Tears, Throw Up, Prayers, and Abnormally Large Insects: Leg 1 Random Thoughts
I remember the night before we flew out. Dad and I sat around our kitchen table with my mom, sister, and my mom and dad's best friends. The six of us held hands and prayed for a safe trip etc. We all took turns praying out loud and, when it got to me, I just cried. It sounds corny, but living through interviews in LA, packing, not knowing where in the world we were going or what we'd be doing, and then leaving our families behind suddenly became very real and the emotions were a little much for me. So although I looked like a blubbering idiot, at least I realized at that moment just how close I was to my family and friends. It was a powerful moment in my life.
The next day I freaked when I saw our first plane taking us to Raleigh from Lexington had propellers on it. That was a first for me. I hate to fly, but it was comforting to have Dad around.
Arriving in Miami, checking into the hotel and such, I don't remember anything. My mind was so fuzzy at that point, it's like a forgotten drunken memory. I do remember seeing a bridge that was closed down saying that Bad Boys 2 was filming there and we saw all the cars being used in that scene locked up near our hotel. We were sequestered yet again for a couple days and the anticipation was more stress than I'd every felt in my life. We were going stir crazy. We did get one night to walk down to a little market area. Of course, we were unable to talk to people.
I remember eating lunch one of the days there on the patio, and sitting nearby were the soccer moms and Ken and G. We kind of whispered back and forth when production staff wasn't looking, but all we really figured out was how they were related and where they were from. Haha, we thought we were sooo bad.
Production got us out of our rooms at 2 a.m.!!! Uggg! They did give us a little warning the night before, though. So we loaded onto a bus with the windows all blacked out. It was very intimidating.
It seemed that the bus ride lasted forever, but I'm sure it was only 45 minutes or so. Then we sat on the stopped bus for a while when Ghen came on and introduced Danny and Oswald. (Don't know if y'all ever knew that.) Danny and Oswald came on our bus in the Everglades and wished us luck and told us a few quick stories of their celebrity status after the show - like Oswald getting recognized in a porn shop. We, of course, were star struck with these guys. (It's funny, even after doing the show ourselves, I'm still intimidated and shy about meeting current racers because they seem like such big celebs to me - a fanatic viewer.)
The airboats were a trip. While filming some early clips, a huge dragonfly squished on my groin area. I mean this thing was freakin' Pterodactyl size!!! So I made Dad pick it off. YUK
The helicopter dive bombing us was cool, but I remember saying to Dad, "this is like Arnold Schwarzenegger stuff."
The starting line was all a blur; don't remember any of it really. Except I was pissed I wore jeans cuz it started to get hot. Hahaha, I do remember thinking, "Should I smile, or look tough and competitive?" Lots of weird shit races through your mind at that moment.
Running to the Mercedes (I think that's what they were) I remember telling Dad that I wanted a black one. So we picked based on style. Haha. We had decided that he would do all the driving, so we knew where to sit. I loved that car. I thought to myself, "maybe we'll win one of these on this race." Haha.
At the Miami airport, we walked right past the flag of the first airline, but luckily made it back to be the last team to make the first flight. I remember thinking, "HELL YEAH! We won't be the first team eliminated," which was my ultimate goal. Dad's goal was top three - just so he didn't miss any legs. I just didn't want be first ones out.
I was in total shock that I was flying out of the country being this was my first time out of the U.S. I was extremely antsy knowing that I was (and still am until family race) the youngest person ever to do the Amazing Race. (I was only 20 in LA for finals; turned 21 a month before the race.)
I think the scariest part of the entire race for us was the cab ride in Mexico. Notice me telling our cab driver, "Rapido Enrique! Zoom, Zoom!" I was telling him "fast, fast!" But then, when we were about to die on these terrifying highways in Mexico City, Dad asked me to tell him to slow down and I had no idea how to say that. So I pleaded with "No Zoom, No Zoom!!!" Haha.
I thought we'd die at the Angel of Independence - running across the traffic filled circle. Heather and Eve wouldn't tell us where the clue was although I saw it seconds after. I disliked them early on. Holding that clue, I think, is when it really sank in that this was for real. Because I had seen the clue box on the show and here I was opening it!
I thought finding Pedro was easy. Somehow I knew he was off to the side by looking at the church although Dad and I scuffled at first cause he wanted to walk around the other way. I told him to trust me. He did and we found Pedro quickly.
We arrivied at the little inn (forgot what it was called) and signed onto the first bus because the lady told us we could. Then production came back and said that we were on the second bus. Bummer!
The donkeys were a total nightmare. I had lost my water bottle and, a few miles into the ride, I thought I was gonna pass out. I remember yelling into the camera at CBS - telling them this detour sucked and was totally stupid! Your personality changes uncontrollably when hungry, tired, and dehydrated. We would've skydived, but the clue made it seem like it would've taken so much longer. I pulled that damn ass to the clue, barely beating Teri and Ian, and collapsed from dehydration. I started dryheaving. (The American Express Clip of the Week on CBS.com) Totally embarrassing! Ghen said it was originally cut into the first episode, but then called back later saying it was re-edited out! I was thrilled! Then humiliated when my friends said they saw it online. Lol. Tanya, the girl who threw up a lot on Survivor: Thailand, and I now have a club for people who throw up on Reality TV. Haha! We've taken pictures together with us pretending to puke - we're such dorks.
The pit stop we went right to. No problems finding the monk place. Running up to Phil, I dunked my head in the fountain. That was edited out and people later thought the mess on my shirt was vomit. But it was just water. That place rocked, but while swimming and eating with everyone I felt like the biggest dork there. These were lawyers, world travelers, models, etc. And I was this young stupid cheerleader. I felt like the dorky tag-a-long trying to make friends. I did feel a whole lot more confident after this leg and pumped I wasn't first to go. A definite burden lifted off going into leg two.