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!
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:
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.