Let’s Just All Be Friends

Let’s talk about etiquette.

You see a car fly past you on the highway. Later you learn via internet article that this was an inspirational family that defied adversity to finish a race. You:

A)     Wonder why they had to fly past you on the highway
B)      Congratulate them and mention you saw them on the road
C)      Announce to the world that they disgust you

There a few other reactions, but this pretty much covers the range.

Somebody in this world managed to pick “C” with respect to the Sawyers on Friday. One reason this baffles me is because the same day she claimed to see them being “disgusting” was the day that I was flying past all the Targa cars because they were going 10-15 kph under the speed limit. The same day I saw the car in question picking up a hitch hiker (that I learned later was from Germany and they had a lovely chat with her).

So I laid the smack-down on her. Gently, because I quickly felt myself turning into her. She admitted that she didn’t know them at all and disagreed that calling them disgusting was a judgment on their character. Close enough for me.

Perhaps she was going through her own struggles. Perhaps someone else in the car with her was telling her she was driving too slowly, and the Sawyers proved their point. But would you pick on someone who you knew was dealing with much more? Let’s be honest, folks – putting aside the fact that they were in a terrible accident, were knocked unconscious, and had to go to the hospital… the rest of the week wasn’t exactly rainbows and butterflies. And yet they still found time to help someone they found on the side of the road.

Common sense and decency. ‘Nuff said.

Let’s talk about Newfoundland food.

Good food, for sure. The best fish and chips. But, as Foy would say, “This needs… Sriracha sauce.”

We laughed about it all week. Every meal Foy would ask me if I knew what was missing. By the end of the week I could quickly reply “Sriracha” without missing a beat.

Then, on Friday night, we had Mexican food.

There’s a distinct possibility that Newfoundlanders may not know what real spicy food is. I can’t be sure. But I know that one thing was missing from our Mexican meal.

Sriracha sauce.

The moral of the story is this. If you are going to Newfoundland – bring your own hot sauce! (or pick some up from the grocery store)

Also, I’m pretty sure Newfoundland is in need of a Panera if you are wanting to open a franchise (do they even franchise?).

Next post: We’re on a boat! And Steck drives The Rig over a cliff.


The Home Stretch (Sort Of)

In case you haven’t picked up on my personality, yet, I’m a bit of a hover-er. When I left Foy in Clarenville, I had to resist texting him every… oh… five minutes?

One text made it through.

“Happy Foy?”

“Very :)”


Our final car show was Thursday night in Marystown. By this point a lot of the cars that were not going to make it, didn’t make it (sniff…). Except the 944 =.\ But, we did enjoy the humour of those that were there.





The next day (after I washed a multitude of dishes), it was time to go find Foy and head to… LUNCH.

On my way back north, I got caught behind a lot of the Targa cars that were doing below the speed limit on their way to the 2nd or 3rd stage.

So I passed them on the two lane road.

It wasn’t a big deal, but I felt good about it. After all, I passed a good number of RACE cars over a dashed yellow line on a two lane road! I AM WILD!

A little further up the road I crested a hill and passed the white VW (father/daughter team) picking up a hitchhiker (this is important for a later post).

When I got on the TCH again, the temperature was low. Like 9 degrees. And it was raining a teeny bit. I got nervous – Foy’s Aerostitch suit was in the truck with me – so he would be in wet cold without it!

The temperature dipped to 8 degrees.

The drizzle picked up.

The temperature dipped to 6…

I was getting panicky. Should I backtrack and see if I could find Foy, frozen on the road before our meeting point? Or continue on in case he was already there?

I had to pee.

I kept going. Hopefully he was waiting for me at our designated Esso station in Whitbourne.


He wasn’t. I was shaking. He was dead, on the side of the road for sure.

I went in to find a washroom, and I bought a pack of Smarties. Chocolate would help.

When I got back to the truck, he was there! See? Chocolate works every time.

“Here, I bought you some Smarties!”

He laughed, “I just had a box before I left.”

“Oh, good!” I tore into them frantically as we drove off.

We had a fantastic lunch at the Legion in Brigus (although the Tulip Diagrams did not indicate how hidden it was), and headed straight for St. John’s – about 1/2 an hour away.

Checked back into our Ramada (meh), got some Starbucks for my caffeine headache (St. John’s is the only place in NL with Starbucks), and toddled off to Anna and Bob’s house to do laundry again.

