25 August 2011
I had the luxury of driving down to Seattle to begin my epic weekend. While to sign telling us that the border wait was 50 minutes was accurate it wasn't any fun. Especially when we discovered that the lane we were in was not the one that splits to go to the other booths at the end. And it's even less fun when all three of us started with the requests for the washroom with about 20 minutes to go.
There's a sign when you enter the United States that shows a bunch of national landmarks and Spud wanted to know what all of them were. Thank goodness the Space Needle was on there because he kept asking to go see them. Sorry, Bud, but the Statue of Liberty and St. Louis Arch are a little too far to drive today. Guess what Colin got to do after they dropped me off? After waiting so long to cross the line I decided that it didn't much matter if I got to Seattle too early. I'd already missed the first of the bunch that came in on early flights and knew that even if we drove straight down I probably wouldn't have that much time to hang out. It turned out alright, though, since I got to spend about half the day with my boys.
We've been down to Seattle enough to roughly know our way around. I figured out about 1/2 hour outside of downtown that while I knew the address and which side of the freeway the Nuun office was on I didn't actually have a map. Oops! The other problem was that we usually are able to take the express lane and it has different exits than the regular road so we didn't see the one we were looking for. Thankfully I'd remembered that they were near the medical centre so I knew to go north... and we drove by the hotel on the way there too. Our fears were all for naught since we got where we needed to be with minimal aimless driving. After circling their block to find parking
I think I waited about an hour - reading the free Seattle magazine - before Melody called me and said they were on their way back from Pike Place Market. I felt bad because it was hot (PNW hot, that is) and the walk was uphill. In the meantime Tonia (toe-knee-ahh if you need the intensive or just call her T) arrived and got settled into our room. She was very nice about me butchering her name at least 3 times! We decided to go downstairs to wait for everyone in the lobby and I was pleasantly surprised to see about half a dozen bloggers sitting around chatting. It amazes me how not awkward it was to meet everyone.
Once most of us were at the hotel we started with van decorations. Let me just first say that our team went with an "ignorance is bliss" and "it's easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to get permission" attitude. We hadn't been told an outright no in terms of writing on the vans and not just the windows with our markers. This is what we came up with:
I loved our design. We made sure that people knew we were from Nuun as well as letting them know they could follow along/contact us during the race. And I loved that it was rainbow-y. It turned out to be really easy to spot out on the road and in the middle of a field parking lot. I'm a little bummed that the photographer/videographer wasn't there to document our decorating abilities since we did have a lot of fun doing it.
Once we were done it was time to head over the Nuun office to meet everyone and have dinner. I have to admit that I love their office. It's on the fourth floor of a warehouse conversion and it's just cool. Yes, that is the historian in me talking... We were introduced to the staff that would be joining us (Kimberly, Kim, Caitlin, Mason, Casey, Alex and Ken) as well as those that were just still around for the day. After a round of get-to-know-you with everyone it was time for pizza and salads, beer and Nuun. Ask Megan what happens when water accidentally gets into a Nuun tube and the lid is put back on! After a couple of hours and a gift exchange - I got a sweet Austin, TX shirt from Tricia - we all headed back to the hotel. I thought I wasn't tired, but with an early wake up call (5:30 - ew!) I ended up going to bed at quarter after 9. Since I was paranoid about missing my alarm on my watch I woke up at least 4 times before it went off...
Next up: Friday 26 August 2011 aka The Day I Started "Losing" Stuff