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!


D... said...

I can't believe it's over. I just can't. This has been so much fun! I'm proud to call you friend as well.

I do hope Toni & Dallas are home now. And I pray that Ken & Tina learned something (she isn't easy to get along with either) and their marriage is truly lasting.

Congrats to Nick & Starr. As much as I wanted the million, they deserved it. We came away with so much more than a million. Altho, growing and winning a cool mil would be tons better. ;)

I'm so thankful I have you to race through life with!

rachelizabeth said...

Way to go, team PM!

Jenny 86753oh9 said... finished it!!! So what's the next adventure?!?!

Patois said...

What a great project this was. I loved reading it. I can't wait to hear all about your next reality TV adventure.

The McCrays said...

What a great race. I really enjoyed this!!

jennyonthespot said...

I think I'd have lost it at the zip line!

You girls truly ARE amazing... you even kept your jammies clean the WHOLE time. I'd have at least spilled some ketchup on my shirt.

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