Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Look Back...

I did a fun "looking back at the year" post last year in which I posted the first sentence from the first post of each month of 2007. This year I'm putting a different spin on it - I'm posting the title of a post from each month of 2008 that I feel was significant or most representative of that month for me (or maybe just the most fun!). You can click on the link to read the full post. Let's look back at 2008, shall we?

January - How a tiny plastic baby messed up my plans. And a very important message. Read on.

February - Ten Favorite Restaurants for Bubba's Sis' and D's Ladies' Night Out

March - Misty

April - Priceless

May - I feel pretty, oh so pretty.....

June - Hope

July - Rested, Relaxed, Restored, and Rewarded!

August - Haiku: Resolve

September - Home Safe & Sound

October - More Scary Stuff

November - Where were you?

December - Winter Wonderland

2008 was a bumpy year, for sure - I lost two beloved pets, but got a new one that I adore! We had to move unexpectedly, but we have a beautiful new home and it enabled Daughter to go to my old high school. We were hit by a major hurricane but we also got snow! God was with us thru the hard times AND the happy times - despite the hurdles, we are blessed.

So bring on 2009! I can't wait to see what it has in store for me! Happy New Year, everyone!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Who am I kidding?

It's that time of year - time to start thinking about "resolutions" for the new year ahead. Let's see how I did on last year's resolutions.....

#1 - get our finances in order and stay on budget

I don't even want to discuss this.

#2 - read more

Umm....I read 3 books this year. I am ashamed.

#3 - read my Bible more; I need to spend more time in God's word.

I probably did a little better with this one. Not as much as I should have, but better.

#4 - worry less


#5 - get more exercise

Does Dance Dance Revolution count? Does it count that I've only been doing it the past 3 days?

#6 - travel someplace that I've never been

I did go to a family camp that I've never been to before - that is a 1½ hour drive from home. I hardly consider that "travel". I think I've got this one covered for 2009, tho - our Spring Break Disney Cruise goes to the Bahamas, and I've never been there before!

#7 - take more pictures of our everyday lives and not just holidays and vacations

Hmmm.....I may have done OK with this one. I started carrying my camera with me, like D... does, and when I remember I have it, I use it!

Well, it seems I'm not an overwhelming success when it comes to New Year's Resolutions. I think to avoid embarrassing posts like this one next year, I just won't make any resolutions this year. That way, neither of us is disappointed in me!

How about you? Are YOU making any resolutions for 2009?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

"You are made out of Awesome!!!"

That was Jenny's comment when I posted on Facebook that I am better at Dance Dance Revolution than Guitar Hero World Tour. Oh, how I wish that was true, Jenny! But we have had a great time the past couple of days playing both of these games on the Wii.

We've got the family band going on Guitar Hero World Tour - we're called Ponderosa. Daughter is on guitar, Little Son on bass, Hubby on drums, and I sing. Little Son is the most musical of the family - he can actually play any of the instruments, and not at just the "Beginner" level. Daughter is doing quite well with the guitar - she picks things like that up quickly (picks - ha ha!). Hubby - well, let's just not talk about his drumming. Let's just say we're doing real good to get all the way thru a song without "failing". And me? Well, I'm not much of a singer, but I think I do alright. The Wii thinks so, too - which is why I love it so much! I've given all the instruments a try and I think I'll stick with singing. Until the neighbors complain, anyway.

But Dance Dance Revolution - now there's a game I can play!! Ya'll, I gots the MOVES! OK, so I can only do the dances on the first couple of levels, but I'm learning! I'm working my way up! I am GROOVING! Dancing is where my true talent lies. I. Am. A. Dancer. Now if someone would only remind my knees and ankles of that, I'll be in good shape. Off to take some Advil now.....

