Saturday, February 28, 2009

Great Urban Race

Today was the Great Urban Race. 161 teams of two hit the streets of downtown Phoenix to solve clues, complete a scavenger hunt and RACE. The top 25 teams qualify for the National Championship race in New Orleans. The top 3 teams get free entry to the Nationals.

And guess who gets free entry to the Nationals? Aw yeah, that's right...Storming the Castle!!! WOO-HOO!!! Christy and I got third place out of 161 teams!!!!!!!!!! I am so excited!!

Kiri and the NFBF were our phone/internet support. The NFBF had some computer issues but it was not a problem because Kiri came through with the info we needed and she did it quick as a bunny! I'm starting to think that maybe going to work every day isn't really all for knowledge of downtown Phoenix came in quite handy!

Unscramble "Repeat Other Hum" and what do you get?
Decode the following puzzle:then call Kiri to find out where the statue is and add in a trip on the light rail and... tada! (And wow! What a beautiful day! I love Arizona's blue skies!)
A clue describing a place that educates you on peoples of the Southwest that has an abstract stone "person" could only be the Heard Museum:
The food challenge was to go to Honey Bears and eat some corn on the cob. Don't let this picture fool you into thinking that I ate a vegetable! NO WAY! That was all Christy!
One clue was to either get 8 people in a photo with a Phoenix Mercury jersey or get five people in a photo with a jukebox. A jukebox?? We called 411 about 50 times to be connected to various restaurants we were going to pass by on our travels. I vaguely remembered that the Original Hamburger Works had a jukebox and yessir! They sure do. I chatted with this Illinois dude while we rounded up our 5 people. He lived in the dorm across the street from me. Small world.

Two clues took us to Encanto Park, which was a bus ride away. We waited 10 minutes for a bus. Ugh. At Encanto Park we had to do a 3-legged gunny sack race and go through an obstacle course. The gunny sack race was lame (it was about 20 feet long) but the obstacle course was awesome!! Sadly, we have no pictures of it because we got our clue sheet stamped as proof of completion, instead of having to take photos.

From Encanto Park we had two choices of return transportation - the original bus we took and then the light rail directly to the next clue or a longer bus ride plus a run to the next clue. It was a make or break decision. We chose the longer bus ride plus run since we couldn't guarantee that we wouldn't have to wait for the light rail. The longer ride turned out to not be that much longer and the run turned out to be shorter than expected, so we think it was the right decision.

We were directed to find an artist in the Phoenix Downtown Market and bring back one of his drawings. The line of waiting teams was L-O-N-G. We were a bit disheartened at this point. We only had 1 clue left after this stop and there were so many teams ahead of us in line. The artist would draw whatever you asked of him - and he was S-L-O-W. We figured a circle would be quick, quick, quick, right? Guess how long it took him to draw this picture?

Two full minutes!!! Seriously!! First he argued that this would be a boring drawing. Then he looked around awhile for a template. A template?? Buddy, you're an artist. Just free-hand it! He ended up tracing a water bottle. It was so frustrating! But finally he signed his name and we were off to the last stop. Running, running, running!

The clue they provided us was just a picture of this statue with no other information. I happened to know that it's outside the Herberger Theater where we have play season tickets. I felt like a genius. And then we booked it back to the finish line. I felt that we had done a pretty mistake-free race so I was cautiously optimistic about our chances of finishing in the top 25 and qualifying for Nationals, though all those teams ahead of us at the artist stop still caused much concern. Running fast. As we approached the restaurant (so very, very out of breath), the patio looked pretty empty. We ran faster. Maybe...just maybe.... And then we were told THIRD PLACE! Yippee!!
The first and second place teams were working together as one team. They finished three minutes ahead of us. We've rehashed our performance countless times and found nowhere we could have shaved three minutes off of our time other than waiting in line for the molasses-artist. And as that was completely out of our control, we are not at all sad that we didn't get first place. We are thrilled and still completely shocked with our third place finish!!! YAY!!!

And because we are slightly crazy...
The award ceremony was scheduled to start at 5:00 when the race officially ended. It was 2:25. We are not the type to sit around a bar for 2 and a half hours, so we left, hiked Shaw Butte and came back for the awards. :) And for those of you who are WTF'ing right now (Nicole!), I'd just like you to know that it was Christy's suggestion to go hiking. Not mine! (But only because she said it out loud first.)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Quote of the Night

Happy hour with the book club girls.

