Adios Winter!

A snowy driveway
A snowy driveway

Finally. It is FINALLY looking like winter is over and spring is arriving. I cannot tell you how much I dreaded this winter. Last winter was the longest coldest most depressing (literally) winter of my life. I dreaded this winter so much that I had a list in order to prepare myself for the long cold and dark months. I needed strategies to keep myself from falling down that dark hole I was in last year. (Although not being in the hospital or sick at home, was already a huge improvement.)

Shake it off, Belle
Shake it off, Belle

I planned to work out six days a week,  organize parties and get-togethers, go on many cold walks, indulge in extra Starbucks and I even booked our trip to the UK specifically so I had something exciting to look forward to and get me through the worst part of the year.

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However, winter this year wasn’t so bad. Maybe, it was the exaggerated version of winter I had built in my head or the fact that I stuck to my plan, but it didn’t suck. We had a very busy winter of traveling, partying, playdates, 5k’s and a lot more. The best part of this winter is that we had snow, real snow. Not that stick-to-the-grass-for-a-couple-of-hours crap we had the last couple of years, but real fluffy, able-to-build-snowmen, kind of snow.

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In fact, we got snow here, in New York and in Scotland. Apparently, the last couple of weeks of winter felt the need to make up for missed snow. While it was not as fun traveling, it was enjoyable at home. I even got to take a walk around the house during Luna’s nap one day. (Don’t worry, Husband was home.)

snow-covered Edinburgh as we left Scotland
snow-covered Edinburgh as we left Scotland
Central Park
Central Park
our neighborhood
our neighborhood

 

We also had ice, and a lot of it. Ice storms aren’t the best to play in, but there is something exciting about stalking up on groceries and hibernating in your house for a couple of days. I love an excuse to stay in my PJ’s and watch too much TV.

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the backyard
the backyard

The last few days have been warm and sunny. Yellow daffodils and green grass are sprouting all over the place. It’s raining. The animals are getting frisky, and while my allergies are starting to flare, I am so so so excited for warm weather!

Luna is loving the time she is getting to spend outside this week.
Luna is loving the time she is getting to spend outside this week.

Here’s to spring cleaning, afternoon walks, iced coffees, egg hunts, bright colors, sandals, sunglasses and fresh berries!

Cheers!

Ice at Opryland!

ice

Alright, alright, it’s that time of year. That super busy time when it’s so hard to get everything done, and right now I am lacking in the writing and sharing area. Tonight, though, I finally have some time to share a review of our trip to Ice at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville! The very nice people who work for Gaylord were kind enough to have come and check out their show that we just love so much.

frosty

Years ago, when we first lived in the Nashville area we went to “Ice!” every year. The Opryland Hotel always puts up an amazing exhibit of Christmas themed scenes all made of ice. This year’s theme is Frosty the Snowman (awesome…one of my all-time favorite Christmas movies). They used over 2 million pounds of ice to create the very colorful and very large scenes! It took over 40 talented artisans from Harbin, China to create the show. It’s very impressive.

Look at Frosty go!
Look at Frosty go!

The master ice carvers actually travel all the way to Tennessee to create their sculptures. They work in 12 hour shifts in the 9-degree freezers to get the job done! The sculptures are then set-up and put together in large rooms for all of us to tour, but these rooms are also kept at 9 degrees. The guests are provided with long hooded warm parkas, but I’d say it is still VERY necessary to dress warm. I had a gloves, close-toed shoes and a scarf and still felt chilly.

fire

The scenes from Frosty were just adorable. The characters were flawless and dialogue from the movie played as you walked from room to room. Even before entering the exhibit we were entertained. The que was lined with big screens TV to entertain us while waiting. We were then ushered into a large room that gave the played a short film on the history of “Ice!” and ended with “snow” falling on us.

que

wait room

snow!

Besides the cute characters and scenes there is also 4 large slides made of ice to enjoy, but beware: lines are long. There are also tons of opportunities for cute photos around all the ice scenes.

slides train

When Frosty’s story ends there is a bonus NYC room this year! Because we are cheesy and sentimental we were especially excited about this section. We are really missing New York this time of year, and all of its holiday glitter and fun. It was nice to walk around a fake New York made of ice. It had all the iconic Christmas in New York attractions…Rockefeller Center’s ice skating rink and giant tree, Broadway, Time Square, 5th Avenue and the Statue of Liberty.

nyc

Can you find Husband on the big screen in "time square"?
Can you find Husband on the big screen in “time square”?

broadway

The final room in “Ice!” is the traditional and always beautiful Nativity made of ice. This room uses all clear glass (no color) and is always the grand finale.

nativity

Afterwards, we defrosted and let our hands regain feeling in the guest shop right outside of “Ice!”. They sell a bazillion souvenirs, hot chocolate, kettle corn and what-not. This year, there was also a special Gingy room. Gingy is a character from Shrek and they had an entire gingerbread house set up where kids can get their photo taken with Gingy, buy a stuffed Gingy and pay to create an entire Gingerbread house. It looked like fun…maybe when Luna is here and a toddler we can actually try this part out!

gingy toy gingy

If you are interested in seeing Frosty and his friends all carved from ice then head over to Opryland by January 1st!  Check their site for prices and times here.

Cheers!