I was going to take picture of the ceremonial finish to go along with the ceremonial start, but it was SOOOO comfy at Anna and Bob’s house, and then Janet came over. I couldn’t tear myself away.

When Steck and Dad finished up and joined us, Steck took pictures with his phone. They exist. I finally got some photos with family!

I don’t have them with me.

Here, console yourself with a picture of Foy and Steck in downtown St. John’s:


Next post: Marilyn gives internet-girl the smack-down (cat fight! WOO-HOO!), and we find out just how desperate Newfoundland is for Sriracha sauce.

I’m a Professional Loser

It’s true. I am really good at losing things – even myself. It is to the point that when Steck asks me where something is, if I shrug and deflect, he will follow up with, “What stage is it on?”

I have 4 stages for losing things:

1) I can’t tell you where it is, but I haven’t looked, either.

2) I looked briefly, but there are a number of other viable locations.

3) I have looked and wept.

4) I have replaced the lost item.

We almost got to stage 4 when we were looking for the Clarenville hotel.

First off, heading to Clarenville from Trinity (btw, you aren’t crazy, this is out of chronological order), I plugged in the GPS coordinates for the Events Centre instead of following the route book (and their lovely Tulip Diagrams). This made GPS try to force me to turn off of a highway into a… wall. It didn’t know the best way to get to the parking lot, so instead of taking me around one way, it decided I could climb a cliff in my truck.

Finally I found the Centre. Waved at Foy and said that we were now going to the hotel (which, you may remember was directly next to the Events Centre). Off we went.

Wherever we were going, it wasn’t where the hotel was. I passed the same spot over and over and could only see the Clarenville Inn – no Wave Hotel.

So I called.

She told me where it was (exactly where I was looking) so I tried again.


Called back.

“Sorry, I drove past again, and all I see is the Clarenville Inn and some gas stations”

“This is the Clarenville Inn.”

“Not the Wave Hotel?”


“Oh… uh… wrong number? SORRY!”

We were now a good half hour into our hunt (Foy was following me on the motorcycle as I u-turned my way into the Guinness Book of World Records), and I was, driving down the TCH (this is local-speak for the “Trans-Canada Highway”), when I saw the sign!

There was a sign for the Wave Hotel! With a phone number! 709-466-SWIM!

I dialed frantically.

“Hello, Wave Hotel!”


“Yes. The Wave Hotel.”

“Do you have a reservation for me? Nevermind, I’m pretty sure you do. I can’t find you.”

“Are you familiar with Clarenville?”

“Well, I have driven through a dozen times, so I’d say yes. I’m on the TCH headed to 230-A from Memorial”

“Ok… um… turn onto 230a, our street is right before the McDonald’s”


“McDonald’s – you’ll see-“


“Yes, we are right next door-“

“Ok, I know where you are! Oh my goodness, this is too funny! I will be there soon! Thank you so much! It’s Blackmore Avenue, by the way! You are on Blackmore – ok…”

And I hung up.

I didn’t really use the coordinates on GPS much after that.

I Don’t Know How to Pronounce Burin

Even though I can’t pronounce it, it’s fantastic. Burin is a peninsula AND a town. Either way, paradise.

It was one of those days where they race into a point, eat lunch, and race out. Lunch was supposed to be at 2 PM (was actually 3! Guess who got cranky? FEED ME OR DIE!), and I had to be there at 1:15.

So I had two ways of getting to lunch. First, plug in the coordinates they give me into GPS and go (this has had some exciting results – OH! MAN! I totally forgot that story about Clarenville! Will put it in the comments of my last post…). Second is to follow their line-by-line, odometer-verified instructions.

Both led me to the same place.


To be more specific, I was headed to “Ocean Something” (I think it was “Ocean Spray” – it made no sense), and I landed in the middle of a construction site with no ocean or buildings or spray around. Just some hard-hats giving me the “why are you here” face. I didn’t actually stop – both times that I rolled through. They were too intimidating.

I pulled up to a volunteer to ask for help (he’s sitting in the third picture below).

“Hey! Do you know where the service point is?”


“Um… the service point. At Ocean something. Or lunch, I’m really here for lunch. It is at the “Oldest Colony Trust” – whatever that is…”

“Nope. This is the finish line. That’s all I got.”



“Ok, I’ll do another lap! Haha… ha… heh…”

I rolled off awkwardly.

