So what are we doing for our 20th anniversary? We are going to The Ice Hotel in Quebec.

The Ice Hotel is exactly what it sounds like: a hotel made completely of ice. It's constructed every year out of 500 tons of ice and 15,000 tons of specially-made high-density snow. It lasts four months, then is destroyed and washed away. Although a metal mold is used to make the shape, that inner frame is then removed: the hotel is made completely of ice.

We first heard of The Ice Hotel more than ten years ago. We were captivated by the idea and thought it would be an amazing experience. But at the time, there was only one in the world: in Sweden. We were in no position to fly off to Scandinavia for a weekend. We filed it under "wouldn't that be cool to do one day".

Last year, flipping channels on New Year's Eve 2005, we saw one of those travel promo shows for an ice hotel - in Quebec. We were amazed: There's one in Canada?? After the show, we ran to the computer and made reservations on the spot. So this trip has been planned for more than a year! It was originally supposed to be next week, but when we found out we had to move, I rescheduled it to later in January.

The Ice Hotel sells tickets for day tours, but after 8:00 p.m. it's closed to daytrippers and becomes a private party for overnight guests. We'll drink vodka at an ice bar, from square glasses made of ice - vodka in the rocks. There's an ice chapel, an ice cinema, ice sculpture.

Our room is made of ice. The bed frame is ice, covered in deer skins and a down sleeping bag. We booked their most lavish package: there's a glass-enclosed fireplace in the room (don't ask me how they do that!) and a private hot tub outside.

The hotel is on the grounds of the Auberge Duchesnay, a winter resort. Our package includes a room at the regular (non-ice!) lodge, both the night of our Ice Hotel stay (in case you need a break from the cold), and the following night as well. We don't ski or skate, but we've booked a dog-sled ride, we can walk or play in the snow, and of course we can sit by the fire and drink. We're very good at that.

Here's an FAQ about the hotel. The photos on their own website are strangely unimpressive, although I did notice this Flickr set with some nice photos. You can be sure we'll be taking plenty ourselves.

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