Saturday, December 13, 2014


Just when you think you have your travel itinerary all charted out, something comes up and throws another event in. Fortunately, our trip to Houston was pretty casual, and we waited until we got here to figure out how to spend our days. Good thing, because we discovered that there was a huge Gingerbread House competition going on not far from our hotel on Saturday.

Good so far . . .
Now this is no ordinary Gingerbread  House competition; it is put on by AIA Houston, an Architecture Association in Houston, so these houses should be well designed.

We walked down in the morning and got to see the beginning of the process. Everyone was checking their designs, and teams were cutting out pieces of Gingerbread and getting materials ready. Even at this early stage we could see that there were two distinct camps, those that made really fancy traditional Gingerbread houses and those that used gingerbread to make something really cool. There was Star Wars, Frozen, Disney Princes Castle, Shrek, Houston City Hall, The Titanic, and many others.
Under Construction

You could easily see that some of these teams were dead serious, with uniforms, team hats, or matching T-Shirts. The rules seem pretty simple; there is a set limit to the size of the base, gingerbread is provided, but teams could provide their own, all material must be edible, and nothing can be pre-assembled or pre-cut. After wandering around watching the beginning stages of the construction, we decided to explore elsewhere and return to see the finished houses near judging.

Cool, but not much Gingerbread
After a trip to an outdoor skating rink (Yup, skating in Houston at 22°), retrieval of a lost hat (mine, not Regis’) and a wine shopping trip, we returned to the competition. The world globe was sitting on the base rather than elevated on candy cane legs, and the Titanic had completely collapsed, but most teams were just putting the finishing touches on their creations.

Grand Hotel Budapest
My favorite was the Grand Hotel Budapest, because it was really a traditional Gingerbread house of extreme proportions, but the 1950 woody wagon with the Airstream trailer was an emotional favorite even though there was not a piece of gingerbread to be seen.

We did not get to see who actually won, but check out the website when it is updated with the 2014 winners.

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