Sunday, January 25, 2009

U.S. Pond Hockey Championship

Alex was invited to participate in the U.S. Pond Hockey Championship held on Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for Alex so he did not hesitate in accepting the invitation.

I was a little skeptical about the event . . . standing outside in extreme cold temperatures to watch a lot of hockey . . . However, words do not justify the entire experience. There are 20 rinks set up on the lake with a huge warming "house" tent. People travel from all over North America to participate. There were several different leagues. Alex's team "Bad Apples" was in the Rink Rat league.

The games were 30 minutes long with 2 periods and a 2 minute half. Each team of 4 had to show up 10 minutes prior to the game to shovel the ice rink. 

The games were very intense and actually quite exciting. Alex scored at least 1 goal in each of the games. 

Another point of interest is that there were no goalies and they had to shoot into a wood box sponsored by the Mall of America. Why not . . .

The Bad Apples and Alex did extremely well. The won all three games they were guaranteed to play in and moved to the Semi-Finals where they were matched against a team that played D-I hockey for the Minnesota Gophers. Unfortunately, the Bad Apples lost, but the team they lost went on to win the Championship. I have to mention that the teams were competing for the coveted "Silver Shovel."

Despite the extremely cold temperatures, I stayed relatively warm. In fact I was so bundled up, it was a little difficult to move around, but I was warm. In order to stay warm, I wore;
Layer 1: Cuddle Duds
Layer 2: Duofold Long Underwear
Layer 3: Cuddle Duds
Layer 4: Turtle Neck/Sweatpants
Layer 5: Fleece Hoodie/Snow pants
Layer 6: Parka/Gloves/Boots/Hat/Neck Wrap thing

Now I am wondering what else I can experience in extreme cold temperatures . . . perhaps the St. Paul Winter Carnival? That is next weekend. I guess if you can't beat the cold, take advantage of it, right?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Gcom Tubetacular Event

Last Friday, we headed up the street to Thomas Wirth Golf Course for the General Mills Gcom Tubetacular Event. The golf course had converted one of the hills into a snow tubing hill and Gcom (Alex's division at General Mills) rented it out for the evening for all of the families. I had never been tubing let alone sledding. Winters in Ohio do not typically provide the amount of snow to make it worth the effort. 

Despite the cold temperatures and I mean cold, -30 degree windchill, Alex and I headed out for what turned out to be a very fun evening. 

The first run down was a bit scary. I didn't end up going as fast as I thought I would go, which was fine by me. We went down in groups and pairs, and I even did a solo ride which was extremely frightening since I ended up going down backwards halfway through.

Alex decided to get a running start AND go face first on run of his solo runs. I chose to watch and wonder what thought possessed him to make that decision.

By the end of the night, the snow was starting to feel likes needles hitting our faces. I was tired of walking up the side of the hill as well. We were supposed to have a pulley system pull us up in the tubes but that was down for some reason. We decided that it was time to leave for the night. 

It was a lot of fun and I hope we can go again soon!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

For a good laugh!

I finally was able to upload a video. I apologize that I cannot figure out how to rotate the video. So you will need to tilt your head a bit or turn your computer on its side.

Presenting my first time ice skating in Minnesota . . . notice how steady Alex's hand is taping me while skating forwards and backwards.

Ice Skating in Minnesota

Since Alex spends a majority of his time on ice and there is plenty of ice to go around up here in Minnesota, I decided to ask for my very own pair of ice skates for Christmas. Alex was more than happy to get me a pair. We went down the street to the park to test out my new pair of skates.

I thought if I held onto a hockey stick I would be more stable. That is not the case at all. Hockey is so difficult. I have no idea how you can skate and hit a puck on ice at the same time.

The figure skates have have a lot more support than typical figure skates because as Alex would say, I'm an ankle bender. All things considered I did a great job skating. I didn't fall once. I actually got a little speed. I can turn left and right. Skating backwards is another story.

Where there is an ice rink there is another rink for just hockey. And that is where you will find Alex. It was pretty neat flying home from Ohio. As we got closer to landing you could see people on all of the ice rinks across the city. 

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Alex and I headed home to Ohio to be with our families. We had a great time seeing everyone. We were back in Minneapolis just in time for the New Year. It was a little odd celebrating New Year's being an hour behind NYC. Normally, I turn the tv on at 10pm to watch all of the events in Times Square. However, our local channels did not show anything until 11:30pm . . . and of course it was a time delay. We watched the cable channels to watch real time. So we celebrated New Years twice. It was a little odd.

The cold is starting to settle in here in the Twin Cities. We are expecting arctic temperatures next week. The high will be below zero. I got my new North Face jacket with a fur lined hood. I love it! I am so warm. The key to keeping warm is wearing a hat, which doesn't bode well for hair styling. Although, I threw fashion out the door a long time ago. Staying warm is more important . . . unfortunately. To be honest, I am doing well with the cold. It really isn't that bad. Everyone keeps saying that this is the coldest winter in 10 years. So it can only get warmer right?