Friday, December 26, 2008


My kids - 14 and 11 years old - told me this year that they don't really believe in Santa Claus. Which is odd because I think Navy Son still believes. I told them if they don't believe he doesn't come. They just rolled their eyes like, "yeah, Mom, whatever" - so I told them I would just wrap all the presents I had for them and there would be no "Santa" gifts Christmas morning. They were totally OK with that. They didn't even hang their stockings. My heart cracked a little bit.

On Christmas Eve, Daughter started to feel a little bit sad about not believing. I told her that if she truly believed in her heart of hearts, that he would come. I told Little Son the same thing. And I saw the slightest hint of a sparkle in their eyes.

Yesterday morning when we all got up, Santa had left a Guitar Hero World Tour for them - and their stockings filled to the brim! The looks on their faces said it all. Santa is real, alright. His magic never fails to arrive with Christmas.

Yes, Virginia Daughter and Little Son, there IS a Santa Claus!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Spirit Award

Forgetfulone gave me this beautiful Christmas Spirit Award! Her blog is so festive for the holiday - she even has snow!!

The rules are easy. List five things you love about Christmas, then tag whomever you want. Oh, and have fun!

Since it's Christmas Eve I won't tag anyone, but here are five of the many things I love about Christmas:
  1. the smell of a live Christmas tree
  2. O Holy Night
  3. Baby Jesus in the nativity scene
  4. the movie White Christmas
  5. the look on my children's faces Christmas morning

MERRY CHRISTMAS to all my Blog friends! I love you all!

'Twas the day before Christmas.....

In H-Town again,
But instead of snow,
We only got RAIN.

Not very Christmasey weather 'round these parts - temps in the 70's and rain all day. A Bad Hair Day to say the least! One could very easily get into a Bah Humbug mood with weather like that.

But we have had a lovely Christmas Eve - a delicious meal of gumbo, salad, and hot bread with the family (Bubba, Katie Lady, and Drew Bear are here!), scrumptious mudslides to drink, one present for each kid to open (guess what was in there??), birthday cake for Jesus.....music and laughter and love all around. And tonight while we sleep? Santa comes!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Camera Critters #37

A couple of my favorite critters, all dressed up for Christmas!


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sincerely 'Fro Me to You - Getting Wiggy!

Twenty-something years ago, when Bubba's Mom lost her hair to chemotherapy, she wore wigs. She hated them because they were hot and they gave her a headache, so as soon as she had enough hair grow back in to feel like she was "presentable", the wigs were stashed away at the back of the closet.
A few months ago we found them, Bubba's Mom and Daughter and I. So we put them on and acted a little silly - and of course Bubba's Dad captured the moment. (BTW, Daughter HATES this picture!)

I think we look rather cute, don't you??

Monday, December 15, 2008

Dear Santa,

I know times are hard this year, Santa. The economy is in the pits, and you likely are having some difficulties yourself. I don't want much this year, but Santa - if you are able at all to get down my chimney on Christmas Eve, could you please bring me a new computer because this one is SO DAMN SLOW I'M READY TO THROW IT OUT THE WINDOW!!!!!!!!

Thank you,

Bubba's Sis

P.S. I also want World Peace.

I love it when the good guy wins!

Congratulations, Bob! I was rooting for you the whole way!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Camera Critters #36

Jax in the SNOW!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sincerely 'Fro Me to You - Sucka!

In honor of Hubby's birthday, I'm going to feature him in this week's Sincerely 'Fro Me to You. Because it's not always all about me; one day of the year I let it be about him. Happy Birthday, Baby!

A few years ago, when Daughter was entering Junior High, our church had a parent/student meeting about the Junior High Ministry program. It was both informative and fun. One of the games had a couple of parents and a couple of students get up on the stage - Hubby graciously volunteered to participate. Go, Hubby! The object of the game was to put a Tootsie Pop in your mouth and then say some phrase that I don't even remember. Then each contestant would add a Tootsie Pop and say it again. And so on and so on until one person was left standing.

