“Ice, ice, baby too cold”

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Bluekanu exterior

On our penultimate night in Queenstown, I crashed dinner with AJ, CD, and NS at the Bluekanu, a Polynesian fusion restaurant. The food was amazing, and the server was super weird (and potentially drunk?). It was pretty much everything you’re looking for in an evening out. I’m actually not being sarcastic; it was a great time. Also, I can say with great confidence that a Gewürztraminer is the perfect wine for a curry. This is the beauty of a fusion restaurant – you can combine stuff and see what works. This totally worked.

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Bluekanu gave each of us a butterfly
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Lamb curry at Bluekanu
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Mural in Bluekanu
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Mural in Bluekanu

After dinner, I joined up with the rest of the crew for our visit to the ice bar, Below Zero. I actually should say, one of two ice bars in Queenstown, inexplicably. Ice bars are a strange phenomena. They make perfect sense in a place like Oslo, Stockholm, St. Petersburg, or Reykjavik, where everyone’s already cold, so why not? But in Queenstown? I can only imagine the energy it takes to keep this place going.

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Below Zero Ice Bar
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Below Zero Ice Bar

In DC a few years ago, CM, CP, ST and I ventured over to National Harbor to see the ice show: a series of ice sculptures in a giant tent. They made us put on parkas and it was crazy cold. This was a similar experience, though the parkas at Below Zero were nicer, and Below Zero served alcohol. The alcohol was served in glasses made out of ice, which sounds cool until you actually use one. They crack easily and are super slippery. Fortunately we had traction gloves to hold them. I was also apparently the only person who kept thinking of that scene in A Christmas Story where the kid got his tongue stuck to the frozen flagpole…

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Ice chandelier at Below Zero
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Olaf at Below Zero
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Ice Bar selfie
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Deer head sculpture

I realize I sound super old and cranky in this post. So here’s the positive: It was great fun to crowd into this place with my new friends. It was also fun to explore all the sculptures tucked into corners in a shockingly small space. There was an ice “fireplace” and the apparently obligatory sculptures of both Olaf and Elsa from Frozen.

Title quote: Lyrics from “Ice, ice baby” by Vanilla Ice. It was this or something from Frozen. You’re welcome.

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The mammoth at Below Zero
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Ice fireplace at Below Zero

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With Olaf at Below Zero
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With the mammoth at Below Zero
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Ice fish at Below Zero
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Ice sculptures at Below Zero
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Icy swirl at Below Zero
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Frozen air hockey at Below Zero
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With Pat and Soki at Below Zero
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Ice sculptures at Below Zero

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