Monday, January 5, 2009

Skating at the Alte Oper

In spite of Friday's snow flurries, Saturday dawned bright and sunny with no snow on the ground.  So instead of sledding we went ice skating.  There is an outdoor rink set up downtown for the holidays.  Tonight is the last night.  This is the first time a skating rink has been set up in front of the Alte Oper and there is no telling if it will happen again next year, so we decided to brave the cold and the crowds and give it a go.  

The Alte Oper is the old opera house.  It was badly damaged by bombing during WWII but has been restored.  It made a beautiful backdrop for an afternoon of winter fun. 

David and I sat out the skating and played paparazzi. Neither of us would have been any help anyway since neither of us can ice skate. I think the last time I went skating was when this picture was taken. I was being held up a fellow teacher, otherwise the picture would be of me sitting on the ice. It was taken about a decade ago.

Cody took Grayson on the ice with him. Cody has been skating often enough that he is a decent skater (yes there IS an ice rink in Jakarta). He tried holding Grayson by the hands, under the arms, and finally he just picked him up and carried him around the rink. He managed to untuck all of his shirts and sweaters and let his tummy get cold. Poor little guy!

Colin and Alonzo were on their own. It was their first time on skates. They hugged the wall, hanging on trying to get balanced. They spent a lot of time at first falling down and trying to stand back up.

Poor Colin had the worst moment of the day. When the time came for the Zamboni to run and smooth the ice Colin was the last one on the ice. He was trying to make it to the exit but he was at the far end of the ice. The guard walked over to him, I thought to take his hand and help him skate over the exit, but instead he scooped him up under his arm and carried him out like a sack of potatoes. I am glad Colin has a good sense of humor becuase there was a lot of laughter as he was carried out. If you click on the picture to make it bigger and look carefully you'll see David standing in front of the tent with a video camera. Yup, that's right we got it all on video.

Colin and Alonzo enjoyed watching the Zamboni run and the ice smoothing out while they caught their breath. Grayson on the other hand was absolutely terrified. I just don't think ice skating is his thing. After the break he decided to sit and cuddle with Mom instead of skating some more.

By the end of the afternoon Colin and Alonzo were actually skating. Each has their own distinct style. Colin is slow and steady with an intense look of concentration. You can see him watching the other skaters and trying to do what they do. Alonzo on the other hand has developed a go for broke style I call "trying to run faster than you fall". He can get going pretty fast but all the while you can see him slowly tilting out of balance. The falls are spectacular. His knees are technicolored from all the bruises today. They can hardly wait to go again (except Grayson)!

What the boys don't know is when David and I went for out walk this afternoon the duck pond was covered in people skating and just sliding on the ice. I predict that there will be more ice skating in the near future for them, and maybe this time I will give it a try too.


Terio said...

That is so "Murphy's Law"! We were out of school for 4 days right before Christmas for ice and the entire Christmas break was warmer than normal! NO! Its not because I was in Hawaii! It was just warm here. Tonight there is a winter weather alert for more ice-our first day back! I LOVE all the pictures; some need further explaination. Although I must say at first I only look at the pictures then go back and read. I was REALLY worried about that picture of Shannon! LOL!

Monica said...

oh, girl. these pictures and your descriptions made me laugh. the picture of colin is too much! and poor grayson. he just didn't like it, huh? oh, i am so happy for y'all making so many life-long memories. :o) love ya!


Aprille said...

Grayson looks just like David in the picture where he is scared of the zamboni. Looks like you had a good time, despite the lack of snow.

Jae said...

That looks like so much fun!! (and funny!!)

DC has/or had, an outside skating rink and it was SO neat to go in the winter, especially if it was gently snowing. :)