Wrapping up 2010

Greetings from Chula Vista.  WOW, it is just awesome to be here and enjoying the Training Center during the last few days of my holiday break.  I am here courtesy of the good grace of the UW women’s rowing program, crashing the party that is their annual winter camp trip.  I’m not actually rowing with the girls or coaching, but they are letting me cruise around the lake in the 1X while they do their team boat rowing, and a few of the girls kept me company on the erg yesterday afternoon.
As it turns out, I made a good call this year coming to California instead of heading back to Princeton as my friends there are luxuriously blanketed in several inches of snow at the moment.  Here?  65 and sunny, with beautiful flat water conditions in the a.m. So, I’ve got another few days in paradise, getting in some solid training on and off the water in order to be ready to pick it up back in New Jersey after the first of the year.  And I am blissful.  Happy.

Faith, Ryan, Ellen, Molly, Bill and me in our 'best' Indian garb.

Christmas was another culinary and cultural success in Tucson this year.  We did Indian Christmas, complete with costumes and truly delicious food.  Ellen joined us for a few days en route to Michigan, so she and my sister Molly and I spent all day on Christmas Eve preparing multiple curries, chutneys, ghee, naan, and salads for dinner that night (12:00-7:30… a serious commitment).  Though it didn’t quite keep with the theme, Anne Murray Christmas albums kept us going as we slaved away, chopping, dicing, and mixing our multitude of fresh, tasty ingredients.  I had never prepared Indian dishes before, so using new kinds of spices, as well as preparing fresh coconut for both chutneys and homemade coconut milk was awesome.  Loved it.  Here are a few of the recipes we used (.pdf format):

Indian Spiced Potato Salad
Curried Lamb with Onions
Mango and Coconut Chutney
Highly recommended!  We spent the afternoon of Christmas day at The Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, which was a lot of fun.  Their free flight demonstration with the resident Harris Hawks was really cool, with lots of close encounter dives from the birds (and super cute bird handlers, nice).
Both years that I have spent Christmas in Tucson, it is easy to see why people decide to retire there.  The desert landscape is beautiful and fascinating in its own way; it’s easy to get around; people are relatively easy going and nice; and the weather is phenomenal.  I wish I had more time to spend lazing in Tucson, but unfortunately all of the things I like about it don’t necessarily lend themselves to making it a thriving rowing hotspot.  Looking forward to when I can get back.

A few other things of note as we head toward the end of 2010:

  • Power and Grace calendars are ALMOST SOLD OUT!  Woo hoo!  There are a few left to order online, otherwise they are scarce and scattered among the training center athletes.  http://www.yearbox.com/rowing to order, or hurry and contact your PTC athlete to get yours!  THANK YOU for all of your support and making the calendar sale a success!
  • Ellen is now online!  Check out her new webpage: http://www.ellentomek.com which should have more content…soon…
    and on Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/ellentomek
  • More of my teammates on Twitter:
    Natalie Dell – @natalieSdell
    Susan Francia – @zfrancia
    Caroline Lind – @carolinelind12
    Ali Cox – @alicox16
    Meghan Musnicki – @MegMus
    Esther Lofgren – @ERLofgren

Hope everyone has a great end of 2010 and has a healthy, happy place to ring in 2011!

Long Live the Dream,

–MK

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