Amazing Race Season 9 – Episode 4

Deutsche Bahn…I have such fond memories of the DB. Like the time I caught a trip from Hamburg to Hannover on St. Niklaus Day – and the conductor’s passed out apples w/the DB logo grown into them. Ahhh, German hospitality.

Wall of Death
Jen, “Can I do it?”
No argument here.
“Awe, you don’t get to drive?”

Roadblock – Find Roaming Gnome
Ha! Jen says I have better luck than she does, so I’m doing it. Gnomes are funny. Especially the beer making ones (those are Belgian, not Travelocitizen).

Actually, Eric & Jeremy could have rented their German.

Detour – Break it or Slap it
We have to break it. As Jen says, “You have less than no rhythm.” Breaking bottles over each other’s head sound like a damn good time. And looks hilarious. Especially with Lederhosen-clad dancers circling you.

Garrick’s Favorites

  • BJ & Tyler – #2, I love these guys – they know how to race.
  • Dave & Lori – #5
  • Ray & Yolanda – #7

Amazing Race Season 9 – Episode 3

The hippies (BJ & Tyler) are playing better than anyone yet – in any season. They’re playfulness at the beginning of this episode – greeting everyone at the zip line by jumping on their cars – is what this is race is all about.

“I was hoping we wouldn’t have to go to Russia.” – Lake

Seriously? We were just talking about how St. Petersburg is on our list of places to go.
Lake, I fear the worst of you is yet to come.

Roadblock – Who wants to take the plunge
Jen’s doing this one. Sure, she’ll mock me the entire way, but we gotta split these up. She sealed her fate with this commentary:

“It’s only 10 meters, I would dive. I wouldn’t do anything fancy, but I’d dive.”

Detour – Scrub or Scour
Scrub for us. On first glance, it sounds like we’d be more in control of our progress. I’m not a big fan of the random-box challenges. No skill, only patience required. Patience in the Amazing Race is on a short fuse.

Blah. Ending the episode without a pitstop. Feels so, empty.

Amazing Race Season 9 – Episode 2

“Then what are we going to do, hook up with hippies” – Jeremy

So, Team Pink thought they could get a boy to help them build the motorcycle last episode? So, they didn’t watch any of the past seasons.

Roadblock: Fire Drill
Jen’s doing it (yes, you still gotta call it in armchair racing). We finished tonight’s House prior to starting The Amazing Race tonight. Eric’s banter about Team Pink is right out of, well, Boston Legal.

Detour: Press It or Climb It
Half a liter of sugar cane Ethanol for your VW Bug or a 90 ft rope climb. Rope climb for us. Huh, pretty cool that the old Bugs can take Ethanol.

Feels like the editors are trying to put Monica and Team Pink in the same “naughty” light.

Anyone know why the dentist couple has bandages behind their ears? I’m guessing nicotine patch.

Garrick’s Favorites

  • BJ & Tyler – #1, Nice Oprah Hug® guys.
  • Dave & Lori – #4
  • Ray & Yolanda – #7

Amazing Race Season 9 – Episode 1

Two-hour kick off to Season 9. Premieres are tough, lots of people to meet right away, 11 teams, 22 people. Nobody jumped out at us during the introductions. They all talked smack in the same way, “Everyone else will underestimate us, and we’ll beat them.” Blah. Once is bravado – 11 times is scripted insipidity.

Destinations without any task associated with them feel pointless. Feels more like an ad, in this case, for the Unique Hotel in San Paulo than a valuable, useful piece of the race.

Detour: Motor Head or Rotor Head
The ‘rotor head’ task sounds really time consuming. True to the race, this one will give you a better flavor of place. Rebuilding a motorcycle from the frame won’t teach you about San Paulo – but it sounds faster. Based on the editing, it wasn’t.

Religious ceremonies in some nondescript Brazilian warehouse? Hmmm. Maybe that’s what we can turn our big boxes into when retailers are done with them – churches for snake worshippers.