Quote of the night:
"I had an ex-boyfriend who tasted great. He'd eat bacon cheeseburgers before we made out."

I wish I was making this up.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Get Lots of Rest and Drink Plenty of Fluids

I'm sick. Yuck. I should be getting lots of rest and drinking plenty of fluids.

It started on Friday at work with a very sore throat. By Saturday morning I was full blown sick -- the sore throat was still there and was joined by a headache, whole body muscle aches and the dreaded runny/stuffy nose. I considered staying in bed. For about 2 seconds, anyway. Then I got up and went hiking with Christy.

Christy and I are planning to do the Seven Peak Challenge (hike the Phoenix's seven highest peaks in one day - Squaw Peak, Camelback, South Mountain, North Mountain, Papago, Shaw Butte and Lookout Mountain) if they have it again this year. If they don't have it, we'll do it on our own. To prepare, we are going to do them all at least once first. On Saturday we did three of them. We did Squaw Peak:

North Mountain:
And Lookout Mountain. We didn't take a picture at Lookout Mountain. Oops. The total trek was five miles with an elevation gain of 2,279 ft. I felt okay while we were hiking, but when we finished I was more tired than I would normally have been.

Sick and tired people should get plenty of rest, right? I did try to rest in the afternoon but I just couldn't sleep. So I got out of bed and went to Petsmart and Target instead. Ugh. I may never get well.

Saturday night I did my best to infect all my friends with my sickness. I'm a generous kind of person, you know. I hosted a game night and breathed all over everyone. I did keep my promise not to stick my tongue down their throats, though. By the time everyone left, I felt like a weak, sickly shell of myself. And yet, I still couldn't sleep!! My nose was too runny and too stuffy and I was too achy. Then I made a very big mistake - I took some Nyquil-type medicine. I don't know why I always trick myself into thinking this is a good idea. Maybe because it does help with the cold symptoms, which is great, but it always leaves my mind reeling uncontrollably. I'll get a thought in my head and it will repeat over and over until I'm just about ready to scream. Then a new thought replaces the original thought and repeats. And this cycle repeats. And repeats. And then finally it is light outside and I can get up - unrested and sicker than I was before. I will not share with you what my crazy thoughts were, but believe me when I say they were filled with the crazy. And I was quite relieved when morning came. I was also very tired and very sick, but relieved. Ugh. If I can't get any rest, I may never get well.

We had no Sunday soccer today so I made plans to spend the day with Pat. We decided to drive down to Picacho Peak near Tucson to go hiking. The genius plan in this was that I can always fall asleep in a car! Yay! I was finally going to get some rest- at least an hour on the way there and an hour on the way back. But, today...not so much. I still couldn't fall asleep. Sleep is so elusive right now that I am literally day-dreaming about how good it would feel if I my eyes would just stay shut for more than 2 minutes. Ugh. I may never get well.

Though my plan for a car ride nap didn't pan out, the plan for hiking did:
We also visited the Casa Grande National Monument, which strangely is in Coolidge and not Casa Grande.

When we got home I tried to take another nap. And again...I couldn't fall asleep. So I took the dogs for walks, cleaned the pool and then played Scrabble with Craig. And now it is 10:30 on Sunday night. I have been awake for 2 straight days. I feel like hell. I'm going to bed now. Please, please, please let me fall asleep.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Great Dane and Georgie

I don't know what Mo's problem is with Georgie. Seriously, all dogs love Georgie. She's the dog at the dog park that gets the other dogs playing. She'll wrestle if they want to wrestle. She'll chase if they want to chase. She's nice to all the dogs and she matches her play style for the type of dog she's with. Yet Mo still hates her.

Last year I fostered a Great Dane named Mia. She had been pregnant and the two pups were dead inside her belly and the owner didn't know (??). She required surgery to remove the pups and her uterus was all infected. The owner turned her in with a male Great Dane. He went up for adoption and she came to me for recuperation after her surgery. She LOVED Georgie. They would wrestle and play for hours. I don't think either of them realized their difference in size.

Frankie loves Georgie, too. Perhaps a little too much. He gets jealous when she plays with other dogs or other people. Here is a video clip of Georgie playing with Mia. Frankie tries to get Georgie's attention back on him, but she just wants to play with Mia. Poor Frankie. My favorite part is when Mia puts Georgie's whole head in her mouth. :)

Mia got to be a model in the Arizona Humane Society's Compassion With Fashion event. She was adopted that day by a very nice woman from Scottsdale who has two labs and two acres. Nice!

