Monday, August 30, 2010

Home(-stay), Sweet, Home(-stay)

Three weeks ago I discovered a new relative.  Or perhaps he discovered us.  Chris had called saying he was Pa Support Staff’s second cousin once removed or something and coming through town, could he visit for a few days?  And he came bearing genealogical documents! 

All I heard after that was he’s big into farming so loved our place and lives in Louisville so we had a place to stay for IMLOU...Welcome to the family, cousin!

My previous trips to Louisville had been hosted by Marcy and my Uncle Perry, who sadly passed away in February.  These instances were special as both quality time with family and an education for residents who knew only that something called Ironman was invading their town.  This year would prove to be no different.

“So my uncle is the son of your father’s father’s mother’s brother.  What does that make us?”

“How far is each piece?  And it’s swim, then bike, then run, right?” 

“What do you eat?  I’ve got chicken, beef, pork, fish, scallops, shrimp, yogurt, veggies, fruit….”

He needn’t have worried.  There was a bushel of fresh peaches under the kitchen table and bowls of hummus sitting out for continuous snacking with home-made croutons.  Plus Chris had gone to CostCo to stock up – which proves not only that he truly understands Ironman eating, but also that we are related by blood.

The first night I was there, before the rest of the Support Staff arrived, Chris made this:
 
He grilled lettuce.  And peaches.  And corn and peppers.  Plus quinoa and that’s a delicious meal.

Breakfast was peach lassis, trying to improve upon a recent Indian restaurant’s attempt.  Be warned: never add orange juice to your homemade lassi if you want it to taste like something other than orange.

Enough about the food. [wipes drool from my chin] Their house is beautiful and comfortable enough for two complete families plus me just trying to do my own thing.  The location was ideal, yet so totally removed from the race infrastructure that I would not be surprised if most of their neighbors are oblivious about the race.

Yet they chose to partake in the juggernaut, swinging by the expo and biking to the practice swim just to watch crazy people get into a body of water most locals wouldn’t touch with their pinky toe.  And cheering on race-day when I was oxygenated enough to notice!

Oh, and they’re fans of The Wire.  Who wouldn’t appreciate dissecting Omar’s “playing the game” speech to the jury in season 2 before a race?  Is Stringer Bell’s personality real with or without the glasses?

A HUGE thanks to Chris and Linda, for their hospitality, patience with a tapering athlete, and above all, infectious enthusiasm.  Now if only I could find long lost family in Cozumel or Australia… 

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