Winter in Alberta is a bit hard to take after spending so much time in Florida. Evan and I went from sweating our bums off to freezing them. Thankfully, we have lots of friends who know how to make the most of winter with lots of winter activities. This weekend was Winter Canal Days at our lake community of Meridian Beach. We have a great group of residents here who love to get together, have fun and make every season enjoyable. Since this weekend was Family Day in Alberta, it was the perfect time to hang out with friends and family while enjoying winter.
On Saturday, we had a full day of winter activities on the ice. Family hockey, competitive hockey, broom ball and curling were on tap. I can’t skate well enough to keep from killing myself so curling was my sport of choice. We threw curling rocks made from frozen milk jugs toward targets sprayed on the ice with kids’ spray chalk. Most of the teams were made up of family members but some (like mine) were groups of friends. We had a great time penguin walking from one end of the rink to the other. Fortunately/Unfortunately, we were out of the running after two games….our team name was Alabama (homage to my home state) so no one was really that surprised.
Hockey is a very Canadian pasttime. You could tell how important it is by watching both the family and competitive hockey tournaments. Young and old were out on the rink chasing the puck from one end to the other. No one seemed to notice the freezing temps. I am in awe of how fast they can skate. Effortless skating will never, ever be something this Alabama girl will master. I shouldn’t be surprised because many of the team members played semi-pro and pro hockey in their life times. It may be all in fun but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t taken very, very seriously.
Dewey joined our friends’ broom ball team. I missed their time on the ice but I got to hear about all of their bruises from their crashes. After everyone exercised more than they had in months, we headed to the hall for a Crock Pot cook off and the awards ceremony.
Sunday dawned bright and COLD. We were off on the snow mobiles to try our hand at ice fishing. The ride to the fish shack and back was frigid but hanging out in the fish shack was toasty thanks to a wood burning heater. We didn’t catch a fish but we had a blast. One of the shacks we visited even had a fish cam so we could see the fish swimming in the water below the ice (and ignoring the bait we were dangling at the end of our line). I would love to try my hand at ice fishing again but maybe I’ll wait until it’s not *quite* so cold.
When I first moved to Canada, I was pretty sure that Canadians were crazy and that winter sucked. Thankfully, I was wrong. There are tons of winter activities that makes the time until summer fly by (and it isn’t just skiing..which I hate). Instead, there is curling, hockey, broom ball, ice fishing, snow mobiling, cross country skiing and more. The most important part is trying them out with people you enjoy. Then I don’t even notice the cold!