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The Great American Run by Team Fuzzy Tongue
#44 Team Fuzzy Tongue: that are the drivers ‘Dirtydawg’ Johnny and ‘Empress Jo’ and their Porsche Boxster S called Samantha. Enjoy they great write-up about their Great American! Thanks a lot for sharing your experiences!
Wow! What a week! Our sleep times reduced daily until the final night which consisted of only 3 hours sleep time. Final results—Red Bull does not give you wings unless it’s consumed along with much coffee, diet soda, and Vivarin. We learned this as a result of scientific experimentation. Sleep deprivation is the true mother of creative stay-awake methodology.
SUNDAY – We are on the road!
The rubber has met the road. After crazy parties last night at Hard Rock (complete with table-top dancers and a multitude of what appeared to be “hired girlfriends”), the Great American Run (GAR) officially kicked off at 6pm (eastern time).
Unfortunately the rain interfered with the wearing of our costumes today but there will be frivoloty tomorrow and each day of the race from here on.
Not much to blog today since we just started. The other drivers that we’ve met seem to be just as crazy and fun as we are. We’ve seen plenty of cops and no fellow GAR cars have been nabbed (that we’ve seen). However, the posted speed limit has been exceeded (I swear we haven’t surpassed 117 though)!
We arrived at our hotel around 7am (eastern time) with an unofficial average speed of 72mph. Yeah, yeah, it was obvious to the officials that speeds may have exceeded the posted limits but what’s a Fuzzy Tonguer to do? LOL. One of the staff told us not to worry because there were several teams that arrived with less mileage on their odometer than the 908 miles it should’ve taken had they followed the designated route. Those individuals went out cruising the New Orleans area in an attempt to cover their cheating ways.
New Orleans was not what we expected. It is obvious that the area is still digging out from the disaster of Hurricane Katrina. Being a resident of Florida for 20 years, including 2004 when the horrendous storms struck us all, it’s difficult to comprehend that it has been three years since Katrina hit the New Orleans area and things are still so depressed. I don’t know what it looked like before but it reminds me of the South Side of Chicago. Although the city isn’t the ritz, we did find an excellent jazz band playing down on Bourbon Street last night. Even the non-dancing Sir Johhny was compelled to dance with me—a night to remember!
The Monday night cocktail party was nice. We made some new friends amongst the crew of GAR people. Seems that during the Miami to New Orleans drive, one of the youger drivers got himself cuffed and is required to come back for court. Since he is a UK person that is highly unlikely. :) A Jaguar now sits in the lead so this one has to be eliminated . The Comedian was the speaker again last night. Also was great being red faced in front of the entire audience when Empress Jo added lil commentary in response to the comedians material about sex. Never do that when you are seated up front and the camera crew is nearby with a boom mike:) Anyway it was funny and will make the footage much better than had it not happened. :)
Dinner was very good whatever that orange sauce was. Have you noticed that everything seems to be Orange these days?????? As mentioned above, Bourbon street was nice and yes I would come back again but only for Mardi Gras and only to see just how crazy it can get here.
Here it is Tuesday morning and I feel we really need to know what our time is after yesterdays bout with surmantics as per the compulsary versus mandatory 2 hour stop. Anyway we are on a mission now to have the Great American Run fall to the force’s of Fuzzy Tongue. We are in our priestly and nun garb as God is our co-pilot this morning as we pull out and set fourth on our next mission. We are on our way to San Antonio should be a nice drive and again we are in anxious mode but having the first mission behind us a bit more relaxed now that we have seen ourselves through probably the most grueling day.
As mentioned, we are dressed as a priest and a nun today. Our outfits have caused quite a stir both among the camera crew, our fellow drivers, truckers on the highway, and people at places we stop into for gas, etc. Lots of people have taken our picture but the photo we took in the car can’t be uploaded until we are stationary.
Well sports fans, thats all from Father John and Sister Jo today! May the good Lord take a liking to you (but not too soon) and may you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows you’re dead!
TUESDAY PART 2:
We arrived in San Antonio and achieved the average 61mph. We felt great about that but then learned that our previous day’s run has left us with an overage of +10.465. Although we also learned that many of the other drivers are holding +10 and +9 as well, today we are trying to determine the best way to correct our standing.
Our priest/nun costumes caused quite a stir everywhere we stopped. Some reactions were laughter, some were impressed, many wanted photos, some acted insulted (one woman in particular who rode in the elevator with us in New Orleans acted as if she was dying to shake her finger at us and give us a ‘shame on you’ but she held her tongue, LOL). The best reaction was when we first got to the hotel in San Antonio. We stepped out of the elevator from the parking garage into a lobby filled with people that went totally silent. They were all wearing T-shirts that read “Church of Christ.” YIKES! We both freaked out and figured that they were either going to attack us or stone us to death!! There were a multitude of uncomfortable looks the entire time we were checking into the hotel.
