good weekend with the family...

some helpful information I found online about Ice Skating in DC and the surrounding area
Fort Dupont Ice Rink
Ice Skating on the C&O Canal
(301) 767-3707

some random things when I search Gwadzilla for ICE SKATING
that number and those web sites being a solid set of resources for ice skating in The District

A Good Winter Weekend
A Good Family Weekend
It was a Good Weekend

it was a good weekend all around

even with each of the boys having Saturday morning basketball games and a Sunday afternoon birthday party that involved most of the kids on Grant's soccer team
somehow the weekend did not feel that scheduled

the weeks leading into this weekend have been wintry

there has been talk of skiing all around me
in person and electronic
updates on FACEBOOK boast of powder at Seven Springs and freshies and Whitegrass

then on top of that I get this Snowboard photo book SLIDER
well... all these things had me "jones-ing" for winter sport
(Gwadzilla Mention of Rob Mathis' Photo Book SLIDER... tucked in mentions of snowboarding)

since the cold began Dean has been betting for skiing and ice skating
well... Dean is not the begging type but his requests have been earnest and his request have been frequent
time to respond to these requests
ice skating far more easy to deliver than skiing

far less expensive as well
so as the weekend approached I thought I would try to deliver on the promise to take Dea
n ice skating

Saturday morning came and Lisa was good enough to forgo Saturday morning Yoga to help out with the kid's basketball games
some how Lisa got the short end of the stick in this basketball game of drawing straw
s and ended up going to both Dean and Grant's games
this allowed for some serious one on one time with the boys

I slept late as Grant warmed up the Wii
when I woke I sipped coffee as Grant and I wander about the world of Mario
Mario Galaxy but the NEW Super Mario Brothers
this blurred into a session of sharing controllers when Dean got back from his game

then when Lisa left off for Grant's game I switched from the man to man with Grant to coverage of Dean
I scrambled around the basement and surfaced with Lisa's old hockey skates
with fingers crossed I helped Dean to try on the skates

these skates that are a tad too small for Lisa are just fine for Dean with two pairs of socks

Dean was as stoked as I was that he had his own skates

owning your own skates opens up a variety of skating options
us both having skates opened our options for the day

after checking our window of opportunity along with the FREE SKATE\PUBLIC SKATE times at Fort Dupont I decided to head down to the The Mall

the day was brisk but it did not seem too cold for an outdoor skate
in fact... the brisk temperatures had me thinking that this would be the perfect day for an outdo
or skate

our trajectory would include the reflecting pool by the Lincoln Memorial and then the rink at the Sculpture Garden
Cabin John would be further and is almost always fully packed and Fort Dupont's public skate was too late in the afternoon

in the car we talked about how it would have been "cool" to have traveled by bike
Dean thought about his day and all its activities and how the removal of the car and the placement of the bike would have increased his athletic activity for the day

but Dean did not factor in the cold factor of the bike
that said... the next approach could be by bike

we parked the car over at East Potomac Park and walked over the reflecting pool with our bags of skates
before putting on the skates we scoped out the ice

first we walked along side the reflecting pool... checking things out visually
then I stepped on... listening for cracks and trying to get a sense of the thickness
at a certain level of confidence I invited Dean to join me on the ice

after a short review we decided the ice was solid and safe
we would stay in an isolated area and stay clear of other areas

this was Dean's first time with hockey skates
each and every time Dean has ever skated the rentals were figure skates
Dean was hesitant about the difference but quickly overcame the absence of the spiked to

some skating about and some photos and then onto the rink at the Sculpture Garden
it was awesome... our afternoon was as much physical as it was historic

we had tangential discussions that involved Abraham Lincoln... Martin Luther King... and The Terminator
it impressed me how much Dean knew on these topics

the Sculpture Garden was packed to maximum capacity
the small rink was a swarm of skaters
okay... they are good about having a rational level for a high water mark
yet it is still pretty crazy on the ice... doable... but still pretty crazy

we lucked out with our timing... also... having our own skates helped in that we did not have to wait long at all to get on the ice

Dean and I skated separately at our own paces
taking a few laps along side of each other
Dean not really feeling the need to hold my hand

it was good... I was getting tired... I thought about my back... my body... and fatigue
at each location I had to lean on Dean to get him to leave

allowing him to decide when we had enough
each time I presented leaving as an option

after skating Dean and I continued our day with a quick jaunt to The Eastern Market

at The Market we took our time looking at the various booths and all the crafts and foods that are available
we split a curry chicken salad sub after buying some chicken soup and some salads from the vendor that I frequent for their large selection of meats
we walked as we ate

we stopped again... this time to visit my friend Mehmet at Woven History
although it had been years since Dean had been to this shop
Dean remembered the store with all the rugs and Mehmet recognized my rapidly growing son

the day dwindled down in front of us
the day had gone well and it was time to go home
once home the Wii came back to surface

this time some boys from down the block showed up with their controlers so they could each play this New Super Mario Brothers Wii game simultaneously... I invited myself in for a few sessions
it was cool.. super cool... super mario brothers cool

night came and then morning

the mention of Dean and Dad ice skating had Grant acting like a five year old
which is not so weird... because he is a five year old
so... I made a vacant promise
I said that I would see if we could go ice skating in the morning before we had to leave out for the birthday party in the afternoon

morning came and the timing seemed right
I had done some asking around the web to see if anyone had any insight into the state of the canal
it was confirmed that people were skating and playing hockey
so... with knowledge that it was still a bit of a question mark the family headed out to the C&O Canal by Chain Bridge

everyone in the family had ice skates except for Lisa and the dog
they were fine with the option of walking on the ice

more good times on the ice
a family of absolute beginners on ice skates had some winter fun

the boys have been bitten by the ice skating bug
seeing all those people with hockey sticks had me wanting to know how to play hockey
the Winter Olympics are approaching and we are embracing winter in all of its splendor

it was a good weekend
now if only my kids would go to bed