By the time the clue was read announcing where the pit stop was, I couldn’t help but think, “That’s it?” I like the families on here, but I do wish they would go a little further. Not that it would help every team, though, as some still managed to get lost.
The Godlewski sisters leave the first pit stop at 7:57 AM. Stopped for the night in Lancaster, PA, a community with many Mennonite and Amish, their beginning clue for this leg sends them to Shoehouse Road, fifteen miles away in York, VA. They will find the “shoe” house and search for the next clue. The sisters point out they may bicker and argue, but coming in first has helped them feel more confident.
The Gaghan family, having not appeared unconfident so far, leaves ten minutes later. Mom Tammy says she knows some looked at them and wondered why they were dragging their kids all over on some extended family vacation, but she hopes they are now seen as a threat after coming in second. Leaving a minute later, Mom Linda Weaver wasn’t sure after her husband died if she could step up to the plate, and still isn’t sure she is seen as a leader, but hopes if nothing else this experience will bring her family together.
Dad Denny Rogers, leaving at 8:09 has no problem calling himself the one in charge. Leaving at 8:18, just 21 minutes after the leaders, the Schroeders say they left thinking they knew it all, but are definitely seeing they have a lot to learn.
The Godlewskis aren’t feeling real comfortable in their lead and don’t want to fall behind. The Gaghans took some initiative during the pit stop break and highlighted important places on their map to help them. They feel now that they just need to focus. The Weavers aren’t relying on maps or focus, they rely on prayer once again. The Schroeders find a shortcut and take it. Maybe they know more than they realize.
The Paolos are leaving at 8:21, and Mom Marion feels no one listens to her. Her sons are tired of her constant nagging and certainly aren’t happy that she’s still doing it, even during the race. The Bransens leave Lancaster three minutes later. The three daughters realize their father is not the most optimistic and that they may not do well, but have been pleased so far. Dad Tony Aiello, leaving at 8:37 says he’s always been a protective father and notes how eager his three sons-in-law are to impress him. Leaving last at 8:45, yet only 48 minutes after the leader, Megan Linz is proud of her brothers that they aren’t beating themselves up at this point.
The Gaghans jump into the lead and are the first to arrive at the shoe house, which looks like a realistic version of the shoe home that the old woman with too many children lives in. I wonder if she now knows what to do. Dad Bill jumps up the stairs to retrieve the clue from the top of the shoe. He reads that they now need to drive themselves to Washington, D.C., to the reflective pool in front of the U.S. Capitol.
The shortcut has helped the Schroeders jump into second place and daughter Stassi climbs up to retrieve the clue. The Godlewskis arrive, falling to third place. The Weavers prayers are answered and they arrive at the shoe in fourth place. One of the daughters asks which state Washington D.C. is in, and wonders if it’s in the state of Washington. It should be noted that this isn’t 9-year-old Carissa Gaghan, this is either 16-year-old old Rachel or 19-year-old Rebecca. My 12-year-old son was in disbelief they didn’t know where D.C. was. Maybe they should have spent the evening highlighting a map like the Gaghans.
Brock Rogers runs up to retrieve the clue from the shoe, as does one of the Paolo sons, Lindsay Bransen and one of the Aiello sons-in-law. Son-in-law David used to live in Northern Virginia and says he easily knows his way around there, saying it feels like home to him. Every team says they must take 30 West, but it’s Denny Rogers who reads the map wrong and says they need to take 30 East, then 83 South. The editing pauses and turns to black over this comment, alerting us that someone will get lost soon.
As the Linz familiy arrives at the shoe still in last place, they want to change this. One of the brothers says they aren’t stopping until they get to Washington D.C. If anyone needs to pee, they need to do it in a cup, of course much easier for the three brothers than the sister.
Dad Denny Rogers reads the map and sees they are way off. He believes Brock has passed by the exit instead of seeing that they went the wrong way on 30. He takes the chore of driving away from Brock and says Brock took his eye off the ball when Brock says he just didn’t see it, that was all. Denny says not seeing it and passing it up are two different things. Later, Denny realizes Brock hadn’t missed the exit, and that they just hadn’t traveled the wrong way on 30. He turns them around and tries to get them back on course. Daughter Brittney says they should listen to Brock more, and Denny says one person can only do so much. Well, Brock never saw the exit because he wasn’t going to find it in the direction his dad sent him.
The Gaghans arrive in D.C. first and look all around for their clue. The Weavers are next to arrive and scream out when they find it. Surprisingly the Gaghans don’t hear them, but we soon find there are two reflective pools and the Gaghans are at the wrong one. The Weavers’ clue tells them to find a limo and receive a briefcase with their next clue. The Godlewskis arrive at the correct reflective pool in second place. The Schroeders realize they have been searching the wrong reflective pool, and Stassi announces, “We’re morons!”
The Paolos are low on gas, and mom Marion is insisting they stop now for gas. Tony remains mute as usual, and son DJ refuses to stop for gas now, wanting to just get to the next clue first. The Gaghans are still searching the wrong reflective pool and end up back where they started. The Schroeders arrive at the correct reflective pool in fourth place and the Linz’ decision to pee in cups has helped them move from last place to fifth. The Aiellos realize they have been searching the wrong pool and amazingly make the same comment as Stassi Schroeder, “We’re morons!
The Weavers are the first to find the limo and retrieve the briefcase, followed by the Godlewskis and Paolos. The clue inside sends them to the nearby Tidal Basin for the first Road Block. Teams will choose one family member to find a spy walking with an identical briefcase to theirs. They are to offer up the clue, “The sky is blue.” If they have reached one of the spies, the spy will answer back, “The sea is green.” I can’t imagine what someone innocently walking with a briefcase will think upon being approached by someone and told the sky is blue.
