Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's 9 Degrees in Florida!

Normally on my blog when I show you sculptures, they are typically sand sculptures. Today I'll be showing you something you don't typically see in Florida.

My daughter called last week and "cordially" invited me to spend Saturday enjoying this festive Christmas season with her, my granddaughter Kayla and Kayla's boyfriend. We went to lunch and then to International Plaza to see the giant snow globe.

I was expecting these activities, but another destination was a big surprise and when I finally found out where we were going, I was more than delighted!

Oh, the weather inside was frightful

But the fire was so delightful

And since we needed somewhere to go

We Went To ICE!

We Went To ICE!

We Went To ICE!

Once a year, from just before Thanksgiving and lasting through January 3rd, the North Pole comes to Florida. ICE is presented by the Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee, which is located right next to Disney World. ICE is hand carved by a team of 38 artisans who travel from Harbin, China from approximately 450 blocks of ice. Each block of ice weighs 400 pound and takes 72 hours to freeze.

Florida's temperatures where I live rarely dip below freezing and when they do, it usually only lasts overnight. Knowing this, you'll probably realize that we don't have heavy winter gear in our wardrobes. The good folks at Gaylord Palms know this, so before you enter you are given a parka and then your group photo is taken. I'm always amazed for days afterward when I look at this photo and remember how cold I was!

Here are some of the wonderful ice sculptures awaiting us this year:

Four slides!

The first sign you look for upon exiting is this one:

Oh yes, they treat you to a hot cup of cocoa and wonderful entertainment after seeing the sculptures. My daughter and I had ours with a shot of Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur. Then you can wander around the atrium and take in all the beauty.

Gaylord Palms is an amazing resort and there is no room in this post to tell you about all the wonderful amenities they have, but I will share one thing that you probably won't see in many vacation spots.

In the middle of the resort is a 4.5 acre atrium that is, to put it mildly, stupendous! Not only are there plants and palm trees everywhere, there are restaurants, shops and sidewalks that lead to amazing discoveries. Look past this waterfall………see that rock in the center of the pool?

You can just make out a few shapes and since it was nighttime, I couldn't get a better picture, so I found this one on flickr to show you what I found.

Yes, those are alligators. Gaylord Palms is home to fifteen juvenile alligators and every freshwater turtle native to Florida. They were so cute, not a word I typically use when discussing alligators, but they were sound asleep. Their bodies were completely relaxed and they appeared not to have a care in the world. I asked my granddaughter if she wanted to get in there and curl up with them. She chose not to, but did admit they were adorable.

I could have stayed for days, but it was time to go and we headed up the road for a good homestyle meal at Cracker Barrel. All I can say is, when I looked back at what a fun day we had, I knew

I'm posting this for Outdoor Wednesday, so be sure to stop over at Susan's @ A Southern Daydreamer for more postings. The "outdoor" rule has been suspended this month, so that we can share the joy of Christmas with all of you.

44 Thoughtful Comments:

Jane said...

How wonderful! so glad you were able to experience the ice "show". I cannot imaging 9 degrees. Even during our 4 year stay in PA, I don't think we ever got that low!!! I have always wanted to visit the Gaylord at Christmas, but have yet to do so. It looks fantastic! I have seen the atrium...which is gorgeous!
Thanks for sharing...

RobinfromCA said...

Oh, how fun! Those ice sculptures are amazing! We've been having grossly cold weather for CA. Only 25º when I got up this morning! Definitely cocoa time here!


Sahildeki Ev said...

İce in Florida.. Should be very entertaining..

Kat said...

These are amazing Rhonda! But it does look cold, cold, cold. I love the polar bear, and the reindeer sliding. It sounds like you all had a wonderful day, and this sounds like a beautiful resort. How funny to leave a room full of ice and turn a corner and see baby alligators! Have a great day! Kathy

Hootin Anni said...

........all, ALL so breathtaking!! Now, I'm off for that hot cocoa!!

My Wednesday post is published. Do come by if you get a chance...it's all Gulf Waters today. Found HERE

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Those are amazingly beautiful pics!!! Glad I found your blog, I will need some warmth this winter! Cindy

Sue said...

