Saturday, February 16, 2008

BRRR--Baby It's Cold INSIDE!!

Yes, we did it, we finally did it! Some of you may remember that a night in the Ice Hotel was part of my birthday gifts. Well here it is.

These are just a few of the amazing pictures we took of the Ice Hotel in Quebec City...and there is no way to fully capture on a camera the adventure it was to spend the night here!

This is the entrance into the lobby and on back to the N'ice Bar where you can have a drink out of a glass made of ice!

You have instructions on how to sleep in and deal with the extreme cold:
  • First you get in the hot tub to warm up your body heat.
  • Second you COMPLETELY dry every imaginable crevice on your body...between your toes, behind your knees, do not want anything wet when you get in your sleeping bag.
  • Third you put on your dry, wicking long underwear...NO cotton, because it gets wet and stays wet. After you pull on your wool dry socks....
  • Fourth you stand on your bed...because the floor is snow and that will make your feet wet...and pull up your silk inner linear that is to wick away any body sweat in the night...again, you don't want moisture in your sleeping bag.
  • Fifth you wriggle your way down into your sleeping bag-good down to 40 degrees below-and zip yourself in...these bags come up over your head in a cocoon style...until only your eyes and nose are do not want your nose in the sleeping bag - WHY you ask? That would cause moisture in your sleeping bag and - say it with me - "you don't want moisture in your sleeping bag!
You are now ready to hunker down for a very warm and cozy night's sleep...and surprisingly is very warm. You don't want to go sticking your arm out in the night or anything...but I was too claustrophobic to cocoon myself so I just pulled the sleeping bag up to my chin and slept with my hat on. I'm sure I was quite a sight.

Yes, this wonderful fireplace is actually in our bedroom...but besides adding ambiance, there was very little heat coming out of it to overcome the 15 degree temperature of our room.

Right outside our bedroom door we had our private hot tub and sauna out in a private was great.

The wall carvings in both the ice and the snow were absolutely amazing.
It takes 6 to 8 weeks to build the Ice Hotel and Chapel and then in the spring, it is bulldozed down.
It does have electricity but it is just for ambient lighting...not for personal use.
You literally go and have a drink, walk around and head to bed...when you are in the hotel, you are always in your full winter wear...coat, gloves, hat, and boots...until you go to bed.
The public can tour the hotel until 9 at night and drink in the bar until midnight.

This was truly an adventure of a lifetime...even though it is over in one night.
To add to this adventure - the next morning we went dog sledding...I rode on the sled while my handsome musher husband drove the team...we did have a 15 minute lesson on just how to do that. It snowed on us the entire time...and it was magnificent! What fun! I would recommend this trip to anyone daring enough to try it.

I realize it is not everyone's cup of tea to go to the frozen tundra in the middle of winter...but if you ever want to buck the system of going somewhere warm - this it the place to be. A winter wonderland at your fingertips.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Somebody's gotta do it!

Oh my goodness...I decided to clean out and organize my "bonus"* room yesterday.
Yes, that mostly means my yarn stash and projects. I had
-baskets of finished projects:
2 sweaters and a vest,
-sacks of in the process projects:
a scarf and a washcloth
-bags full of projects to be started
-bags of works in progress:
a shrug and 2 sweaters
-bunches of yarn that I have no idea why I bought...but there must be a reason.

So I bite the bullet on the scarf and washcloth and took them off the needles...I was never going back to them...never. I will do washcloth again...just not the one I had started.
I packed up 2 of the sweaters I had finished and put them in the "give away" pile. I thought about unwinding them...but decided that I was not going to do anything with that yarn...I was sick of it from when I knitted them. Both sweaters are like wearing a shape, no form...ugh!
I did decide to undo the vest and start over with it eventually...I like the pattern, I love the yarn and I will make it bigger next time.
I took the project I have in the works (or waiting to be started) and hung them in my closets in individual bags...gets them up off the floor and organized.

I then started on my yarn...I emptied another drawer so that I now have 3 drawers of yarn. I started out organizing by brand...and almost filled one drawer with Noro...I must have a thing for Noro. I whole drawer is nothing but left over yarn!!! Yarn that I had too much of when I finished whatever it was I was working on.
Can you believe it...this entire drawer is full of incomplete skeins.

The 3rd drawer is my other yarns...oh my...I really never need to buy any more yarn for about 5 years!!

The organization is not complete yet...that is my goal well as taking some time to actually knit.

*Bonus extra room in your house where you can stash all of your stuff and no one cares what it looks like...I have my knitting supplies, my ironing board, a jigsaw puzzle going, my books and a reading chair, my desk and a Mac computer.