My ice skating skills are not the greatest…but that doesn’t stop me from having a good time!
I purchased a Groupon (I’m a sucker for the deals!) a while back, in hopes that Nate and I could go ice skating at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink at Millennium Park on a romantic date for two. I envisioned a cold, snowy day, bundled up in hats and scarves, holding hands, drinking hot chocolate…you get the picture. Well, in my true Groupon purchase fashion, I waited until the last minute to use the thing and my husband made it clear that he would rather not go ice skating. Fail.
Lucky for me, my gal pal Sandra, who accompanied me to Slurping Turtle, Ada Street, and The Boarding House, joined me for a little afternoon skate recently. We decided to go right after work, and it was our best decision by far. There was no line to rent skates (it’s a notoriously long line, I guess), and we got right on the ice! Now, the last time I remember ice skating was back in 5th grade, when all my girlfriends and I would head to Oakton Ice Rink to meet up with the boys. I was a little rusty, to say the least.
We decided to go slow and take five laps at a time, soaking in the beautiful Chicago architecture that feels like it’s at your fingertips, all while trying to stay coordinated and not get mowed over by show offs and others who, like myself, were a bit challenged on the ice.
I’ve got to tell you: the people watching at ice rinks is awesome. Young new couples, several skaters who are out in the middle of the ice trying to show you they’ve still got it, a girl speed skating by herself with her hands full of shopping bags—you name it, we probably saw it. A young couple approached Sandra and me and asked us to take their photo. It that seemed like they just started dating, so I made them kiss while I snapped the photo. Do you remember those first photos you took with your guy/gal when you just started dating? I remember mine was with Nate and his twin brother Aaron at a bar in Champaign where we went to college (Gully’s, for those who are familiar!). I remember how giddy Nate and I looked in that photo. Ahh, young love.
Getting back on topic, Sandra and I skated for about 35 minutes, then decided to head up by the Bean for a photography session. It was perfect timing because the Zamboni came on the ice right as we turned in our skates so we had to get off the ice anyway. It was a nice night (a.k.a. not freezing and windy), so we spent a little time taking selfies, photographing shots of the Bean and the city, and our fellow skaters below us on the ice.
As I rode the #20 bus home with a Starbucks hot chocolate (with soy milk, no whip) in hand, I realized how lucky we are to have these great outdoor activities that the city puts on. I can’t wait for festival season—and warm weather!—to arrive.
McCormick Tribune Ice Rink (closed for the season)
Michigan Avenue & Washington Avenue
The Loop/Millennium Park