Minnesota Winter! I recently made the decision to get my Mom out of her nursing facility (long story, bad care, she didn't belong there, I couldn't leave her there, here I am), to be her caregiver myself. We're going to figure it out day by day (and I'm hoping she'll soon take to the idea of being a Venice girl ...), but for now I'm here in the thick of winter for the first time in 25 years. Rather than freak out, I've decided to embrace it and go full on Winter Lover. Today that meant that my friend Tonya and I took her daughters to visit the Ice Castles, this year in New Brighton, Minnesota. And WOW!
We went during the day, and it was not nearly so cold because the sun was high and the skies were clear ... and I think the Castles create a barrier from the wind, so it's not that bad except on your feet. But still, bundle up!
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day today meant that kids were out of school and grownups were out of work, so there was a good crowd there, but they had timed tickets, so it never felt too packed (unless you met a pack of kids in one of the narrow tunnels - someone had to back up). There were two slides, a little one for little kids and a big one for everyone. They give you a little blue sled and off you go ... short but fun!
There's a little snack truck for hot drinks to warm you up, and sweet treats for the kids to beg for. They even have hand warmers for sale, but they weren't necessary today.
It was so bright you had to wear shades, but I imagine the Castles might be even better at night, as they're all it up and probably pretty dreamy. I can see it being a popular date spot, for sure.
The Ice Castles (and I kept telling the little girls that they HAVE TO watch the movie Ice Castles - "They forgot about the roses!") really are a winter wonderland, and with all of our new snow, they sparkle and dazzle like in the movie/s Frozen 1/2 ... and there's even costumed Elsa and Anna walking around to take photos with the kids (and a few Dads that I saw too).
I was thinking a lot about Dr. King today, because he really is the reason we were able to go to this frozen attraction today. We all know him best for his I Have A Dream speech, and it got me to thinking that cool things like this all started with someone's dream as well. They bring people of all ages, races, religions, whatevers together, united in the name of fun and beauty. Ice Castles might not be the obvious choice of a way to honor one of our greatest leaders, but the thought was definitely there - and discussed.
Thank you to Tonya, Elsie, Inga, and the staff and creators of the beautiful, super Minnesotan Ice Castles visit for MLK, Jr. Day - we loved it. Let It Go!!!
1500 Old Highway 8
New Brighton, MN 55112
Ice Castles Minnesota