Saturday, January 2, 2010

Winter Classic

One of the things I missed about the northern hemisphere while I was in Australia was Boston winter. Yes, you read that correctly: cold, snowy Boston winter. Not, I hasten to clarify, damp, grey, raw Oxford winter, of which I had more than my fill in the years I lived there; but Boston's snowstorms and short days and wind chills are ingrained in my biorhythms.

Besides, winter has its compensations, the biggest of which for me is ice hockey. And if I can't be playing it (which I can't, since my kit is in a box somewhere on its trek from Canberra to Kansas), then I'll take watching it any day. But especially today, because today was the Winter Classic.

The Winter Classic is a fairly new but already beloved National Hockey League tradition, where one regular-season game is played outside, usually in a baseball or football stadium. It started in November 2003 as the Heritage Classic in Edmonton, and from 2008 has been played on New Year's Day, each year in a different city. This year's game was held in Boston, featuring the Boston Bruins versus the Philadelphia Flyers, at Fenway Park, the legendary home of baseball's Red Sox. I had been secretly yearning to go ever since I heard the announcement, but I had also looked at the ticket prices, which made me feel faint. I got busy with the move and Christmas, tickets started selling on eBay in the four-figure range, and I organized plans to watch the game on TV.

But I had forgotten to factor Santa (and his elves, some of whom it turns out we're related to) into the equation, and last week DP and I found ourselves the recipients of two coveted seats. This morning I bundled myself three layers deep, as if I was going skiing; we dropped Miss B off at my sister's for the day; and off we trekked to Fenway Park, surreally decked out in Bruins black & gold for the day and full of boisterous, exuberant fans in hockey shirts and tuques. The temperatures were fairly mild (no wind chill!), the atmosphere was great, and the Bruins even managed to win the game at almost the last possible minute--a pretty fabulous introduction to 2010. I hope it's a harbinger of things to come.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year, and a 2010 full of good things!

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