Tue, Dec 16 2003 - Ice Skating at the National Gallery (View Original Event Details)|
Katie Stofer, Joanne Milne
|Participants:||Katie Stofer, Joanne Milne, Colin Babb, Stephen Lowe, KC Yi, Shelley Sanner, Jim Powell, Tina Howell, Yu-Ling Huang, Wayne Duan, Daniel Lu, Adam Miller, Cheryl Hamilton, Dennis Baba, Ronit Fix|
For this event, things went about as smoothly as the ice we skated on (which, if you've ever skated out of doors in an area that's lucky to get snow before Christmas, you know is not that smooth). But we still had a terrific time. The 40-degree weather was just nippy enough to make it feel like winter, but it was not cold enough to drive us quickly inside.
We missed a couple of the guys at the Metro who had emailed wondering how they'd know who we were. We were the only people loitering in the area, but they must have been late, and in fact they caught up with us at the rink. Starting off from the Metro, however, we were a little disconcerted by the small number of us, but figured everyone else must be meeting downtown. When we arrived downtown, we found only 3 others waiting for us, bringing our total to 12, when there were about 26 signed up for the event. As we checked in, saving a whopping 50 cents apiece for bringing a group larger than 10 (just enough to rent a locker each, with a $5 deposit), we picked up a few more of the group who eventually caught up with us. All told, there were quite a few MOC'ers on the ice. Nobody fell more than twice, although we did have two fairly serious injuries, enough to stop a couple of people from continuing, though not from walking. We had all levels of experience as well, from rank beginners to experts that (literally) skated circles around the rest of us.
After our session, we headed off to see the National Christmas tree and the 56 state, territory, and district trees (that would be 50 states, D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, Mariana Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands,
and American Samoa). Accompanied by piped-in Christmas carols, we wandered around, squinting at the (less-impressive-than-I-expected) smaller trees and the model train sets at the base of the National
tree (Amtrak's apparently was the only set not working). It was hard to see the smaller trees' individual ornaments, decorated by children from each area. They really were just standard clear spheres filled with varying degrees of area-identifying stuff (nothing says Guam like a square that says . . . Guam).
By this time, several people had split, seeing as it was a weeknight and all. The six or seven of us remaining decided to try and find something to eat or drink. In downtown D.C. this proved to be more difficult than we expected. We ended up in a cigar bar, where Joanne helped our two visiting members from the Beijing Outdoor Club order drinks. Having finally slowed down, we realized how tired we all were, and quickly finished up our drinks and headed back to the Metro for home. It definitely had been a good time, with some recommendations for other area rinks to try next time (although we only walked about 6 blocks to get to the White House from the National Gallery rink, we noticed an outdoor rink just across the street that we could have gone to just as easily and right next to the trees). Stephen Lowe also recommended the Naval Academy's rink. Generally, a good time was had by all!
--Katie Stofer & Joanne Milne
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