We went to Shaganapi Park for a little skating today. I discovered its rink during one of my nigh walks before the New Year but we haven't had the chance to give it a try until this afternoon.
When I woke up and checked the temperature, I realized it was around -22º C and it is without considering the windchill. We wanted to go for a little breakfast because The Lady had a few Starbucks gift cards. We went despite the weather and roads conditions and it was quite disappointing. I have never been a Starbucks fan. Their coffee is too strong and unreasonably over-priced. Their pastries are goo but very expensive so overall I would not go there. Their cafe is very clean and usually there's no junky or homeless and if someone is looking for date, I guess they go to Starbucks. I had a chance to try their Americano and I happened to like it. Besides their latte is good too. So we said: What the hell. We don't have to pay. We have gift cards. We got a small coffee, a large mocha and two small pieces of pastries for over $12!! This is insanity. Under normal conditions, even I had a $150,000 salary job, I would not pay that much for a breakfast for two that you're not even satisfied with the service and the quantity of the product you receive!
Starbucks normally hires well-groomed and polite staff but their customer service is not always the best. When I went to get cream for my coffee I realized that the jar was empty! That's what I hate to see in a cafe where they charge you over $2.5 for a small cup of coffee. With that disappointment in mind we went back home and we took a little rest and headed out to Shaganapi Park.
There were a few people playing hockey. What I like about this park is they have 3 rinks, however small for the people who like to enjoy hockey and then a path-like rink for skaters. They also have fire pits, similar to Bowness Park's but we didn't got close to that because that is for the community members.
I had not been on the ice for over 2 months or so and The Lady had not practiced probably since our last course in Aug. in Olympic Oval. She's not in favour of outdoor rinks but this one felt fine. There was not many grooves and large scratches and you didn't have to circle around similar to Olympic Plaza. So we enjoyed skating but not for more than 0.5 hour or maybe a little longer. It was not so bad because the temperature had risen up to -10º C which is not considered cold in Alberta! The Lady felt a little discomfort in her skates after a while and we decided to call the day off. Normally outside rinks are not as comfortable as the inside ones due to the ice irregularities and you cannot maneuver as freely as you do inside but it's fun. We have to do this again before the temperature goes up and the rink disappears.
(Photo: A view of the skating path in Shaganapi Park with the pedestrian overpass over Bow Trail. This overpass bridge was the subject of a problem for the municipality at the time of installation because it appeared to be short in spans! Not the subject here. So I drop it!)