Once it gets cold enough here in Anchorage for the lakes to freeze--what, like October? No I'm kidding (more around December) then the municipality begins taking care of the ice at Westchester Lagoon in downtown Anchorage.
Located at one of the most scenic spots in town, the lagoon gives you a view of the downtown high-rises and Cook Inlet. The area is big enough to accommodate a circular track, a hockey rink and a separate area for casual skating--with half the lagoon to spare. Yup, we do everything big here in Alaska.
They keep the ice clear and wet-mopped pretty much all winter and on Saturdays you get a special treat: they bring out the music and the bonfires. On the edge of the lagoon they set up fire barrels and speakers pipe out the music while you can skate for free--what a deal!
We took the kids last Saturday and everyone had a great time, it was Lillian's first time skating without the benefit of a wall to cling to and I spent most of the time coaxing her along on her shaky blades. She was pretty amazing in that I couldn't count how many times she fell--and fell hard--but she was always cheerful and determined and never seen to mind the bruises. Unlike Andrew who whimpered and wept about his bruised hiney all weekend ("Does this look infected to you?" "Do you think I broke something?" "What happens if I broke my bottom--how would they cast that?")
Here's a quick clip of her and me skating and I show it as an example of the spills she took. Go watch it and tell me your body wouldn't break into messy little pieces if you twisted and crashed like that. I wince just watching it.
Anyway, when she's determine she's pretty stubborn and the only way we could get her home was to promise to take her regularly so she could "get good like the little girl skating over there." Apparently she's as competitive as her parents.
I'll end with a panoramic clip of the lagoon if you're interested in how pretty it all is. And the beauty of the clip is that you can watch it from the comforts of your warm and toasty armchair--you won't have to brave the 5 degree temperatures that we did.
Technorati tags: ice skating, Anchorage, Alaska