This is S2, your Amazing Race participant wannabe, signing in. US Marine helicopters have delivered the racers to the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, home to the Army reserve and the National Guard. Our racers this year (Oh I am so jealous!) are:
Kristy and Jody, friends and flight attendants . Our 'blondes' for the season? They have an awful lot of travel experience. These blondes may have what it takes.
Tammy and Victor, siblings and lawyers from California. He is used to thinking of her as the three year old. Uh oh.
Margie and Luke, mother and son from Colorado. Luke is deaf, and both sign. Cool! No one will know what they say (except me, bwa ha)(at least some of the time).
Steve and Linda, married 17 years from Virginia. Oh boy, the self described hicks from the sticks. May they transcend this appalling appellation.
Keisha and Jen, sisters and former college athletes. This is their first time being on the same side, and dealing with their 'issues'. We are forewarned, lots of screechy stuff to come from these two (sigh)
Preston and Jennifer, dating for two years, from S. Carolina. Already disagreeing about who is in charge.
Brad and Victoria, married nine years from Ohio. They are the 'bad ass older couple" who work out.
Mel and Mike, father and son from Virginia and California. Son wrote 'School of Rock', which is a favorite movie in our household. I am already a fan. Both are gay, and both writers.
Amanda and Chris, dating three years. 'Practically attached at the hip". Blond chick, hunky guy stereotype.
Mark and Michael, brothers and professional stuntmen. Both are ex jockeys and I'll bet their short stature is going to fool a lot of fools.
Jaime and Kara, friends and former NFL cheerleaders. Both redheaded, but I would be willing to bet that THESE are our blondes for the season.
Phil welcomes all, first clue is on their luggage, and jump into the parked cars. And away we go! Phil calls after them….travel safe~
Almost everyone looks particularly fit this year. They are told to fly to Switzerland and make their way to Locarno, and given a choice between two flights. The first sorting out if the pack is here, as correctly choosing the flight to take can be the difference between winning and losing...
Everyone is really excited, and I can only imagine how exciting this really is for the participants. Can't wait to see what happens with that giant cheese the commercials have been teasing us with...
The Lufthansa flight departs first and lands in Zurich. It carries Tammy and Victor, Christy and Jodi, Jaime and Kara, Mark and Michael, Brad and Victoria, and Margie and Luke.
The Air France flight departs second and lands in Milan. It carries Keisha and Jen, who are thinking that the train from Milan is much faster than the train from Zurich, which the Lufthansa passengers will have to take. The others are Mel and Mike, Mike describes his dad and says the other teams are going to think he is Cloris leachman, when it is really McGyver. Oh I love writers! Others: Amanda and Chris, Preston and Jennifer, and Steve and Linda. They are very nervous about leaving the United States (S&L), and they better not be Mountain Dew fans, either one of them (I have relatives from the hills of Virginia, nuff said)
The Lufthansa flight appears to get to Switzerland first (but you never can tell, magical film editing does prevail on the Amazing Race). The train station that leaves from Zurich turns out to be in the airport. Looks like they all make it on their train ok.
Air France arrives...team members must exit the airport (or so it seems) in order to find the train station. Preston and Jennifer have trouble finding the train station, with Jennifer stating "I have never in my life even been in a train station". They miss their train. Let the blaming begin!
Kristi and Jodi meet a lady on the train who says she is also going to Locarno and will be happy to show them a faster, better way to get there. And it does seem as though they are the first ones there. The teams from the Air France flight appear to arrive shortly thereafter, although for some reason, it is much darker when they arrive.
Teams now must race on foot to the Church of San Antonio, sign the register, and receive a message from the priest. Because of their smart thinking, Kristi and Jodi are indeed the first to arrive. The message from the priest turns out to be a map to the 'campsite', and they are assigned a start time for the morning based on their arrival at the church. First four teams to arrive, first group to leave, at fifteen minute intervals. Steve (and Linda) complains that they are "Last at everything they do", and berates Linda for her slowness until she cries. Preston and Jennifer arrive last, though.
