Some like it cold

By Martha Handler and Jennifer Pappas

J – You know, I like to think of myself as a fun person, but if extreme adventures are your cup of tea, then I’m not the gal for you. For example, I’d like to go to Africa, but then I think of the dozens of shots I’d have to get, the 30-hour flight there and back, the multitudes of creepy-crawly things that creep and crawl all over you and the possibility of getting eaten, gored or bitten and I think that I’d rather just go on safari at Disney. I hear it’s quite nice. India sounds awesome, too, but I don’t want to catch Dengue fever or dysentery. I don’t like extreme temperatures either, (I have bad circulation); I don’t like to rappel (I’m afraid of heights); and I don’t particularly like to whitewater raft, surf or swim across great bodies of water, because I’m afraid of sharks and I get sunburned easily. But I am fun. I swear. I loved the new ice bar in Manhattan that we just went to. That was pretty extreme. The cups were made out of ice. In fact, everything was, and it was literally 5 below 0 Centigrade (32 degrees Fahrenheit) in there – hence the name of the place, Minus5 Ice Bar.

M – As I get older (and probably due to continuous hot flashes) I find that I’m starting to like cold locales better than hot ones. In hot climates, when the temperatures soar and you have nothing left to remove, you’re screwed. But in the cold climes you can just keep layering up. And the fabrics they’re using (GORE-TEX, Polartec, etc.) make it all that much more comfortable and enjoyable. But I know that ice isn’t for everyone. For years I’ve been trying to drag my husband to the ICEHOTEL in Sweden, but he has absolutely no interest whatsoever. He does, however, like ice bars, or at least he likes putting on furs and drinking vodka. Minus5 at the New York Hilton Midtown is my new favorite. There’s a VIP room that has ice benches all around with layered skins on top. There’s another area with a carved Statue of Liberty and an American flag frozen into the wall, still another with a large seating area and huge chandelier and a terrific bar with an adorable bartender (at least ours was). I also liked the fact that they have a photographer with a great camera to take pictures of your experience. I would highly recommend going there after dinner on a sultry night. But I would BYOG (gloves) as the ones they have for sale are very thin and after a few minutes of holding an ice glass, you’ll feel mighty chilled. In any case, it was probably a good primer for my upcoming trip to Antarctica. Am I crazy for going?

J – You are not crazy. You are just the opposite of me. Antarctica is another continent that is not on my “bucket list.” As I mentioned before, I have trouble getting blood to my extremities. I lose circulation in the frozen food section of the grocery store. And you are right. Those gloves were horrible. My fingertips were white by the time I exited the place, and we were only there for 15 minutes. All kidding aside though, I do appreciate people who live on the edge. And I do have my own moments of “death-defying thrills.” I love to drive race cars fast (I started racing when I was a teenager), and I am currently taking flying lessons. Still, when it comes to risking life and limb, I’d generally rather watch than do.

M – Not me. Rather than leave a beautiful corpse behind (and let’s face it, it’s way too late for that anyway), I’d prefer to be scarred from head to toe and have corresponding stories and adventures for each of many defects. And I’m pretty sure my future grandkids would rather brag that their “Grandma was eaten by a 1,300-pound ferocious leopard seal while exploring the outer reaches of Antarctica,” than that I simply passed away from old age and boredom. Use it or lose it, isn’t that what they say? I was just researching a 10-day dog-sled trip in Alaska where you go from hut to hut each night while the Northern Lights twinkle and swirl above you. Sounds like pure heaven to me. The extreme sports that I just don’t get are those with finish lines (marathons, Ironman races, etc.). It’s hard for me to understand how “winning” would give you any lasting satisfaction. I’ll stick to the extreme adventures that challenge me but also allow me to take in the vistas, the smells, the flora and the fauna. And if I’m going to ravage my body, I want to do so in interesting locales with other crazy adventurers, not pounding the pavement through some crowded city with thousands of others.

Wag Up:

J – High-definition television: For the feeling of truly being there, without having to actually BE THERE!

M – Flip tops – so much better and faster than screw-on tops.

Wag Down:

J – Autoimmune issues like Raynaud’s Syndrome (which I have), that cause me to miss out on many things that I love doing, like skiing, ice-skating, dogsledding (yes!) and snowshoeing. It’s just not worth losing a digit over.

M – Bathing suit designers – Is there no one out there who can design a decent bathing suit for a middle-aged woman? They’re all too short in the torso, they don’t have enough bosom support and the bottoms are not nearly ample enough. No wonder I like cold climates.

Email Class&Sass at classandsass@westfairinc.com. You may also follow Martha and Jen on Facebook at Wag Classandsass or access all of their conversations online at wagmag.com.

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