And the winner is…: Alan & Harriet’s 2011 Summer Vacation Contest

Hello dear friends and family. We are so pleased with your participation, truly amazed by your interest and mildly aghast at the drivel you choose to read. Good god, don’t you have anything more important like the New York Times, The Nation, some NPR transcripts, a good book or your Facebook page?

Okay, before we make the big announcement, we want to share with you the last few entries that trickled in via email:
– Vincent (in Paris): Corrida, Mexico; Colombia
– Shyan (in Singapore or Malaysia): Liechtenstein
– Beth: South Dakota
– Christy: “I’m so glad you’re doing this; sounds like it’s become quite the affair…”
– Rob: “Yukon Canada  R u getting married?”
– Ron: “I’m betting you’re going to the distant landlocked country of Nevada, which has two major tourist-laden cities, Reno and Las Vegas, Gold production is a major industry in Nevada and if altitude is an issue, it must be Reno, where the altitude is 4500 feet.  Are you two getting married there?”

The Entries are:

EUROPE: Andorra; Austria (Salzburg, Vienna); Czech Republic; France (Loire Valley); Macedonia; Moldova; Romania; Greece (Santorini); Hungary; Serbia; Switzerland. ASIA, SOUTH ASIA & SOUTHEAST ASIA: Afghanistan, Bhutan; Cambodia; Kazakhstan; Mongolia; Nepal; Tibet (2); Tajikistan; Turkmenistan; Uzbekistan. CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA: Bolivia; Mexico (Guadalajara, San Miguel Allende, Corrida); Columbia; Paraguay; Peru (Machu Picchu). U.S. & CANADA: Bingham, Utah; California Sierra; Colorado (Aspen or Vail, Whistler); Grand Canyon; Lake Tahoe; Las Vegas; Memphis, Tennessee; Missoula, Montana; Missouri; Mount Rushmore, South Dakota; Sun Valley, Idaho; Nachitoches, Louisiana; Reno, Nevada; Sacramento, California; St. Genevieve, Missouri; Tulare, California; Yukon Territory, Canada. MIDDLE EAST: Jordan (Amman, Petra). AFRICA: Botswana; Burkino Faso; Ethiopia (Addis Ababa); Kalahari Desert; Malawi; Mali (Bamako or Timbuktu); Rwanda; South Africa (J’berg, Cape Town); Sudan; Uganda; Tanzania; Zambia; Zimbabwe. OTHER: non-specific Caribbean island; Hades

Some cyber gremlins messed with Alan’s system and a whole slew of comments didn’t appear on the blog (in a couple different places) until just this evening. (Sorry.) We urge you to read them all. Geez you guys are clever. We had to expand the prize categories.

And FINALLY, the winners are:

While some of you were ignoring clues and basics of geography and instead were trying to think of countries most of us would be hard-pressed to find on a good globe, others should be commended for their thoughtful analysis and reasoning. Kudos to Tara, Amy, Nina.

A very honorable mention to Beth for Mount Rushmore where “Harriet is going to don a white tyvek suit and lowered by ropes, scrub out the president’s noses with a toothbrush.”

Our house sitters, Kimber & Ben, guessed Mali. (Uh, guys, you know where to reach us if there’s a problem, right?)

Stephanie is going to be there with us… and she guessed Sun Valley. (Honey, if you don’t want to hang with us, just say so.)

A three-way (tie): Chuck, Andre and Michael for Kabul, Hades and Sudan respectively.

TWISTED, Honorable Mention
Laura L. and Judy S. for Memphis, TN or Hachitoches, LA in JULY! Are you nuts? Ed for “Slaughterhouse fantasy camp in Tulare”

From Todd and Gabi: “We’ve been beaten to the Nevada guess. The judge, Harriet’s nervousness, wearing white: you’re planning to rob a casino.”

MOST CREATIVE, Honorable Mention
To Elinor who entered Hollywood for among other reasons because, “The gold industry would be Oscar and gold albums. And the river runs thru it would be that one we get stuck up without a paddle, shit.”

MOST CREATIVE, First Runner-up (and not just because Ann is Alan’s mom)
“Well Darn, I thought it would be Santa Rosa. We are landlocked, We have a river, Russian River or we can run a hose from the front yard to the back, We will keep the house set at 90 degrees, keep Harriet from going upstairs to solve her altitude problem, We have an in-house Gourmet Chef, a bumper crop of escargot, an in-house tour guide who will take you to all the wine tasting you could ever want, (after which who cares what you eat and would solve Harriets attitude problem), concierge services, 4 stars on the door and only 30 bucks a night. Oh, well. Good Luck Harriet.” Seriously rethinking our trip now… and if any of you want to hang out with Ann in Santa Rosa, we highly recommend it.

This goes to Andre & Tracy for: “You are going to Andorra to attend the International Beekeepers and Fencing Conference For Cohabitating Adults. Tracy and I were thinking of going, but realized neither of us are beekeepers . . . or fencers.” Brilliant… and if only it weren’t sold out for this week…

Shannon, having just returned to the States after leading wine and beer tours in Italy and Spain, with just a few little clues on Day One guessed simply, “Sacramento.” So, so, close. The contest was almost over before started.

FREAKISHLY CLOSE, Honorable Mention
This goes to Nina, not because she guessed correctly, but because on Day One, she responded from Truckee, California, a mere 30 miles away from…

drum roll, please…

RENO, NEVADA situated on the scenic Truckee River with an elevation of 4,500 ft.; average July temperature in the 90s; and host to the USA Fencing National Championships in which Harriet will be competing. There will be 28 women from across the country in her division (Veteran Women’s Foil), 15 of whom are rated (meaning they’re very, very good and have tons more experience). The odds of her taking home a medal are about the same as those for she and Alan taking wedding vows, so hold the congratulations on both accounts for now.

However, congratulations are in order for GRAND PRIZE WINNER, CHUCK CAIL, for his entry posted on June 30th at 12:01 p.m.

Thanks to everyone for playing along. If anything truly blog-worthy happens in Reno, we’ll let you know. Now, get back to work or your summer vacation or read something interesting.

Lots of love,
Harriet & Alan

5 thoughts on “And the winner is…: Alan & Harriet’s 2011 Summer Vacation Contest

  1. Nicely done, Chuck. Good luck, Harriet. Have fun and don’t try the “Your Shoelaces Are Untied” ploy. I assume you are buying new equipment in Reno, and that’s why this trip will be the most expensive per day. And I fully expect that Alan has come up with some inventive cheers to lead the crowd, something along the lines of “We are fans, we are loyal, to Harriet and her foil.”

  2. Congrats to the winner and all the runners up. Have a grand time in the Biggest Little City and skewer one for me.

  3. Best wishes to Harriet against those fearsome opponents, and I hope you both have a marvelous time. I must admit a fencing contest sounds much more in keeping with your perfectly alternative lives. Now, while you have received a lot of great suggestions on where to holiday next, I’m going to put in another vote for Bhutan. While it’s not cheap (thus backpackers like me are excluded), you who’ve been to Paris for multistar dinners can surely afford to visit this place that is so out-of-time. Men running around in short kimonos, gorgeous scenery and a king who seeks to maximize the Gross National Happiness. I think you’d have great stories and fab photos. Just a thought.

  4. This was so much fun to read! You guys were so clever with all of the clues :] Have fun and good luck Aunt Harriet!!!

  5. This was a blast to follow. My favorite comment was Nana’s – hilarious! I hope you both have so much fun. Big hugs and go get ’em! 😀

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *