North and South America
On February 2, 2018 a great gathering of skaters shared in the annual skate event: Skater Migration in Miami, Florida. Skater Migration, established in 2016, and the event that paved its way, the Great EsSkate, which took place from 2000-2015, have been early February staple events for the last 18 years. Skate Migration is something that skaters all over the world to look forward to each year. It is an event that invites skaters to get out of their winter blues, for some it is even an escape from their frozen tundra. Ultimately, it is a fantastic time to hang with other skaters and enjoy the warmth and sunshine of Miami. The following is a summary of Skater Migration 2018 from Rollerblade® Ambassador, Kris Fondran.
Considering that it almost Valentine's Day and I'm reflecting on all the people and things that I love, it is a perfect time to also profess my love for this annual skating event.
From a sunrise yoga practice on the beach each morning with a group of skaters, to my daily indulgence of cafe con leche, to skating through various Miami neighborhoods, over causeways, near the beach, to meeting up with dear friends for dinner, or just sitting by the ocean in a beach chair soaking up some much needed sun, I truly cherished every moment. "I am so happy" is a thought that permeates my mind and it induces a smile for three glorious days!
For me, and probably many others who have attended these events multiple times (14 out of 18 years for me!), it tends to be a bit of a "Ground Hog Day" experience. But in a VERY good way. This year, however, it was different.
As always, we had the amazingly orchestrated group skates. Thank you to Event Organizer and Rollerblade® Ambassador Doris Casabona, her event team, and the National Skate Patrol. As always we had the warmth. Thank you South Florida in February. And as always, there were the familiar faces who share a love for skating and attend Skater Migration year after year. These are the constants that keep me coming back.
What made this year different is that the schedule changed for Saturday because of the weather. Rain has been a factor in previous year’s events and we muddled through the puddles. This year, however, Doris called an "audible" on Saturday morning and decided to shift the early afternoon skate to the end of the day when it would be dry. Instead of an outdoor cruise we made our way to an indoor rink for the afternoon. Spending time skating indoors is not what many of us had in mind when we thought how the weekend would roll out, but nonetheless, this was where we were heading. Open minds often lead to pleasant surprises and that is exactly what we got!
For $10 we ended up at the "Extreme Action Park" . At first glance it looked like a glorified "Chuck E. Cheese", with arcade games, bowling, rock wall climbing, etc., but it proved to be a ton of fun both on and off skates. It had been a while since I had worn quad skates and skated in a roller rink setting, but I had a blast going "old school". In addition to the smooth surface and great music, Trish Alexander and Sonic Arnov of the Skate Instructor Association provided us with opportunity to learn a few slalom and dance moves reminding us of the many ways we can enjoy our time on skates.
We ended Saturday with an amazing night skate through the trendy and art filled Wynwood neighborhood where we stopped at an outdoor venue for a quick drink and apparently an impromptu dance party. Another unexpected treat of the weekend!
With Sunday came the sun and we had a beautiful 20+ mile skate to round out another successful event.
Nowhere in the world is there an event, at least not to my knowledge, that brings skating, warmth, and fun together better than Skater Migration. So on this snow filled almost Valentine's Day in Ohio, with a lot of love in my heart, I am feeling very blessed to have had my weekend in Miami.
Thank you to all the wonderful volunteers who keep this event going each year, to the new friends that I met, and to the old ones that share their time with me each year. Lots of love to all of you who make this event a love of mine and who keep me coming back year after year!
Keep up to date with Skater Migration at: https://www.facebook.com/skatermigration/
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