August 5, 2009

The Best Homestays Ever!!!!

Wow! I am so lucky! I have been blessed with the best homestays ever...and not just one of them, but FOUR in a row. Yes, that's right, 4 in a row...I have been traveling like crazy lately, basically I've been on the road since June 11th. So this blog is to thank everyone who has opened their homes up to me...and then hopefully I'll be following up with some good stories from my travels!!!

First up, the Summers! What an awesome family!!! I stayed with Jamie and Brett and their three kids: Taylor, Perry, and Ryan for the Eagleman 70.3 race. They spoiled me with good food (my favorite: home-made noodles from Bella Luna!), a comfy bed, and a fun time. I really enjoyed hangin out with them and I even played some guitar hero! The girls all helped out at the race and it was so cool to have my own cheering squad. And rumor has it...there are some new triathletes to be in the family, good luck ya'll! Oh, I also need to get that picture of us from you, so I can post it here :)

After the race I headed towards Washington DC where my next race was. Fellow pro, Margie Shapiro and her family, Brendan, Molly, and Will let me stay with them for a few days. While staying with them, Margie pointed me in the right direction for all my swimming, biking, and running. I was amazed at all the bike and run trails, community pools, and rec centers. I had a wonderful time hanging out with them and am amazed by everything Margie gets done in a day--training, coaching, keeping up with her two energetic kiddos, and owning 7 running shops! Check out their Potomac River Running stores.

On Friday I moved into the Team USA hotel in Downtown Washington DC for the ITU World Championship Series Race. Then following the race, I had an early morning flight out to Des Moines, for my 3rd race in three weeks, and my 3rd homestay. I arrived to very HOT weather, thank goodness Coach Mike likes his house to feel like made my workouts in the 109-heat-index weather bearable since I knew I would be welcomed home by a blast of cold air! I had quite the set-up for the entire week: the whole basement to myself, plenty of room to chill out and relax. I also got caught up on tons of movies, thanks to Redbox. I mostly watched chick flicks to save Randy from the cheesiness...the best was Confessions of a Shopaholic, also caught He's Just Not That Into You, Bride Wars, The Code, Gran Torino, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, yah movies! I also got to make some delicious Puppy Chow with Mike's kids and they kept me laughing every night.

After the HyVee race, I made a pit stop in Colorado Springs and then headed up to Canada for a training camp (more on that to come.) A HUGE thank you goes out to my fantastic homestay in Victoria, Theresa & Sean. The HUGE thank you because it was such a last minute trip and they found out they would be keeping me for 3-4 days on Saturday and I arrived on Sunday...and I stayed a bit longer than I was there for 17days!!! They loved my Oklahoma accent and laughed at my misconception of Canada's miserable weather...but then again I was in the 'Mediterranean of Canada.' I also got to visit their CrossFit gym...which was totally cool. I would have loved to jump into a workout, but knowing I would be using muscles that I usually don't...which means I would be sorer than sore in funky spots for days...I declined. We also ate Sushi a few times, yum yum! And we tried to fit all three of our heads into a self-portrait taken with a phone:

Okay, so one more homestay to mention. I know, I said four above...but there was actually five. Many thanks to Carolyn, whose house I took over during the day between workouts. She was nice enough to open her house up to Justin and then I showed up too! We had many great laughs and good times...and yummy treats that she spoiled us with! Thanks so much Carolyn!

So now, I'm back in Colorado Springs for a short time. This weekend I'll be racing the 5430 race in Boulder and on the way up I'll be making a pit stop at Angela and Dan's, which means I get to see my precious niece Annie!

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to everyone! Without your generous hospitality and suppport I wouldn't be able to keep racing like I am. And you all have an open invitation to come visit and stay with me! Hope to see you soon :)

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