We are heading that direction next week! Gaylord Opryland Hotel does the same thing. We have stayed there many times and the decorations there are gorgeous. I've been in Gaylord Palms...different than Nashville, but very impressive too...but, we haven't stayed there. I wondered if the ICE display would be worth the visit. I'm glad to see the pictures...and I'm glad it really isn't 9 degrees in Orlando (I'd just stay home)!


Chubskulit Rose said...

Hi Rhonda, thanks for the visit and warm comment. All the photos are wonderful but my favorite is the fire concept. Glad to meet you.

Anonymous said...

Rhonda, what a delight! Just bookmarked this to come back and browse some more. I LOVE the vintage Christmas cards.

Oh...we lived in the upper Midwest when our children were growing up--where the ice sculptures are outside and your nostrils freeze while you're looking at them. YOU have the right idea! :)

storyteller said...

What FUN ;-)
I'm a beach gal too but live in Southern California ... love the feel of sand between my toes and take my lab Molly to Dog Beach often. This ICE experience sounds WONDERFUL and I appreciate you sharing all the lovely photos so we could experience it 'virtually' ... those sculptures are amazing!!! Loved the outdoor views too and the vintage cards in the post below this one. Thanks for visiting Sacred Ruminations and Happily Retired Gal leaving the link back to your 'kewl' blog. Nice to meet another beach gal who loves dogs ;-)
Hugs and blessings,

Anonymous said...

We just managed to get some free tickets for ICE, and I can't wait to go. It looks like you had a great time, and you look so cute in your "winter wear".. I am glad you had a nice break from all your work. I am thinking of you Rhonda..


vignette design said...

Fantastic! Love the ice sculptures. Who would think it could be 9 degrees in Florida. I think it is cold all over this country today. I'm complaining and it's only 35 degrees here....Great post. Love the pictures. --Delores

The Quintessential Magpie said...

What fun, Rhonda! This looks like a place I'd like to take my godchildren. Just as neat as can be! I wonder if this will be up after Christmas???


Sheila :-)

aspiritofsimplicity said...

Welcome to my world!!! Only you don't have to shovel it. It just looks like fun there.

Anonymous said...

Oh My Gosh! Those sculptures were beautiful! Would love to visit there...Glad you had a wonderful experience with "Ice in Florida" So amazing and breathtaking...I know words cannot express what you saw in person....Just beautiful! Love your post... Merry Christmas! Katherinellen

Gwendolyn L said...

I didn't know about this. I hope to be able to experience the event in the future. You did a great job showing us around and giving us a little history. Thanks for sharing.

Mary Bergfeld said...

Your photos are just wonderful. The ice sculptures are fantastic. I hope you have a great Outdoor Wednesday and enjoy the holidays ahead.

Puna said...

I went to the one here in DC and I loved it. It must have been weird to be so cold them come out to the warm weather of Florida. But then again, It must be nice:)

Maya @ Completely Coastal said...

It just snowed here for the first time..., and now I see you in ice!! Good timing!!! Thanks so much for the buttons, I added yours (love it) to Completely Coastal.

Puna said...

Oh and I see you have Fifi on your sidebar! She drew me on my blog, isn't she great?

joybuzz said...

What a fun place to spend the day. Nice that they give you the parker coats to wear and I love your group photo. It is amazing how they cut the ice with big chain saws and also carving knives etc. Takes a whole lot of artistic talent to do these. I hope you slid down the slides:)

Claudia said...

Wow... this looks like such a fun place to visit. I doubt that I will be in Florida any time soon, so thanks for taking us along.

I just read my comment from you about your daughter giving her shoes... YOU have to share that story... what a perfect give and child-- obviously she would not have the heart she does had it not been for a wonderful mother.

Thanks for brightening my day you sweet thing!

TTFN~~Claudia ♥ ♥

Erica (Irene) said...

Wow those are awesome ice sculptures.......I would have never thought they would have that in Florida.
Today we had snow and then rain so with freezing temperatures overnight the whole city wil be like ice here. LOL

Thank you for your kind comments on my Blog, I will now follow your Blog.

Lillian Robinson said...

Four slides and no sliding?

That place is absolutely enchanting! The carousel... Well, there are no words for such beauty.

SquirrelQueen said...

The ice sculptures are beautiful, I love the polar bear. I've never seen so many colors added to the ice before, that is a great effect.