Father John did most of the driving on Tuesday. He only let the speed get up to 125 once but hovered around 100 most of the time. We saw many fellow GAR drivers get popped by the TX law enforcement but we took God along and managed to avoid detection once again. A couple of the guys decided to take a detour to Houston and visit the Space Center. They arrived dead last wearing orange NASA jumpsuits and announced that they just got back from the moon. What a couple of crazy guys! (< - hehe you are talking about 'our' Team Tangospeed / GTspirit!) One of them (who was also wearing a pink furry hat!) awarded my costume his lollipop prize (a condom attached to a sucker stick and wrapped in clear cellophane. Father John and Sister Jo blessed the food at dinner and Father John turned water into wine. During dinner each night, the winning team of the run for that particular day receives a yellow T-shirt. Since our average was 60.699 yesterday, we thought for sure that we would be wearing the yellow T-shirts (although they would not have matched our outfits). No such luck. We didn’t even place in the top 3! We have worthy competition…
It’s now Wednesday. We’ve been on the road for 2.5 hours and are about 200 miles into the day’s run. Today’s challenge is an 872 mile run that ends in Tucson, AZ. We’ve seen many police cars but since the posted speed limit is 80mph, we’re good. One cop who was using a corvette for his speed trap, gave us a thumbs up as we passed him. They seem quite friendly. Molly Saleen may not agree with that last statement since we saw her getting popped early today. Some of these folks act as if tickets are no big deal. One guy did get a wee bit upset about a ticket—he threw his rolex watch at the state cop car and dinged it.
Only 5 hours of sleep—plenty of Red Bull and Vivarin are on the menu. Today we are pirates. Before the day is out, we must get someone to take a picture of us since there are no photos of us in these lovely outfits. I will soon find out how comfortable it is to drive while wearing 6″ spike heel boots. ;) That’s it for now!
WEDNESDAY PART 2:
Loads of rain in NM. Saw sand storms and there really are tumbleweeds blowing around. Rare internet connections have caused the drainage of two laptop batteries. We thought we had made a wrong turn and were headed into Mexico when we were directed through a border inspection station—still wondering about that one…
We arrived at the checkpoint after it closed but the organizers were still outside waiting for us. They couldn’t forget about the pirates, argh! Our late arrival was intentional so we could reduce our overage. At the end of the day, we are up by +8.455. Not bad for an adjustment in time but it was torture sitting at the rest area for 2 hours to burn off some time. During our rest area visit, we were interrogated by multiple people including truck drivers and a woman who claimed to have been following us for two days (can you say stalker???). The resort we spent the night in was gianormous. We had to walk for miles and miles and miles (okay, some exaggeration may have been incorporated into that whining statement) just to get to dinner. The pirates ended up being held captive on the outdoor patio. The rogues held us prisoner and forced us to drink tequila until 3am. Not only did we have to drink the alcohol but we had to wait patiently while a couple of the scoundrels bribed the hotel staff to open the bar long enough for them to buy a large bottle of Patron (it’s good to make friends with crazy people)—how rudely wonderful! They can kidnap us anytime. :) Good thing we are such excellent sports! LMAO!
Last nights adventures made today’s journey to Las Vegas seem longer than it should have been but, no complaints. During the day we were dressed as ballplayers. Sir Johnny liked this costume more than the pirate because he had pockets; amazing what can be taken for granted, eh? Empress Jo was unhappy about the pain caused by having to wear thick athletic socks with her six inch red spike heels—those type of socks should never EVER be worn inside those shoes!! It will take days of recovery. People in the restaurant we stopped at for lunch (and later at the Vegas Venetian Hotel) kept asking us if we won the baseball game.
At the first highway onramp after leaving our hotel, we watched 2 motorcycle cops, a red police car, a blue police car, and two regular squad cars enter the highway. Needless to say, it appeared to be a GAR ambush. Our theory was proven as we saw multiple cars pulled over by the police during our route. Four GAR cars at once were detained just before we pulled over to have lunch. During our meal we laughed about the man who parked next to Samantha, took pics of the car, and then had his wife pose for photos in front of her!
