Minnesota is a Giant Icebox

Since Eric and I are spending our fourth winter in Minnesota, we decided we should try and make the most of it and participate in some of the local festivities. We headed off to St. Paul's annual Winter Carnival last week to see what all the fuss was about. It being a weeknight, there wasn't much going on, but we did get the chance to see the amazing ice sculptures on display. That's right people - they can leave giant ice sculptures outside for weeks and they don't melt a bit. It's like living in a freezer. Except colder. Here are some examples of the beautiful creations so you don't have to venture out into the Arctic winter yourself:

After about 20-25 minutes of walking around looking at ice sculptures our camera broke. Well, technically it just stopped working until I warmed it up inside my coat, but still. So we decided that if it was too cold for a camera, it was probably too cold for human flesh and we ventured inside the glamorous and historic St. Paul Hotel to thaw out. While inside, we saw a number of characters coming off of the elevators and knew they had to have something to do with the festivities, but we couldn't quite figure out what. So, like a good tourist, I tried to take paparazzi pictures of them from behind a plant. As you can see below, I wasn't too smooth. Note to all who attempt this: Turn off your flash.

It turns out that I was taking pictures of the festival's 'Prince of the North', and he helpfully came over, took my camera and asked someone to take our photo together. We acted like that was our intention all along.

Finally, here's our picture in front of the festival's runner up - a Tiki inspired creation. I had to stick the camera under my armpit for five minutes to get it working again in order to do this. Happy Winter!