Garrick’s Favorites

  • BJ & Tyler – #2
  • Dave & Lori – #4
  • Ray & Yolanda – #7

Feels good to be blogging about the Amazing Race again.

Amazing Race 8 – Episode 11

Dear Amazing Race,
Thanks for visiting our airport. We have a lovely city as well.
Love, Minneapolis, MN

Detour: Slide it or Roll it
You’re in Canada and you don’t go curling? That’s like, well, going to Canada and not curling.

This is why I like the Lintz’s – they have such enthusiasm. Makes armchair travel all worth it.

They have to find a door on the back of a non-descript warehouse? Why didn’t they just stick around Minneapolis for the final? We’ve got curling and non-descript warehouses with ‘J’s painted on the doors.

I’ve been hoping for a catch-up this entire episode. Looks like I got it – the search the stadium for 5 minute-apart departure times for the next morning, should bring everyone neck and neck.

(Oh yeah, and I vote for Jen to do the trapeze catch.)

Jen says when she flew back from visiting me in Germany (almost a decade ago, wow) the pilot pointed out the CN Tower.

Detour: Ship or Shoe
Jen just gave me a #10 “are they serious?” look after Phil described the ‘Shoe’ task. So, um, I’ll be hiking up a ship.

On a related note, we checked out the Cinderalla holiday exhibit at Fields downtown earlier tonight. Lots of fun – the exhibition designers did some very cool mirror work to show the magical transformations. The little man slept through it.

Roadblock: Geography Puzzle
I’m taking this one. I remember a puzzle from my youth very similar to this one – though that one didn’t have the Canadian provinces – and it was much smaller.

Final Standing of Garrick’s Favorites:

  • Lintz – #1

This is the second time I was on the end of my seat hoping for my favorite to win. Sure, it wasn’t like last season where I stopped watching.

Jen’s closing thoughts, “They’re such good kids.”

Special thanks go to Tivo for making this 2-hr finale much easier to get through. I now consider pausing live-TV a necessity for new parents. Coincedently, with all our stopping and restarting – we ended at 10pm.

Looks like we’ll meet all back here in Feb for another 2-person trek. Until then – it’s all non-elimination rounds.

Amazing Race 8 – Episode 10

Bills Bust

“Let’s just focus – we might have to eat some turtle.”

This is the Big Catch Up we’ve missed the last couple of episodes.

Detour: Pioneer Spirit or Native Tradition?
We’re going for assembling the wagon wheels and horse team. I’m feeling like the horse team might not be _that_ much trouble.

Buffalo Bill is one of my favorite Old West personalities. Great story on how one man can change….unless I’m confusing him with Wil Rogers. Eh, either way. First time we drove through Nebraska, we stopped at some roadside Buffalo Bill Cody attraction. More poop jokes in one spot than anywhere else. So many.

The photo kicking off this post I shot in Deadwood, SD this summer. I’m pretty sure it’s Buffalo Bill (and would appreciate a correction if I’m wrong – thanks).

Roadblock: Finding Colored Golf Balls?
In this challenge (find 4 golf balls of a specific color) the leader has the advantage only if they pick a color that’s easy to spot from a distance. Trailing the pack and being stuck with ‘green’ will guarantee a good walk spoiled.

Current Standing of Garrick’s Favorites:

  • Lintz – #2

Amazing Race 8 – Episode 9

“The Amazing Race has cured me.”

The promos for this week’s episode were edited to look like a hot air balloon collision caused the Weavers to freak out. After watching the episode in its entirety – it’s clear that wasn’t the case.

Detour: Spike it or Steam it?
We’re spiking it. Knowing how a railroad gets put together seems more interesting than hauling coal. Coal Haulers: feel free to comment.

Raodblock: cattle drive.
Since it’s just Jen and I in this armchair Amazing Race, we’re both doing it.

