Friday, December 9, 2011


If my face was an ornament.

I was in St. Petersburg, Florida last week on business. I would highly recommend flying (for free) to Florida in December. Case in point: It was forty degrees and raining in Seattle when I left, and almost 75 and sunny in Florida when I arrived.

I might add that at a certain point during my stay I did start to complain about the pore-filling, brain-sweating humidity, but that Joe (who had just walked two dogs through the wind and rain and cold) wasn't very sympathetic.

Apparently the North Pole is in St. Petes, Florida

A little back story: I grew up in Minneapolis, where Christmas (and Thanksgiving, and often Halloween too) were accompanied by snow and finger-numbing, thigh-burning cold.  Christmas is a time for hot buttered rum, brisk walks in long underwear, and snow forts.

In fact, I would be so bold as to put forth this simple equation: Snow = winter. (As my friend Sam Cook would say: "That's math.")

So imagine my surprise when I arrive in St. Pete's to find a winter wonderland scene made up of wooden cutout figures and sparkly lights.

Don't worry my dear Jewish readership--the park was not all pagan tree and Santa-themed: there was a light-up Hanukkah section in the park too--complete with menorah and dreidel.

(Also, for those of us who associate Christmas with baseball(?), there was a large light-up Santa batting at a pitch from an elf.)

But no snow.

Except for the next day: there was snow. The city carted in 7 tons of snow, packed it on top of sand (for insulation) in the park, and let the children play in it/slide on it. This sounds awesome, yes? Yes. But I don't have any pictures of it because I was in a ballroom learning stuff.

Scratch that. My father (who serendipitously was also in St. Pete's at the same time) has photos. Here is one:
photo of crazy metal, sand, tarp sledding hill courtesy of my father

But on to my next point: ice. In Minneapolis, the lakes (there are 10,000 of them) freeze in the winter and we all go skating. People play ice hockey. They play broom ball (which actually requires boots, not skates, but still--ice).

And when we're not using the outdoor ice, well, there's indoor ice.

Not so in Florida.

No shoes on glice. We will provide free socks to wear though, cuz it's 77 degrees out and you're in flip flops.

In Florida we (they) have Glice. Glice is apparently plywood sprayed with silicone. Which makes it slippery, not unlike real ice.

Glice, unlike ice, doesn't melt. (Which is good when it's December and 77 degrees and super super humid.)

Glice in action. It's shiny.
For a few measly dollars (please note that santa and sledding were free, but Glice is not.) you can either a) put on the provided white tube socks or b) strap on ice skates (not sure if they were rentable or if you had to bring your own) and slide/skate around on the plywood the size of my living room. (For those of you who haven't been in my house: I live in a condo, and my living room isn't very big.)

For the seventeen minutes I stood at the Glice fence and watched the skaters with my mouth open wide in stupefied amazement, I noted that those on the Glice were having a very difficult time negotiating any sort of gliding or sliding or skating on the Glice.

This appeared to be user error, and not the fault of the Glice, since during the seventeen minutes said skaters were getting microscopically better in their glicing.

This is all to say: wow. I just had no idea.

And good work, Florida. Good work to bring snow and (gl)ice to your citizenry lest they have a warm, sad holiday season.

Also, I now continue this post with additional photos of me in the "photo area" with the cutout holiday scene.

What I would look like as a Christmas tree.

The Christmas Penguin of Cheer.


Julie said...

how amazingly you said, "who knew?" thanks for sharing your fun in sunny St Pete. XO

Pamela said...

Hilarious! thanks for sharing!