Messin' with Texas, Day 3

Day three once again saw us braving the Texas traffic, in order to get to the biggest hotel I have ever seen:  the Gaylord Texan.  Although, after parking in the designated area, and walking the 58.6 miles to get from the parking garage to the hotel, I think we might have been better off to just walk in the first place...

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: 

You know you're in Texas when...

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:

Puss-in-Boots (my favourite!):
The Three Blind Mice:
And Gingy!:

The photos can't convey the amazing attention to detail, but it was incredible.

There was even a slide made of ice!   And yes, I may have gone down it more than once...

After hiking back to the car, we went to see another amazingly large Texan attraction: Bass Pro Shops*. 

A one storey-aquarium, filled with sport fish, miles of displays of everything you could want for outdoor activities, and the site where I proved, once and for all, I can miss the broadside of a barn with a gun :)

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. 

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