When we first discussed Sean playing hockey I figured ice is ice. There's a rink right in our backyard. Sure, he can play hockey! The rink is five minutes away!
We drove over there and took a look. There was a HUGE lake of melted ice at the far end of the rink. It smelled like a sweaty gym sock in there and there was a patch of the rink that the ice was a bit too thin! The only thing I liked about it was the heat that warmed the fan seating area.
We decided on traveling to the Virtua Flyers SkateZone. It's only 12 miles from home.. easier said than done... I wonder how a 12 mile trip can easily turn into an hour when I KNOW I'm driving at least 40 miles an hour. Theoretically, I should be there in about 20 minutes! Riiigght...consider rush hour traffic, school buses, a stop at the gas station and fifteen thousand traffic lights and we're up to at least 45 minutes!
But, the facility is brightly lit. The snack stand has great coffee. The place doesn't stink of mold or sweat (except the roller hockey rink...phew!). AND it's the practice rink for the Philadelphia Flyers! It's funny to know that these multi-million dollar hockey players practice on the same ice that my son plays on. We could be there for a practice or some stick time and see the Fly Guys skating.
A nice surprise for my son today was that Danny Briere and Ian LaPerriere were there watching the little guys practice. I think I even saw Danny applaud a little when my boy scored the first goal in the scrimmage!