Wednesday, August 7, 2013

My First Trip to ICES: Day 1

Holy cow! It's my first day at ICES and I'm completely overwhelmed.

We drove to Lexington from the east side of Atlanta today. With the stops and minor antique shopping, it took about 8 hours to get here. That's a long day in the car.

But we're here! At the Hyatt in Lexington, Kentucky. There are, by my estimation as a former statistics instructor, four bajillion cake decorators here. And they all have mad skills. I am extremely humbled and intimidated up here. But everyone is very nice and, when they see the pink "first timer" ribbon on my badge, they take time to explain what the heck is going on.

Speaking of what the heck:

Everybody got this bag of swag. It's insane. This stuff was worth the trip right here. And there are a dozen or so drawings that I'm entered to win. I don't expect much from that, though. I never win drawings.

I've seen and talked to some amazing (and well-known) cake artists already. Tomorrow, I get to go to demos with Lauren Kitchens (squeeee!) and Dominic Palazzo (amazing). I'll try to get pictures with them for my "Me with TV cake people" picture collection.

I bought a new chef coat and a mouse pad for the bakery. Oh, and I entered a cake in the cake room! That white one with the one red spot (because it was small enough to fit in the car). Talk about intimidating. I went to the cake room to set up my extremely humble entry and... you just wouldn't believe... The other entries, y'all... incredible. I took some pictures of some of the cakes that are already in there... it's amazing:

The lady whose feet are in the background is one of the artists who made this one. That horse is the size of a miniature Shetland pony... and it's edible! We were in the registration line with this group. They're from Iowa and super nice.

I have no idea who made this, but I was amazed that the hat on top won't fall off. It's that beautiful?

I need to get a better picture of this one. The texture of the white tiers is amazing.

Yeah. This cake is just sitting, quite nonchalantly, on a table. As if it's not the most amazing thing ever.

I need a better picture of this one, too. It's ridiculous. A carved cake dragon. So much detail.

This is the showpiece for this year's convention. It's enormous- like, we could all fit inside it together.

Hello, Alabama! A brilliant sugar artist from Huntsville brought all of these. They are amazing. I introduced myself to the artist and probably made a huge, starstruck fool of myself. No regrets.

This figure modeling is amazing!

My favorite. How awesome is this? I can't wait to decorate the bakery for Halloween.

Now, I know what you're thinking:
"Mandi, if you're at a national cake convention in Kentucky, where's the life-size horse made out of cake?"

Next to the life-size jockey made of cake, of course.

Up next: I hope to blog this adventure so I can remember more of it. Let's see what tomorrow brings...

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