This would have been much more easily accomplished if everyone else was as excited about said adventure as the small one was. Older brother managed to get out of it by flying home early. The rest of the family seemed doomed to the journey, however begrudgingly.
On the day of the trip, Mother, older sister, small sister and small sister's friend drove in one car with Father and (no longer that small) younger brother drove in the other car to meet at the indoor ice-arena at approximately 2:00 PM (1400 Hours.) This plan went swimmingly (if a little late) until the female vehicle realized that the arena, which had been open for a similar trip the previous New Year was closed. Mother and older sister were ready to go home. Small sister and friend were very disappointed. Small sister was close to tears until Mother decided to suggest an even colder idea: the outdoor ice arena down town! Brilliant! cried the younger passengers. Wonderful! Smashing! Please, lets!
This is the part where the boys get out of the adventure in favor of watching bowl games. Older sister begins to see the benefit of competitive sports.
So older sister drove the car down town and eventually (an hour later) found said over-crowded very small ice arena playing loud rock music and containing a plethora of people including two Mennonite girls, teenaged boys and girls attempting to flirt, skating students attempting to skate, and men dragged in by their wives away from their respective bowl games wearing jackets and hats to support their teams instead.
To compensate for the cold and the fact that older sister had only dressed for indoor skating, she decided to go in search of a Starbucks to buy a warm drink of the chocolate variety. Surely there would be one! Or three! Or twelve! Within four city blocks alone! It could not be so very difficult!
Older sister drove up and down a plethora of city streets in an attempt to find Starbucks. Mother had told her that there was one near where her father worked but she could not see it. She determined that either 1) she needed glasses; 2) she needed to be a wizard to see it; or 3) Mother was crazy. After driving around without success down nearly every street in the down town area that seemed remotely safe, older sister decided to go to another coffee place a little farther away. Other coffee place had, as she recalled, a nice variety of sandwiches and quiches and other snacks as well, since she had not eaten her noon meal yet. This pleasant thought in mind, older sister found that the delightful coffee shop that had held all her hopes and dreams was closed. Not just for today, but for every day. Hopes and dreams were shattered. There was (very nearly) weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth.
Older sister decided that she was tired of driving around and that she should stop wasting gas in Mother's car. As she was driving back, through the hazy waves of the hot drink-free desert, an oasis was seen on the corner - a Starbucks! At last! Older sister had found some luck! She parked by a meter and went in. There was no line. She ordered one grande and one tall beverage for herself and for her mother. The cashier said "Mayhaps may I interest you in something else?" Older sister wished she had interest in another drink simply because he used the word "mayhaps". Roughly $6.37 later, older sister is back in the car and on her way back to the outdoor ice block. Things are looking up. Especially when small sister's friend announces that her feet hurt and she is almost ready to go.
Thank you, Starbucks. Thank you.