While I was looking at videos, I found this one of Mr. Wendell. Mia was my largest foster dog, Mr. Wendell was one of the smallest. His name is my favorite of all the foster dogs I named - as a matter of fact, I think all dogs should be named Mr. Wendell from here on. He was with me because of skin issues that needed meds and puncture wounds that were most likely dog bites. He loved both Frankie and Georgie. Actually he loved everybody and everything. He was a happy little guy. I don't know who adopted Mr. Wendell, but he was gone before the AHS could put him on their website - so that is a good thing!

Frankie Likes Hockey

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

27 Things About Pat

This has no relation to 27 Things You Can Do In A Speedo. This is a meme about my spouse. Blame Dooce. She started it.

1. What are your middle names? His is Carl. Mine is Catherine.

2. How long have you been together? 10 and a half years.

3. How long did you know each other before you started dating? Maybe a month. We saw each other on Saturdays at swing dance class and danced a lot at swing night at the Rockin' Horse on Tuesdays.

4. Who asked whom out? Pat asked me out after a dance lesson. Poor Pat - you could tell he was really, really nervous. But he was a good dancer and I was a newbie and I really, really wanted to learn, so I said yes with the full intention of just using him for his pretty swing out.

5. How old are each of you? I'm 37 and he's 39...a month away from being 40. Poor Pat.

6. Whose siblings do you see the most? Completely equal. All of our siblings live in Illinois or Missouri. We see them all at Christmas and once a year our sisters will come out here at some point for a visit.

7. Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple? Our biggest fight ever was about real estate. The second biggest fight was about dogs. The outcome of both fights? I was right and he was wrong. Similar scenarios have replayed themselves over and over. So... the hardest situation on us as a couple is when Pat challenges my authority on any topic. I am always right.

8. Did you go to the same school? Nope. I went to the University of Illinois and Pat was smart enough to get out here to Phoenix sooner - he went to ASU.

9. Are you from the same home town? Nope, but we are both from Illinois. We met in Phoenix.

10. Who is smarter? Pat is an engineer so he is smarter when it comes to math and science, but I'm smarter in the things that matter. You know, like things that aren't science.

11. Who is the most sensitive? Neither of us are very sensitive, though I get my feelings hurt easier.

12. Where do you eat out most as a couple? Mmmm, Spinato's.

13. Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple? Brazil

14. Who has the craziest exes? This question is unfair because my exes are not crazy, but Pat has no exes so I win this by default. Poor Pat. I was his first girlfriend. I feel bad for him sometimes because if he had waited a little longer or perhaps started a little earlier, he probably would have met a very nice, sweet type of girly-girl who would have taken his last name and who would have wanted kids and who would cook and clean and do wifey shit like that. Poor Pat.

15. Who has the worst temper? I have a quicker temper, but he has a worse temper. He is the nicest guy in the world 90% of the time. Sweet and cuddly as a kitten. The kind of guy who helps old ladies with their groceries and stops to change people's tires. The other 10% of the time, he is "Hockey Pat". Have I told you the story of Hockey Pat goes to the movies? We are at the movies and the people down the aisle from us are all chatty-chatty. Pat says "Shhh!". They don't shhh. He gets madder. They tell him to calm down which he mishears as "Come down", to which he replies, full voice, "Oh, I'll come down there! Don't make me come down there!" Yep - threatening our fellow movie-goers. The worst is when Hockey Pat emerges while driving. I have already made it clear that if he gets arrested for a road rage incident, I will not be bailing him out of jail.

16. Who does the cooking? Mmmm, Spinato's. Ok, I occasionally grill some fish in the George Foreman and if Pat is around, I'll make him some, too. He occasionally makes himself some tuna fish casserole. He also makes himself a big country breakfast on the weekends. We eat out A LOT.

17. Who is the neat-freak? Absolutely me!! That is if by neat-freak you mean who shells out the $40 each week for the cleaning lady?

18. Who is more stubborn? Overall, I am. However, on certain topics (please don't bring up evolution!) he can give me a run for my money.

19. Who hogs the bed? Neither of us.

20. Who wakes up earlier? We wake up at about the same time for work, but on weekends I am up hours before he is. I've usually gone out, completed my first activity of the day and returned home before he is even done with his big country breakfast.