Everyone started off well. At about four Tootsie Pops the first person dropped out. I noticed the girl next to Hubby gagging a bit, and prayed she didn't lose it. They were all starting to drool. It was hilarious. At about six Tootsie Pops another contestant dropped out. This left Hubby and the gagging girl. I was hysterical with laughter, and yet a bit worried at the same time. Dude had a LOT of Tootsie Pops crammed in his mouth. Of course, I had to get a picture.

I don't remember how many exactly he ended up with in there - I'm thinking about 8. Gagging girl beat him, and she didn't even throw up! But they both had drool all down their shirts and very sticky lips! He won some sort of prize for second place - and made his daughter so very proud! Or was it embarrassed? Whichever. We were ALL quite impressed!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Winter Wonderland

Bear with me, my friends from the North - it's a good story!

It was a cold, wet, miserable day here in H-Town - 35 degrees and a steady, drizzly rain. A sharp contrast to the muggy 75 degree day we had yesterday. I felt bad for Hubby that he got such crappy weather on his birthday.

When I picked the kids up from school they were all a-twitter, saying that everyone at school said it was going to snow tonight! I reassured them it was NOT going to snow. It only snows here once in a blue moon, and since we had a Christmas snow several years ago, it didn't seem likely to happen again this soon.

At about 5:00 the rain turned to sleet. Sleet! We got all excited and ran outside to take some pictures. We don't even see sleet much around these parts.

By 5:30 the sleet was turning to snow! "I told you so! I told you so!" Little Son sang as he danced around. I told him to calm down - it certainly wasn't going to last long. Still, we better get some more pictures before it stops.

But ya'll - it kept snowing. And snowing. And snowing! For the next 6 hours!!! We were in utter amazement - it looked like a snow globe outside! I was like a giddy kid running outside and taking pictures every 10 minutes as the scene would change!

We have a Christmas tree outside on our deck this year - look how beautiful it is with its REAL flocking!

Of course we went out and played in it - we threw snowballs at each other, and even saved one in the freezer! Every time I would come in and warm up, I would look outside and see it still coming down and have to go back out there with my camera!

Tomorrow it will all be gone - nothing but a memory of an amazing December night. The night Hubby got snow for his birthday! What a gift!

I never would have believed it until I saw it. Wow.

Haiku: Doodles

Melting in my mouth,

Sugary cinnamon bliss,

Snickerdoodle love.

**This is for the "Doodles" prompt at One Single Impression this week - be sure to stop by there to see all the wonderful poetry!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Life - What an Amazing Race!

Life is such an adventure - from the moment we are born and God says, "Go!", He lays out our journey before us. There are twists and turns, much like the adventure D... and I have experienced these past 10 weeks.

"Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Hebrews 12:1

Life isn't always easy - there are choices you have to make, tasks you must accomplish, and scary things you must encounter. Satan will try to throw you off-course, but with faith you persevere.

"I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14

Sometimes life is fun - you see amazing things and experience thrills that take your breath away; you can be silly and laugh; you can bask in the love of a true friendship.

"You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy...." Psalm 16:11

For some the journey is long; for others, shorter than they planned. But in the end, it is the journey that matters, not who finishes first. We're all winners, and we all get a prize at the end; we all will be welcomed into our eternal home to the cheers and hugs of our loved ones that have gone before us.

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord....will award me on that day - " 2 Timothy 4:7

That, my friends, is victory.

Monday, December 08, 2008

The Finish Line - Amazing Race Final Leg!

After five continents and nearly 40,000 miles, we're down to the final leg of the Race!! D... and I are so excited we can hardly stand it! It has been an amazing adventure for us.....

The first leg of the Race had us leaving Los Angeles and flying to Salvador, Brazil - in Leg 2 we went to Fortaleza, Brazil. Brazil was beautiful, especially the beaches. We were having a great time!

Leg 3 sent us to La Paz, Bolivia, where we struggled with the altitude, but managed to stick it out and stay in the Race.

