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Ever since it started getting chillier in November, I’ve been holding my breathe, in a way.  Doing little ice-dances. Hoping against hope that the canals would freeze.

The gods in Siberia must have noticed my snow dances, because cold wind swept across Europe bringing -30 degree C temps to Ukraine and Poland, snow in Rome, and frozen canals to Amsterdam. We spoke to one gentlemen who said he’d lived on the canal his whole life, and never seen it this frozen. This was it! The quintessential Dutch winter experience, right in our backyard!

I couldn’t wait to get out on it! I was like a giddy little girl, I swear. I literally had dreams about it the night before, and I rushed Jesse out the door that morning as fast as we could go.

Most Dutch have ice skates already, and there aren’t many places to rent them, so we went for the ancient ones at the flea market. €10 isn’t bad for fulfilling a dream! They’re the kind you strap right on to whatever shoes you’re wearing, then glide away.

Unfortunately, the minute we tried to glide, the ancient straps broke. Boo! Honestly, I’m not convinced these would have been fun to skate on anyway. They were so wobbly I probably would have broken my ankle. We contented ourselves with walking around on the ice, scooting, spinning, and joining in the fun slip-sliding times.

The city of Amsterdam banned boats from going through the Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht canals, letting the ice freeze to an impressive thickness. On a few clearer spots we could peek down and see at least 6”!

I love the different perspective you get on the canals. Suddenly, it’s a different city. The houses are bigger, the bridges more important. Street names become useless, and the canals become the streets.

I feel like my life is slightly more well-lived, being able to slip around on the frozen canals. Hot chocolate afterward didn’t hurt, either.

{And thank you for the nice comments on my yellow coat earlier! Jesse gave it to me for Christmas one year. I’m more and more convinced that he has better fashion sense than I do.}

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