in their Christmas spirits and sing along. It really was a spectacular sight. If you are heading over to the Gaylord Palms to check out ICE! it is definitely worth the extra four minute walk over to the lobby to check this out. You will not be disappointed!
Our evening at ICE! at the Gaylord Palms exceeded any expectations I had conjured up and was immensely enjoyed by all. The entry price really is small in comparison to the fun you will have.
ICE! is open daily, including holidays until January 3, 2010. Hours vary so check the website prior to arrival.