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How the Grinch Stole Christmas: an ICE! sculpture exhibit by Gaylord Opryland

Of all the travels that we have done together as a couple, one of Johnny’s all-time favorites is our 2008 Christmas trip to Nashville, TN.  We had only been married for 3 months, and I surprised him with a Christmas package from Gaylord Opryland.  Collectively called “A Country Christmas,” it included a stay at the resort and an assortment of holiday events, such as the Rockettes show, a dinner party with Louise Mandrell, and the ICE! Exhibit.

Getting ready to enter the coldest building in Nashville

The ICE! exhibit was a one-of-a-kind experience.  I grew up on a tropical island, so I didn’t understand what COLD was until I made it through my first winter season in the United States.  Fast forward 16 years later… I don’t know what I was thinking, but somehow on December 26, 2008, I volunteered to go into a place where the temperature was set at around 9-degrees Fahrenheit.

ICE! exhibit 2008 with the theme How the Grinch Stole Christmas

In early fall, artisans from Harbin, China, come to the US to hand-carve over 2-million pounds of ice and turn it into sculptures with themes that vary annually.  The Gaylord resorts in Texas, Florida, Washington, DC, and Tennessee host this event every holiday season.  When we went in 2008 to Gaylord Opryland, the theme was taken from Dr. Seuss’ children’s book How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

ICE! cold

As soon as we entered the ICE! (or should I say ICY!) room, we felt as if we had been transported to the North Pole.  We were given thick jackets to wear for the duration of our stay.  But even that wasn’t enough to keep me warm.  I thought I was going to freeze and become one of the sculptures.  Needless to say, even though I was in awe of the whole scenery, I somewhat rushed through the exhibition.

Who-hoooo….. Welcome to Who-ville!

Luckily, all the funny and adorable characters did at times manage to make me forget my misery.  Johnny and I were absolutely like two kids in a candy store.  We were busy taking pictures and videos at the same time.  And just when we thought we fell in love with a particular design, the next one seemed to be even more fascinating.

Everyone was merry, merry!

The dog was about to eat this poor Indonesian girl

Roast Beast, anyone?  This scene eerily resembles what’s going on at my own house.  One person is busy stealing food, while the other is chilling in bed.  Guess who’s who.

This icy palace is cool (no pun intended), but I prefer a sleek condo in Miami Beach.  Hope my husband gets the message.

I seriously had never seen this much ice in my whole entire life

A much more friendly looking dog – the kind I like

The Dessert Engineer is trying to figure out how he could make a Roast Beast cake for next year’s Thanksgiving.

I like a Christmas tree that doesn’t shed. Although this one would melt…

Hey Dessert Engineer!  Is this one of your cake creations?

I was too busy trying to keep myself warm to join in whatever fun these guys were having.

From the pictures above, can’t you tell how much (bone-chilling) fun we had at this place? The final room we toured was a sharp contrast to the bright-colored characters of Who-ville.  The exhibit ended with crystal-clear life-size replica of the Nativity scene.

Me with one of the sculptures of the Nativity scene.  It was a beautiful finale of the ICE! exhibit

As I stepped out of the door, every inch of my body felt frozen and numb.  However, the 2-million pounds sculpted ice completely melted my heart.  We can’t wait to be able to return for another season of this winter wonderland.

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas!


2 thoughts on “How the Grinch Stole Christmas: an ICE! sculpture exhibit by Gaylord Opryland

  1. Sorry I didn’t get back to you before. We are in New Orleans! The WiFI is real slow.
    Did you see my post on the Gaylord?http://mvmaithai.blogspot.com/2009/12/christmas-lights-at-gaylord-opryland.html
    We did not go see the ICE! exibihit, but it sounds like fun, especially if you haven’t seen the real thing. I didn’t know they hired people from Harbin to do it. Boston has ice sculpture on First Nite (an event on New Year’s Day).
    Do you have an email address?

    Posted by Eileen Thai | December 12, 2011, 3:50 pm
  2. They are very nice displays. From the entrance to the end they all have their own sets of beautiful creation.

    Posted by Glen @ ICe Castle | December 31, 2011, 8:04 am

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