Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Posted on 11/30/2009 05:56:00 PM In: ,

So, the big event that I alluded to yesterday was that we got tickets to Ice! at the National Harbor. How can I explain Ice! to those who haven't seen it? Ice sculptures on crack seems about the best description. You walk into this giant tent where they herd you into a line and hand out parkas. Then you walk into another section of tent where they've lowered the temperature to about nine degrees Fahrenheit.

Then you walk through this:


There are "ten different holiday scenes made from two million pounds of ice, including a life-sized Santa's Workshop, a penguin village... and even ice slides that stand more than two stories tall!
"

We saw monuments:


Rode a life sized horse-drawn sleigh:


Got a sneak peak at the night before Christmas:


Then we headed up to the North Pole:


And hung out with the penguins in their igloo:


After which, we walked through an ice tunnel that reminded me of an old
Six Million Dollar Man episode (ooo! finally found a picture):


Then we entered the room with the ice slides, which was a ball for all of us. Except, perhaps for The Caterpillar, who really wanted to go down the slide, so they put her down on her back where she moved six inches and then lay there like a slug.


So the Gaylord employee reached down, shoved her at the shoulder and pushed her down the slide about three feet... where she lay there like a slug.


In a perfect world, I suppose her mother could have gone up to get her, but she was busy laughing and taking pictures. (More fodder for that Mother of the Year award bio.)


So finally, the guy at the bottom went about half way up the slide, grabbed her by the ankle and dragged her down to the bottom. Where she lay there like a slug.


And then her mother wiped tiny-frozen-icicle-tears from her cheeks.


Here's the sentry to Santa's toy factory:


Where Santa's elves were hard at work:


And The Dormouse made a friend:


Then we entered the religious portion of the evening, with a ten foot tall angel:


Some pretty cool ice-lights:


And a life-sized nativity scene:


I'm not sure I knew what to expect going in but we had a wonderful time. I'd suggest getting tickets ahead of time. I'm sure it was more crowded over the Thanksgiving weekend, but this thing's been getting a lot of press apparently so you might want to plan ahead. It was a fun way to ring in the Christmas season.

Oh, and that concludes my NaBloPoMo - post a photo every day contributions. My blog thanks you, my camera thanks you, and I thank you. (Name that musical reference.)



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The Seal is Broken

Posted on 11/29/2009 01:22:00 PM In:
As a rule, I don't really like to promote Christmasy things until after the first of December, but we had some time yesterday and decided to go ring in the season. I'll write more about that when I have more time and can sit in front of the computer without coughing my toenails up. For now here's a little teaser:


Next thing you know, I'll be putting Christmas music on my webpage and quoting Christmas Shoes with a tear in my eye. Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Just kidding.

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Purple Haze

Posted on 11/28/2009 06:50:00 AM
When The Dormouse came home from her formal tea party the other day, she made out with a pantload of party favors: a cloth napkin, a teacup and saucer, several glow-in-the-dark bracelets, enough candy to choke a horse, enough glitter to get us through the next three holidays (unfortunately this all came home in her hair), and a purple feather boa.

The feather boa seemed like a great idea until we left the house for the first time.

When we got back and walked through the front door, it looked like a purple chicken had been butchered in our living room.


And dragged downstairs.


Where the culprits were having their way with it's corpse.


I kinda thought it was hilarious, but some of us weren't so amused.


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A Wet Thanksgiving

Posted on 11/27/2009 05:41:00 AM


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Watching

Posted on 11/26/2009 01:38:00 PM
Enjoying the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade together.


Sometimes I wish I had a sister.

