Monday, February 11, 2008

Ice Skating at Westchester Lagoon

Outdoor Ice Skating at Westchester Lagoon, AlaskaOnce 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?")

Outdoor Ice Skating at Westchester Lagoon, AlaskaHere'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.




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32 comments:

Erica Douglas said...

Great post, I love reading the stuff about Alaska.

That was a sore one :(

I went ice-skating recently and the only reason I didn't do the same was because of the barriers to cling onto. How come it seems more difficult when you get older?? When I was seven, I'm sure I was whizzing around...

Sam said...

Good God!! That is one brave gal, I am sure that if my arm twisted that way it would break!! Is she one black and blue girl today?

luvmy4sons said...

I just so love that I am getting to know someone who lives in Alaska and catch glimpses of life there! Thanks so much for taking the time to post clips and all! You have one brave girl there. It was 7 degrees when we woke up today and they delayed most of the schools for fear the kids would get frost bite waiting on the buses. Mine, being home schooled, are snug in their beds. I bet they don't cancel school for 7 degrees where you are!

Chris said...

It's amazing how flexible they are at that age. My girl takes CanSkate every Sunday and I cringe watching her.

Btw, good skating yourself! I'm a bad Canadian- I can't skate.

Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

Again, you should be changing the title of your blog to why you should move up here with us! Very good skating for the both of you.

Phyllis Sommer said...

okay, see, this is the difference between alaska and chicago -- we *think* we're all tough about the cold but when it got down to -1 yesterday (to be fair, there was a -25 windchill to go with it), we all hid inside. you guys up there go skating!!! great post:-)

Geekwif said...

Ouch! What a brave girl to laugh it off!

I must admit, I'm (more than) a little jealous of those mountains in the background. I can't imagine having a view like that close-by. Don't get me wrong, it's pretty here too, but mountains? That is quite the luxury to a born-and-raised midwesterner like myself.

Jacki said...

That looks so cool! My favorite memory of visiting Stockholm was when I got to walk out on frozen water, and not a man-made ice rink. It gets so cold up there that the North Sea freezes! It was totally cool.

ames said...

wow, that ice looks so smooth! I tried skating on a pond once and it was so bumpy I didn't last long. You really make me want to move to Alaska, it has everything I love (except maybe the career opps)!

And if you do break your bum (or rather tailbone) they can't put a cast on it, and they can't do anything for the months of pain you are in for and the nagging ache that you'll experience for the rest of your life when you sit in the same position for more than 2 hours. So try to avoid breaking your tailbone ;)

Beck said...

Poor Lillian!
The quick thaw in early January was enough to break up the ice on the river here and it's not yet frozen solid again! We worry that people are still going to use their snowmobiles...

angie said...

I lived in Juneau for a year when I was in second grade. Some of my best childhood memories, hands down were there......ice skating, jumping off the roof into snow, going to school and returning in the dark, staying up REALLY late all summer, the northern lights......Alaska has so many wonderful things.......you are lucky to be able to enjoy them! ;)

Magpie said...

Wow. I wish we had something like that.

Maddy said...

What is the stick for? Is that one of those fishing poles? Do you actually club the fish rather than catch them?
Cheers

Kelly @ Love Well said...

It's a good thing kids are closer to the ground. Those falls always look so painful -- yet they bounce right back, don't they?

You've inspired me to find a rink and take my kids skating this week.

Scribbit said...

Maddy, I'm going to pretend you didn't say that. I mean I know you're not that close to Canada but even in your neck of the woods hockey sticks aren't that foreign :)

Robyn Jones said...

You are lucky to have such a wonderful outdoor area to skate in. It sounds like a lot of fun....
.....and it is beautiful..

(your daughter would have to teach me how to skate.....i am horrible.)

Heffalump said...

I'll stick with walls to hold onto.
I never got the hang of ice skating, since I have only done it a few times. We did roller skating where I grew up, which is much easier.

I'm AZ said...

That's beautiful!

All Adither said...

That looks like great fun! And extreme cold!

Angie
www.AllAdither.com

Babystepper said...

Oh, and the ice is so hard, too!

Actually, though, you slide when you hit, so it does make it a bit better. Right?

I remember my little brother learning how to skate. He would just drop and roll like a little turtle, but I don't know if he ever felt it.

The cold helps numb the pain, I guess.

diXymiss said...

Looks beautiful, but eXtremely c-c-cold! Your little gal is a trooper. What's up with that backwards twirl, Mom? Those are some "Michele Kwan" moves you've got going on!

Laura said...

I still maintain that kids are made of rubber, and that's why they can live through all of the childhood accidents. Great video! How fun to skate on a lake!

WomensDaily said...

That looks awesome! Skating however is not for me. I don't fare very well!

MommyTime said...

Wow it's so gorgeous. It makes me miss living in WI, where I used to skate on the pond across from my apartment all the time. Here, no dice as it goes from deep freeze (currently single digits for the last few days) to mid-thirties and back again all winter long. Looks like such fun!

My Ice Cream Diary said...

There are times when I would swear that kids' bones must be made of rubber to survive some of the spills they take. It looks like a lovely and fun time was had by all.

Maria said...

Wow that looks so nice! I love watching your videos!
Maria

Trixie said...

What a beautiful pond! I'm scared to death of skating without a wall-- it is pretty embarrassing to be draggin myself along the wall, while little 7 year olds are skating circles around me:)

Uh, is Andrew your son or husband? Just kidding--- I could see a lot of husbands asking about casting their butt. Big Smile

Trixie

Daisy said...

Beautiful. Simply beautiful. My parents talked about a possible move to Alaska, then ended up staying in Wisconsin. I can see why they wanted to move! They (and we kids, I'm sure) would've loved it.

The Texas Bakers said...

Those pictures made me so homesick. The closest I've gotten to iceskating lately is when I forgot to turn off the sprinklers the night we got a hard freeze. The boys and I had fun sliding around on the thin sheet of ice that formed on our driveway. It almost makes me want to move back up.

Anonymous said...

I love ice skating at Westchester! I bring all my winter visitors there because it is such a neat place. If you go on a weekday, you can sometimes have the place to yourself. Nancy in Palmer.

my4kids said...

I feel for lily and her falling that looked painful! We have a lake here that everyone goes to and it's been frozen over since December also.

Anonymous said...

I like ice skating....