JOY TO CHOCOLATE! A Grand Tour of ‘Chocolate’ Landmarks
Walking into a grand lobby elegantly decorated for Christmas is always an exciting and fun time for me. The thrill and excitement must have been anchored into my soul during childhood when we made our annual trip into the big city during the holidays. I was mesmerized by the lights and decorations everywhere and especially the elaborate department store window displays. I vividly recall a ‘scene‘ with an electric train running through the toys and other gifts around the base of a Christmas tree. And often Santa himself sitting in a big chair in the midst of it all, handing out candy canes to visiting children. Inside the store were lots of lights and tinsel and towering trees and oversized ornaments…. certainly more impressive than our pretty but simple small town displays of colored lights and small trees.
So last December, when I happened to walk into the Desert Ridge Marriott in Phoenix, AZ, I was delighted to see the majestic grand lobby in all its glory with huge pots of Poinsettias everywhere and wreaths hanging in the floor-to-ceiling windows. There was no Santa handing out candy canes, but there was a delightful play area for children with a table and supplies for writing special letters to Santa — complete with a mailbox for posting them!
The center of attention in the lobby, was the electric train display: A giant 20’ square display of several trains traveling around and through architectural landmarks built of chocolate! In fact the entire scene was made of food items (nuts, dried fruit & berries, coconut, cookies, raisins, cereal….) It was amazing! Not beyond description, but since ‘a picture paints a thousand words’, see for yourself…. remember, this was last year but I understand that the display was such a hit, a similar display has been constructed this year with a “gingerbread village featuring a Willy Wonka-esque fantasyland” which will be on display through January 2, 2011. AND it is my understanding that other hotels have joined in with similar displays, so check them out for your area!–search online for ‘(your area) Christmas Events’ OR specific hotel.com sites. Let me know about the Christmas discoveries you find.