Hello again friends, fans and supporters! Jack and I are so touched by the outpouring of virtual support for our team, and so hope we are able to continue on in the race so we can provide you with inside information behind the scenes of The Amazing Race 4!
We started off this leg of the race in Venice, Italy. At the start of the show, during our mandatory pit stop, you saw us all eating together and chatting. The pit stop is a great opportunity to sit back and take in the other teams' strengths and weaknesses and to plan whether or not we should try to ally ourselves with any of them. What CBS didn’t show was that, after the meal, a few of us took a little trip over to St. Mark’s Square (the Piazza St. Marco, as it’s called in Venice. In fact, it is the only square called a Piazza; the others are called “campo.” Hey, some day that might come in handy in a heated game of Trivial Pursuit.)
St. Mark’s Square is undoubtedly the most photographed and famous plaza in Europe. It’s the heart of the city and covered with tourists, sidewalk cafes and boutiques. It’s also supposedly one of the most romantic spots in the world…or at least that’s what they infer in that ridiculous “A Diamond Is Forever” commercial. You know the one… a loving couple strolling through the square and the man shouting “I love this woman…I love her, I love her, I love her.” She gives the embarrassed look and tries to hush him. The she gets the three stone diamond anniversary ring, and whispers “I love this man…I love him, I love him, I love him.” Sure glad we have no materialistic, gold-digging stereotyping going on there.
Now myself…I think it’s lovely, but I’m not so sure I think there’s anything romantic about the famous pigeons which are an integral part of the setting. In fact, thousands of pigeons crapping all over the place in the relative vicinity of where I might choose to eat is pretty much just plain disgusting to me. But I digress again. We had a very pleasant evening with several of the teams, but unfortunately at this point, we still had mixed feelings about the sincerity of some of them and keep second-guessing our initial impressions of many. As our fun came to an end, we retreated to the hotel to rest up before our departure early the next morning still confused as ever, but excited for the next leg.
We departed early in the morning right on the tails of ReichenChip. Okay, maybe poor choice of words there (well, for me, anyway…I'm sure Jack would have been more than pleased with the literal interpretation of that…), but we were right behind them. We learned that we needed to travel 300 miles to Vienna, Austria by train. Later on we heard of Millie’s asthma attack and were happy to hear it was short-lived. Scary stuff. We were already out of the station on the first train with Kelly and Jon, Tian and Jaree, ReichenChip, and David and Jeff. To be honest with you, I have a much harder time keeping David and Jeff’s names straight than I did last year with Derek and Drew. All I know is one of them is a lot cuter (imo)…the one with less facial hair (Jack says that one is Jeff). We were happy to stay far from the Tian and Jaree drama, as they don’t seem to be a team that we’d want to really even get to know better.
Upon arrival in Vienna, we walked the streets with the other teams and quickly found the Vienna sewers, only to realize that they were closed for the night. Oh well, what can you do? Jack and I followed suit with the other teams and found nearby hotels to get some rest. We awoke bright and early and found all the teams were together again for the trek through the underground. How fitting was this - a bunch of rats scurrying through the sewer with the local rodents.
Next we were to make our way to Schonbrunn Palace where our next clue was located by claiming a ticket to a fiacre, a horse-drawn carriage that would take us the 6 miles to the clue. Jack and I were the first team to arrive and claimed both the ticket and the carriage and left before anyone else even got there. Sounds like all we missed was a bunch of people who didn’t read the directions accurately and then a physical race and fight between some of the teams. The more this leg continued, the more I thought we should stay far away from all the other teams.
Arriving at the Palace and detour, we immediately chose the Mozart option of lugging around the bass fiddle. A short while later, we saw Tian and Jaree and Monica and Sheree parading through the streets yelling “girl power.” Maybe they are thinking of creating their own Spice Girl band during their time in Sequesterville.
As we searched for Mozart’s house, we got really hungry. So we stopped at a weinerschnitzel stand, one of Vienna’s best-known foods. Weinerschnitzel is a deep-fried breaded piece of pork or veal. It’s delicious, but boy is it a guilty pleasure. It’s important to keep your energy up though, so we scarfed that down as we continued to run around the city. Vienna’s hottest new girl band was able to find Mozart’s house before us, and had the clue to the next destination in hand before we did. As we were leaving, we spotted Jon and Al and directed them to the house as well, thinking that of all the teams, we liked them the best by far. Perhaps they would be the team for us?
Arriving at the next clue after we opened it to find the roadblock challenge. The roadblock required one of us to take a 460-foot bungee jump off the Donauturm, the tallest tower-jump in Europe.
“Oh Jack, I think you’re going to have to do this one. I’m not feeling so well from the weinerschnitzel we had.”
“Are you out of your mind, woman?” Jack replied. “It was all I could do to get through the rescue detour back in Italy! There’s no way in hell that I'm gonna do this one, too! You know how I feel about heights!”
“Okay, but if I lose the weinerschnitzel, you’re giving me your shirt to wear.” I figured that was as good as the negotiation was going to get at this point.
The jump was actually quite fun… after I was on the ground again and the fear of dying was no longer an issue. Jack egging me on certainly helped, too. As I was walking out on the platform getting ready to jump, Jack screamed from the ground, "Hey, Jenn! If you get nervous, just imagine that some cute Navy SEAL is down here waiting to catch you in his open arms!" But there was no time to waste, as we had to travel 185 miles by train to Gmunden to the Seescholoss Orth as the last team to arrive would be philiminated.
On the ride, Jack and I discussed that we still had not come to any conclusions about forming any alliances with another team. Last year by Episode 4, Tracey and I were firmly entrenched in the brothers’ alliance so I knew that if we were going to do it, we should probably be thinking about it soon. But we don’t want to make the wrong decision so I think we’re going to wait until the next leg. We arrived in 6th place this week right after Millie and Chuck and right before Jon and Al. Hopefully our current position will allow us to get to know both of those teams a little better.
Well, that's it for now! We'll catch you next week!
To contact the author of this article (BravoFan, aka Jenn), please send an e-mail to BravoFan@fansofrealitytv.com
The Amazing Race Virtual Journal is for entertainment purposes only and is not an account of actual events.