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Author Topic: Rinks on Road Trips  (Read 5159 times)

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Offline FigureSpins

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Rinks on Road Trips
« on: February 06, 2012, 11:50:28 AM »
I have a long commute to the office/NYC - 9 hrs in the car, minimum.  Drives my DH crazy that I always have to stop at some rink I've never been to before.  I've lowered my standards (and travel time) - I no longer insist on actually skating, but I have to pick up the brochures and check out the bathrooms/snack bar/facilities.

My latest venue was to meet up with our own Jim Stanmore at the Mt. Laurel, NJ Igloo Ice Arena.  Nice facility, two sheets of ice, all one level with a snack bar area and a multi-purpose room.  Harness across a blue line at one end of the rink, small workout area in a back corner.

Earlier, I had to pick up my paycheck at my current rink, then my last stop before hotel was my old NYC rink (to use the bathroom) before calling it a night.

After visiting Klingbeil's, I surprised Sk8dreams at Aviator Sports in Brooklyn for a quick visit.  That place is always crowded and the facilities are great.  The snack bar alone is worth the trip.  One of these days, I have to go upstairs and check out the second floor.  I see they moved the pro shop to the front lobby, probably a good thing.  At least they now carry figure skates, lol.  One note: there used to be a plane out in front as a tribute to the park's original purpose as an air field, but it's gone.  At one meetup, a Concorde was parked there, but it's gone too - I guess back to the Intrepid in Manhattan.  Too bad - the plane gave the place some nice character.

I also stopped at Coney Island's very sad Abe Stark Arena on my way back west.  Such an unwelcoming place.  Figuring out how to get into the lot means breaking traffic laws, lol.  Nothing to write home about, it was pretty empty and depressing, imo.

I skated outdoors at the SI War Memorial Ice Rink, which played the most inappropriate music I have ever heard at a public session.  Every song was about banging this and shooting that - awful, especially with all the young kids and families there.  Ice was really nice, you could see the cracks, but they were resurfaced well, so no problems.  Snack bar and lobby were clean.  (You could see on the floor where they had the "Igloo" that served as a party room.  It was okay - just interesting if you didn't know what had been there before the renovation.)  They still have the toy train exhibit - meh.  Would it kill them to put up a privacy panel so you don't have the whole lobby looking into the ladies room?  They have the door blocked open and the bathroom was clean, but there's no privacy once you come out of a stall.

Dinner with AgnesNitt was on my return itinerary, but we didn't get to a rink.  Too bad - six rinks in three days is pretty good, but a seventh would have been a feather in my traveling hat.

I can honestly say that none of people I met up with have two heads.  Everyone seems pretty normal, although I can't vouch for myself.   ;D
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Offline FigureSpins

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Re: Rinks on Road Trips
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2012, 11:50:48 AM »
Am I the only person who likes to check out rinks when they travel?
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Offline hopskipjump

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Re: Rinks on Road Trips
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2012, 12:05:32 PM »
LOL!  That is awesome~!  I make dd skate when we travel.  Mostly because it's good experience to try out other types of ice but also because we are curious.

Offline Sk8Dreams

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Re: Rinks on Road Trips
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2012, 12:36:15 PM »
I like to do it too.

You are right about the Concorde at Aviator, but it didn't leave for the Intrepid without a bit of a disgrace first.  While taking down the light and sound equipment from an outdoor event, the famous nose cone was knocked off, and had to be replaced with a different one.  The little red plane that was so cute and lent such atmosphere is gone because planes are built to fly, and that one took off in one too many strong wind gusts.  The last time it happened, it was significantly damaged and they tossed in the hat.  They never figured out how to moor it properly; no surprise to those of us who frequent the facility.

The food court has come up in the world.  They even grill a chicken breast when asked and now have a fair salad bar.  I still prefer to bring my lunch, but at least they have something other than fried foods, and everything is usually fresh.
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Offline drskater

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Re: Rinks on Road Trips
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2012, 02:03:17 PM »
You're not alone! I love checking out rinks. No matter how new or old I always find there is something unique to each one.

I'm proud that when I lived in the Pacific Northwest I made it to almost all of them: Sherwood, Lloyd Center, Bremerton, Olympicview, Highland, Sprinker, Spokane Eagles, Walla Walla Ice Chalet, Tri-Cities Kennewick, McCall, ID,  and even a couple of great ones in Richmond BC.