21. Where was your first date? We met at Planet Hollywood at the Biltmore and then went to Houston's for dinner. Well, I met at the Planet Hollywood at the Biltmore. Pat went to the Planet Hollywood at Fashion Square, until he realized there was no Planet Hollywood at Fashion Square. Poor Pat. I waited at the bar, getting hit on by some weird men, and very nearly gave up.

22. Who is more jealous? This word is not a part of our relationship. And this is why things work so well for us.

23. How long did it take to get serious? Pat bought a house for us within 6 months of our first date.

24. Who eats more? Pound for pound, probably me. But in sheer quantity, it's definitely him. His favorite question at dinner is "What are your intentions for that {insert name of any food here}?"

25. Who does the laundry? We both do, but I would prefer that until he learns what a dryer sheet is, that he just back off.

26. Who's better with the computer? Probably Pat.

27. Who drives when you are together? I drive if we are taking my car (when the dogs are with us or if we are going a short distance that he doesn't judge worthy of firing up the diesel) and he drives if we take his truck. The exception is if we are going out of town, we'll take my car but Pat will drive. He enjoys driving. I don't.

And there you have it. Lots of info about Pat.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Nothing Says Romance Like a Trip to the Grocery Store

Alternate Post Title: Nothing Says Romance Like A Threesome and Some Whipped Cream

Ah....Valentine's Day. Romance, romance, romance. Hearts and flowers. Cupid and his bow. Or not.

Not surprisingly, I did not get the spa day that Pat did not know that I wanted. I did get a bag of tootsie rolls and a funny card - so that was good.

The plan for Valentine's night was to go to the hockey game. The NFBF's were to join us. Christy and I took off in the morning to hike Trail 100 and left the boys with instructions to take care of getting tickets. Trail 100 is over 10 miles long which meant that we'd be gone for quite a while. The boys had plenty of time to accomplish this task.

Unfortunately, they decided that we'd just get tickets at the box office when we got there. I guess they didn't realize that the Calgary Flames always sell out here. To be fair, we usually get out tickets at the box office - buying upper level seats and sitting in the lower level because the arena is so empty. But anyway...we get all geared up in our jerseys (red for Valentine's Day!) and drive out to Glendale only to find that our options are tickets for $100 each or standing room only. Nope to both. Scalpers? Nope, nothin' there either. Ergh. Wasted trip. Wasted night.

I admit to being a little grumpy.

But never fear. Our Valentine's Day was salvaged by a trip to the grocery store!! Why did we go to the grocery store, you ask? Well, to buy a Valentine's Day staple....whipped cream....for a threesome....
Your imagination can do the rest. Bow-chicka-bow-wow.....

Oh...get your mind out of the gutter. We made fried ice cream and watched the game on TV. Pat and Christy fell asleep before the end of the second period. Oh, and the Coyotes lost. Again. All in all, not the greatest of Valentine's Days.

But our hike was pretty cool! And I love tootsie rolls! And fried ice cream, too.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Mo's BFF

Mo and Frankie are almost friends. Not quite BFFs, but almost friends is pretty good for now. Last week, they shared a dog bed.And today Mo, in her excitement at my arrival home, even initiated a little bit of play:
Georgie and Mo? Not friends yet. I believe Georgie may be secretly holding a grudge after the last two fights that Mo started. Or maybe not so secretly. Dirty looks behind Mo's back:

I love taking pictures of Mo. She follows me around all the time and as soon as I stop moving she sits and stares up at me. It's like she's using that one blue eye to laser-wire thoughts directly into my brain. If she was a normal dog I'd think she was telepathing "Treats. Treats. Treats. MoreTreats." But not this one... I'm pretty sure she is saying "Pretty, pretty please get rid of Georgie. I am your everything. You need only me. I am your BFF."
"Ok. And you could maybe give me a treat, please. And get rid of Georgie."

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday Fives for Valentine's Day

1. Tell us something that to you is weird about your significant other.
The way he pronounces restaurant (rest-runt) and technical (tet-nickel). And the fact that he believes that "alls" is a word. As in "Alls I need to do is..."

2. Tell us something that your significant other does that you would define as cute?
I love the way he gets all proud and happy when he makes a funny joke or a witty comeback. Very cute.