We finally left South America in Leg 4, and flew all the way to Auckland, New Zealand! I was still working on my fear of flying, but fortunately I had brought along a lot of Xanax to help me stay calm. We loved New Zealand and had a great time there - we'd love to go back someday!

Leg 5 of the Race brought us to Siem Reap, Cambodia, a place we do NOT care to go back to! D... had some fun with me on the plane, and even tho we were a little skeeved by our surroundings, we did well, with one of our best finishes in the Race!

We spent Leg 6 and Leg 7 of the Race in Delhi, India. We didn't get to ride and elephant OR do any Bollywood dancing, so it was really a disappointment for us. We were getting tired, and the traffic and crowds really got to us. But we persevered!

Leg 8 brought us to Almaty, Kazakhstan - a place we'd never even heard of! But we had fun there, dressing up like a cow and parading thru the streets. Mooooo!

Our last destination before the finish line was Moscow, Russia - Leg 9 and Leg 10 were both spent in this fascinating city. We got to see and do some amazing things here - we loved it!

We left the Pit Stop in Moscow at 2:28 a.m. - the clue told us to fly to our FINAL DESTINATION - Portland, Oregon! The earliest flight was at 7:05 a.m., so we spent another night in the airport.

Fortunately all the other Teams were on our same flight, so we were on an even keel when we landed back in the good old U. S. of A. When we landed, we had to make our way to the Tilikum adventure camp to find our next clue.

Adventure camp? Uh oh. I knew the scary stuff was coming!

Our taxi driver had a bit of a hard time finding the place, but we got there in third place and found the last Detour of the race; our choices were High and Dry or Low and Wet. In High and Dry, both Team members had to climb 30 feet up a tree, traverse a 40-foot log, and then leap through the air to retrieve one half of their next clue. If either Team member fell off the log without nabbing a clue, they had to start over from the beginning. In Low and Wet, Teams had to walk 850 feet across a floating log bridge over the water to a clue waiting on shore.

We knew High and Dry would be faster - but we could see Ken & Tina and Nick & Starr already climbing the trees, and dude, it was HIGH! I was skeered. D... tried to calm me down - even told me to take some more Xanax! - but I was out of pills and my nerves were getting the better of me. We did Low and Wet, and we did it just fine. Slow and lazy steady and all that, right?

We finished with no sign of the Frat Boys, so we knew we were still in it!

We ripped open our clue that instructed us to travel to the Bridge of the Gods and take a ride on a zipline 2,000-feet to an island below.

Oh. Sh*t.

Let me tell you, THAT was a taxi ride! D... spent the whole time talking sweet to me and rubbing my back and telling me I would be OK. I was hyperventilating and trying not to throw up. I asked her, "If everyone else jumps off a bridge, does that mean WE should do it?" "For a million dollars - YES!!!" she said!

When we got there, this is what we saw:

So beautiful. From the ground.

OK, I had to do this. Deep breath. We decided that maybe there was one last Xanax buried in the bottom of my fanny pack....

No such luck. I was going to have to do it on my own, without the benefit of modern chemistry.

D... was so great - she just kept talking to me and telling me I could do it. She made me go first, I think so I wouldn't chicken out after she went. Oh, the view!

But you know what? I did it! And D... was right behind me! We did it! It was a big, hugging celebration when we had our feet on the ground!

But we didn't have long to celebrate - we had a Race to run!

We opened our clue to encounter a task challenging our memory of the events we completed in the first ten legs of the race. Working together, we had to choose a game board with ten game pieces, each representing a leg of the race. Then, beginning with the first leg of the race and working in chronological order, we had to remove a game piece revealing a symbol underneath. The symbols represented Route Info, Roadblock, Detour, or Pit Stop. We then had to enter a field containing 150 clueboxes, each containing a picture. We had to search for the correct picture of the task, denoted by the symbol we revealed, which we had completed for the leg of the race the game piece number represented. When we entered the correct piece in the game board, a green light would turn on.

Gosh, memory isn't our strong suit - we both suffer from CRS Disease - but we were excited and exhilarated and ready to go for it!