I went through the construction zone again (carefully avoiding eye contact and setting my face as though I knew exactly what I was doing and where I was going). And shortly before I got to the finish line again, I invented a parking spot and limped off.

I did find the Oldest Colony Trust – it was a hidden building with no parking. Go figure.

I parked myself outside the post office with a good view of the finish line and waited.

Sure enough, another service crew came along looking for lunch.

They asked the same volunteer that I had asked, and I knew exactly where they were headed (nowhere). So I jumped off my little P.O. ledge and wandered over to them to let them know that what they were seeking was not intended to be found.

Actually, I pointed at the barely visible roof for the Building Where Food Would Be, and told them to join their creative efforts with mine and come up with a parking spot of their own creation. I offered a few hints at areas I thought were promising. We laughed. We bonded. I warbled back off to my perch.

Here’s a church (not the same as Trinity, I promise)


A sort-of boardwalk in from of the “Oldest Colony Trust Building” (aka Building Where Food Would Be):


The finish line. So this old guy volunteer. I love him. The reason he didn’t know where anything was is because he’s from Virginia (I think). Just came up to volunteer and see the cars. Shortly after I took this shot, another (lady) volunteer came up to him and told him he had his finish line in the wrong spot – it was supposed to be 10 metres to his right.

“Don’t matter.” He replied

“But… It’s supposed to be right there!”

“If they aren’t slowed down by this point, there’s really no hope. So… don’t matter.”

She relented. The “Flying Finish” (that they cross at speed) was much further up the road. His “finish line” was the you-should-be-slow-by-now-and-oh-by-the-way-this-was-your-time spot. With one exception, he was right, they were all crawling by the time they got to him.


Coming down from the Flying Finish:


A Boat! Notice the original Newfie flag: green, white, and pink!


Steck and Dad prepping for the race back out. Please, please notice the little blue van. I don’t know what it was or how it got there, but it was TINY and CUTE and RANDOM. I almost yoinked it I loved it so much. My principles prevented me.


After lunch, I headed back to our hotel (Braxton Suites – AWESOME again!) and discovered they had KITCHENS! OH! YAY! But this must mean they didn’t offer breakfast. Easily remedied.

Armed with my new-found knowledge, I went off to the grocery store.

We had shepherd’s pie for dinner with green peppers! YUM!

The next morning, I fed them cereal and coffee and eggs.

I regretted my decision as I hand-washed every dish that Braxton Suites had made available to me.

Then I discovered they had complimentary breakfast, after all. It must have been the saddest news I heard all week, so I took a muffin to make myself feel better about it.

The red Mitsubishi that had been in a bad accident a day or two earlier, was back in action with some pretty fun “stitches” made from zip ties. This makes me unreasonably happy.

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Next post: What happened to Foy? And we make our victorious return to St. John’s

On Air

Well, I’m sorry. I was afraid this would happen. Unfortunately, the last few days of Targa were much more hectic than the first. Coupled with exhaustion and spotty internet little to nothing happened. I’ll give you the details of the return trip in a later post – I’m trying to keep this in more or less chronological order.

So we left off with Clarenville – lovely spot. So much so I’m going to stay there for this post.

First – has anyone heard of “donnair”? It was advertised EVERYWHERE (mostly pizza joints), so I had to try some, not knowing what it was. Here’s the obligatory food shot:

Yes, those are raw onions. I had to brush my teeth ten times.

Basically it was delectable processed meat (think of those chunks of meat they shave to make kabobs) with tomatoes and onions on flatbread. They serve it with a sauce comprised mostly of vinegar and sugar. Mostly sugar, really. Not quite a gyro. Pretty tasty, though!

Since our (awesome) hotel was walking distance, that meant that, for a change, I didn’t have to ferry Dad and Steck to the arena the next morning – they just wandered over there themselves! A little more sleep for a sleep-loving gal. Rainbows, butterflies, and unicorn farts.

Eventually Foy and I hit up Timmies for breakfast (this was after we had the hotel breakfast – we do love our breakfast…s…!). Foy seemed a little forlorn about the whole two and a half more hours on the road for our next stop (especially since we would be backtracking the next morning). This was coupled with the fact that he was loving Clarenville as much as I was.

“You don’t have to come to Marystown… since the Targa is out, they probably have vacancy at our hotel – you could ask.”

His face crumpled with hope. “I think I will.”

We went back to the hotel, and, sure enough, they had space. So we said our goodbyes, and I left him there with some leftover pizza and reliable WiFi (what more does a guy need?).

