Sunday, September 20, 2009

Here Come the Hawks

We had so much fun at the Chicago Blackhawks Training Camp Festival yesterday.  When I saw it on the news last year I decided I wanted to go, but you know how that goes.  You see something one year and forget about it by the time the activity comes around again.  Well, I really wanted to go, so I signed up on the Blackhawks fan email list so I would get the announcement.  And, I did.

As soon as the email came, I called my Dad to get it on his calendar.  You'd be hard-pressed to find a more loyal Blackahwks fan.  He loves the team.  When we were growing up, Mom and Dad used to take a bus downtown to see the games.  I still remember how excited they were when they came home.

This year I took Dad and our girls.  My husband had to work, so he couldn't go.  I didn't know what to expect, except we'd be able to watch an open practice and there would be some entertainment.  Tickets were only $5 and parking was free, so I was pretty happy with those two things.

When we arrived, it was so much more than we expected.  There were four street hockey rinks set up in the parking lot with games going on each one.  There were lots of activities for the kids and food samples.  The girls even met a player and received his autograph.

The highlight was still the open practice.  We sat a few rows off the ice in probably the best seats we'll ever have in the United Center.  Dad and I introduced the girls to hockey by answering all their questions. 

At one point I wondered what the people around us thought as I discussed the players' ice skating.  Because the girls were in ice skating lessons last year, I tried to encourage them to continue.  I said things like, "Wow, watch him skate backwards" and "Look at them do their crossovers."  Yeah, it was pretty lame.  What I really wanted to do was remind them that becoming a good skater was all about practicing.  I doubt they will ever skate like a professional hockey player, but I know they will skate well enough to enjoy being on the ice.

As for next year, we'll get down earlier and plan to stay a bit later.  We'll try to meet some friends down there as it's a great family event.  It was that much fun.

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