3. What are 5 songs that you find sexy?
Fade Into You – Mazzy Star
Faith – George Michael
Do You Wanna – The Kooks
Beautiful - Smashing Pumpkins
The Only One - Billy Bragg

4. What is one gift you would be really excited to receive on Valentine's Day?
A spa appointment for a massage. It's a shame that Pat doesn't read my blog. I'm sure I'm expecting a little too much since alls I'm giving him is an "I Love You" cookie from Paradise Bakery and a rubber duckie with candy hearts on it. But if anyone else out there wants to give me a Valentine's Day spa day, I'll take it!

5. If you were going to give yourself a "Most Likely To..." award for this week, what would your title be?
Most Likely to Screw Things Up or Permanently Injure Oneself (Jamie nicknamed me "Jilligan" this week.) I'm not sure how this question relates to Valentine's Day. To keep with the theme, I'll change my answer to "Most Likely to Not Get What She Wants for Valentine's Day."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Mini Updates

  • Soccer is dangerous. First, a big guy set a pick on me (which is cheating) and I ran right into him and fell down. I got up, a bit steamy, went around him and to the ball. I kicked a half second too late and a little too hard and I ended up with my legs tangled in the other player's. She got all ball and I got all sport court - with my left hip and my left hand. Owie!! Now I've got a slight limp, a bruise on my butt and I can barely lift anything with my left hand. My current ailments are left heel, right knee, left hip, left hand and the list keeps getting longer.
  • Soccer is dangerous, part 2. I limpingly played the game immediately following my collision with the ground. A guy on the other team kicked the ball very hard and very high. It flew towards the ceiling above me and I covered my head expecting it to hit a rafter and careen directly onto my noggin. Then there was some excited yelling. And down from the ceiling crashed a fluorescent light tube, shattering at my feet. Yikes.
  • We have a hummingbird nest in one of our trees out front. My friend Christy saw it one day when she came over to take the dogs hiking (how nice is that, btw?). I don't know how she saw it - it is so tiny. Here's the tree: Here's the nest:
  • At first it was kind of humorous, but this dress alike thing is getting pretty old. Today:
  • For our last book club we read "Seven Types of Ambiguity" by Eliot Perlman. The food theme was, appropriately, ambiguous foods. Elaine brought this interestingly ambiguous green something-or-other. Smoothie maybe? And I drank it! And it wasn't terrible.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Rest of Saturday

You didn't think that after doing the race on Saturday that I went home and relaxed for the rest of the day, did you? Yeah, right.

After lunch with Pat, I took Frankie to agility practice. It was just practice so he was awesome!! An agility super-star!! Don't believe me? My friend Sheryl was there. She is my witness! He was also quite amazing at class last Thursday, too. There were at least 6 people there who could vouch for this! I'm telling you, he really is good at agility! REALLY! If I could only pinpoint the disconnect between practice and trials...

Weaving...get it, get it, get it...
All of a sudden Frankie loves to weave! Where he used to fly right by the weaves without even seeing them, now he rarely misses an entrance. Look at that smile on his face!
I think Frankie's paw-touching jumping style is adorable.
He always jumps this way.
Mo got to come to practice, too. Last week I took her to Jim to see what he thought of her agility possibility. We worked on jumps (4" only) and, as expected, she was very slow to do it and very slow to warm up to Jim. But by the end of the session, her tail was raised a bit and she was going willingly through the stanchions. On Saturday she was really happy to be there. She was running around the yard with her tail high and wagging. She did her jump series very nicely. I think she was starting to figure out what I was asking her to do.

We haven't tried her on the contacts yet. Jim wants to test her 3-legged balance first. He noticed that her right front foot is flattening out and is turning sideways to accommodate the weight shift. He is worried that might affect her ability to do contacts and even tunnels. We'll see. However, she was quite curious about the A-frame. This might have been because I was sitting on it. :)
After agility, I took Mo home and picked up Georgie and I took the tan dogs hiking. We left a little later in the afternoon than I wanted to and there was a storm blowing in. We barely made it back before full dark. I probably shouldn't have stopped to pose the pups for pictures, but they just looked so cute!! And my knee was starting to hurt, so the break was welcomed. This is the only shot I got where they were both looking at me. Georgie looks cute, but Frankie looks a little scary, like maybe he really IS a coyote. Or some sort of wild animal who wants to tear into you and rip you apart. RRRrrrr...
Ok, after all that, I did rest on Saturday night. My NFBF, aka the nicest guy in the world, dropped off some pizza for me (mmm, Spinato's) even though I turned him down for a hockey date. I spent the evening reading my book club book. I'm ashamed to say that I didn't finish it. 600+ page books are just too much for me, I think!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Anthem Adventure Race

Storming the Castle participated in the Anthem Adventure Race on Saturday. And by participated, I mean we ROCKED the Anthem Adventure Race. This time, Storming the Castle was me, Irene and our new recruit, Christy.I wouldn't actually call this race an "adventure race" - it was more like the Urban Dare that I did a few months ago with Laura than the other adventure races Irene and I do. It was billed as an urban challenge similar to the Amazing Race. It included 10 challenges, running and biking.