Now that I live in a region (DC) with tons of rinks I loook forward to seeing even more.

Offline momomizu

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Re: Rinks on Road Trips
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2012, 10:35:31 AM »
Yes! I went to the Ice Forum in Georgia last summer after my cousins high school graduation. It was nearly empty and the ice was great! I was able to record my practice without anyone in the way. There were only 3 people on the ice including myself. When I left, only two more people had arrived. I was planning on going to Bryant Park in NY, buuuut that place is mad expensive! I plan on going up there to find an even cheaper rink though.

Offline Skate@Delaware

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Re: Rinks on Road Trips
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2012, 10:52:57 AM »
I don't travel much, but lately the ladies at my rink have been taking "day trips" to several rinks in the area. We are planning a trip to Philly to a rink up there. It's an outdoors rink so it's seasonal.  I did take a day trip once down to Chesapeake, Virginia, and skated with TerriC which was fun but the drive was killer (3.5 hours each way-never again lol!).

This past summer, we spent a weekend at Ocean City, Maryland, and skated at the Carousel Hotel's lobby rink.  It was fun!  Now, there is talk about taking a trip to Lake Placid, especially since the camp at Hackensack is not happening.
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Offline Skittl1321

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Re: Rinks on Road Trips
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2012, 11:07:18 AM »
Now, there is talk about taking a trip to Lake Placid, especially since the camp at Hackensack is not happening.

Really- it's not going to happen this summer either :(
I need to make a trip to Bogota (just a few inches from the rink) so I thought I'd pair them.  Darn.

I'm waiting to hear if Motown Tango is on this year- I was sad when it was canceled this year.  Lake Placid is way out of my budget.


I do like to try out rinks when I travel, but it usually is limited to skating with family.
We went to the Fritz Dietl rink in NJ, I met skatingforums friends at the rink in Hackensack, I visited a blog/skating forums friend at a rink in Arizona, I've gone skating with my family in Dallas and Austin.   I love different rinks. 

Offline AgnesNitt

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Re: Rinks on Road Trips
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2012, 04:31:58 PM »

I can honestly say that none of people I met up with have two heads.  

I do. I have the other one in a box buried in the back yard.
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Offline Skittl1321

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Re: Rinks on Road Trips
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2012, 05:48:49 PM »
I do. I have the other one in a box buried in the back yard.

Best reply ever! 

I've roomed with people I've met online, so I feel no problem meeting up to just go ice skating.  I just make sure it is someone who has a long history on the board.  I figure if they spend ALL that time learning about knitting, or stamping, or skating, and interacting with everyone for years it's unlikely it is some plot to kill me.  It might be, but unlikely.

Offline Skate@Delaware

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Re: Rinks on Road Trips
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2012, 07:33:50 PM »
Really- it's not going to happen this summer either :(
I need to make a trip to Bogota (just a few inches from the rink) so I thought I'd pair them.  Darn.

I'm waiting to hear if Motown Tango is on this year- I was sad when it was canceled this year.  Lake Placid is way out of my budget.

I do like to try out rinks when I travel, but it usually is limited to skating with family.
We went to the Fritz Dietl rink in NJ, I met skatingforums friends at the rink in Hackensack, I visited a blog/skating forums friend at a rink in Arizona, I've gone skating with my family in Dallas and Austin.   I love different rinks. 
Well, when we do our road trips, we try to:
-find relatives we can bunk with; if that fails, we find out if relatives have a vacation house/condo where we are headed; and if that fails, we find a "suite" type of place and when u split it 4-5 ways, it's much cheaper
-we cook most of our meals and might eat out once.
-If we go to LP, it won't be for the camp...way out of our budget. We'd just go and skate a session or two, and spend time hiking, kayaking, etc.
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Offline jjane45

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Re: Rinks on Road Trips
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2012, 08:57:46 PM »
I am not sure if I'll pack my skates for 4CC in Colorado Springs. Access to rinks is not convenient enough and I better not stretch myself too thin over a packed schedule.

But if there is a slim chance of sharing the ice with Mao Asada or Dai Takahashi for practice...

Offline Skate@Delaware

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Re: Rinks on Road Trips
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2012, 08:31:42 AM »
I am not sure if I'll pack my skates for 4CC in Colorado Springs. Access to rinks is not convenient enough and I better not stretch myself too thin over a packed schedule.

