Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ice Castles

We came upon it by accident, but when we drove up to the forty foot ice castle, we couldn’t believe our eyes.

Last Monday my family and I decided to take a drive up to Heber valley to visit an ailing aunt. When we found she wasn’t home, but rather had gone to stay with her son, we decided to go for a drive around the area.

Near the Homestead in Midway, there is a hotel called the Zermatt Resort. There in the front of the resort are the most incredible ice formations I have ever seen.

We immediately parked the car to get a closer look. If you pay $2.00 a person, you can walk on a path that winds around eighteen ice castles or towers and two hot springs.

What’s even more amazing is that the castles are made entirely out of icicles which were harvested with a sprinkler system and PVC pipe. There is no supporting structure. The detail of each castle is unbelievable when they light up the massive structures at night. Brilliant shiny colors are illuminated through the icy walls giving it a beautiful, almost surreal look. It’s most impressive.

Each castle grows 10-12 tons per day and their sculptor, a man by the name of Brent Christensen hopes that each one reaches between 30-40 feet in height. The largest, known as tower No.7 is one that you can walk through. When the weather is just right, the castles can grow up to three feet in a day. Brent works mainly at night sculpting away at the castles and working to keep the paths safe.

This is the last week the Zermatt Resort will offer us the opportunity to see the Ice Castles. With warmer weather coming, the path through the castles will no longer be safe. If you have the chance and you are in the area, I highly recommend stopping by to see it.

The older I get, the less I like the cold. But with something this beautiful to look at, I’m actually looking forward to seeing what creations Mr. Christensen comes up with next year.
(Photo courtesy of Deseret News)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Memories Are Made Of This

I love Valentine’s Day. What a great day to remind those we love that we care about them and appreciate all they do for us. Okay, maybe we should do that every day, but I have to tell you—I know this sounds a little like bragging—but I have a young son who is going to make his future wife very happy one day. He’s one of those guys who love to spoil the girl in his life rotten. Luckily for me, right now, that’s his mother. :)

He is all for giving chocolates, perfume, flowers, homemade cards, favorite chick flick, a special dinner out, and a bear made at Build-A-Bear by him personally every year for Valentines Day. (He hasn’t offered to buy me a new house yet, I suspect that may be next. lol. He has a HUGE heart.) Granted, this can take quite a toll on the ol’ pocket book and half the fun is watching his dad squirm because, although dad doesn’t deny that his mother deserves the very best on this very special day, ALL of these things together can add up very quickly. In the end, it’s fun to see what the two of them come up with. They are both very good to me. In all truthfulness the very idea that my son would even think of wanting to do so much, touches me more than words can say.

However, there is something that makes me sad this year. Ever since my boys were young, I, along with each boy have had a blast thinking up crazy designs for their Valentine boxes that they would take to school each year. The more crazy and outlandish they were, the better. Wow! What good times we’ve had.

One year when Pirates of the Caribbean was so popular, we made a treasure chest full of coins and jewels. Another time we made a basket ball hoop complete with a basket ball, there was a guitar hero looking guitar, and we even made a toilet complete with bath rug and flusher that said “You make me feel all flushed.” We had some crazy boxes, but what meant more to me was the time I spent with each of my son’s making their boxes with them.

Well, after years of drawing, cutting, and gluing, my boys have grown up and those creating adventures are now only memories. My oldest is married and has a child of his own and my other son is going to his first Junior High Valentine’s Day dance. Gosh, I hate to see little things like this come to an end. We had such fun.

I still love Valentine’s Day and all that it represents. This year when I give my boys their Valentine’s, I’ll probably hug them a moment or two longer and tell them thanks for the memories that I have. I certainly cherish them.

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back
and realize they were the big things.”