Monday, December 20, 2010

Synthetic Ice Skating

Yep! I live in sunny Southern California where Christmas means mostly sunny days with a bit of rain from time to time.

Don't get me wrong, just because we live in a holiday hot spot doesn't mean we don't long for a white Christmas. We've got it covered though. No snow? No problem! We get in our truck and 4x4 it up to Big Bear where we play in the snow for a couple of hours and then shovel loads of it into the back of our truck and drive it all the way back down to our house and unload it on our front lawn.

Most people don't want to drive up the mountain to touch the snow. Probably because they don't have chains or a 4-wheel drive vehicle. That's okay. Plenty of trucked in snow for everyone. In several locations throughout Southern California, shopping centers and cities will pay to have snow unloaded in parking lots or grassy parks. It's free to stand in line to touch that snow. No sledding though, or snow ball fights. Just the wonder of touching the snow. This is almost as funny to think about as a decent fall in the snow.

What!? No black ice? No scraping windows? No shoveling? Easy peezy, right? Yep! More or less. There are always those rare occasions when it snows or gets icy out.

When I grew up in Utah, going to the grocery store meant risking slipping and sliding around with my grocery cart in the parking lot, frozen locks in my VW Bug, and falling at least a half a dozen times through the 6 MONTHS (give or take) of snow and ice. Good times had by all.

There is this one memory I have from a date I went on in high school while living in Utah: My date had just closed the door for me after I got in my side of the car, what a gentleman, I thought. After what felt like a minute or so of waiting for him to get into the driver's side, I looked back and didn't see him. I looked all around through the windows and still didn't see him. I wondered where he got off to just when he finally opened his door and said, "I slipped on the ice and fell behind the car." He was fine. It was pretty funny though. I still laugh when I think about all of the follies snow and ice brought into my life. My kids won't have those stories.

They will however, sit around and think about the times they went "ice skating" on faux ice. When it's too hot to keep outdoor ice rinks frozen, you wait for the shopping centers to call in the experts over at EZGlide Synthetic Ice, or if you live in a regular neighborhood you wait for them to call an equivalent.

I think because it's fake ice it should be cheaper to skate on. Sadly, because it's manufactured, it's expensive, at least to me, to skate on. I'm sure $13.00 per person regardless of age, isn't more than skating on regular ice, but it's fake, people!

Here's what happened when my kids skated on synthetic ice for the first time:

Do you have any good slip-sliding stories to share? Hopefully all of you are having a safe and fun holiday season! I won't be back until after Xmas.


  1. Fun stories of your good old days there Pat.

    Over here Ice skating rinks are full too as people jostled to get into the mood. At shopping malls cotton wools take the place of ice on christmas trees.

    Merry Christmas

  2. That was funny.
    My college sat on a hill and one icy morning, I saw a guy on a bike go screaming down a hill and wipe out at the bottom. He was all right though - just bruised. But I confess, it was funny!

  3. I live in an area that maybe snows once every year--actual snow that sticks (but usually only for a few hours). But when it comes, I'm always so happy! We recently had freezing temperatures last time it snowed, around Thanksgiving. No one was prepared and traffic was horrible. Looking out the window at the white roofs was worth it, though :)

  4. The last time I was in Indiana around Christmas, I fell down-- face first-- behind my Grandma's van. Yeah, I like the south. :)

    But I found out yesterday that we have fake ice in Austin, too, which is also expensive to skate on.

  5. I was in New York. I was staying in the suburbs. I waited for the train in the car. I saw it coming. I ran for it and slipped on black ice ... the parking lot was on sheet of it. I landed hard and really messed up my knee. No one was around to help... They boarded the train. It took me twenty minutes to get myself across it. I waited for the next train. Chunks of ice were readily available for the swelling..... Not fun.


  6. We don't get a whole lot of snow where I live now, but growing up, we were snowed in from November to April. I remember a few snowy Easters, even. Sometimes I really do miss it . . .

  7. Awww, it looks like the kiddos had fun on the ice!
    When I was in college, we walked to classes rain or snow and I slipped and yelled loudly "Whoooooooaaaaaaa!' while falling on my butt. Then as I walked on to my class passing by so many people, I giggled so hard all the way thinking about my Whoa! I think I drew more attention from my laughter than my fall!
    Happy holidays!!

  8. I feel terribly mean for laughing so hard at watching children fall on the ice. But I laugh just as hard when adults fall, so I don't feel too mean. I think it's adorable that your son is more of an ice runner as opposed to ice skater.

    Speaking of fake snow. . .I lived in Orlando for several years and it cracked me up that the theme parks down there would set off snow machines for 15 minutes once every hour or so. The locals loved walking down the street while it was "snowing"...unfortunately, they were sudsy snow bubbles. Learned early on not to try to catch them on my tongue!

  9. For some reason, the video's not playing on my computer right now. I'll watch it tomorrow.

    I generally don't like ice. Me and ice aren't good together.

    When I lived in Russia, it was icy for a good 4 or 5 months. I just knew I was going to slip. For a while I didn't. But still I knew it was coming. Then one day, I was walking home with my roommate and was right outside of my apartment. I opened a large drinkable youghurt (god, I miss those) and raised it to take a sip. That's when I slipped. Youghurt spilled all over me, literally right outside the door to my apartment ... another step or two and I would have been fine. I was pissed, but also felt kinda vindicated since I knew it would happen and it finally did ... the waiting was worse than the actual slip.

    As for ice skating, I can't do it. I went once in Canada. It just terrifies me. I would go roller blading all the time and you'd think it'd be the same. But something about being on sharp blades and on hard cold ice just makes it seem much more scary. I didn't hold on to the rail and managed to not fall while I was there, but I stayed close to the side the entire time and barely moved.

    Hope you have a great Christmas!

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  11. I live in Wisconsin. Ice-slipping stories are like knock-knock jokes around here. :)

    My sister was a HUGE ice skater (um, not huge - she's like 95 pounds, but really skated a lot as a kid/teenager - even competed) and I haven't donned a pair in many, many years.

    And I moved north instead of south (yes, even in Wisconsin, there's a north. in fact, I still haven't reached the top :) So my kids will have lots of slip-and-slide stories of the winter variety. It gives us something to talk about in the six months of winter!

  12. If I lived there I would so drive up the mountain to touch some snow! And my ice skating... yeah. Not much to speak of!