Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Great Urban Race in DC

We were psyched to return to Maryland to visit our friends Kathy and Bob, and especially excited to do another Great Urban Race with them for fun.  GUR races are the best ones to do "for fun" - lots of interesting things to do at the checkpoints, very accessible for anyone that wants to see another side of their city.

Team Bob's Johns is powered up and ready to go!

I simply love the T-shirts Kathy found for us (also her car!):

We got our clue sheets at noon and hopped on a Circulator bus.  Kathy noticed this sign which got us a tic-tac-toe square right off the bat.  Nice!

Bob and John hanging out on the bus with us - it was fun traveling together this time:

We aiming for the Capitol building and figured this was close enough for the tic-tac-toe center square jumping picture.  Amazingly, it took only one shot to get it:

Yay guys!

Walking to the next street for another bus:

Working on clues in front of the Supreme Court:

One of the two Capitol Hill checkpoints, identifying coffee flavors by smell.  That took some work, luckily Kathy is pretty good at this, and then we had a couple good guesses for the ones that just smelled like "coffee".

A couple doors down at the crazy counting poster - another large mob of racers working out the challenge:

We caught a bus back to the Mall and over to the Newseum.  Funny that we were here earlier this year!

Except this time we had to do origami.  It was a bit of a challenge:

I noticed the Nashua NH Telegraph in the line of newspapers above our heads (a Newseum feature - today's paper from various cities), which seemed appropriate since Kathy is from Nashua.

A mass of teams folding paper:

Nice job Kathy!

Bob's Johns' creation:

Another tic-tac-toe square instructed us to "get a photocopy of one teammate's face", so the Fed-Ex copy store seemed like a good place to go next.

This is just too funny!

"Make it. Print it. Pack it. Ship it".  John noticed face smudges from other teams that apparently had the same idea.  He nicely cleaned off the glass before we left.

What cha lookin' at, Bob?

Aww, how sweet:

A block or two later we found an interesting (and delicious) challenge - throwing mini-marshmellow's at the frosting on your teammate's forehead until one sticks.  Too funny!

At the National Museum of Crime and Punishment we were handcuffed together to count the number of handcuffs around Ted Bundy's car.  Then they uncuffed us for our photo with the car:

A short distance away we roamed around Walgreen's picking up donation items and cherry candy (for a tic-tac-toe square), plus a couple rolls of pennies (for another possible tic-tac-toe square - wonder how many squares we will end up with before we finally get 3 in a row!).  Donating to Ronald McDonald house:

The next location had one teammate putting a cracker on their forehead (hopefully a forehead free of frosting) and moving it into their mouth using only their face.  Kathy was game to try, while I worked on our selfie photo:

John got his cracker balanced on his nose somehow?  He said his mustache also got in the way, but eventually he succeeded in getting the cracker in the proper place:

Downstairs at a bar they had this interesting task - using only your hands to get at pennies at the end of pantyhose.  Women probably have a bit of an advantage in this one:

Bob photo-bombing our picture:

We caught a bus up 14th Street to a checkpoint where we picked a slip of paper out of a hat.  Kathy was really happy to get the one that said "Lizard" - and this guy was happy to get out of his cage for a couple minutes and pose with us.  Thank you!

Bob was not so excited to pull the other slip of paper:

Our final checkpoint challenge involved taking a bike tube out of a tire and then replacing the tube and putting the tire back on the rim.  John and I were all over this one.

I'm not as fast as many of our cycling friends, but respectable I think:

We took the Circulator bus back toward the finish line, got off a couple blocks early, and even managed to beat the bus (that took a round-about route) to Washington Circle.  All photos good, well done teams and thank you to our awesome crew!

Wonderful time to relax in the sunshine next to the Potomac:

Sunday we got to visit Mount Vernon, awesome.

Not sure if the guy in the background is getting in on the yoga pose action?

The flowers and green trees were fabulous all over the DC area.  So pretty!  I can't wait until things bloom up in Albany (it's just starting, slowly).  Pretty tulips and other flowers in the garden at Mount Vernon:

We opted for the "National Treasure" tour and discovered that it was the best $5 we have spent in quite a while.  Our guide was seriously funny, interesting, and kept us on our toes.

And we got to see a couple locations that are only accessible in the tour.  Our special stickers:

Visiting George and Martha's tombs:

Sheep and lambs making a bit of a racket:

Love the animal visits:

An interesting visual "low clearance" road sign:

We stopped by my fort on the way home!  I should probably check in here once in a while.

Thank you Bob and Kathy for a wonderful weekend!  Yay teammates!