Here's the full description of the birthday event:
Before we left to go on our first ship, Jeannie planned an extraordinary birthday gift. She bought me a birthday race at Arlington Horse Park. Here's the video for that day.
This was the first year in 5 years that we've been in Chicago for Jeannie's birthday so I wanted to do something special for her.
I told her that we were going to do something special for her birthday, but I didn't tell her what it was. To keep it a secret, I put out decoys. I left an application for a bowling party on my desk. I filled it out and left it for her to find. It wasn't out in the open, but it was in a place that she would run across it. She did and totally thought the surprise was a bowling party. Later, she said, "I keep seeing that application and I kept thinking, 'Jeff, put it away! I don't want you to figure out that I saw it and wanted you to be able to keep it a secret."
That wasn't the only surprise. Jeannie's parents flew in for the party. Which was very fun and surprising.
Amazing Race is one of our favorite shows on TV and we would love, love, love to compete on the show. So, I worked for 3 weeks to design a race for her for her birthday.
I divided everyone up into teams of four and set them off. They had badges and clues and detours and roadblocks and envelopes and everything.
For the most part, all of our friends are pretty competitive and they jumped into it whole heartedly. We had one friend who was a wet blanket who complained during the whole day and almost ruined it, but I told myself to ignore it and do my best to not let one selfish, whiny, jerk ruin Jeannie's fun day.
Here's the clues and what they had to do:
In the end, even though Team Purple and Team Red had crossed the finish line first, Team Gold and Team Green used their wits to finish first and second, respectively. Team Gold bought 22 McNugget packets and cut 110 minutes off their time. Team Green bought 11 containers of pizza toppings and cut 55 minutes off their time. That dropped Team Purple, who had finished 40 minutes ahead of the other two teams to 3rd place and Team Red finished in 4th. Team Blue finished in last place.
The whole race lasted almost 3 hours long. The only sad thing was that Becca and Guillermo weren't there. They were both out of town for vacation. It would have been a lot of fun to have them there and they would have been great at the race.
It was a really fun time and everyone really enjoyed themselves. I really enjoyed doing it and had a great time designing it and putting it together. There were some flaws with the wording of the final challenge and I wish I had worded it that the only way people could have gotten the bonus time subtracted from their totals was if they had actually drank the milkshake. I also had some technological issues. I received so many text messages during the race that my phone crashed and shut off and wouldn't turn back on for ten minutes. I'm sure you can imagine how agonizing those ten minutes were when I had teams in the middle of a race anxious to receive their next clue.
I wish my full time job was to design and run games like these. I know points where I would fine tune everything. So, if you want me to design and run an Amazing Race style competition for your birthday or business outing, let me know. I have it perfected now.