There’s soooo much driving in this season – blah. I’m longing for the last-minute airport counter negotiations of the previous seasons. We’ve driven some of these stretches. Honestly, being at each others throats in a car in the desert is never cool.

On a related note – anyone know what the “production errors” are that cause the car batteries to be drained? Seems to have happened a handful of times already.

Current Standing of Garrick’s Favorites:

  • Lintz – #3

Amazing Race 8 – Episode 8

Thought I’d kick off this post by sharing a more travel-related Amazing Race blog – The Pratical Nomad. Edward always has an interesting take on improving travel – or what the Amazing Race should have done. He goes in-depth.

Ok, onto to this week’s installment.

On one of our first cross-country road trips, Jen and I went through southern Utah. The rock formations make it one of the coolest parts of the country – and nearly makes up for Nebraska’s ‘Attack of the Killer Corn Husks’.

Detour: Ride Down or Drop Down?
This is actually tough. Sure, mountain biking through Mowab sounds like fun. The Amazing Race producers usually offer a task fairly location-appropriate and one that feels more like a stapled on hairpiece. That being said, where’s the rappelling gear?

A little googling uncovers that this ‘Bart’ isn’t The Bart. The original Bart the Bear died 5 years ago – even for a reality show, that’d be tasteless.

Roadblock: take a ski jump into a swimming pool.
I’m doing this one. No question.

This is a non-elimination round? No. Phil, please just put the Weaver’s out of their misery.

Current Standing of Garrick’s Favorites:

  • Lintz – #1 (about time!)

Amazing Race 8 – Episode 7

Looks like the Detour is painting wheels or hauling bamboo (needless to say, I’m not paying as close attention as other weeks). Loading bamboo seems much less tedious than painting wooden wheels.

We’ve watched enough Amazing Race to know the game is won and lost at the airport – finding the right seat on the right flight. As we saw tonight the earliest departing flight doesn’t always arrive first. My favorites – the Lintz Family – caught a flight arriving in Phoenix at 9:35. Everyone else, found a different flight leaving later, but arriving 15 minutes earlier.

Now if you’ve flown at all – you know 15 minutes doesn’t really matter- especially when you have an unfriendly, sour puss attitude towards the people between you and a million dollars. In the Amazing Race, 15 minutes is lost searching for your marked car in the parking lot.

Jen’s taking the 50 laps in the SuperCart.

If you’ve watched enough Amazing Race, you notice how the teams develop cute, patronizing nicknames for each other – like; “ChaChaCha”, “Team Smiley”, and oddly in this season – “Desperate Housewives”. Since the team was in the lead on this leg, that phrase must have been stated a dozen times this episode.

Yes, it’s cool that iTunes is offering next-day downloads of the hit ABC series. It’s even more interesting that CBS is doing free advertising for them on their hit series.

Wow, a 2-hour episode, I really didn’t expect that. Um, just dawned on me – the ‘pause-live-tv’ of Tivo was made for parents. I’m sure all of you already knew that.

360 in a combat fighter plane? I’ve got this one. I need to see how useful my hours of Chuck Yeager’s Advanced Flight Training were.

Current Standing of Garrick’s Favorites:

  • Lintz – #2

Amazing Race 8 – Episode 6

We’re just past the first commercial break and nothing interesting to report, other than the bickering irritation of road-weary families. Blah.

Wait, they’re visiting Costa Rica’s Doka Estate Coffee Plantation. Totally makes up for it.

Roadblock: Find the red coffee bean
Jen: “Digging through 800lbs of green coffee beans, that’s all you babe.”

Detour: Relic or Ripe?
We’d harvest bananas – the pulley system seemed interesting and it’d be nice to know the story of my morning fruit. That, and I’m not in the mood for a vertigo-inducing bridge walk.

Rather than the great armchair travel adventures previous Amazing Races have been, this season is turning out to be the worst family vacation ever.

Current Standing of Garrick’s Favorites:

  • Lintz – #2