Like hip chick said, welcome to my world. It was 9 degrees yesterday morning when I woke up, a little warmer today at 14 degrees. When I lived in Alaska the ice was sculpted outside.

Thanks for following, I am joining your blog as well.


Cass @ That Old House said...

Oh my gosh, those ice sculptures are amazing! And how brilliant to have them in Florida, what fun! LOVED this post. (And I'm sorry I made you cry! I get very sentimental at this time of year, and I am still awed by the kindness of "strangers" to us.)

Maria Berg said...

That must be somethnig to go inside to get it cold.

In north of Sweden they do a hole hotel out of ice every year and you ka sleep on icebeds.
But we do not color the ice here.

Thank you for showing us.

/Maria Berg

LV said...

Was nice seeing ice sculptures again without freezing. We have a Gaylord here that has this similar display. It is truly amazing how they do all that.

SmilingSally said...

I went to my new dentist last week and learned all about this fabulous place. As a new resident in the Tampa area, I intend to visit, perhaps next year. (This is the week we're moving into our new house, so they'll be no time.)

It's nice to "meet" you, neighbor!

The Feathered Nest said...

How fantastic! Those ice sculptures are gorgeous.....how do they color them??? I've seen ice sculptures before, but never in such beautiful colors. Loved the carousel! The Opryland Gaylord Hotel, in Nashville Tennessee has the huge atrium with all the hotel rooms in a circle climbing to the ceiling. Lots of restaurants and a river boat ride throughout. We've been there several times. It is fantastic!! Loved you pix and thanks for going to my brand new blog!

eileeninmd said...

This is the first I have heard of Gaylord Ice. The ICE show looks wonderful, I loved all the carvings. Great photos. BTW, thanks for visiting my blog and commenting.

JLS Hall (Joysweb) said...

Oooh, I don't like to think of ice in Florida! Just seems all wrong. But the sculptures are really amazing, and the turtles are cute. Though the alligators still look pretty scary, even if they are mini-sized! Hope you had a happy Outdoor Wednesday!

sherri@lavenderfields said...

What a fun day! And what great photographs! I love them all! I can't imagine how nice and warm Florida is right now! I really enjoyed your pics thanks for sharing them! SHerri : )

Atticmag said...

Wish I was in Fla. right now -- we're headed for 6 inches of snow this weekend! Thanks for stopping by to see us and I look forward to the night-and-day on the NY photos.
--Jane F.

Stine in Ontario said...

What a surprise! Good thing they supply the parkas!

sherri@lavenderfields said...

Hi me again sorry! On my blog you asked if I use iweb and yes I do! I find it really easy to use!

Amy said...

This is awesome! Thanks for the tour!!!

Barbara Jean said...

These are amazing!!

What a wonderful, though cold, experience!!

blessings and thanks for coming by

barbara jean

CailinMarie said...

that is the coolest - no pun intended - seriously - they fly in ice sculptures???? and thenyou get hot cocoa? I LOVE IT! I think baby alligators are cute too. we see them sometimes when we visit south carolina. I'm not a fan of anything over two feet long though.
Happy Outdoor Wednesday and thanks for stopping by my blog!

Ebie said...

Hi Rhonda, this is one cool place! I have never seen ice sculptures, except on FoodTV! Your photos are gorgeous! I love the fire and ice photo!
What a wonderful tour you shared with us!

Kathy said...

Looks like a fun and amazing place and a hot cup of cocoa upon exiting is a perfect way to end a wonderful day. We took our kids to Disney many year ago when they were wee little ones, magical!. Kathy.

Anonymous said...

Very fun post and you must have had a wonderful, wonder-filled time! Those ice sculptures are gorgeous - thank you so much for sharing!

Ms.Daisy said...

Hi! I really enjoyed seeing thses photos because my daughter has suggested that we go and see these ice sculptures over the Christmas holiday! Now I can't wait! Thanks for stopping by and saying "hi" on OW.


sealaura said...

aren't these lovely? and what a wonderful outing! truly enjoyed strolling with you looking at these sculptures.

I love the beach and everything that goes with it! I love the waves lapping at my feet. I love the feel of the sand between my toes. I love the roar of the Pacific and the gentle waves of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. Let's talk about beaches around the world, bonfires, building sandcastles, swaying palm trees, flamingos, clambakes, sunrises and sunsets. If it's tropical, it fits this blog!


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