Empress Jo fell asleep for a few minutes during the drive so Sir Johnny took advantage of the opportunity to race a few of our fellow drivers over the mountainous, winding, single-lane roads. Vroom!! He made great time but somehow, by the end of the day, our average mph variance was overcorrected. We ended the day with a variance of -3.727, booooo!! (We won’t blame the tequila for the late start in the day…tee hee)
Our Vegas stay was at the Venetian Hotel. If you’ve never had the pleasure, here is some insight. The place is beyond HUGE!! To get to one’s room, you have to change elevators (and possibly a zip code or two) several times, cross bridges, and ask directions from the troll under the bridges (if the troll is reading this, thank you for your kind assistance). This journey is not a welcome end to a long day of driving, battling tequila enduced fatigue, and realizing that our timing was now totally out of whack. We cheered up immensely upon entering the elegant suite we would be staying in for the night. In fact, we loved it so much we decided never to leave but would move into it permanently. That plan was quickly crushed when we learned that our luggage would have to be picked up from the room that the luggage van driver was staying in. In case you haven’t already guessed it, the room containing our luggage was not near our suite—14 elevator changes and two bridges later, we had our clothing. Ugh! Talk about tired and grumpy! But we sucked it up, showered, donned our gangster costumes (BTW, we looked hot!), grabbed a limo to the Stratosphere, and joined our gang in the Top of the World restaurant for dinner. The Top of the World has an amazing 360 degree view of the city because the place is WAY up high, has glass walls, and revolves. Dinner was excellent but, as usual, it commenced later than planned (It was rumored that certain individuals couldn’t halt their card playing—mentioning names would be rude so Tim Porter’s name is being omitted from this blog. ). Once again, the wee hours snuck up on us. Even though it was tempting to allow ourselves to be kidnapped again, we snuck back to our suite in stealth mode.
Despite our best intentions, we still had a hard time waking up early—hard to understand why since we got four hours of sleep! We began the day as a race car driver (Sir Johnny) and a referee (Empress Jo) who arrived late at the checkpoint. Driving along, Empress Jo calculated what was required to successfully complete the rally with a dead-on 61mph average but soon realized that the late start would cause us to arrive at the final checkpoint 18 minutes past closing time. In a desperate attempt to recover, a call was made to the rally organizer. We had learned that the starting checkpoint had been extended by an hour because of an accident (non-rally related) and hoped that the final checkpoint had also been extended. The response was, “No, there has been no extension. You have about an hour to arrive.” As a result, the reality sunk in that we had no way of winning the rally. We decided not to let it get in the way of enjoying the day. We pulled into a station, took a couple of deep breaths, grabbed some extra water and headed to the final checkpoint at Willow Springs Raceway. It wasn’t until we arrived at the final checkpoint that we learned the closing time for it had also been extended by an hour. Had we been provided the correct information from the official (Simon would be the name entered here if we were prone to mentioning names.) We could have made our 61mph average exactly as planned. Can you say ballistically pissed!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GRRRRRRRRRRRR TO THE 44TH POWER!!!!
Being adult, mature, babies, we licked our wounds, arrived at the track, opened the car doors, and entered the heats of hell. The heat in southern CA is stifling! Sir Johnny drove the raceway track five times and was rejuvinated in spirit. Okay, he was psyched and wanted to stay there until they kicked him out but he is a caring person who knew that Empress Jo was being baked by the sun. He also noticed that her skirt was flying up over her head (and the guys behind her were filming it) while she attempted to film his racing adventure so he returned to the pit area to retrieve the puddle of what was left of his lil Jo (what a sweetie!). We departed for the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.
A funny thing happened on the Biltmore. We remembered that we still had to go pick up Sir Johnny’s tuxedo for the evening’s gala event. Big sigh—no naps for the weary. Even with two GPS giving us directions, we failed to locate the hotel. After circling the general vicinity a few times we happened upon one of the best people we’d met during the GAR. Michael Porter happened to be standing on a street corner as we were driving past. He gave us the location information we needed to get to our final destination.
Pulling into the underground entrance of the Biltmore was awesome. There were a bunch of other GAR cars there and we felt like true VIPs. People drooled over the cars and security had the most intense presence that we’d seen throughout the trek. We were guided to the secure parking area, assisted to our room, and began preparing for the final gala event. For Empress Jo, preparation meant primping. For Sir Johnny, preparation meant a nap.
The final party was a black tie event. Details will be forthcoming.
We drove back up to Las Vegas and checked into the Excalibur. Samantha was picked up for transport back to Orlando. Now Empress Jo and Sir Johnny are relaxing, sleeping, gambling, sleeping, drinking, and (in case it hasn’t been mentioned) sleeping.
Still winding down and playing games. It’s a little sad that the GAR is over. We’re talking about joining in on other rally events (know of any?) and maybe even organizing one in the near future. It’s time to go hit the slot machines and make things happen in Vegas that will stay in Vegas. MUAH!