Ya'll, this was HARD. In our excitement we were getting the legs all mixed up and forgetting what we did in which place. Ken & Tina and Nick & Starr were running back and forth and getting everything right and we were just flustered. So we took deep breaths, concentrated hard, and finished the task. Still no sign of Team Dandrew, so we were OK.

Opening our next clue, we learned that we needed to travel to downtown Portland, find the Portland Building and a green dinosaur located across the street in the Standard Plaza. We jumped in our taxi and we were off!

When we got out of our taxi downtown, we immediately saw Ken & Tina running out of a building across the street, and we spotted the green dinosaur in a window on the second floor of the Standard building.

Opening our clue, we discovered they had to travel on foot to Alder Street and search among food carts for the country from our last Pit Stop, Russia. We quickly looked at our road map of Portland and found exactly where we needed to go.

The Russian cart was easy to spot, and the nice lady gave us our next clue.

"Find the place where 'the magic is in the hole'.” Asking a local, we figured out that the clue was a slogan for a shop called Voodoo Doughnut. WE LOVE DOUGHNUTS! I hope we get to eat one! The nice person told us exactly where to find it, and even tho our legs were getting tired, we pushed on and found it. There, our clue told us to GO TO THE FINISH LINE AT PITTOCK MANSION!!!

We jumped in a cab, forgetting completely about eating doughnuts. Well, not completely. But that didn't matter.

Pulling into Pittock Mansion amid the cheers from the eliminated racers, minus mother and son Toni & Dallas who were still stranded in Moscow, we discovered that Nick & Starr had won the Race. We were genuinely happy for them - they ran a fantastic race! Ken & Tina had come in a close second, and Ken surprised a tearful Tina when he brought out their wedding rings that they hadn’t worn the entire race and placed them back on their fingers, asking her to start their marriage over. After accepting, Tina commented, “People do change. So much today people just throw marriages away so quickly, without really working hard at them. I’ve tried to hold onto the fact that, at Kenny’s core, he is a great person and he has so many wonderful qualities. I think he’s shown me on the race that I’m important to him; our marriage is important to him.” Ken added, “This has not been an easy relationship. It’s never been smooth. If we’re gonna be married, we want it to be a great marriage so there’s going to be work. It could be amazing and we’re going to make it amazing.”

D... and I were in tears, and not because we hadn't won. It was a beautiful moment, and we take back all the bad things we said about Ken being a rat-faced cheater. We feel kinda bad.

So we didn't win, but we came in third, and that's nothing to sneeze at! We were so proud of ourselves, proud of all we had accomplished, proud that we finished, and proud of our friendship.

Some final thoughts from me:

I can't believe we did this! I love D... and can't imagine doing this with anyone else! She is the Best. Friend. Evah. and her love and support and encouragement got me thru the hard parts. I love all the pictures she took and edited for our journal - she's an amazing person, and I'm so proud to call her my friend!

Some final thoughts from D...:

We did the Amazing Race as a SisterChick adventure. Something where we could be proud of ourselves. While I hoped we'd cross the finish line, I wasn't really sure we would. But we proved that we can do anything working together. There is no one I can imagine doing this race with other than Bubba's Sis. I am incredibly proud of her. She conquered So Many fears and did it with laughter in her voice & Xanax in her system. I'm ready for the next adventure now!

Women! Show this to your husbands!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Are you a Pajama Mama?

You Are Flannel Pajamas

You seek comfort above everything else. You rather feel good than look good.

You are a very relaxed person, especially when you're surrounded by your favorite things and people.

You are a homebody. Home is the place where you can truly be yourself.

You are likely to wear pajamas a lot. In fact, you often change into your pj's the minute you get home!

While I don't actually wear flannel pajamas (hot! hot!), this truly does describe me!! What kind of pajamas are YOU?

