Photographer's Note

In the month leading up to Christmas in 2005 the Grove Park Inn in Asheville hosted the 13th Annual National Gingerbread House Competition. Entries to the competition are brought from all over the United States in youth, teen and adult categories.

This picture is an overhead view of one of the teen category runners-up, although I thought this should have been one of the winners for its attention to detail, its humour and overall quality. It is a health spa for a tired Santa Claus and his elves and reindeer.

The flash on my Casio Exilim EX-S3 filled every corner of the structure and the result is a very vibrant collection of bright reds, pinks, greens, whites and blue. A big challenge was leaning over the gingerbread house, getting the angle just right and holding the camera still while standing in such a stretched position - I was also leaning over a barrier to keep viewers away from these impressive works of art.

Here is what you are seeing:

Top Left
This is the exercise room. There is an elf on the treadmill. On the floor there is a set of dumbells made of peppermints and a set of scales in the corner. The "Pump It Up" sign is a nice touch.

Bottom Left
Two of Santa's reindeer - Donner and Blitzen? - are having a massage. The one on the right has an elf masseur walking on his back!

Bottom Right
The salon. Frostie the Snowman is getting a haircut and another fellow - who is ironically hairless - is having a shampoo in the corner...

Top Right
Here Santa himself is enjoying the jacuzzi tub. Note Snoopy is lounding on the edge of the bath and a nice touch is a bright red towel draped over the edge.

You can also see that the floors in each of the four rooms and the reception at the door are made with different colours of tilework.

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Additional Photos by Scott Muenger (Swissguy) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 14 W: 0 N: 41] (154)
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