Some other miscellaneous stuff from Clarenville/Trinity:



And a view from Steck and Dad:

Next post: Marilyn gets lost and helps other lost people while she’s at it. And makes dinner. Ok, the next post is all about me. What can I say? It’s what I know best…


My New Favourite Place

Seriously, you guys. Trinity, Newfoundland.

This place is ridiculous.

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And to top it off, it’s not like there’s nothing there. They have a place they call the “Merc” (Trinity Mercantile) where they sell amazing coffee and treats and t-shirts and stuff. They have a CHOCOLATE SHOP, and restaurants. I could live and die there happy.

Trinity alone would have made Day 3 amazing, but then when we got to Clarenville, we stayed at a place called the “Wave Hotel”. Turns out it was directly next door (read: walking distance) from the arena where the cars were being held. AND it was a spectacular place to stay! Huge, gorgeous rooms and the rates were not terrible!

And Steck got to try his hand at driving! You can tell that he was careful by the fact that I am not freaking out right now. Dad got to see what navigating was like, and Steck got to get a feel for the driving bit. All in all, a fantastic, gorgeous, lovely, amazing, perfect day.

In Trinity, Foy and I got a good seat to see the cars taking off. Here’s my attempt at uploading video. I have one of every car, so if you want to see another, let me know! There are a few fun ones!

Next post: Quit with the paradises, people. And Foy goes on strike. Also, my favourite orange vehicle is out. I weep.

A “Break” From the Regularly Scheduled Programming

I felt the urge to explain what happened to my leg. In all honesty, I should have started blogging when it happened to keep a better track of my progress. But since it is slowing me down (and I am whining about it so much), here’s the story – from the perspective of running. Something I’m still sorely missing. If you want all the pics (warning – gory!) check them out here.

The last time I went to my orthopedic surgeon, I broached the running subject. After all, the plates in my leg could hold my weight just fine. I had read about Wolff’s Law. Surely stressing my leg could only be good, right? It would help the bone grow more quickly.

He looked at me as though I was trying to get him to write me a long-past necessary script for Vicodin. “No,” He said. “No impact. You can swim. Bike, maybe. An elliptical trainer would be fine.” After a thought, he repeated, “Swimming is good.”

“Oh, ok!” I said. I didn’t want to swim or bike or elliptical. I wanted to run. “But, out of curiosity… when do you think I can start running?”

He made no promises. Offered to see how my leg was doing the next time I came in. In three months. The beginning of October. My heart broke. The nurse shook her head at me, “I broke my ankle three years ago and I still can’t really run, sweetie,” she said. “You’re dreaming.”

2 weeks


Running was one of the first things I thought about when I was laying on the road, caught under the van that had arrested my forward motion. My husband, work, and running. What else was going to suffer? My right leg was shot, I knew that, but I also knew it was a distracting injury. I kicked my left leg – my knee hurt a little, but it was fine. Probably a scrape. I kicked it again and bounced my toe on the ground. Now everyone screaming about 911 and are-you-ok could see I was alive and literally kicking. I tried to talk through my helmet, but I had no idea how many words made it past my mushed cheeks, through the helmet, and out from under the van to the ears of The Witnesses.

The lady that hit me came up behind me. I knew it was her because I could hear the sheer panic in her voice. She asked if I was ok, but there was hysteria polluting her words. They came out halfway between a screech and a sob. I felt badly for her. I said I was OK as loudly as I could, but still had no idea what people could hear. Too much noise. Why was everyone panicking? The police arrived.

I thought about running again. What part of my leg was broken? Ankle, too? Was it smashed? The whole thing? More importantly, would I heal in time for the half in October? I counted the months in my mind… 8 months… ish. Yeah, that should be fine. 3 months for the bone to heal, and I’ve still got nearly 5 to train! I wouldn’t set any records, but I could totally do it. Ok, maybe I would have to walk some… still do-able.

They chocked up the van and pulled me out. I was shaking, but I think it was from the cold. The pain was definitely there, but I could look at it from far away. I could joke around. Every time it started to crush me, I reminded myself that this would pass, and that mental act of dismissal seemed to do the trick.