The teams all bed down on a provided area that is padded with straw (oh my, I'm glad this isn't me, achoo!). All begin to swat at the mosquitoes. Luke signs (for the third or fourth time already) that no one would think that a deaf person could do so well. Why the heck NOT? Luke, you are not physically impaired and you have a hearing person with you. I think you will do very well. Steve continues to badger Linda for her 'slowness'. Steve, Preston and Jennifer were last, get it? Keep this up, Steve, and you are going to be on my list.
It is now 7:15 in Locarno, and our first four teams are about to leave: Tammy and Victor (sibs), Mark and Michael (stuntmen), Margie and Luke (mom and son), and of course Kristi and Jodi receive their clue. It is a postcard that says, wish you were here, and has a photo of a dam on it. They must divine that it is the Verzasca Dam, where they will find their next clue. Funny how there always seem to be plenty of taxis around at moments like this, usually. This time however, there were only three and Kristi and Jodi miss out…looks like the taxis were behind the church and that is not the way they went. The field further stretches out as others make the same mistake.
Mark and Michael get there first! The clue states "Who has nerves of steel?" Oh my, it's bungee jumping. (Hey G2, can't you just see the two of us? Which one of us would do this? You with a prosthetic leg, or me with a knee replacement, which I most certainly will have had before I sign up for this crazy wonderful race.) As the team members arrive I am hearing a whole lot of "oh Holy crap!". What they said I am hearing every possible permutation of "OH MY GOD" I may replay this part and count them up, just for the sake of curiosity..
Victor takes the dive first, and he is now thanking God. And receives the next clue to take the train to Interlaken. The teams now jockey back and forth in order to get there the quickest way while no allowing another team to get the idea that maybe someone else has a better idea.
Oh lord, oh my my: They must carry 100 pound cheeses on their backs bring them down a steep hill to whence they must be gotten. Much falling breaking of cheese carrier boards, and subsequent escape of the cheese wheels, which wobble gaily down the hill. Some scoot down the hill with their cheese, while whispering their mantra "Don't drop this cheese, don't drop this cheese. Linda is having a tough time getting back up the hill for her next cheese. I am praying that Steve helps her rather than berates her. He tells here that they didn't get here by being meatheads.
Once done they have to listen for the yodeling of a yodeler, who will be yodeling the place to which they must go to the pit stop. Everyone is shaking, this was a really tough challenge Linda and Steve complete their challenge ahead of some of the teams, so Steve is a happy boy.
Margie and Luke have made it to the pit stop. Phil signs to them that they are team number 1! And they have won a trip to Puerto Vallarta. Tammie and Victor are team 2. Mark and Michael are team #3.
Meanwhile, back at the cheese task: Everyone is having a tough time. The Swiss Onlookers are having a grand time, double over laughing.
Mel and Mike arrive, team #4. Amanda and Chris are #5. Brad and Victoria are #6. Jaime and Kara are team #7. Steve and Linda can't find Phil, while others are arriving. Keisha and Jen are #8. Finally, Steve and Linda are Team #9.Kristi and Jodi are Team #10. Preston and Jennifer are the last team to arrive, and Phil utters the fateful words: Preston and Jennifer, I am sorry to tell you that you have been eliminated from the race. Jen feels like she let Preston down, but it is what it is.
What do you think, G2? Could we have bungee jumped and hoisted four 50 pound cheese wheels down a hill? Have YOU ever seen the inside of a train station? This is starting to sound like a Spruce Ridge Crystal trip sort of contest...but I still wanna~
Wow...no need to watch the show at all. Nice going. We absolutely could do it. Teamwork. Bungee jumping would be fun, but I would likely lose my leg, so that would be your job. I hoist bales of hay and 60 pound feed bags all the time, so I could do the cheese, especially since you are lactose free. (can we cut the cheese??) And yes, I have been to a train station many times.