hey, it’s good (to be back home again)

We’re about halfway through our visit home to the US. The things we are enjoying most about being here are language, weather, and food. The first is self-explanatory. The weather has been glorious for the past couple of days, with cloudless blue mornings and temperatures that defy winter. It’s been a rare treat after Taiwan’s constant hazes and greys. We’ve enjoyed the food for different reasons. Ted says that his digestion is much happier with American food. Mine certainly isn’t. I think part of the problem is that I eat much more beef here, but another part may be butter. Tonight we went to the Flatwater Grill, which has a wonderful location in Oak Ridge TN, right by the start of the course where we raced Master’s Nationals a few years ago. The food was tasty,, but my meal consisted of bread and butter, Caesar salad with creamy dressing, grilled salmon rubbed with pesto and with a literal scoop of herb butter on top, scalloped potatoes, and grilled asparagus which for some odd reason was also dripping butter. It was good but I found myself getting nostalgic for Boston’s Naked Fish restaurant chain, or even our own old grill where we could let the taste of grill and fish and asparagus stand on their own. I feel like I’m still wiping butter off my chin.

Since we’ve seen all we need to in Oak Ridge, tomorrow we’ll go to Asheville and visit the Biltmore Estate, then have dinner with a longtime online acquaintance of mine. After that we’ll go back to NC, and spend a few days with our old rowing friends who have settled there. We haven’t met their younger kids, and the older ones have probably doubled in size since we last saw them, so that will be fun.

Then it’s back to DC and a couple more days with my uncle. after which I get to spend less than a week at home before shipping out to the Netherlands for at least three weeks. It might be more, but that’s fine because otherwise Ted gets there just as I leave, which would be not good at all.

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