But if there is a slim chance of sharing the ice with Mao Asada or Dai Takahashi for practice...
That would be......A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!!!!!!!! ;D
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Offline jjane45

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Re: Rinks on Road Trips
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2012, 09:39:36 AM »
That would be......A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!!!!!!!! ;D

Yeah I wish :) chances are slim to none but it's nice to dream.

The last time I was in Los Angeles, I tried to stop by the training centers of my favorite elite skaters in hope to watch them practice. Mostly a hit or miss but fun :D

Offline Skate@Delaware

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Re: Rinks on Road Trips
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2012, 10:26:58 AM »
Yeah I wish :) chances are slim to none but it's nice to dream.

The last time I was in Los Angeles, I tried to stop by the training centers of my favorite elite skaters in hope to watch them practice. Mostly a hit or miss but fun :D
One of my girlfriends visits her brother is So. Ca regularly....so she brings her skates and spends the whole visit making him drive her to the different rinks in his area.  She has been on the ice with many of the elite skaters (I don't recall which ones) and loves trying out all the different rinks. She also went to the rink where the Zamboni made it's debut.
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Offline davincisop

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Re: Rinks on Road Trips
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2012, 07:05:57 PM »
Wherever I go I bring my skates. I also travel with them. On my college graduation trip my mom asked what I wanted to do in NYC and I said I wanted to skate at Rockefeller Center, Central Park and Sky Rink.

We made it to Sky Rink, but not the other two. I'd already skated at Rockefeller twice before so I was ok with that and the wind was just too cold and brutal to try Central Park. Next time around though I will. :)

I've also skated at the Northbrook Ice rink in Northbrook, IL. Love that one because I grew up skating there at Christmastime with my mom. My first time on the ice was there with her when I was 3 and I thought she was awesome because she could skate backwards. :)

Offline LilJen

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Re: Rinks on Road Trips
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2012, 09:12:00 AM »
Oh yeah, I enjoy doing this, too. Especially if I'm traveling and know I have a test coming up, I'll bring my skates and check out rink locations ahead of time.

Offline bollyskater

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Re: Rinks on Road Trips
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2012, 10:06:33 PM »
Yes! I went to the Ice Forum in Georgia last summer after my cousins high school graduation. It was nearly empty and the ice was great! I was able to record my practice without anyone in the way. There were only 3 people on the ice including myself. When I left, only two more people had arrived. I was planning on going to Bryant Park in NY, buuuut that place is mad expensive! I plan on going up there to find an even cheaper rink though.

Skating at Bryant Park is free. They charge for skate rentals, which I presume you won't need, and they charge like $7 for you to check a big fabric bag that you can pile your stuff into while you skate. But if you have family members who want to sit outside the rink area and hold your stuff while they watch you skate, then you won't need to use the check-in bag. if you get there before about 12 or 1, there is no line. If you want to skip around the line later in the day, then you can buy a $20 reservation, but the setup is very confusing. I'd recommend just getting there early if you don't like lines. The rink is only open for a few more days this year, I think.

I like to be a skating tourist, too. I've even skated in a mall in Hong Kong!

Offline karne

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Re: Rinks on Road Trips
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2012, 05:21:36 AM »
Am I the only person who likes to check out rinks when they travel?

Nope. If I go somewhere that has a rink, I'm taking my skates.

Last year when I went to Melbourne for the Formula One race, I arrived there on Wednesday afternoon and left Monday at 12:30pm. I spent all my time Wednesday-Sunday at the track and managed, by creative taxi-ing and pushing my checkin time, a skate at the Icehouse on the Monday morning. I had carried my skates all the way to Melbourne for a hour and a half session!  ;D My friends thought I was NUTS!
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Offline Sk8Dreams

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Re: Rinks on Road Trips
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2012, 04:57:13 PM »
Skating at Bryant Park is free. They charge for skate rentals, which I presume you won't need, and they charge like $7 for you to check a big fabric bag that you can pile your stuff into while you skate. But if you have family members who want to sit outside the rink area and hold your stuff while they watch you skate, then you won't need to use the check-in bag. if you get there before about 12 or 1, there is no line. If you want to skip around the line later in the day, then you can buy a $20 reservation, but the setup is very confusing. I'd recommend just getting there early if you don't like lines. The rink is only open for a few more days this year, I think.

