Saturday, September 27, 2008

Louise's Last Regatta

I just finished a sailing race on Lake Michigan with my dad, cousin and uncle. It was officially the last race of the year here in the soon-to-be very cold town known as Milwaukee:(

We raced on a 44ft steel boat that was onced cruised extensively in the South Pacific. This was the first time I sailed on this particular boat with its current owner...for this story let's just call him 'Bart'.

Bart has a very interesting philosophy of being on the boat and in the race: Relax, everything will work out and be fine. For those of you who are not familiar with racing just let me tell you this is probably not the best ideology.

Imagine this; 115 to 120 boats ranging in size from 8ft to 70ft and from $5000 to a million or more dollars. Now all these boats are in an area of about a square mile of each other weaving in and out, fighting for position at the starting line. There are many protocols for rights of way so that boats stay relatively safe.

Essentially Bart was a little too relaxed with the protocols. We nearly clipped the rear end of two boats. On one we actually caught some of their rigging on our bow (front). Needless to say it was not a good/safe situation.

A crash could cause serious damage to boats as well as their crews.

I had a great time being on the water, as I always do. The weather was perfect, 75 and sunny with a light breeze. Bart's racing tactics are somewhat hilarious as you look back at them from the safety of the dock.

I'm now off to eat with my Uncle Bill who made the outstanding chickens. Unfortunately I won't be eating his chickens tonight:(

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Splash Cover

Yesterday I picked up the mail and to my surprise I was on the cover of SPLASH Magazine!  One of my dreams has always been to be on the cover of a swimming publication.  It feels very satisfying, OH YEAH!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Chicken Roast

This past weekend my parents threw a big party in celebration of my Olympic Gold Medals!!!

My great Uncle Bill is famous in our family for an incredible chicken roast that he has been doing for almost 45 years. I had never actually tasted the chickens, at least not that I could remember. I made a deal with him last year that if I made the Olympics he would make me roasted chickens!

Saturday was Uncle Bill's day to roast chickens to perfection. Usually he would roast 20 chickens. However, the chickens we got were too big so we only got eight on each spit. The two spits are rotated by a 40-year-old washing machine motor. The entire contraption is something you would see on MacGyver!

Roasting these chickens is as easy as any recipe. We simply basted the chickens twice in a solution of Miller Lite beer and a touch of salt. When the beer and salt mixture dried, we basted them in butter. About a half hour after this first basting session we did this once more.

In about two and a half hours the chickens were cooked to perfection. They were the most unbelievably juicy, tender and tasty chickens I had ever put into my by-then watering mouth!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Bud Selig

Today I had a cool experience. I met Bud Selig, the commissioner of Major League Baseball.  We discussed the impending demolition of Yankee Stadium as well as my Olympic experience.  It was pretty interesting to meet someone who has had such an impact on MLB. He was truly gracious.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Abbaye de Citeaux

While at the restaurant Daniel I had the opportunity to taste the most unique cheese of my life. It's a cow's milk cheese that is called Abbaye de Citeaux. This splendid cow's milk creation is made my monks in a French monestary. The flavor is something that sounds weird and maybe even unappetizing: when I first put this soft, creamy cheese with a semi-hard rind in my mouth, I instantly thought of a Wisconsin dairy farm. It was splendid!

It's amazing to me how food can be so unique and how it always finds a way to make me so happy and content!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Olympic Dinner: Sign Up Now!

Bacchus, a very nice restaurant in Milwaukee, approached Garrett about doing an Olympic event on Monday, September 29 at 6:30 p.m. It fit perfectly with his love of fine food. You can still get a spot. Call 414-765-1166.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Horseback Riding

Today I had a rare treat. I went horseback riding!

I am currently seeing a physical therapist for my ankle. I sprained it at the end of my trip to Beijing (luckily it was after the swimming competition was over and the sprain was not severe). I found out that Megan, my therapist, has five horses and plays polo. I have a real interest in horses and talked to her about it. She could tell that I was super excited and said, "you need to come riding with me sometime." I jumped at the offer!!!

Today during my session she asked me if I wanted to go riding. Her boyfriend was training the horses about 25 minutes away. I jumped at the chance and said, ABSOLUTELY!

I drove to the stable and went riding with Tom. We spent about an hour and a half in this enormous indoor riding arena. Tom was a professional polo player so he is an expert rider. He taught me how to position my body better, what to do with my hands and feet. It was great. We were trotting and cantering all over the arena.

After our session in the arena, we took the horses outside and rode on this huge ridge that overlooked the Wisconsin countryside. Few things are more beautiful than my home state during the summer. Riding was absolutely wonderful. I was so happy I got the opportunity to go and to learn so much from Tom.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Back in the Gym, Sort of...

It's been years and years since I've been able to take a couple months off. Believe me, I need it. I plan to stay out of the pool until early October. Meanwhile, I've been starting to work my way back into shape... pushups, crunches, free weights in my parents' basement, visits to the gym when I was in New York to see my sister. It feels good to work out without killing myself.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Restaurant Daniel

Unbelievable. Tantalizing and Exquisite. Unforgettable!!! These are the first words that come to mind when I think back to the experience I had with my sister on Friday night at Daniel. Daniel is revered as one of the finest restaurants in NYC.

