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June 28, 2010

The Great Urban Race 6.26.10

Ever since I started watching "The Amazing Race" it has always been a lofty goal of mine to compete.  This past weekend I got probably as close to reaching that goal as possible.  Sarah and I competed in the Great Urban Race.  It was a huge scavenger hunt around Madison involving 250 - 300 couples.
The race started out at the Essen Haus in Madison.  We got there around 11:30 am for registration and the race started at 12:00 pm.  Everyone was handed an envelope containing clues for the race.  Sarah and I decided to form an alliance with another pair she knew (Tim and Tara).  We sat down with our clues and proceeded to call our "phone a friend".  We decided to "use our resources" and call our co-workers at the Witte and Holt Desks. 

After figuring out the clues, we planned out a map of the day.  Our first stop was Tex Tub's Taco Palace on Atwood Ave.  At this stop, it was required that one of the team members had to eat a whole jalapeno pepper.  Being the braver of the two, I decided that this would be my challenge.  It wasn't too bad starting out but about half way through my mouth was on fire.  I wasn't sure I would be able to finish it but luckily my stomach held out.  We then had to run to the next place.  My stomach was not too happy about this. 

We had to donate a pet toy or pet food at the next place. We stopped in a pretty sketchy corner store and somehow managed to find that they sold cat food! We donated this at the next stop and got a Dane County Humane Society Tattoo as proof!

Along the way to Tex Tub's and the pet store, we made progress on our Tic Tac Toe board.  We got a picture with a double letter street sign, giving a high five to a man in uniform, Sarah shook a dog's paw, and I got to honk a random stranger's horn!

Our next stop was Tenney Park. Luckily John at the Holt Desk tipped us off about a bike path that would let us follow the Yahara River right to Tenney Park.  At the park we had to complete two tasks.  The first was to spin around with a baseball bat 8 times then run around the bases.  The second we got to interact with a comedy troupe.  They were an improv group.  We received an ordinary item (jump rope) and had to do three unordinary things with it.  In order to succeed, the member of the troupe had to guess what we were doing with it.  Sarah and I utilized it to make a dog leash, a fishing pole, and a lasso!

At this point we were a little tired from all the walking (and minimal amounts of running) and decided to try to catch a bus.  We got one and met some interesting people.  One lady proceed to exclaim "I'm going to puke" every five minutes.  Apparently she didn't do well with the combination of heat, claustrophobia, and the start stop motion of the bus.  We were very relieved when she got off!  We were able to complete our Tic Tac Toe when we found a man with 2+ tattoos visible on his body.

The bus took us as far as the intersection of University Ave and Randall Ave.  From there we walked all the way down Randall to Monroe and took Monroe to the delicious restaurant of Bluephies!  Here we had another eating challenge.  This one was much more tasty!  Sarah had to feed me one of there cookie dough egg rolls.  After the long walk to Bluephies, we didn't have much energy left to do the boat challenge and decided this would be the one we skipped.  We waited for another bus to take us back closer to campus and when it came we discovered that it was already packed full and the 50 people waiting for it could not get on.  We decided we didn't want to wait another hour for the next bus and proceeded back on foot.  We got back to campus and right outside my apartment we happened across a bus that took us right to library mall for our next challenge.

At Library Mall Sarah and I put our Lakeshore Teamwork skills to work.  We had the option of juggling solo or as a team.  The people who were supposed to be teaching us told us that it would be easier to do the team juggling.  Not as easy as it looks let me tell you.  After completing the task we figured it would have been easier to do it solo.

Next stop: Wando's!  We were excited when we first reached the top level because we saw their fishbowls filled with water.  We thought that we would be able to drink all those but alas those were to put other skills to work.  We had to sink a ping pong ball in a fish bowl from behind a line.  My personal victory for the day was sinking it on the first try!!  Next they handed us another quick challenge.  We had to return to the finish line with a picture of one team member proposing to a stranger.  We decided it would be easiest to do this in the bar since it was packed full of people watching the USA soccer match.  The man Sarah chose to propose to claimed he had already been proposed to twice today, we thought that was pretty funny.
Next stop was a trip up State St.  We stopped at the Sconnie Nation store and had to watch a short video that was playing.  We had three phrases we had to complete.  That might have been one of the easier tasks of the day.  We were getting pretty warm at this point and decided to make a pit stop at Jamba Juice before our final stop: Ian's Pizza.  At Ian's Sarah had to toss a pizza in the air.  The race volunteers were surprised that we had Jamba Juice and were still racing.

After this final stop, we headed back to the finish line at the Essen Haus.  We were feeling pretty ambitious and decided to run from the Great Dane to the Essen Haus.  We decided upon reaching the finish that this was not so smart after chugging our smoothies.

All in all it was a super fun day!  I'm really glad Sarah asked me to do it with her.  It was the hottest day so far this year, we got sum burned and blisters, walked ALL OVER MADISON, but had so much fun!! After the race was over we found out that we were competing against a couple that had actually competed in the Amazing Race.  I now feel that I am ready to fulfill my dream and become a contestant on the Amazing Race!

A tout a l'heure!

June 15, 2010

Summer's Here!!! (finally)

So wow it has been a crazy month.  I feel like I haven't had a second to breath.  First it was the dreaded exam week, probably the only bad thing about being in college.  Then right away I started training for my new job.  That weekend I made the yearly journey to HOBY in Oshkosh, WI.  Then I started summer classes.  Yes I do feel like my life is run, run, run, crash, run, run, run, crash.

Finally I am done with classes and can enjoy my summer.  It has been really damp and rainy the past week and a half but I have decided to post a list of reasons why I love that it is now summer/things I am excited to do this summer.

1. Brewers Baseball!
Yes I realize that baseball season (the greatest season of them all) starts in March/April and yes I have been watching the games since they started airing them, but now I get to watch them guilt free.

2. No Classes!
Ok again this was not true for the first three weeks when I had to struggle through a 3 hour finance class but now it is over and I don't have to stress over it (ask me again how I feel once grades are posted)

3. Free Time
I have a decent amount of free time.  Yes I work 40 hours a week including weekends and don't get me wrong I LOVE my job, especially meeting all my new friends.  Now however when I come home at night I get to just chill.

4. High School Movie Nights at the Terrace...need I say more.

5. Australia
Hopefully I will get the chance to travel with my dad in Australia at the end of the summer.  The tickets aren't booked yet but I'm still hopeful!

6. The Great Urban Race
I have been a fan of the Amazing Race for a long time.  I have always wanted to compete on the television show.  This is my first step.  It is the Amazing Race on a smaller scale and will take place in Madison on the 26th.  I am competing with my co-supervisor for the summer and look forward to some quality bonding time!

Well that's all, hopefully I will have more frequent updates now that I have more free time!

A tout a l'heure!