Sharon Godlewski is the first to hear that the sea is green and receives a clue that will send them 49 miles away to Middleburg, VA, to the Welbourne Manor. The sisters agree they’re “just kicking ass!” The Weavers and Paolos reach the correct spy shortly after. The Schroeders arrive at the Tidal Basin and begin the search. Dad Mark approaches an older man with a briefcase and says, “Hey Pops, the sky is blue.” Pops happens to be a spy, tells him the sea is green, and they are on their way.
The Paolos really need gas now and Marion won’t quit nagging that they should have listened to her and done it before they got to Washington, D.C. They can’t find any gas stations, and she says there were plenty before they got to Washington, D.C. when she wanted to stop.
The Gaghans still can’t find the clue at the reflective pool, still at the wrong one. The Bransens are at the wrong pool as well. Dad Wally is falling behind, not being able to keep up, and one of his daughters says there is no sense in getting too much ahead of him; they can’t go any further until he is there with them.
As Nick Linz is searching for one of the correct spies at the tidal pool, the Paolos are still searching for a gas station, the Rogers’ are still driving to Washington, D.C., and the Bransens and Gaghans are still searching the wrong reflective pool. 12-year-old Billy Gaghan wants to stop and ask someone for help, but 40-year-old Bill says no.
The Gaghans, Rogers and Bransens all then meet up at the wrong reflective pool and realize they are all searching the wrong one. Denny Rogers says it’s “very unfortunate, y’all; everyone is paying for my mistakes” being that this is his second one. Gee, very magnanimous of you. Maybe father doesn’t always know best. Then again, Robert Young would have never made these mistakes.
Everyone finally makes it to the correct reflective pool and to the tidal basin. Soon all are in agreement that the sky is blue and the sea is green. With all on their way to Middleburg, VA., Marion Paolo is still bitching about the gas station. DJ grabs the map away and reads it while he drives. They reach a traffic jam and realize it will be somewhat of an equalizer for the teams.
The Weavers are the first to make it through the traffic and reach the Welbourne Manor. They find a Detour where they will need to choose from one of two military duties – Heat of the Battle and Heat of the Night. In Heat of the Battle, teams will join a full scale civil war reenactment and carry five wounded soldiers on stretchers to a surgical tent. In Heat of the Night teams will roll a barrel of oil to a work station and fill 20 oil lamps, then light all. In both tasks, the teams will retrieve a flag and run down a winding road to find Phil waiting at the second pit stop.
The Weavers decide on Heat of the Night. The Godlewskis arrive at the Manor next and announce, “The Desperate Housewives are here!” They decide to do Heat of the Battle, as do the Linz’ who arrive shortly after. The Schroeders arrive and decide to do Heat of the Night, and the Bransens and Aiellos decide to do Heat of the Battle. I can’t imagine why the Bransens decide this way being that they are already having problems with Wally keeping up. Son-in-law David of the Aiellos gets goosebumps during this as he used to be a Marine.
The Weavers finish filling and lighting their lamps and arrive at the pit stop in first place. Phil informs them they have won a trip for four on behalf of Travelocity to Bermuda. The Linz’ arrive in second place, after starting out the day in last place. What an amazing comeback! The Godlewskis arrive in third place.
Wally Bransen asks his daughters to go slower, and is told to keep moving. He says, “I can’t, guys!” His daughters tell him they are close to being eliminated (half the teams aren’t even there yet), he gathers it up, saying he only has a little left in him, and keeps pushing.
The Gaghans arrive at the Manor and decide to do Heat of the Battle. Carissa is worried she’ll get shot. Billy bitches that Carissa isn’t doing anything, as with her size she can hardly help carry a stretcher with a grown man, and declares he wants her job.
The Schroeders, Aiellos and Bransens arrive at the pit stop in fourth, fifth and sixth place respectively. Phil asks Wally if it’s cool to be out here with his daughters, and Wally says he thinks so. The Gaghans arrive in seventh place.
Paolos arrive at the Manor and decide to do Heat of the Battle. The Rogers are still driving there. Marion Paolo gives up and tells husband Tony she can’t do this, realizing she still has four more stretchered men to carry, but she is talked into following through. They switch to Heath of the the Night, making one of the Paolo sons throw his hat is disgust. The Rogers arrive and decide on Heat of the Battle. Like Marion Paolo, Renee says she can’t carry these soldiers. They switch to Heat of the the Night, making Brock throw his hat is disgust.
Both teams finish close the the same time, and it becomes a foot race to the pit stop. I’m thinking the Paolos are done for, thinking Marion can’t keep up withe others. I’m wrong. They come in in eighth place, declaring their mom to be a real fighter. Well, that can be taken several different ways with them.
Arriving in last place, the Rogers are told they are being eliminated. Denny says it was his mistakes that got them there and his responsibility. Brock feels if he had only been listened to a little more, they might not have been there in last place. He would be correct. Denny goes on to say he has tried to teach Brock that you can’t cast stones and blame others. It must be one of those do as I say, not as I do things. Mom Renee says she is the glue that holds the family together. That’s pretty funny as she seemed to remain silent as her husband and son did battle over leadership of the team and going astray.
I have to say the racers didn’t get very far, and there isn’t any exotic locations to see, but it was still highly entertaining. Watching these families makes us appreciate and understand our own family vacations, and even our families, a little more.
How do you think this season with families compares to the usual show we know and love? Email me at LauraBelle@realityshack.com