I met Daniel Boulud, the most famous French chef in the world, while I was in Beijing. While talking to him there, I told him I wanted to go to his restaurant in the fall with my sister and would email him about when I was arriving.  (Little did I know that I would be invited later that week to his newly opened restaurant in Beijing, it was fabulous and free!!!)

Daniel in New York had been closed for five weeks for renovations and we got a reservation for 7pm on Friday night. It helps to have the Chef's personal email address!

As soon as we sat down and before we even knew what was happening, they brought champagne to our table. Briefly afterwards they started to bring small tasters to warm our palettes. The first tray included three tasters, octopus, a shot of cocoa bean soup and a little rice ball that had been delicately deep fried and filled with wild mushrooms and burrata cheese. Thereafter they continued to bring more and more tiny edibles and placed them on our plates.  

For me, fine-dining is not all about the taste of the delicate flavors. Of course the unique foods and tastes are wonderful. However, I am so interested in why the flavors go together, how the food is prepared, where the food comes from, etc. The luxury of going to a restaurant like Daniel is that everyone on the wait staff knows everything about the food and its preparation. I had great pleasure asking tons of questions about all the food.

For example, the cheese tray had about thirty different choices on it. I asked about dozens of different cheeses, how they were prepared, why they have certain flavors, what makes them have their certain textures. 
Stay tuned.  There will be much more about our experience at Daniel in the coming days!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

New York, New York

Today I traveled to New York City to visit my older sister Hillary. On the cab ride from the airport to the city I saw a man driving in chaotic traffic while flossing his teeth. At that very moment I thought to myself, "only in New York City would you see this!"

I went straight from the airport to my sister's office. She is a designer at JCREW. I met a bunch of her co-workers and everyone wanted to see my medals. I took them out, everyone was so excited. It was great to see their reactions. A few more people came, then a few people told a few more people. Before I knew it there were tons of people around and the CEO of the company was on the Intercom of the entire office telling everyone I was in the office with my gold medals.

As soon as this happened I was swept away upstairs where all the top executives and designers were meeting in a conference room. As soon as they saw me walking down the hall they all began cheering and clapping. Everyone was so excited for me and could not tell me enough how proud they were of Team USA.

The CEO, a very funny and straight to the point man named Mickey asked me when I seriously started swimming. I told him when I went to high school my parents told me I needed to decide what sport or activity I really wanted to do and focus on that. I explained to him that I really loved swimming and decided I was going to do it to the best of my abilities. He raised his arms and said, "WHHHHOOOAAA, do you hear that everybody??? Garrett just said you need to pick what you really love and do it the best that you can!!" He then explained to me that my philosophy was exactly what he had been telling the entire company at countless meetings over the past several months. He was so excited about it that he got on the intercom and told everyone that I just told him something amazing. He then prodded me into saying the quote over the intercom, I agreed and everyone thought it was really funny. It was all quite comical.

The day in New York and at JCREW was fantastic!!! I got the opportunity to meet many unique and influential people. Best of all I reunited with my sister:)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What's Your Favorite Healthy and Great-Tasting Recipe?

Since eating right is a team effort, Garrett and Team GWG are starting a new "reader recipes" feature both here and on the site. Here's how it works: E-mail an original healthy recipe to Garrett will sort through the best of your best, test recipes in his kitchen and showcase a "winning" recipe every couple weeks. If you can, include a photo and a few sentences about yourself, healthy eating and living an active lifestyle. In addition to being featured, each winner will receive an autographed Speedo swim cap.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Being on Oprah

HI Everyone!!!

I hope all of you enjoyed the Oprah show that aired today. It was great to be around all the other USA Olympic Athletes once again. When I arrived at the Hilton hotel on Michigan Avenue, the lobby and hallways were filled with athletes. I felt like I was back in the Olympic village.

We rose early the morning of the show and took double decker buses, via police escort, to Millennium Park where the show was going to be taped. I sat on the top of one of the busses just in front of the USA basketball team.
When we arrived at the show Jason Lezak, Cullen Jones and I went to a private room where we were prepped for the show. They had a private breakfast for us in the dressing room. It was pretty funny when they told us they were going to put make-up on all of us. We all laughed. Jason could barely believe he was having make-up put on him.

On the set of the show I sat in the front row with the other three relay members. Across the aisle from me, about three feet away was Kobe Bryant. It was fun to see all the USA basketball guys again. We got to meet all of them when they came to watch swimming in Beijing!

After we were finished taping the show we were setting up to take a picture. Kobe and I were standing next to each other. He looked at me and smiled and patted me on the back. He told me how proud he was of me for winning that gold medal on the 400 Free Relay. He was so excited when he was talking to me...Kobe continued to talk with me and described how that was one of the most amazing things he had ever seen in his entire life.
Talk about ridiculous.

Seriously, Kobe Bryant telling me that a swimming race that I was in was one of the coolest things he has ever seen in his life. I was amazed and totally thrilled. I just talked to him about it and was super excited. Partly I was excited because of his happiness. Mostly I was excited because whenever people bring up that relay my heart starts pounding!!!

After the show we got a chance to take pictures with Oprah. The entire experience was great. I feel truly proud that I am able to represent the USA!!!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Garrett on Oprah

Garrett will be one of many Olympians featured on Oprah's season-opening show this Monday, September 8. Check your local listings to find out when it will be shown in your area. And you can whet your appetite between now and then by checking out this preview

Blogspot Template by Isnaini Dot Com