Sounds like an oxymoron, huh? Hockey in Florida? But it happens. We even have our own NHL team - the Tampa Bay Lightning. Not only are the Lightning becoming more and more popular, there are smaller leagues that are expanding across our state. One of the newest teams to join are the Orlando Solar Bears.
Actually, the Solar Bears use to be pretty popular in Orlando, but the team dissolved a few years ago. This year they've returned to the Amway Center.
So why am I talking about hockey? Well, because Dan has gotten bit by the hockey bug. It started a couple years ago when his brother joined an amateur league at the RDV Sportsplex in Maitland. It's the only indoor ice skating and hockey rink in the Central Florida area that was close to home. Once his brother got into it, he talked Dan into joining a team. And from there, it's history. Sadly, we now live too far from the RDV so Dan hasn't played hockey since our wedding. But, it doesn't mean he hasn't stopped watching or talking about it.
When his birthday rolled around in November, I thought tickets to a Solar Bears game was the perfect gift. So I told him what his gift was and told him to pick a date. He knew his brother would be coming down from Georgia for Christmas and he wanted to know if they were going to go to a OSB game while they were down. So we waited until this past Thursday to celebrate the Hubby's birthday.
It was our first time in the new Amway Center. And I have to say, it didn't disappoint. The only gripe I have is the amount of money you have to pay to park in their garage. We opted to park at Dan's office and walk a couple city blocks to get to the Amway. It was worth saving the $15-20 it would have cost us otherwise.
I'll be honest, I wasn't really into the game. Not like Dan was. But things started to pick up by the 3rd period when Shades, the team's mascot, got a little more interactive with the crowd.
The best part, hands down, was during the last intermission when they shared a JibJab video of Shades dancing gangnam style. It was hilarious!
All in all, the night was a success. The Hubby really enjoyed himself. And I'm glad he got to experience the game with his brother.