Tag Archives: ice skating

The Skate Date

It’s a long weekend here (Monday is “Family Day”) so I have taken a couple days vacation to make it an extra long weekend. I got started yesterday with a skating date with my pal Hannah.



You may remember Hannah from the time the two of us went to a cat show (and had the best day ever)

We ventured downtown in the early afternoon to the Natrel Rink at Habourfront Centre, right on Lake Ontario. I have not been skating for years and years, but I was immediately taken back to my days of pretending I was Kristi Yamaguchi.


Just like riding a bike.

I fell a LOT, but not necessarily because I am a horrible skater (though I was a little rusty), more because I have no regard for my own safety and I get a bit daring and try to attempt the spins I was able to do as a child in the thick of my figure skating lessons. It did not work out every time (read: most times). But it was very fun.

It was absolutely gorgeous outside, or at least gorgeous for this winter. Especially considering it has been either -30 or a crazy snowstorm since November. Minus three and sunny felt like summer compared to that.


I have definitely been hanging inside a lot this winter due to the crap weather, so it was great to get out and be active. Even the ducks and the swans were enjoying the sunshine.


They are beautiful. I would like to have a pet swan. That is one pet that Winnie might actually go for…

Hannah’s roommate and her boyfriend met up with us, and the four of us had a skate party for about three hours. I have forgotten how much I missed skating. I want to get out more often. It felt like just yesterday I was skating on the lake where I grew up (and accidentally blowing across it).

Hannah and I practiced our ice dance routines…


I’m a very graceful skater, I know this.

We took a break midway through and headed in to the Habourfront restaurant for beer, wings, and my favourite Canadian delicacy, poutine.


Ohh yes. It has been far too long since I have eaten poutine.

It was such a fun wintry day.


Now, Happy Valentine’s Day to you all from my Nana!

card card1

She took a card that a child had made for her, whited out the original name, added “Nana” and gave it to me one year for Valentine’s Day. I will cherish it forever and ever (full story here). Have a great day filled with love and chooclate!


The Time I Blew Across the Lake

I have another frozen lake story from my childhood I’d like to share with you. This time, I was with my good friend Melissa (the one who I fought with over Jason Priestley Ken).

(Melissa and I last year)

When I was about 10 or so, Melissa and I were skating on the lake around my house, just like any other day.

It was really windy that day, and in a rare occurrence, all the snow had blown off the lake. The entire lake was frozen, snow-free, and the ice was perfectly smooth and inky black. There was not one bump on it. It was an amazing phenomenon. We could skate anywhere! There was no rink, and no boundaries! Usually there are snowbanks or bumpy ice that you have to watch out for, but not on this day. It was the best skating conditions I had ever seen on the lake (and I have never seen anything like it since).

Since it was so windy, we decided to open our coats like sails to see if the wind would blow us without us having to do any work.

We couldn’t believe how well it worked. The ice was as smooth as glass, and the wind blew us so fast! It was the best time!

We closed our eyes and coasted in the wind. We were racing over the ice.

We sailed in the wind for quite a while, having the time of our lives. Eventually we closed down our sails and turned back to see how far we had come.

Like halfway across the lake. We couldn’t believe how well our makeshift sails worked, we had been blown several kilometres from where we came from. My house was a speck in the distance.

We immediately panicked and tried to skate back…

But we couldn’t. The wind was too strong, and it continued to blow us in the opposite direction!

It was now starting to get dark, and we were starting to worry.

There was a house in the distance in the direction we had originally been blowing in, so we decided to continue to let the wind push us towards it.

We finally arrived, and walked up to the door in our skates and rang the doorbell. An elderly man answered.

Luckily, the man was very nice and let us come in, and we called my dad to drive over and pick us up. While we waited, the man’s wife gave us hot chocolate and cookies! It was great.

And that, my friends, is the story of how I blew across the lake.


The Skaters and the Ice Boat

I miss a lot of things about my childhood home, the forest adventures, the small community…but mostly, I miss the lake. In the summer I practically lived in that lake, whether I was swimming or doing various water sports, and in the winter, I was skating on it. I really miss my skating adventures.

My best friend Lisa‘s Dad (or Daddy Brook, as I called him) and their next door neighbour cleared a giant skating rink on the lake every year in front of their cottage. It was seriously huge, well-lit (for night time skating!) and they kept it plowed all winter. It was awesome. All the kids in the neighbourhood would come over for skating parties.

I skated on it every chance I got. I loooved skating. My parents put me in figure skating lessons when I was pretty young, and I would fantasize about being a professional figure skater like Kristi Yamaguchi.

I idolized Kristi Yamoguchi for years. I would pretend I was her.


Anyway, although we had a safe place to skate, we inevitably had a few skating mishaps.

One time when Lisa and I were about 11, we were skating around on the cleared rink, and we could see some boys playing hockey on the lake in the distance (actually it was around where Dawn and I sank the rowboat, also on a hunt for boys, coincidentally). We decided to hop the snowbank that surrounded the rink, and skate over a little closer to the action to get a better look and see who the mysterious boys were.

As we got closer to the boys, we tried to get their attention and impress them by looking like expert skaters.


It probably looked more like this though:

We were so concerned about our hot skating moves, we didn’t notice we were skating on (literally) thin ice.

Until we suddenly fell through. Both of us. At the same time.

We immediately panicked and started screaming for someone to help us.

Thankfully, we only fell through a thin top layer of the ice, and there was another thicker layer a few feet down. Once we realized we could stand, we simmered down a little bit.

We expected the boys to be concerned and come over to help us. But they did not.

Instead, they laughed at us.

We managed to crawl out of the ice, and, absolutely soaked, freezing, and embarrassed, made our way back to Lisa’s cottage.

When we got back, we told Daddy Brook our story about how we fell through the ice and how the boys had laughed at us. After he made us hot chocolate and ensured we were in warm, dry clothes, he decided he wanted to investigate the ice for himself.

So, he broke out his ice boat, which is basically a sailboat with blades on it.

That is a real picture of Daddy Brook in his actual ice boat on our actual lake. Pretty groovy.

He wanted to sail the boat over to where our mishap occurred to “check out the ice.” We told him not to go, but he already had it in his head that it was a good idea, and there was no talking him out of it.

We watched from Lisa’s cottage window as he sailed the ice boat over towards the boys.

Annnd, he and the ice boat fell through the ice in the exact spot we did.

And of course, the boys laughed at him.

He got out of the ice unharmed, but the boat was not so lucky. It was stuck in the ice. He ended up walking back to the cottage and corralling a bunch of neighbours to help him pull it out.

Lisa and I watched the entire thing from the window and laughed for ages about the incident. But we were so mad at those boys for laughing. We never forgot about those jerks.

Years later, I was dating my first real boyfriend, and we were telling eachother funny stories from our childhood. He told me a story about how one time he and his friends were playing ice hockey on the lake, and these two girls skated over and fell through the ice in front of them. He said the funniest thing was, 10 minutes later some guy in an ice boat sailed over and fell through in the exact same spot. He said it was one of the funniest things he had ever seen, and he was dying laughing as he regaled me with his story.

Needless to say, we were not meant to be.