They have small lockers that a standard sized backpack will fit into.  They are free, but you need your own lock.
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Offline Robin

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Re: Rinks on Road Trips
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2012, 01:53:09 PM »
I work for a very large international airline and I bring my skates everywhere: Hong Kong, Brussels, London, various places in Germany, Hawaii, among others. I find that it's a great way to meet locals. I also enjoy ice rink culture. It's not about practicing but about culture.

Offline FigureSpins

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Re: Rinks on Road Trips
« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2015, 10:50:08 AM »
Summer travel is always a good opportunity to rock a new rink.

FINALLY got to visit the Gardens Ice House in Laurel, MD.  They used to run an adult workshop/clinic every year and they host a nice competition, but I've never been to either.  It's a nice facility - plenty of parking, big lobby and A pro shop that sells basic figure skating stuff.  (Sale on Chloe Noel this week!)

The Olympic-themed facility has two sheets of ice, but one of the rinks is down for he summer.  They're using the space (with rubber flooring tiles) for basketball and other activities.  The ice looked good-there was a hockey game going on.  The staff was friendly and helpful; the ladies room was clean and well-stocked.

I didn't like the snack bar/party area because it was in the middle of,the building, accessible from either rink with windows looking out on the rinks.  It seemed dark and crowded, but it was evenin, so maybe the lights were down.  No biggie from my perspective, but I hope it's nicer looking with balloons and party decorations.

There's a large building across the parking lot, so I guess there's some sharing of space.  Their freestyle schedule is listed as part of their figure skating summer program, everything's als carte.  That's more robust than a one-week exhausting day camp since it's longer and you can work around other activities.  They offer some group classes/clinics (including Bobbe Shire spin classes) and the freestyle sessions are divided by skatin levels.

All in all, looks like a great rink!
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Offline FigureSpins

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Re: Rinks on Road Trips
« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2015, 11:03:53 AM »
Last month, I had a half-day free on a travel day, so I booted up and skated at the Veterans Memorial Ice Rink in West Hartford, CT. One sheet of ice with stadium-style spectator stands.  It's a municipal rink run by the Parks Department, with friendly, hometown staff that welcomed me, even as a non-resident.  (I paid a little more for the freestyle session as an out-of-Towner.  That's not unusual for taxpayer-supported facilities.)

The bathrooms were clean and everything worked fine.  The skate rentals didn't look great, but they'd do for a rec skater on a public session.  The lobby doubled as the snack bar/birthday party area - must get really loud!  The pro shop didn't have a lot of space, period, so I wasn't surprised to see mostly hockey stuff.  They did have a zuca on display and a sign saying they could order fs things.  I had an equipment malfunction lost two screws, what else is new?) and the guy went out of his way to find stainless steel replacements to fit and installed them in short order.  Refused payment, to boot!

The ice was really nice, not too hard or soft.  It was odd to get onto the ice via the hockey boxes instead of a rink door, but it was fine.  The skaters and coaches were really nice and friendly - not always the case when a stranger shows up.
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Offline ChristyRN

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Re: Rinks on Road Trips
« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2015, 07:12:38 PM »
I take my skates for a week or more. I didn't make it skating in St Louis last year, and the rink in CA turned me away (those are *nationals* level skaters. I *can't* let you on with them) We are going to visit older DD and GS next summer in Sonoma and I am taking my skates. I hope to skate at Snoopy's Ice House.
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Offline icedancer

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Re: Rinks on Road Trips
« Reply #24 on: July 21, 2015, 11:20:47 PM »
I love bringing my skates with me on road trips!  Or visiting rinks!

My favorite was when I went to Michigan with my skates - I am from there and was a member of the Detroit Skating Club in the 60s when it was in a really old refurbished horse stable... burned down in 1978  - so visited their new digs in Bloomfield Hills - incredible three-rink complex and we saw so many great skaters - my husband and I were made welcome to stay and watch as much as we wanted - I collected brochures - and in some ways the rink still ran the same as it did in the '60s except on a much larger scale.

Also got to skate that same trip at a three-rink complex in Ann Arbor that didn't exist when I was going to school there - also great experience, nice people, good public session - had a blast!

I need to do these kinds of trips more - visiting places in Oregon - there is a nice rink in Medford that has recently opened in the last 5-6 years - brought my skates one year when we went to Ashland for the Shakespeare Fesitival - another time went to a seasonal rink in Ashland in the winter that was about a third the size of a normal rink - but it was still fun!