RTW 2016

Day 23: The Finale

Saturday, 7 May 2016 – Day 23: Washington D.C. (38° 53′ N – 77° 2′ W)

Good afternoon from Washington D.C.–Where apparently taxation without representation is the official motto! Kind of ironic, right!?

All the teams are present and accounted for…teams had a shot gun start this morning on their last easy Par 1 leg here in Washington D.C. moving on their own times and whims.

First some Old Business…the long Par 6 Baltic Europe leg results are in following Peer Review assessments and official scoring adjustments:

In 6th place, sadly there were four teams that did not hand in score sheets as in DNF (Did Not Finish), earning 0 points: Perfect Strangers who split up with one member going to Oslo and another to St. Petersburg; The Traveling Tridents who had to return to Miami and the Barbados earlier; NOLA Second Line who flew to Estonia from Warsaw then ferried across to Helsinki but chose not to hand in a score sheet; and Girls Gone World who had a great time in Estonia and Russia.
In 5th place, earning 2,995 after a severe 500 penalty for flying, was SLO Folks whose leapfrog gambit did not pay off.
In 4th place, earning 3,052.5 points and working hard to complete at least one scavenge in all 5 Baltic nations 2 Global Junkies.
In 3rd place, SOCA Warriors who earned 3,330 points.
In 2nd place, T3 earning 3,940 points. 
And in 1st place, congratulations to Lawyers without Borders who won their fifth straight leg earning over 5,000 points while completing over 110 scavenges on the long Baltic Par 6 leg. A well-deserved win!

That means that after seven completed legs (par 23/24 completed)…the overall top teams are:
In 5th place with 96 points SLO Folks and just 3 points ahead are The Traveling Tridents with 93 in 4th. The test of the leader board looks like this:
3. T3 – 86 points
2. SOCA Warriors – 85 points
1. Lawyers without Borders – 53 points.

Again, congrats to all and you can click here to view the updated 2016 – Leader Board.

So…one day last lap, an easy 8-hour urban (Par 1) scavenger hunt here in the District. We hoped that everyone would have a great day here…the sun is shining (although threatening clouds roll in now and again) and with such a great city and so many amazing scavenges options, the city is always a favorite. And finish strong across the finish line they did.

At the 4:00PM (16:00) check-in at Bovéda for the crowning reception and awards ceremony, all the teams assembled.
i survived

I Survived T-shirts were handed out with event pins, destination stickers and well-earned special commemorative Circumnavigation Certificates for circling the globe in one swoop.

Some awards needed to be handed out…

First up, Chris of The Traveling Tridents won the award for being the first to e-mail me a 4-legged beastie photo:
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Chis in Oman

Next up…the Players Pool that was taken way back in Mexico City 23 days ago when we asked everyone to write down what 11 countries they thought they would be visiting and betting $20 each…well, they knew two (Mexico and India) and winner is Alina of Perfect Strangers who guessed four correct plus Russia–which she did visit! So congrats to Alina! (Beers on Alina tonight tribe!)
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Happy Alina (of Perfect Strangers) on safari.

Then we have the always interesting “cheapest hotel” scavenge. A little background is due: Every year we send our travelers moving for a day or two to test their travel savvy getting from Point A to Point B. On most occasions we don’t know which route they will be taking and where they will be staying. Of course rooms are reimbursed, but to add to the fun we give points and a nice bottle of French champagne to the team(s) that stay in the cheapest hotel rooms. Well, the 2016 honor goes to three teams: Lawyers without Borders, SOCA Warriors and T3 who all stayed in $47.00 in Latvia. So drink up all…

Finally…the 2106 world travel championship winners. It is always an honor to come to this part of the program, crowing The World’s Greatest Travelers. It should be obvious to all that the final leg really had no bearing on the finale outcome.

But the Washington D.C. legs top three were:
3rd – T3 completing 12 scavenges and earning 480 points
2nd – 2 Global Junkies completing 18 scavenges and amassing 585 points;
1st – SLO Folks who completed 20 scavenges and earned 625 points.

