Saturday, September 27, 2008

If you get sunburned, you had a good time.

Katherine's two big races were today. She did great. Breaststroke really is her stroke, she had good enough times in Chennai to race in the 12 and unders in Colombo and placed 13/17 in the prelims. For the 200m freestyle, a long hard race, she was too slow for 12 and unders, so was placed in 15-18 and finished 2nd to last in the prelims, but finished and looked good during the whole race, slow but steady.

There's more now about Saturday... go read.

Ian only got to watch about 1/2 hour of the presidential debate before breakfast and departure. We arrived back at OSC before 9 a.m. with plenty of time to catch some awards given out from the previous day, and before the rest of the races. Katherine was in 50m breaststroke, Holli (our co-traveler's daughter) was in 50m butterfly and both girls were in 200m freestyle. We also watched the 50m freestyle beforehand.
McDonald's was calling us. Because our kids didn't make it into the finals, we didn't feel the need to sit by the pool for another 6-7 hours. And in fact we heard later that it didn't wrap up until after 6 due to a break in the finals for "fun swims." Who planned that? Did the kids who were racing the 200m finals afterwards really want to expend energy playing "Beat the Coaches"? Yeesh. So we didn't stay, we went to lunch. McDonald's has beef. Halal beef, so it tastes different, but still beef. And a playland. And hot apple pies. Not pizza puffs as the deep fried goodies turn out to be in Chennai, but actual apple pies. It was all so very yummy. Afterwards we realized the food really wasn't that good, being McDonald's and all, but it didn't matter when we ate. Then, it was very very yummy.
We moseyed on over to Chris and Anne's home for a break. Rebecca and the boys ran around the yard (by this time they were a complete embarrassment to bring around as their Big Bad Blue shirts were on day 2 of sweat and playgrounds and playlands and big grassy areas with trees to climb), as well as worked on a puzzle and chilled out with some playstation time. Chris and Anne put together a 3000 piece puzzle of an old world map and had it framed during their time in Kuwait. It's easily 4 1/2 feet across, and quite impressive.
With some shopping yet to accomplish, we returned to ODELs. I replenished my tea stocks, didn't even try to resist the LUSH urge, and bought swimming trunks for the boys like racers wear. I could see how being in a small town like Colombo could get tiring but for us, seeing DeliFrance was quite a treat and there are quite the deals to be found in clothing. Apparently Sri Lanka has a deal with clothing manufacturers. They can have their clothes made in Sri Lanka for cheap, but something like 10% of the clothes get held back and sold on the local economy for local prices. Clothing tagged for $48 could be bought for $6. Chris and Anne mentioned also that visiting the manufacturing floors is quite a sight. Since we didn't do much in the way of touristing we missed it, but you know, I could see a Foreign Service tour there. Not right now, probably not within the next 10 years, but at some point, sure. There are things to see and do, and even in downtown everything looks cleaner and smells far better than any place in Chennai. Sitting by the hotel pool with the salty sea breeze was very close to bliss.
Also recommended was a store called Paradise Road. It's very Pier-1 and we picked up a couple little souvenirs. What was more fun was the Gallery Cafe next door. The ambiance was so pleasant, in an open courtyard with squishy seats and wrought-iron everything. It really doesn't take much to make us happy. The homemade frozen ginger beer was tangy like drinking a spicy ginger snap. I heard the milkshakes were good too. Jonathon didn't get one, and very nearly went straight to bed as soon as we returned to the hotel, for all the mischief he got into over the course of the day. He almost didn't get to go swimming in the evening with his new trunks.
We were hungry again by the time dinner rolled around, and went back to the poolside Italian place for dinner since the kids were swimming and soggy anyway. It was a good day all around. No pressure, no real commitments, just time to enjoy a break from home.

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