However, back to the hotel. Or, as I like to call it, the small town masquerading as a hotel. Seriously, this place is HUGE. Things really are bigger in Texas! The interior-facing rooms cluster around a 4.5 acre glass-enclosed atrium, a two-storey space that is filled with live plants, pathways, and even a "river".
The hotel puts on an amazing Christmas display, with running miniature trains, real poinsettias planted in the flower beds, and a lot of decorations.
And yes, I did think that placing Frosty the Snowman in the desert, along with a covered wagon, was somewhat humorous :)
One of my favourite things was this display, especially the lights in the garland.
What, you can't see them? Here's a close-up:
As we walked though the area, we started smelling something REALLY good. It got better and better, and stronger and stronger, until we rounded a corner and saw this:
A life-sized gingerbread house. Made out of real gingerbread and decorated with real candy!
But real attraction was the hotel rug - I think I'm going to put some in the house:
Okay, not really. The REAL attraction was the amazing ice display the hotel puts on every year. This year's theme was Shrek, and wow, was it incredible! It takes a very large tent, cooled very well, 2 million pounds of ice and many Chinese artisans to construct this incredible display.
All the characters were there. Shrek and Donkey:
The photos can't convey the amazing attention to detail, but it was incredible.
After hiking back to the car, we went to see another amazingly large Texan attraction: Bass Pro Shops*.
After the humiliation of having Mr. PB ask me, ever so nicely, if I knew what I was doing with the gun in my hand**, we went to one of the best restaurants around: The Bavarian Grill.
A fantastic meal of bread (I'll fight you for the pretzel roll!), goulash and great beer - such great beer!
All incredibly tasty. And filling. Very filling. And if you hear rumours of me being serenaded with a cowbell version of "Happy Birthday", with a resounding Canadian "EH!" at the end, well, they are just rumours. It's not like there is a video of it or anything...
After the rolling our way back to the PB lair, we spent the evening in that great American pastime: watching football on TV, whilst laying around digesting our amazing lunch :)
And thus ended day three...
*Apparently, there is one in Toronto. So, I didn't have to go all the way to Texas to see one, but then again, I don't think I'd ever have gone into one on my own :)
**Hey, give me a break! It was my first time ever holding a gun, never mind target shooting***. And yes, his advice helped greatly, and I got much better. I only missed the barn by a city mile, instead of a country mile, after that ;)!
*** Playing Duck Hunter doesn't count.