I hope everyone had a good Christmas! Our official celebrations ended yesterday with a trip to see the ICE! exhibit at the Gaylord Texan! But more on that later. I am glad to say that I am typing this from my brand new computer! Sort of… my dad got me the inner workings for a harder, better, faster, stronger computer, and Edgar received a novelty John Deere CPU case, so while we were in town, Edgar decided to pull all my new computer guts into his body and make sure everything worked alright. Everything works! And I finally have enough room on my computer to store and edit more photos! Yesssss…
First order of business. My giveaway. I said that I’d announce the winner tomorrow but…
1) only one person has submitted a comment
2) apparently I’m going on a day trip to Austin tomorrow and won’t be anywhere around a computer
3) it’s my giveaway and I can do what I want
… I’m postponing it (again) by one day. So here’s your last reminder!
So yes, I’m apparently headed to Austin tomorrow. I’m also headed to El Paso later this week, which wasn’t originally in the plans. By the time I get home to Plainview, I will have traveled from Plainview—>Watauga—>Fort Worth—>Watauga—>North Richland Hills—>Watauga—>Grapevine—>Watauga—>Southlake—>Watauga—>Austin—>Watauga—>Plainview—>El Paso—>Plainview.
That’s roughly 2000 miles! About 32 hours of road travel! Ugh, everything’s bigger in Texas, right?
Anyway. So my parents’ gift to my grandparents was to take them to see the ICE! exhibit at the Gaylord Texan yesterday. My aunt Donna and her family decided to stay in town an extra day to see it with us, and we had a blast!
The Gaylord Texan is this enormous luxury hotel/resort/conference center in Grapevine, Texas, and every year they host the ICE! exhibit, which is basically a huge gallery of ice sculptures based on a common theme. Last year it was How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and this year it was Charlie Brown Christmas.
The hotel lobby and three atria are easily sights to see on their own. They are decorated to resemble the different parts of Texas: the hill country, the Alamo, Spindletop, etc. Plus various shops and upscale restaurants and bars are tucked into various corners of the hotel.
Pahahaha!! I didn’t know my husband worked here.
Now, doesn’t this look familiar?
This is a really awesome Christmas tree made out of wine bottles, which we spotted in one of the hotel’s on-site restaurants.
Check out the cool carpet…
An abnormally tall Christmas toy soldier greeting my grandmother…
Waitin’ in line… my sister, Katie, and Ed.
Uh, I found a mirror.
I come from a family of art/photography nerds. We looked strange. A herd of people with Canon DSLRs hanging down their necks. We got some questions.
I thought the spot lighting on the carpet was clever.
We were led into a room where they showed us a video of how ICE was made.
And then they made it snow!!
Then we had to go put on our parkas. It’s 15 degrees in there!
*sings* Christmastiiiiiiime is heeeeeeeere…
Ice slides! I stood in line for quite a while to get to slide down.
My favorite part!!
Plus, they added an ornate nativity scene at the end. Let me just say that I was feeling fine until right after getting down the ice slide. After that, my toes and hands were in PAIN because of the cold. And this last room with the pretty nativity sculptures was easily 10 degree colder than the rest of the exhibit.
We were in the exhibit for a full HOUR so afterwards we were hungry, frozen, and tired. We decided to stick around the hotel so we could see the lights come on at night.
We ate at the Riverwalk Cantina.
Yes, that’s real water…
Edgar and I shared the Red Snapper Vera Cruz!
The salsa was great! Any Mexican restaurant can and will be judged solely on the quality of their salsa. This was was clearly a winner. It was only mildly spicy, but the flavor was out of this world. Fruity and slightly smoky. Love.
Aimee shared with me some of her guacamole. I’m honestly a mashed-avocado-with-lime sort of girl. I don’t really like tomatoes, jalepenos, onions, and spices added to my guac, but this one was an exception! Not sure why…
Here’s my Red Snapper! Came with “barracho” beans, jalepeno rice, and grilled vegetables. I asked the waitress what the beans were “drunk” with, and she said Negro Modelo. Yum!
The rest of the dish was really good, too. No complaints.
One of these days I will own shotgun shell Christmas lights.
LIVE GINGERBREAD HOUSE!
And something to look forward to…
Phew! That was a lot of pictures! Now I’m off to watch the second installment of my Harry Potter marathon. Edgar and I hit the Harry Potter jackpot this Christmas! I got Ed the whole set of Harry Potter books, and between us, we received all by one (Goblet of Fire) of the DVDs. Woooot!