Dave Sohigian

5Nov/060

Zamboni in Paradise

The last two days in Hawaii have been wet. The islands have been hit with what is known as a "Kona" front that brings rain from the Southwest across the "leeward" or dry sides of the islands. The result is tons of rain--even in areas like Makaha that get less than 20" of rain per year.

There have been mudslides on other parts of O'ahu though it is over 80 degrees out during the day. After the first day of sitting around our condo we quickly caught cabin fever and on the second day we decided it was time for an outing of some sort.

When we first arrived on O'ahu we headed west form the airport and spotted a big building near the freeway called the "Ice Palace". It turns out that it is an ice rink which is one of Anna's favorite things. She had gone skating with Meta in Portland and really enjoyed it. I was not so sure about ice skating--after nearly breaking my wrist learning to unicycle last year, I have been reluctant to take on new "frictionless" sports. Ice skating sounded like an accident waiting to happen. Not to mention the obvious absurdity of ice skating in a tropical island paradise. But we were really bored and Anna had enough motivation for everyone so we hit the road.

The Ice Palace is a bit run down but definitely gets a lot of use by local skaters. One of the things I have noticed about people raised on the islands is that they really look forward to some cold weather and the snow and ice that go with it. Sure, 75-80 degrees and sunny everyday is pretty great, but its nice to have a break from it, even if only for a few hours.

The Ice Palace was very reasonably priced--$7.50 per person including skate rentals. We all put on our additional layers (that we had not used since the start of our trip) and got out on the ice. Meta is a very capable skater but the rest of us were rank beginners. (Caleb and I had never been on the ice before). We started by using metal support bars that look like elderly walkers without the rubber feet. Pretty soon we were all able to get around reasonably well. Anna with a little help from Mom , Caleb skated as if he was wearing his Heely's and I looked like a newborn foal on Rollerblades . The Zamboni came out after a bit and cleaned up the ice while we took a break.

It was a fun outing and a break from the lousy weather. The sun returned today so we are off for the beach once again!

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