I was lucid. I had no real complaints beyond my leg. They cancelled the Heli-vac into Philadelphia and put me in the ambulance. Part of me cheered – I had never ridden in an ambulance before. Cool! The other part was sad. Helicopters are cooler. They took forever to hook me up to The Drugs, but by the time we got to the hospital I had already had my second dose and was feeling sleepy. I could feel it clogging my brain and my thoughts oozed around like molasses. I had the EMT text my husband from my phone. In short order I was in the hospital with all my shredded motorcycle gear unceremoniously folded into some random sheet. Where did they get that sheet from?

They scanned me again and again looking for something – anything – else that was wrong with me. Just a broken leg. And some amazing bruises. Not bad for being hit when I was doing 40! I was a tough cookie. That’s what my mom would have said if she were suddenly in Pennsylvania with me.

Andy showed up. I was still joking around and smiling through clenched teeth and pain. He turned to the nearest nurse “How long do you think she will be in the hospital?”

“Andy!” I chided. “It’s a broken leg! They’re going to put me in a cast and send me home!” The nurse nodded a knowing agreement. I felt validated. I would be at work tomorrow. Well, realistically, probably the day after. I would be running soon enough.


An hour later they were telling me the swelling was going to kill the blood flow and nerves to my foot if they didn’t do something. They weren’t worried – it is a very common complication for closed high-energy breaks. They knew how to fix it.

The orthopedic surgeon told me my entire treatment depended on the swelling. “They may need to do a fasciotomy to relieve the pressure,” he said. “If they have to do it today, I will have to do external fixation on your leg tomorrow. If I can do my surgery first, it will be internal, and it should help with some of the swelling, too.” External fixation was a rig that would live outside my body with the nails going into and through my leg. I cringed. “I’m crossing my fingers for internal plates!” I told him. “I don’t want to see it!”

So much for a cast.

He won the battle. A few hours later I was in surgery getting my shiny new plates. When I woke up, my leg felt so much better already! Stable. The pain was phenomenal, but it wasn’t aggravated with every breath I took.  The surgery helped with the swelling, but they wanted to keep me over night to watch it. I was elated. Not a simple break, but it was fixed. It was done. Now I just had to heal.

I got my fasciotomy the next day, after all. As I came to, I felt tears already streaming down my face. I gasped and howled. Perhaps they didn’t re-dose me with painkiller before I woke up. I felt like a thousand knives were in my leg. As I started to gain more control, I subdued my cries to moaning, but I couldn’t shut up. Every breath came through with a groan and whimper. I was such a baby. The tears flowed freely. I tried to blink them out of my eyes and saw my husband and mother-in-law, both crying, too. They were suffering for me. I held my breath and calmed. They gave me drugs. I felt catatonic. I was there for four more days.


My fibula had been jammed a few inches into the base of my tibia. My boot held everything together inside my leg. Later, when I saw my dissected boot, I noticed the metal armor in the ankle had been dented in, absorbing the impact there. My ankle was fine. I was told I had lost two arteries to my foot (I didn’t know I had a third). My muscle was “ground meat” and the swelling continued to threaten my stitches and incisions for the next month.



A month and a half later I was in PT. I still couldn’t put weight on my leg, but I was starting to move my foot around. Trying to keep the scar tissue that was starting to form from freezing my muscles. The guy next to me was being treated for a running injury. Apparently he came in all the time for one running injury or another.

“I’m a runner, too,” I thought. “Well, obviously I can’t run really fast or far right now, but…” I puzzled over the stupidity of that thought. Of course I couldn’t run very far – not even a mile. Or…  even half a mile, I guess. My throat clenched up. I couldn’t run a step. Not one. I had to take a deep breath. I closed my eyes and fought the tears. Some childish part of me thought, “I could hop on one leg!”. The grown-up part raised my eyebrows.


I’m over the emotional part, now. It’s been six months. I am “walking” unassisted. I affectionately call my leg my “Zombie Leg”. The pain is dull. There are periods of several seconds at a time where I can say I am not feeling any pain. My ankle is still tight. The scars are shocking. My thigh and calf are atrophied, but I go to the gym and work on them every day. Last week I was able work my calf for a long time before the pain made me stop. The next day my muscle was sore from being worked. It felt amazing. It was another milestone.

I am preparing for when I can run again, and I can feel myself getting closer every day.

It might not be October, but one day my doctor is going to say, “OK, you can run now, just take it easy. See how it goes.”

I’ll take it easy. I’ll be winded after a quarter mile. Probably less. My leg will start throbbing, and force me to limp back to where I started. Everyone looking at me will think I was defeated. But I’ll be grinning ear-to-ear. I’ll try again tomorrow.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Foy and I got a late start yesterday morning, and the unthinkable happened.

