Em and I are moderate to big Survivor fans; in fact I had just been looking into the application process to get on the show but gave up. The event was for tonight from 5-7 and they were going to choose random people to compete in a "Survivor Challenge". I wanted to attend and told Em to get a babysitter.
Then at lunch Em ran into some of the "Stars" signing autographs at the BX (Base Exchange or the equivilant of Mervyns meets Walmart) and called me very excited saying she put her arm around James and got to chat with Russell and Sandra. (Winner of last season.)
But then she couldn't find a babysitter. That combined with me being very tired, (all four boys woke up and came into our room at various times last night) led me to not feel up to going by myself (no kids allowed at event). BUT, my fabulous and selfless wife encouraged me to go without her saying it was a "once in a lifetime experience." This is true. Thank you, Hon!
So I popped over to have some light hors d'oeuvres hoping to meet some of them. I did just that and got to talk to Ami Cusack ( Survivor: Vanuatu and Survivor: Micronesia).
pretty and I got to get some behind the scenes questions about Survivor answered.
As I ate my snacks, they did the drawing for the competition and I got chosen.
This is how it worked: They picked two teams: an enlisted team and an officer team. Each team competed in a challenge with the last person to finish being eliminated and not moving on to the next round until one person from each team is left to compete in the final challenge.
First Challenge: Drinking giant pixie sticks the fastest.
Second: Using the pixie stick as a straw to pick up ping pong balls and carry them across the ballroom floor and drop them into a bag. Repeat.
Next challenge: Race around a bunch of tires with some weird plastic cups under your feet with strings connected that you hold to help move your feet.
Next: While paired up with a Survivor All-Star race around the same tires while stepping into them with your foot at the same time as your partner. My partner was Russell Swan (a very nice guy, Em says!) (Survivor: Samoa)
Next: A nasty one!!! A couple of scoops of squid guts had to be eaten. (My strategy quickly changed from trying to eat it all at once, (cue immediate gag reflex) to eating smaller bites on the count of three, (this worked once) to holding it in my mouth until the other guy gave up and threw up: making me one of two finalists!!! (I can still taste it and smell it.)
For the final challenge I had to peddle a large tricycle with Ami on the back. I was blind-folded and Ami was my guide. She led me around the tires where our handle bars got bent-losing precious time- but we corrected them and sped on.
Ami then directed me through a maze where I kept going left and then left until I spilled out of the maze passing the other guy.
Back onto the trike, Ami expertly led me around the ballroom to the final obstacles. I tore through the combat crawl sustaining multiple rug burns and losing my flip flops but ultimately emerged the winner!!!
And guess what?
I am going (with Em) to
And to think that I almost laid down at home and went to sleep. Em had no idea that any of this was happening and when I walked in with giant check/coupon for the trip she was completely dumb founded and still doesn't believe I really did win.
What an awesome night!
THANK YOU FOR COMING SURVIVORS!
THANK YOU AMI!
THANK YOU AIR FORCE!
And most of all...
THANKS FOR THE TRIP!!!!!!!!!!