And that means the over-all, winning bronze in 3rd place for the 2016 world travel championship: SOCA Warriors!

In 2nd place winning the silver medals are: T3

And winning once again, their first victory since 2014 and fifth overall championship win, we happily crown Zoe and Rainey of Lawyers without Borders the 2016 event winners (2016 – Leader Board) and once again the reigning holders of The World’s Greatest Travelers title, trophy and crown.
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Zoe + Rainey, Lawyers without Borders…
champs again!

Our 2016 Winners Gala Dinner Party at RIS was held a 6:00PM and we had more prizes to hand out (as voted by the tribe):

The best taxi driver joke: SLO Folks…hmmmm.

The most modes of transportation used: 28 is the record from 2009. SLO Folks with 87?! Hmmmm.

The best Global Price Index item: Julia of Girls Gone World…real estate prices.

The best Travel Collection item: 2 Global Junkies…not just any bracelets but expensive bracelets from every destination visited.

And our personal favorite, the Tackiest Souvenir: Marla of Girls Gone Wild…a weird phallic hat.

All said and done, a wonderful travel adventure that took us around the world with a great group of people. A lot was learned by all about both themselves and the world; as this event holds a mirror up to each of our travelers and they see the real them as they travel the world through different countries and cultures. I am again fortified in my belief that without trusting strangers in strange lands, our participants could not have achieved what they did. I know will agree with that assessment. They made new friends for sure as they traveled and of course created lasting memories of a lifetime.

So we are thrilled to end The Global Scavenger Hunt on a high note. Please everyone, keep traveling and trusting in others.

Thank you and good bye.

BTW…the theme of the 2016 event was the Capital City Adventure, in that we visited the capital cities of  11 of the 15 unique countries that we put scavenges in on this route: Mexico, Japan, Singapore (Indonesia & Malaysia), India, Oman, Kenya, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, (Russia), and USA.

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Day 21: Cruise to St. Petersburg, Russia

Thursday, 5 May 2016 – Day 21:  St. Petersburg, Russia

Happy Cinco de Mayo…from Russia!

Okay, sorry, we have been off-the-grid a few days. A funny thing happened in Helsinki…we got a night ferry to St. Petersburg, Russia and were able to enter, the difficult (and usually expensive) country to enter of Russia, under a grandfathered old diplomatic clause that allows passengers sailing on the exclusive St. Peter Line visa-free access to Russia–for 72 hours. A hole in the world of nation-state diplomatic and bureaucratic paperwork that we eagerly crawled thru…

Well, crawled is a strong word when you are drinking cold Russian vodka while downing spoonfuls of Russian Osetra caviar onboard a cruise ship watching the Russians play Finland in the 2016 Ice Hockey World Championship aboard the SS Princess Maria. Don’t pity us…

But I regress…teams have been spotted everywhere between Warsaw and Helsinki–Tallinn seems to be the hot spot! But some have diverged from the tribe and headed to Oslo…some flew (makes me sad) and some have not (makes me happy). But rest assured that everyone is accounted for…and our official check-in is tomorrow at 11:30AM in our Helsinki hotel, the Hilton Strand.

We, and a few other of our travelers (part of Perfect Strangers and Girls Gone World), had a great day here in St Petersburg. We all want to return to this historic and cosmopolitan city by the sea.

Here are some photos from the Baltics:
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Warsaw

Alexander’s Column, St Petersburg

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Peterhof Fountain St Petersburg

Savior of the Blood Church, St Petersburg

The Winter Palace, St Petersburg
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Wendy of T3 celebrating Cinco de Mayo…sampling vodkas!?
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Yes, that is a Michelangelo at the Hermitage!

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The Red throne room…Hermitage.
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Lucky Rainey swimming in Baltic…anything for points!


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Savannah of SOCA Warriors with new friend.

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Zoe & her victory climb
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The orthodox domes of the Baltics  

More later…but check in is 11:30AM tomorrow and then we head for Washington D.C. and the crowning of the The World’s Greatest Travelers.

BTW…we already miss the Traveling Tridents!

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