Challenge 1- run around the community park. This was probably about a mile and a half. We got off to a rather slow start here. Irene has been a little busy lately and hasn't had much opportunity for running. A very, very energetic toddler can do that to a person. At the end of the run, we were in second to last place out of 28 teams.

Challenge 2- ride our bikes to the spot on the map designated for the math challenge. Irene earned her way back into super-star status by being the best map-reader ever! At no point during this race did we get lost. However, now it was Christy's turn to slow us down. Apparently a Huffy bike, sized for a 10 year old, with two tires very low on air may not be the best choice of bike for competitive racing. But Christy muscled through and when we arrived at the challenge almost half the teams were still there. The math was a long division and a multiplication problem. The long division was 1,117,285 divided by 13. The multiplication was 756,458 x 26. Irene attacked the division. Christy and I did the multiplication. A very few seconds later our correct answers moved us into the top half of the field. Challenge 3 - Knot challenge. We had to ride to the other end of the park to get a rope which had five knots to untie. Christy and I rocked that one - and passed a few teams in the process - while Irene studied the map for the fastest route back to the transition area.

Challenge 4 - We had to make 3 baskets from various points and no team member could take all 3 shots. Christy made the free throw. I lucked out the jump shot and the lay up. Challenge 5 - Any good Amazing Race knock-off would have a "needle in the haystack" task. This one was to find one penny each hidden in the sand volleyball court. Easier done than said.
Challenge 6 - Locate the spot on the map where you turn in your old map for a new one. This one was a trick. They hid the clipboards of new maps and the bucket for old maps in the scrub brush and they didn't staff the checkpoint, so there was nothing to direct you to the spot...other than faith in your map. There were about six teams milling around the spot where the checkpoint was supposed to be - all of us crossing paths with each other. Finally we read the fine print in our directions that stated that this checkpoint was not manned and when we stopped looking for AAR staff, we immediately found the bucket. And now it was my turn to slow us down. My chain had come off/stopped working/or something bad that caused my pedals to stop moving. Irene to the rescue...she fixed it pretty quickly, but we still lost ground to a few teams.

Challenge 7 - SOCCER! Yay! Perfect for us. We each had to make a goal, shooting up a hill into a tiny net. Christy didn't make her first shot and for this we mocked her. This is a girl who plays soccer 10-12 times a week! Her initial mistake was that she wasn't really looking at the goal - she just shot quickly. Funny - I used the exact same tactic to make my first shot! Irene made her shot in two and we again passed a few teams.

Challenge 8 - We took our bikes back to the transition area and ran across the park to the Plank Ski. They gave us two planks and we had to use them as balance beams to move from point A to B. When you got on one plank, you had to pick up the previous one, move it to the front and everyone has to walk onto that one without falling off. There was a lot of cheating going on by the other teams so we didn't take this very seriously.

Challenge 9 - We ran a short distance to the golf ball challenge. There were about 40 different golf balls in a bucket (Titlest, Nike, Pinnacle, etc) and a stack of papers. You had to choose a paper and then find the golf ball that matched it. We were looking for a Nike 4. Christy had luck on her side - Nike 4 was the first ball she picked up.

And we were off to the last challenge - a puzzle! YAY!! It was a 100 piece puzzle. If you look closely, you will see that ours happened to be a dog puzzle. :)We may be nerds, but all the puzzling we've done lately really came in handy! We finished that puzzle so fast that someone asked us if ours was half put together when we started. :) Another person thought we started early on the puzzle while we sent one person to do checkpoint 9. Brian, who was our cheering section, said that we did the puzzle twice as fast as any other team. And that is how Storming the Castle went from 27th of 28th to take 5th place overall!! We got 3rd for our division (3 person team) which earned us a prize...a 4 Peaks Racing bobblehead!

Woo Hoo! A successful Storming the Castle:
Yes, the head of Irene's bobblehead bobbled right off. As did its arm. :)