Camera Critters #35

This is Bubba's Mom's dog Charlie - who turned 9 years old this week! He's getting into the holiday spirit!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Some holiday thoughts...

  • Yesterday morning when I took the kids to school it was just below 40 degrees and there was frost on the rooftops. When I picked them up in the afternoon, it was 70 degrees. Today we topped 80. Tomorrow the high isn't supposed to get out of the 50's. Wacky Texas weather!
  • A flyer left on my door: "Make your neighbors jealous! Let us hang your Christmas lights!" Is this truly the holiday spirit??
  • As I loaded groceries into the back of my car today, I noticed a little girl about 3 years old crouched next to the car parked to my right - she was peeing. When she finished her puddle, she pulled up her panties and got back into the parked car. I'm wondering why her mother couldn't have just taken her into the store??
  • Listening to Christmas music on the radio the other day, I heard a song, "I want a hippopotamus for Christmas, Only a hippopotamus will do...." Has anyone ever heard this song before? Who comes up with this stuff?
  • Our small group at church is collecting food for donation to a place in Houston that is a homeless shelter for abused women and children; they offer food, clothing and shelter as well as rehabilitation. It is basically a place of hope and renewal for many in need - they show people what the love of Christ is and it is an amazing place. A Christmas meal consists of certain items on a list, which we bag together and hand out with a turkey; I picked up the items when I grocery shopped today. When I got home I added up the cost of them - just over $7 (not including the turkey - those are bought separately). Seven. Dollars. I can certainly feed several families for that. It doesn't cost that much to make a difference in someone's life - please consider giving of yourself this holiday season.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Haiku: Welcoming

Warmth and laughter here,

Twinkle lights and mistletoe,

My holiday home.

**This is for the "Welcoming" prompt at One Single Impression this week - be sure to stop by there to see some beautiful poetry!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Still in Moscow - Amazing Race Leg 10

D... and I were pretty bummed at the Pit Stop in Moscow - we had come in last place that leg, and were only still there because it was a non-elimination round. What frustrated us most was that the only reason we had come in last was because we took a time penalty for both of us doing the Roadblock. We are the only 2-woman Team left in the race, and the task was a physical one - too much for either one of us to do alone. We think the other Teams had an advantage by having a man on the Team. But we're still in the race, and more determined than ever!

After our mandatory rest period, we started Leg 10 of the race still in Moscow - and still in last place. That meant that at some point during this leg of the race we would have a Speed Bump - an extra task that only we would have to complete. If we weren't speedy, that could knock us completely out of it. We had to have our A-Game on!

We tore open our clue to find we had to travel by taxi to a retired Russian nuclear submarine. Once there, they had to descend into the bowels of the ship, search for the sonar room, and find an actor who appeared in the 1990 film titled The Hunt For Red October. We arrived at the submarine as all the other Teams were leaving, but we moved quickly thru the submarine thanks to D...'s experience being on subs - both her daddy and granddaddy were stationed on subs, and she has been on frequent "tours"! We found the guy lickety-split and got our next clue!

Next we needed to travel by taxi across town to the place known to locals as the Graveyard of Fallen Monuments. We were fortunate enough to find a taxi driver that spoke ENGLISH (hooray!), and he had a GPS unit! Things were looking up!

Arriving at the Graveyard of Fallen Monuments we encountered a Roadblock, a task that only one person can complete, with the question "Who's good at solving mysteries?" We decided I would do it, since we were headed into the last legs of the race and were concerned a Roadblock would come up with something scary in it that D... would need to do. Cuz she totally has to do the scary stuff because I'm a big chicken.

In this Roadblock, I had to scour the park filled with Soviet era monuments, counting the statues of Lenin and Stalin. To help correctly identify each statue, I was given the Cyrillic spelling. After joining the two tallies together to create a two-digit number, I had to head to an antique bookstore and tell the number to the shop owner, who would give me a book. If I got the number wrong, I had to wait ten minutes before making another attempt. Then, using the correct tally from the statues, I had to turn to that page in the book where I would find information that would lead me to my next destination, the apartment building of a famous Russian author, Mikhail Bulgakov. That is where D... would be waiting for me.

