It started off with our going to the ice skating rink. Kat loves skating; one of her favorite New York stories is the time she went skating at Rockefeller Center, and received an impromptu lesson from Scott Hamilton. I, on the other hand, haven't been on skates of any kind in over 20 years. I have a tough enough time walking on ice, let alone sliding across it on a millimeters-thick metal blade.
We get the skates, head out onto the ice, and I am instantly terrified. I just know I'm going to fall and break my wrist, turn my ankle and sprain it, or slip and crack my head on the ice. For ten minutes, I am grabbing the wall for dear life, pulling myself inch by inch around the rink, muttering to myself "fuck this fuck this fuck this fuck this." After surviving one lap, I got off the ice, found a bench, and waited while my pulse came down from the mid triple digits.
Kat sat down next to me, tried to calm me down, and at the same time tried to get me back on the ice. After about 15 minutes, she literally pulled me back on. I'm holding onto her hand with what must have been a painfully bone-crushing grip, and we managed another lap. Off the ice we go again.
Kat decides that the skates she rented are too uncomfortable and dull, so she goes out to the car to get her old skates, brings them to the pro shop to be sharpened, and gets new laces. During this time, the rink is cleared and the Zamboni comes out to smooth the ice.
After about a half-hour off the ice, her skates are done, the Zamboni is finished, and we had back out on ice that is as smooth as glass. I don't know if that made a difference, or if I was just past the point of fear, but now I managed to do two laps, only occasionally gripping the wall with one hand. At one point, I was on the inside lap, holding (not death-gripping) Kat's hand and pulling her gently across the ice. Apparently her skates' blades are quite a bit narrower, and freshly sharpened, so she's slip-sliding along.
By the time we finished skating for the day, almost two hours after we first hit the ice, I was actually having fun, skating along...well, not spectacularly or speedily by any sense, but I managed to "solo" for two laps and actually got a good distance away from the wall, sort of pushing myself with my right foot and gliding on my left. I managed to avoid falling (Kat landed on her butt once), and we promised each other we would do this again in a few weeks.
Slightly tired but happy, we made our way to the Broad Ripple Brew Pub for dinner. Good food, great micro-brewed beer. I started off with a pint of ESB ale to go along with our beer cheese and bread (a nice starter, but too salty even for Kat's taste) and fish and chips (not bad, but the one I had in a pub in Victoria, London, England, was better). Kat doesn't drink beer, and she had the ploughman's lunch (fresh raw veggies, cheese, bread, hummus, and ranch dip).
After my ale, I had a half-pint of porter, which gave me a warm feeling (7% alcohol? You bet it does!). At one point, Kat took a bite of one of her carrot slices. Part of the carrot slice broke off, arced through the air, and landed perfectly, without hitting the rim, smack dab in my porter. I looked at it for half a second, and just lost myself in a fit of laughter. I eventually did finish my beer, including the vegetable additive, and found that while beer-soaked carrot is not necessarily a bad thing, I don't see it appearing on the menu anytime soon.
Later that evening, we went for a drive in the country. To those of you who have never lived in the Midwest, "a drive in the country" means you head down a road identified only by a number, that is not quite two lanes wide, with only the vaguest of ideas where you may wind up. When you run into a farmer's field (sometimes literally), turn. After about an hour of this, the monotony of the trip was broken by the sudden appearance of a raccoon in the roadway. Kat swerved to miss it, and she did, mostly. She didn't kill it, becuaae when we went back to look for it, there was no carcass on the road or in the bushes, and no blood or guts on our car. She probably grazed it's side and scared the hell out of it. We eventually came out of the farmlands, back to (as least by Indiana standards) a main thoroughfare, and made our way home.