After finishing fifth in glam Monaco, we are heading to Africa for a special two-hour back to back episodes of The Amazing Race. Catch us Friday at 8pm on CBS!
I visited beautiful Monaco with my family years ago and absolutely fell in love with its charm and regal history. Having the chance to race in Monaco (and arriving in style in a helicopter) was an absolute dream come true! We arrived the night before to the Hotel Westminster to get fitted for our gowns and suits. The hotel is breathtaking and evokes pure old European charm. It was quite the welcoming and strange departure to peel off our spandex and lycra and cocoon into silk and lace. I felt like Cinderella moonlighting as Grace Kelly!
I loved completing the roadblock with Laura. She and I got along so well and our energy definitely kept each other on track to completing the challenge as quickly as possible. At that point in the race, Tyler, Laura, Jelani and I had become really good friends and spent a great deal of time bonding and sharing laughs over mutual interests, loves, and passion for the race. So it was definitely a treat to race with her! It must have been such a sight to see two crazed looking girls in evening gowns frantically racing running through Monaco carrying flowers and chocolates. We definitely got a few amused stares. And you know what, after all that work I don't think I ended up eating any of the chocolates!
On this leg of the race, both Jelani and I realized we are horrible with navigation as we got lost quite a bit, a weakness that cost us first place. The geographic landscape of Monaco is unique as it's separated into vertical layers. Once you're on one level, it's difficult to go up or down and easy to spin in circles in a state of confusion. We argued a little as we were projecting our frustrations over the situation onto each other. It's bad enough to be lost in a foreign country. It's worse when a million dollars is at stake!
Before leaving for The Amazing Race, I took a two-hour stick shift lesson that paid off in Monaco. I'm glad I was able to break the stereotype that Asian girls can't drive!
I also loved the zip line and tight rope detour. I've never done anything so adventurous and extreme before! The tight rope was really scary and when the wind started picking up, I panicked for a second. But then I told myself that I'm racing to conquer my fears, to build strength, to experience new things, and to learn to let go. So I took a deep breathe, let go of my fears, and ultimately completed one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life!
I wish the episode had included this clip. After being fitted at the hotel, we spent the night sleeping on the floor of one of the ballrooms. It was an Amazing Race slumber party! It was so much fun as we did a potato sack race with our sleeping bags (Ashley won!), played musical chair, and did push-up contests. Haley and I didn't fare so well at musical chair so we went off to the corner munching on croissants while having a much needed girl talk sesh. That night, we were't competitors racing for a million dollars. We were a family being silly, having fun, and sharing unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime moments with each other.