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Thanks for Stuffing Day

Posted on 11/26/2009 01:30:00 PM

This Thanksgiving, my coup d'├ętat will be if this stuffing, made entirely from random ingredients I found in my pantry and nothing purchased from a grocery store within the last six weeks, tastes as good as it looks here before I put it in the oven. Only time will tell.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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Elegance

Posted on 11/25/2009 11:57:00 AM

The Dormouse was invited to a "formal tea party" at a friend's house a couple of weeks ago. They were to wear their very best dress and come learn what how a well-mannered young lady should act when invited to a formal event such as this auspicious occasion. There were hor d'oeuvres, a four course meal, formal place settings, dancing, crafts, a make-up center and a course of how to use your manners at the table for each girl. It was quite the event. I was talking to the girl's mother afterward and I mentioned what a cute idea this all was for a birthday party, when the mom said, "Oh this isn't her birthday. Her birthday isn't for another three weeks. I guess we'll have to do this all over again when that happens."

Some people are just better than I will ever be.


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Grrr

Posted on 11/24/2009 11:04:00 AM

One of the many photos I took while in San Diego last week. The story behind the photo though is that I had a hundred and three degree fever on the day I took this and had to reschedule my plane trip back because I was following the airlines' recommendations that when you have a fever, you shouldn't sit on an enclosed plane breathing recirculated air with over two hundred other healthy people. The airline was only too happy to let me miss my scheduled flight and avoid infecting a large cross section of the population with swine flu... and only too happy to charge me for the privilege of doing so.

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A Bear for All Seasons

Posted on 11/23/2009 02:12:00 PM

He's an item that was in our silent auction last week. Once we dressed him up and set him on the table, he just kept staring at me, begging me to take his picture.

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Wordy

Posted on 11/22/2009 05:05:00 AM
This guitar, signed by thirty some-odd Country artists, was donated to my organization and we have spent at least three years trying to figure out how best to use it. In the meantime, it's been in my office and we have been cohabiting. I've developed quite a kinship with it, even referring to it as "my guitar" much of the time. So when we finally sold it at a charity event this month and the very excited person who won it walked away hugging it, I cried a silent tear of remorse. Goodbye my love. Enjoy your new home. She'll never treat you as well as I did.


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Red Leaves

Posted on 11/21/2009 04:41:00 AM
I am in love with red leaves. Betcha couldn't tell.


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Finding a Way

Posted on 11/20/2009 04:22:00 AM
"No, I'm simply saying that life, uh... finds a way."

- Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park


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Wishing Flower

Posted on 11/19/2009 06:57:00 AM In:

Since I read this photoshop tutorial on using textures several months ago. I've tried it on a couple dozen photos. I think I've got the "how" part down pat. I'm just not so sure about the end result. Every time I do it to one of my photos, it comes out looking like "What's that weird stuff doing there marring an otherwise okay photo?" I guess part of the skill in applying textures to a photograph lies in the judgment to choose what photograph and what texture.

So instead, I'm using the exact same subject from the tutorial: a dandelion about to go to seed from our front yard.

When I first read the tutorial, I noticed she called them "wishing flowers." I'd never heard that term before and thought it was lovely. As kids we did blow on them and wish - the number of seeds left after blowing was supposed to represent how many years it would take before your wish came true. But we just opted for the less poetic name: "dandelions." Being fairly unimaginative, I still call them that, but interestingly, I started to notice that The Dormouse also calls these "wishing flowers." Must be something she picked up at school because I'm pretty sure The KoH calls them "those blasted things that spread weeds around."


Anyway, here's my straight out of the camera photo:


Here's the same photo with some sharpening and a color boost.


Now here it is with the texture applied. I think I left out a step and bumped up the hue/saturation levels at the same time. Hence the bluer blue.


And here's that photo with a color applied over top. I went with an odd kind of color choice... one that a friend would refer to as "stool yellow."


So what do you think? The photo with the textures and colors? Or just the straight out of the camera shot? I'm still on the fence. Maybe it's just not my style.

This one is much cuter.


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Dried Up Berries

Posted on 11/18/2009 04:47:00 AM
Needing a bokeh intervention.



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Washington, D.C. Metro, United States
Married, 40ish mom of two (or three, or four, depending on how you keep score) who stepped through the lookinglass and now finds herself living in curiouser and curiouser lands of Marriage, Motherhood, and the Washington, D.C. Metro Area.

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