Amazing Race 2014

It’s been in the works for a few months… an Amazing Race surprise birthday party for my husband’s 39th birthday.  We are huge fans of the show, and I’ve been wanting to do this for years.  Assuming he may suspect a surprise for his 40th, I was hoping a year early we would be successful.  Somehow, amazingly, we were…

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We met at the park down the street.  The entire day my nerves were going crazy!  What if the children told him?  In hindsight, this is hilarious but at the time it was not… our 3rd child had a minor breakdown in the middle of the day.  Real tears.  “I can’t take this anymore; I have to tell him!”  How cute/ funny is that from a 4 year old?

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The back of our car held little boxes for each of the teams with money, water bottles, the rules, and clues.  I divided our friends into 5 teams of 4, handed out their boxes, and sent them on their way.  Then I was off…

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Here are some of the pictures from the teams while completing their tasks… I’ll post more when I get more!

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 All my printables and many ideas came from here.  I added a few of my own to make it more personal for Daniel.

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 Oh, the things I would do over again if I could… this seems to be the type of party you throw once for practice, then once again for real!  But,  in all honesty, it was so much fun.  But, I must say this… my plan was to pick up a few food items then decorate the house while they were gone.  I was gone 1 hour, and when I returned two teams were already back!  I had NOTHING decorated.  Doh!  Thankfully, I have incredible friends who had a blast on their race and who graciously helped me get things ready.  Somehow, I thought the race was far too long — turns out it was a bit too short.  In all the rush to get things ready, I didn’t get a lot of pictures of the details, but here is the overall feel:

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The last clue said make your way to Cara and Daniel’s house, (the Pittstop), where an International feast awaits you.  In case you were wondering, here is the food breakdown:

  • Chinese: Chinese chicken salad
  • Japanese:  sushi
  • Italian:  pizza
  • Swiss:  fondue
  • Korean: noodles
  • Mexican:  chips and salsa/ guacamole
  • Fillipino:  lumpia (egg rolls)
  • American:  bbq pulled pork sandwiches

And, here were the two cutest guests:

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I can’t believe we pulled off the surprise!  There were a few glitches, but it was still super.  Whenever hosting parties now, I always think back to a quote I read on this blog a while back.  She said something to the effect of, “entertaining is about the host, but hospitality is about the guests.”  I LOVE that.  Doesn’t it take the pressure off?  If things don’t run smoothly, simply smile, don’t apologize, and make the guests feel welcome.  In this case, my friends are so awesome they just jumped in and helped me get food ready and it hardly mattered that half the decorations never made it up.

Anyway, happy early birthday to my sweet husband.  I hope you know I think you are amazing, and I am so blessed to have you!  Next time we are running the real Amazing Race together!

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