Sunday, December 23, 2007

Amazing Race Sunday: Can You See It? I can't!

Pardon my tardiness. My parents electricity went out around 3:15 pm today and they called around 5:30 asking if they could come over. We wound up sharing our dinner with them and mom and I wound up pinning her white-on-white quilt until about 8:30.

Had to run the parentals home, then got back to the stuff we had been planning to do. Nothing major, but progress is good. Onward!

Travel to Ancona, Italy
Ron and Christina are first to depart (2:19 am). Then Kynt & Vyksin (2:55 am), Nate & Jen (3:45 am), TK & Rachel (5:37 am), Nick & Donald (7:06 am)

As a side note, the “exit interview” with Azaria & Hendekea for had some very interesting things to say about K&V. Mostly along the lines of “they really played to the cameras and wanted nothing to do with the other teams.” Interesting!

First bus to Split, Croatia, leaves at 5 am, so it’s another equalizer to start the leg. First three teams on the first bus. TK & Rachel made it on the 6 am bus, then the 8 am bus was just Nick & Don. All the teams wound up on the same ferry boat to Italy, so whatever advantage was gained on the buses was negated by the next leg of transportation. No transport disasters this week!

The ferry arrived after dark and we had a mad scramble to run right past the clues. I always love that. Teams are to drive to Empoli, Italy, and are given a Blackberry in order to receive a message during the 200-mile drive.

Kynt & Vyksin change drivers because Vyksin can drive a stick and Kynt … not so much.

The directions are a challenge for how to get to Empoli. Oh, Lordy. TK and Rachel left their clue at the café where they got directions. This is BAD and it hits their normally solid relationship like a ton of bricks. To their credit, however, no shouting or snarking.

The Blackberry messages were messages from family members to all of the contestants. It’s not as “big” as words from home when you’re on Survivor, but it’s still good.

The ace in the hole for TK and Rachel is that they were one of two teams that was not sent through Bologna. Very important because the highway out of Bologna to Florence was closed until 6 am. That impacted Ron & Christina, Kynt & Vyksin and Nate & Don. Nate & Jen - who also avoided Bologna - were first, then TK & Rachel. TK&R's joy in being second to arrive was great. Vyksin had a meltdown on the way to the ultralight and Kynt wasn't very supportive. Not pretty.

The next part of the race opened at seven AM and only the first two teams were there. Third was Ron & Christina but they can’t find their number, fourth was Nick & Donald who chose the fast forward. Kynt & Vyksin were last to arrive by quite a bit.

Road Block: Search from Ultralight
The flying team member must keep their eyes peeled for their next location, which was spelled out in a field

Nick found it first and came back down. This made Jen happy, since she is still very bitter about not finishing first on a leg.

TK couldn’t see the clue and had to come back after the 30-minute limit for refueling. Christina got up in the air shortly before TK could get back up. And she came back before he did. He Just. Couldn’t. Find. It. Very tough to watch. Kynt & Vyksin actually arrived as TK was taking off for the third time. He didn’t find it that time either, while he was up with Vyksin. Oy vey. I think his pilot helped him out a little bit on the fourth flight (which means this part of the adventure took two hours, and I’m totally OK with a little help from your pilot at this point.

Fast Forward: Get a Tattoo
This is the only Fast Forward on the entire race, but both team members must get “FF” tattooed onto their body. Wow. I think I’d have a big issue with this one if I showed up and found out I had to get a tattoo. Not my thing, and it’s Permanent. Nick & Don decided to do the fast forward. Yeek. And you thought Joyce shaving her head on AR7 was big!

When they boys arrived and found out it was a tattoo, I was a little surprised that Don was the one that balked. The team talked it over and Don agreed. He actually had probably the same reaction that I would have had, so I can’t really blame him.

Detour: Invention or Tradition
Invention – Assemble a crane and use it to lift a stone one foot off the ground and read a message on the bottom of the stone

Only one team tried this part of the detour and only two even looked at it. TK & Rachel chose this one and stuck with it. They got it done before K&V got to the flags. Yay!

Tradition – Learn a traditional local flag routine
Jen & Nick ran up the hill to daVinci’s birthplace instead of driving and were pretty wiped out by the time they got to the top of the hill. Nate struggled with the flags but Jen coached him through on the second try.

Ron & Christina also did the flags. They did pretty well until Christina was convinced that they had to catch their own flags. Again, they nailed it on the second try. Classic moment when Ron started driving without Christina in the car.

Kynt & Vyksin took a look at invention and then punted to tradition. They managed to get lost on the way from Invention to Tradition and they had a meltdown on the way. Kynt, who is not very good with a standard transmission, apparently completely stripped the gears on the clutch and the car would no longer go forward. They wound up having to walk/run back up to the flag place, which was quite a ways away. (their replacement vehicle was there when they got back from the Detour)

Pit Stop: Boboli Gardens
Unsurprisingly, Nick & Don were first to arrive. Good for them! Phil’s Kiwi accent really showed today for some reason. Love it!

Nate & Jen were second to arrive. Ron & Christina third.

Drama for the final spot again. As soon as TK & Rachel got going, they blew a tire. TK did their best quick tire change. We’ll see who’s fourth and who’s eliminated. I’m really pulling for TK & Rachel. And the answer is???

Fourth: TK & Rachel (YAY!!! YAY!!! YAY!!!). Literally anything that could go wrong with this pair went wrong today and they still stayed in the race. Awesome!

Fifth – but not eliminated: Kynt & Vyksin. They’ll see a Speed Bump in the next leg. They will have an extra task at some point on the next leg. This will be interesting! In the past, the teams were stripped of all their possessions and money and were left with just their passports. I'm very interested to see what this new wrinkle will be!

Have to say I’m still really rooting for TK & Rachel. I just like them both and how they deal with each other and attack the race. Nick & Don are probably #2 on my personal cheering list.

Back to the regular crafty content tomorrow!

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