There were other Teams there searching, so we knew we were still in the race! I searched quickly but thoroughly, and double-checked my math - there were six Lenin and two Stalin figures.

I jumped in a taxi and headed to the bookstore - should I tell the lady 26 or 62?? I decided on 62, and........it was right!!!! Woot!!! I rushed to the apartment and there was D..., waiting for me!

She had exciting news....Toni & Dallas had lost all their money and their passports when Dallas accidently left them in a taxi! With no money, we knew they wouldn't get far. We weren't out of it yet! The next clue directed us to Sokol’niky Park to find a woman with a Shetland pony. We love ponies! We were off!

We arrived at Sokol’niky Park at the same time as Toni & Dallas, who had taken the subway because they didn't have enough money for a taxi. Because the clue specified that they had to take a taxi, they had to go back and return in a cab. We had finally hit our Speed Bump. Snap! We had to perform with a group of traditional Russian dancers through one song. Once we had completed the dance to the instructor’s satisfaction, she would hand us our next clue.

Dude, dancing is my THING! I've grown up dancing! This should be a breeze! D... and I did awesome - and we looked cute, too!

In no time at all we had our next clue, which told us to go back to the lady with the Shetland pony. The clue she handed us was a Detour, a choice between two tasks, each with its pros and cons. In this Detour, Teams had to choose between Ride the Rails and Ride the Lines. In Ride the Rails, Teams had to make their way on foot to the Sokol’niky Metro Station where they had to catch the metro to Ulitsa 1905 and find a marked snack shop to receive a traditional pastry known as a samsa. The wrapper of the samsa would direct them to another train to Kitay-Gorod Station in order to find the statue dedicated to the man who created the Cyrillic alphabet. A nearby babushka, in exchange for the pastry, would hand Teams a postcard with the name and picture of their final location, VNDKh Park Station. In Ride the Lines, Teams made their way on foot to a bus stop near Sokol’niky Park and hop on a trolley bus to a station called Krasndsel’skaya. Then, they had to find a key maker who would give them a storage locker key before hopping on another trolleybus to a station called Rizhskaya. When they arrived, they had to search the station for a locker that matched their key, open it, and also retrieve a postcard with the name and picture of their final destination, VNDKh Park Station.

Wow. These tasks are getting more complex!

This one was a no-brainer for us, too. D... has had lots of experience navigating subways on her various vacations, and she's quite good at it! Besides that, it was definitely the faster choice.

Have you ever seen such a beautiful subway station?

Thanks to D...'s expertise, we made it through the confusing maze of stops and transfers with ease. Arriving at VNDKh Park Station, we found our next clue directing us to travel on foot to the Pit Stop at VNDKh Park, built as a tribute to the achievements of the Socialist state. Stepping onto the mat, we learned from Phil that we were in SECOND PLACE, and had secured a place in the final leg of the race! We were so excited!!!

Nick & Starr had come in first for like the gazillionth time; they are definitely the Team to beat. Poor Toni & Dallas, who had to beg for money for the rest of the day after losing theirs in the taxi, came in last and were eliminated from the race. We were sad to see them go. I hope Dallas and Starr will stay in touch - they make a cute couple!

Can you believe we've made it all the way to the end?? This has been such an amazing experience for D... and me! The best part? We have stayed true friends throughout the whole race, never fighting once. We're cool like that.

Be sure to tune in next week for the big finale - will we win it all, or will we fall short? Wait and see!!

Where We've Been:

Leg 9 (Moscow, Russia)

Leg 8 (Kazakhstan)

Leg 7 (Still in India)

Leg 6 (India)

Leg 5 (Cambodia)

Leg 4 (New Zealand)

Leg 3 (Bolivia)

Leg 2 (Brazil)

Leg 1 - We're off!

Team Profile