Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Winter fun

The last time I lived in America during the winter was 2009-2010.  That year, I experienced four blizzards in about two months.  This year has been much milder with virtually no snow to speak of.  Although we had a few flurries, we have had no accumulating snow.  The lack of snow, however, would not keep me from having some winter-time fun.

Last Tuesday, Sara invited me to a Washington Capitals game.  I'd never been to a hockey game before.  I was amazed at how much easier it was to follow hockey live than it was on television.  This is definitely a sport that is better in person than from home.  Plus, our seats - which Sara got from a friend with season tickets - were fantastic.  11 rows up from the ice, just behind one of the goals.  

In addition to the exciting nature of hockey (particularly during power plays), the NHL knows how to make the in-game experience enjoyable.  TV timeouts are not too numerous.  They bring out youth hockey players during intermission to play on the ice.  Unlike the NBA game I went to, they don't pump a bunch of artificial noise into the arena at all times.  You could hear the game and the fans, rather than the music.  For example, I learned some of the more nuanced rules from the guy next to Sara (as well as that #55 Schultz for the Caps is "the worst.")  Although the Caps lost the game, I really enjoyed the experience.

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The other bit of winter fun I had this week was a ski trip to the mountains in Western Maryland.  I thought it would be wise to try snow skiing at least once before I moved to Germany.  A group of friends from my A-100 class rented a lake house about 10 minutes from the mountain.  The house was amazing and we had a fantastic time hanging out.

Learning to ski was both fun and, at times, scary.  Our late start to the morning and long lines to rent equipment caused me to miss the 11 am beginners ski class and not get started until 1.  Almost immediately after I got the skis on, I realized how much I would like skiing.  After the class, I met up with my friends skied for probably the next two or three hours before getting back to the lodge.  Although I had a blast, the last run was awful.  I fell several times and had to even walk down one part of the slope that seemed too steep for me.  Not sure if it was so hard cause I was tired, the setting sun had turned much of the snow to ice, or the slope was simply harder.  But, I was ready to be done when I got down to the bottom

Lost my balance and fell over while standing
(in front of all of my friends, who had the common decency to take pictures).

Demonstrating the proper snow plow technique

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