Sunday, June 27, 2010

The fun we had at City Chase Kelowna

Oh boy - WHAT A DAY!! I seriously can't remember the last time I had this much fun, with this much adrenalin pumping for this long and got this good of a workout all in the name of the game!! Saturday was City Chase Kelowna. City Chase is actually a global event - dubbed 'the largest urban adventure series'. Think a city-wide version of The Amazing Race - somewhere crossed between a scavenger hunt and obstacle course. And this was pretty much the most information we had going into the event ourselves! So really we weren't sure what we were letting ourselves in for, but it sounded like fun!

All around the city are ChasePoints. In the Kelowna event there were 17 points - the winning team of 2 is the one to collect 10 points and cross the line first - simple eh?! The course was open for 6 hours. As the air horn blew at 10am our first direction was where to go and collect the clue sheet from - on the top floor of the nearby multi-storey parkade of course!! From there we had to decipher the clues to figure out the location and at the same time were given a hint of just what the challenge could be; Our first destination was Gyro Beach - a quick bus journey away (oh and the rules meant only foot or public transit could be used - we got complimentary day trip transit passes). The clue was; ENOAC: Abbreviate this orientation-stabling device, add beach and get ready to get bass ackwards! - See simple!! On our way there we kinda stumbled our way into our first 2 chasepoints - having to hold a crocodile for 20 seconds - which was very cool!! And the other we had a choice of finding some doggie-doo or eating dog food - we went with the dog food option (though I think it may have been re-fried beans - still made you gag though!)
From there Kelowna transit slowed our progress with a 1/2 hour wait before catching a ride to the local casino to play DJ Bingo - great fun actually - guess the tune - match it up with the number on the jukebox sheet and mark off on your bingo sheet. We got bingo pretty quick but with the unfortunate reward of one of us having to eat a live worm to complete the Chasepoint (and this is why I partnered with my game-on husband - thank you dear!) Some serious marching/jogging along to the local beauty college to complete a french braid on a model - together - one hand each tied behind our backs!! Interesting - and trust me - don't ever ask either of us to do ANYTHING to your hair!! (I think the hair stylist took pity on us to give us our point and letting us move on!)

We got four more points all pretty close together. First stop the firehall to do a few fireman training drills, then put up a tent at Valhalla Pure Outfitters and find a member of the public to sit in the tent with us and sing campfire songs for 30 seconds (we smoked the tent putting-up and we found a willing and game volunteer to help us out!), Chris climbed a wall blindfolded with me directing him at The Crux Climbing centre (ok really he just scrambled and felt his way up quicker than I could get the words out! - It helped having done it before I'm sure we got that pretty quick too!) Finally in this particular vicinity a stop at one of the major series sponsors Mitsubishi Motors to do a 4 wheel change. Man - why do Wal-mart want my car for 1 hour when they do this job?! Just get me and Chris to do the job and you'll be on your way in less than 10 minutes! (though my little finger wouldn't appreciate the abuse as we clocked our first mini injury of the day after I tried putting the wheel on single-handedly - woman - step away from the grease-monkey jobs!)
Back into downtown for our final Chasepoint and the finish line. And we chose our longest challenge of the day to end on (you don't know what you're gonna get till you get there so we didn't know this beforehand). A mini scavenger hunt in City Park. We were each given a loaner Blackberry phone and had to communicate with each other using the messenger service. Chris stayed at the Chasepoint whilst I did an Anneka Rice all over City Park and the nearby beach & marina (OK so maybe only our Brit friends might know who the hell Anneka Rice was - the rest of you can google it - I highly recommend finding some Youtube videos - my oh my - it takes me back - hilarious show was Treasure Hunt!!) anyway, I digress...after nearly 40 minutes we had our 10 Chasepoints in hand and made our way back to the finish line.

We finished a respectable 37th out of 90 teams and crossed the finish line at 4hr54mins. Every single minute was a blast! The top placed team crossed the line at an even 3 hours - even they admitted they'd got lucky with the transit on the day but even so - they were fast! Good for them - the top placed teams won a variety of prizes (Blackberry phones, expenses paid trip to compete in the Vancouver event with the chance to represent Canada in the world champs, Subway gift cards, Barefoot Bubbly wines, Sirius Radios etc.) But for most of us - it was just the fun of competing and completing the course.
I had intended to write all this last night but flippin' heck I was pretty spent - physically and mentally! What an awesome day.

Finally I would like to thank everyone who generously sponsored us online in aid of the charity Right to Play. We raised $180 and had an early advantage towards our first Chasepoint. So again thank you all - you know who you are!

This was the first year City Chase has come to Kelowna - so I very much hope it'll be back next year - I will be in line to sign up first!! Go and check out the global site and find a City Chase global event near you!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Where did the last 3 weeks go..?

I'm only just settling back into a 'normal' routine after 3 weeks of visitors - not that I'm complaning. It's been wonderful spending time with visiting family. At the end of May we actually had 5 visitors - my brother from Wales, Uncle & Aunt from SoCal and my parents from England. Thankfully that was just the long weekend - with some bad influences in the house we had a couple of dawn bedtimes and the liquor store wouldn't take the large quantities of empties back in one go...(but seriously guys - it was great to have you, once I've finished drying myself out I'll be ready for another sess!) Unfortunately for all of them the Okanagan wasn't displaying itself in it's best sunlight - the weather this last month has been lousy. On the upside winery tasting rooms are pretty much all indoors...
(The big green monster is 'Ogopogpo' - a Loch Ness monster type who lives in a cave under an island in the middle of Lake Okanagan....apparently! And if you see the real deal there is a considerable reward - for now though we just pose our visitors next to the fibre-glass version in downtown Kelowna!)
We've been busy round the house. Chris finally got the help and motivation from my Dad to build a new workbench in his man-cave - aka the garage (now I really will never see him!). I got a new mini display shelf in my craft room and I've been growing veggies and herbs with some success (well - so far so good!) I decided not to go the whole hog this year with a veggie garden so I've got a little collection of pots out on the deck, and see how I get on.

Another kind of visitor that we're delighted to have around this summer...
A lucky or very patient photographer - you decide!! (Chris not me!) The very ugly red plastic hummingbird feeder from Walmart might be an eyesore (anyone tell me where I can get a pretty one?) but the birds LOVE it! I've been topping up the sugar solution once a week!! I could sit out and watch these cuties for hours! I've even see them perch on the top of the tomato stake - never seen them sit still before!

And finally we are PERMANENT RESIDENTS OF CANADA. This is the culmination of our dream that got underway 3.5 years ago. The paperwork is all done, medicals passed , vast quantities of money thrown at the government, criminal checks done and the man from CIC - he say Yes!! We are thrilled that our dream has become our reality. Thank you Canada - we'll be good promise!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What have I done?!...

In a moment of sheer madness and spontaneity I signed myself up for my first 10K run since 2006. This should be interesting....
I thought some sort of aim/target might work as motivation to actually go running. That and I wanted some new Lululemon pants and I needed an excuse to get them!
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