CHILL: Ice, Ice Baby!
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Friday, December 11, 2015
By Bekah Wright
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Grumbling. That's what I've been doing about the upcoming holidays. In fact you could call me a Scrooge. The issue -- instead of a frosty Christmas in Virginia, my family is convening in Florida.

I know, I know. Many people would welcome the balmy beaches of that state. And I will love them, too. What I'll miss, as a Los Angeles resident -- a touch of cold weather. Just a little bit. Not a lot.

When friends suggested we head over to CHILL at the Queen Mary, I thought, this could solve my dilemma.

Join me for a look at a CHILL visit this Saturday past.


Photo courtesy of The Queen Mary CHILL

 

Our crew arrived in Long Beach, California on a Saturday afternoon before the sun had even considered setting. I'd anticipated crowds and long waits. Nope, not even for a second. We walked straight into the wonderland known as CHILL.

 

Photo courtesy of The Queen Mary CHILL

 

As mentioned, it was early afternoon when we arrived, though you'll note the photo of the CHILL North Pole Village from above was taken a bit later. There's something lovely about those lights...

 

What's present, no matter the time of day, is a sense of visiting a state fair, something I just love to do (yes, the North Carolina State Fair remains my favorite). Aromas led us straight to a corn dog kiosk. We'd heard about expensive prices at CHILL. Yes, the corn dog was $9, but it was massive and required two people for its consumption.

 

Photo by Bekah Wright

 

Entering the giant golf ball, as I like to think of it (the dome once housed the famed Spruce Goose), we were stepping into CHILL's inner sanctum.

"It's not cold in here!" I instantly complained. "I was promised below freezing temperatures!"

A booth offering up parkas for the Dickens-esque portion of CHILL hinted that what I was craving might just be delivered. Nine of us bundled up and headed towards a interest that teased. And... the minute we stepped inside...


Photo by Bekah Wright

 

Brrrrr!!!! Sheer happiness on my part!

 

 

 

How cold was it? Yeah, This gentleman's glasses should lend a clue.

 

What was inside? The video below shows The Ice Kingdom, as this paradise is known, coming alive.


 

 

Hello, nine-degrees Fahrenheit!

 

Photo by Bekah Wright

 

A Christmas Carol awaited, all the classic novel's characters and spirits in ice. That would be Jacob Marley above.

 

Photo courtesy of The Queen Mary CHILL

 

Where the story concluded... With Scrooge, Bob and Tiny Tim urging us to go for thrill slide.

 

Photo by Bekah Wright

 

Yes, please. In fact...

 

Photo by Bekah Wright

 

After handing off our CHILL parkas, there was still sliding to be done. This time via speedy inner tubes. I wanna do that again. And again and again! FUN!

 

Photo by Bekah Wright

 

Leaving the "golf ball," we walked back into the Long Beach sunshine. As the vodka bar indoors was closed, this called for sipping hot toddies and watching ice skaters as while dethawing.

 

There was much more merriment afoot, but I'll leave some of those adventures for you to discover. As for our throng, after writing letters to Santa, we made our way through a maze, where a faerie made us give chase.

 

Photo by Bekah Wright

 

As much as there are attractions inside CHILL that are great fun, we couldn't depart without heading onboard The Queen Mary. Not only are the harbor views not to be missed, but...

 

Photo by Bekah Wright

 

There's an impressive LEGO replica of the ship that inspires the need to construct all manner of things.

 

The view as we were departing the ship...

 

Photo by Bekah Wright

 

CHILL, all lovely and lit up for the evening.

Yes, for me, the holidays had officially begun. I'd gotten my fix of cold, even if it was only for a few hours. Who can complain when there was ice tubing on the agenda!?

Thank you, CHILL for bringing me "winter."



Photo by Liliana Wright

 

Now, waiting for me in Florida is perhaps the greatest holiday gift -- family.

 

Get thee to CHILL at the Queen Mary! It's running through January 10. For ticket prices, details on various attractions and all sorts of additional information visit http://www.queenmary.com/events/chill/.

 


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