Welcome to this special episode of The Amazing Race. Please note that this is a delayed recording, however it was enacted in front of a live American audience...
Thursday 2nd October: Mills and Koekie set out at 5am to make their early morning flight to London, then onto Boston. Surprisingly, Koekie is let through passport control without question or complaint. Mills and Koekie arrive in Boston, where they are asked by several different officials what they are carrying in their luggage and how much cash they have on them. Officials quickly lose interest when it is determined that Koekie and Mills have none of the 'good stuff' usually associated with travelers flying out of Amsterdam. Later, Koekie falls asleep during dinner due to jetlag issues.
Friday 3rd October: Mills and Koekie visit their first baseball stadium - in fact that oldest baseball stadium in the US: Fenway Park. Koekie learns a lot about the 86-year Curse of the Bambino and other Red Sox history. These statistics will be tested in knowledge challenges, later in the adventure. By the end of Friday, Koekie and Mills must find their way with local Bostonians up to Waterville Valley in the White Mountains (New Hampshire) to a quiet ski community.
Saturday 4th October: Koekie and Mills wake up to find themselves surrounded by world-renowned North American trees in fall. Most noticably sugar maples. Koekie's challenge of the day is to repeatedly exclaim the following phrase to anyone close enough to listen: "I'm sorry, I just can't get over these colours!" Koekie, Mills and Bostonian hosts set out on a short mountain climbing attempt, which takes longer than anticipated as the group is unable to complete their first task within an acceptable time limit: find your way out of the small village of no more than 300 residents. An hour later, after circumnavigating town centre thrice, they are onto Challenge Two: find your way up the Scauer Trail to take in breath-taking views over the ski slope region. Here, Koekie will find further opportunity to use her reward phrase: "I'm sorry, I just can't get over these colours!" On the way down, the group is faced by Challenge Three of the day: wade across frigid cold mountain spring at high water levels. Do not get clothes, shoes, or other equipment wet.
Sunday 5th October: Back on the road with an early start, the pair must get back to Boston in order to catch the pre-booked bus down to New York City. Their task successfully met, Mills and Koekie must use this 5-hour trip to plan their time on Manhattan Island to maximum capacity. This challenge is also combined with finding their hotel in Upper Westside (with shared facilities: one toilet and shower per 8 double rooms per floor... to be included in future challenges). End of day challenge is an easy one: find a grocery store open after 9pm on a Sunday in order to replenish fresh vitamin levels. Challenge quickly completed, with choice of which store to use. (It's actully harder to find a store that doesn't stay open 24/7.)
Monday 6th October: Up early, but not early enough to avoid toilet rush on shared facilities, Koekie and Mills must in one day complete the following visits: Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Grand Central Station, New York Public Library, Museum of Modern Art, Times Square, Broadway, Rockefella Centre and Central Park. Pressured for time, Mills and Koekie earn extra points by even managing to purchase half-price tickets to watch Chicago on Broadway that same evening. However, this ambitious move almost loses them points when they nearly do not get to the Ambassador Theatre on time. Supper is sacrificed due to time limits, but Koekie suggests that a dose of culture is just as nourishing as a hearty meal. Mills does not concur.
End of part one. Part two to follow shortly. Stay tuned folks!