My little sister is a rock star. Well, maybe not so much a rock star as an ice dancing star. At the ripe age of 13, she and her skating partner, Quinn (who's 16), managed to out skate competitors in their late teens and 20s and have been invited onto Team U.S.A. to travel and skate abroad this fall and winter. But before jetsetting to the French Alps for their first international competition later this month, Lorraine and Quinn competed in Lake Placid at the 80th Annual Ice Dancing Championships held on the Olympic rink "where miracles are made," as they say. My family was there to cheer her on.
Ice dancing is different from pairs figure skating in that there are no lifts above the man's head and the woman cannot be thrown in the air. At each competition, skaters have two programs: The "short dance" must incorporate two preselected dance patterns such as a waltz or the fox trot, for example, into the choreography; in the "free dance" ice dancers have no more than four minutes to complete seven elements, including spins, lifts, twizzles, and footwork. Lorraine and Quinn got the silver metal in their short dance and the bronze in their free dance (pictured above). Way to go!
Once the competitions are over, the whole family can relax. This year, we headed to the Lake Placid Lodge for drinks. Mom sipped on some mighty mojitos, the boys enjoyed Ubu Ale from Lake Placid Brewery, and I enjoyed one heckuva raspberry mocktail. We were surprised and delighted to find that a wildlife expert was there with several rescued birds for us to pet and hold. Here we are with Tess the barn owl. (Side note: I want a pair of waxed, patterned jeans like Tess' feathers. When I find my waist again, that is.)
It's hard to beat the view of Whiteface Mountain from the docks of Lake Placid Lodge, especially when there's a large, red Adirondack chair inviting you to take a seat (or, in Brendan's case, a wood-paneled boat for a quick picture). One advantage of visiting Lake Placid in late summer is that evening temperatures cool down to the 50s and even 40s, allowing you to try on some of the fall clothes you couldn't resist snapping up in July. (Guilty as charged.)
If it's not too chilly, the day ends bundled by the fire with a plate of grahams, mallows, and chocolate for some good 'n' sticky s'mores.