I missed the lunch.

I swore it wouldn’t happen. The only thing I cherish more than sleep is food. And if I have paid for food, by golly, I’m gonna eat it. I’m one of those people who, if I know I am going to a buffet, will starve myself for a week ‘to get my money’s worth’ and then willingly put myself in a food coma. Since we’ve paid for our lunches, I was g.o.i.n.g. to be there.

A terrible thing happens a lot at Targa, though – they put the lunch service point at the end of a run. This means you have to go through the racing “stage” before they shut it down (half an hour before hand). So you have to get there super-early, and then you have to stay there for a long time if you are not actually racing since they typically race the same stage in reverse – back out. Now, these remote “tip of the peninsula”-esque spots are incredibly gorgeous, and more likely worth it than not. But it means getting up early sometimes. Sadness.

The unthinkable lunch-loss behind me, another unthinkable thing happened. Foy and I launched out to meet Dad and Andy at one of their later service points (for once), and we missed them. Like ships in the night (or vehicles in the day) we didn’t even see each other. To top things off, there was no cell signal out there, so there we were, acting like we lived in the Dark Ages. Or worse, the 80’s.

At least we got some good views.


Clearly I am talking about the chips truck.

Also, we found Leading Tickles. I am trying to make a joke out of that… it has the word “Tickles” in it… but I’m at a loss. Please provide your own creative joke and <insert here>. I’m still giggling about “Tickles”. Hehehee. But, really, if you come up with something good, let me know.


Also, we found this gem of a place. I was soooo slow on pulling out my camera, but, thankfully you can still read the sign! SUCCESS! (The red sign is the most important)


We caught some amazing views, but didn’t find the guys until we gave up and turned around and got back into a cell-phone-covered area.


When we did find them a good half-hour of a backtrack back, we caravan-ed back with Dad and Andy to Appleton and actually got to see a “Meet and Greet” (usually Service Teams are excluded from these). Basically it is just a bunch of race cars pulling into a neighbourhood. Fully. Awesome.


Ok, that was rough. But, finally, the Gander stages!

Up until last night, I hadn’t actually watched them race. It is tough to jockey for a safe position, and I figured it would be better to be waiting for them at a service area than play tourist. This time, they would be so close by anyways, I could watch!

I parked the truck at the Gander Community Center (where the car show was), and walked (here’s your opportunity to pity me – I really am overdoing it with my leg… it is SCREAMING at me today) until I found a pretty decent spot – where I could see them barrel around a corner:


Their first run was at 6 PM, and the second at 6:45 PM.

The streets were VERY full – people were hanging out front, music was playing, and some had driven a couple hours to check out the Targa.

As it started dipping into 6 PM, I saw a police car come through – for sure the race was starting. We could all hear screeching tires, but no cars ever came. Accident?

Closer to 6:30 I finally got a text from Andy. “Obviously we are very delayed… Not sure when we will start or what the hold up is.

Ok… hopefully they’ll start soon…?

More waiting. Nothing happening. Still can hear squealing tires in the distance…?

But then, less than 10 minutes later, a new text. “Both stages cancelled. We will convoy thru slowly. They couldn’t get things under control… Too many spectators. We will be last.”

But… but… what about my ideal spot?! Not much to be done.

I got a great video shy of 2 minutes long watching the cars parade through, but it was a sad end to a tedious day, I’m afraid. Will have to figure out how to post the video for you guys.

For more info, check out the “Day 2” video here: http://www.targanewfoundlandnews.com/

To finish on a happier note Day 3 was AMAZZZING! And I can’t wait to tell you about it!

Next post: Paradise Found, and Andy grabs the steering wheel.


Andy and I can be really cheap eaters. Plus, we love diners. We can get in and out of a diner for less than 10$ between us. With this skill, however, we don’t want to stiff the waitresses just because we are not ordering 10-15$ a person. We go to the same places repeatedly, and we want to be liked by the service staff. So we generally have a “minimum” tip to avoid giving them like 80 cents. 5$. Probably generous to some of you, but cheap to others. A sit-down meal out for 15$ is still pretty cheap in our minds.

So Foy and I went out for dinner on Monday, and the service was pretty bad. The waitress herself was kind, but she was clearly juggling too much. I never got dressing for my salad (ate it dry, ha!) and she usually waited like 1/2 an hour before checking on us – we were there for a LONG time. The food took forever, too. It was tasty, I think, but we were getting irritable.

