Pocket of Bolts goes ice-skating for the very first time. We went yesterday and bought ice-skates. It was this kind of calculation: skate rental is $10 a pair and the wait in line was running about an hour. Pocket of Bolts values an hour of his time at about $50; I tend toward a more modest $15-20, but still... given that skates cost about $45 with tax... we'd only have to go twice at most to make it worthwhile. Not to mention avoiding having to stand in line (outside) in 20 degree weather. Pocket of Bolts was very nervous about skating for the first time. We went yesterday and he most clung to the rail and made his slow way around. When other slower beginners were monopolizing the rail, I took his hand and helped him go around. He is big and I am small, but I was amazed how effectively I managed to support his tottering self. Haven't ice-skated in a long time, but still... felt rock-steady. We only stayed about half an hour, until the resurfacing machine started up. That was enough. As with the Art Institute: when it's free, you can go for a short time and not feel under pressure to get your money's worth.
We went again today. It was amazing how much progress Pocket of Bolts had made. He could mostly go around just holding my hand, only grabbing for the rail now and then. He seems to be starting to intuit the means of propulsion. Watching him make progress makes it even more fun to go skating because it's something he never thought he would be able to do and now he is starting to be able to do it. Millennium Park is also a very neat place to skate, with the Bean (Cloud Gate) looming over and endless potential people-watching. So hey, despite the frigid weather, Chicago winter's not all bad.