When it came time to pay, I decided to unleash my wrath. Even though we had ultimately ordered for 4 which had miraculously pushed our tab up to 50$ (ugh), I was going to give her my “minimum” tip.

After the fact, I realized that was 10%. Foy pointed out that Canadians are terrible tippers (he worked in hospitality before) and she probably thought I was being generous when I was actually trying to teach her a lesson. Whoops!

And now for some pictures from last night… er… Monday night (wink-wink). Look who’s still in the running! Personal favourite. The hood was probably removed intentionally, but I like the idea that it might have fallen off while they were racing about.


A shot of from the leftovers of another crash. This one is just fine, and still in the race!ImageAnd look who’s back! This is the service vehicle from the team that wrecked their Mini and went to the hospital! They are in the Fast Tour group, but ready to go. Impressive!


Also, this guy has some amazing single-shots of each car on the run! http://robertryan.zenfolio.com/2013flatrockprologue

Next post: Targa shuts down Gander… wait… no, Gander shuts down Targa! And Foy and Marilyn drive around aimlessly. Seriously, the next post will have some real Targa news!

First Place Before it Begins

Day ONE of the Targa was really a ceremonial day one. It’s called the “prologue” day. So maybe I’ll stick with calling it day zero?

I ran Andy and Dad down to the Jack Byrne arena for the breathalyzer test (we are quickly learning that we don’t need to be nearly as timely as we thought we should be). We were going to pop into McDonald’s or something to grab a bite en route, but had been (rather sternly) advised to use the Autism-RV to buy food. So I dropped them off, and they were going to get their breakfast there (notice my correct usage of their vs there!)

Around lunch time, Foy and I wandered downtown to wait to catch a picture of them coming through the start line. They are in the “fast tour” group, and were told that their group was going to be the first off the line every time, and their car would be first of the group! Yay!

Then I got a few concerning text messages.

They have moved fast tour to last running order from first.

No big deal, just not as woohoo as previously.

Then, right as Foy and I were posed, ready for the cars to come in (any minute):

Any chance you could throw us some quick food?

I freaked out (if I were a super-hero, I would be Lady OVER-REACTOR – and the all caps would be fitting). My leg had been acting up since the hike around Bell Island, so I turned to Foy. “FOY! CAN YOU GO FIND FOOD! RUN! SANDWICHES! SOMETHING! THEY! ARE! STARVING!”

If Foy were a super-hero, he would be Captain No Biggie. He gave me a sideways glance as he started wandering away. “Not sure about running, Marly, but I’ll go find some food…”


Captain No Biggie is immune to the effects of Lady OVER-REACTOR.

Every second that slid by squeezed my heart. What would happen if they starved on the road? Would they crash? Did Foy go to Bell Island to get them food? Did he know that Tim Horton’s was close by? Did he know that SPEED trumped food quality?

Two minutes after Foy started walking, I got another text “We are less than 5 minutes“.


I stood there, wringing my hands. Why didn’t they get food from the Autistic RV? How did they even make it this long without eating?

Best if ur on my side of the road.

WHAT?! Me? Which side? Was Andy or Dad texting me? Was Dad texting and driving? Was that illegal? Even if not, what if he crashed? I couldn’t get to Dad’s side of the car! Which side would Foy be on?

1 km

I went from fidgety and sweating to complete meltdown. I was standing on top of a squat pylon (on a dock, boats tie to it) in full view of the crowds, and they must have wondered who died (the thingy I was standing on was the bright orange blob in front of the Jag);


I held my panic just short of thrashing on the ground and screaming. There was another photographer nearby. “They’re only one kilometre away!” I told him in dismay.

“Oh, great!” he replied.

My eyes widened at his assumption that this was a good thing, but I let it go. This time.

Pulling in

Tears started to form in my eyes. There they were. I could see them.


They were in the front, not the back?!?!?!

No Foy. Where did he go? Andy and Dad would surely perish.




It looked like he came out of nowhere. Shoved a bag of food in the window, said hello, and, just like that, Foy successfully brought sandwiches to Dad and Andy. Turns out the 2.50$ muffins from the Autism RV that morning were quite small, and they really needed a bit more sustenance. Captain No Biggie to the rescue!

Speaking of amazing timing… See the dude with the flag in the picture above? He was just about to start them off the line! Not a second too late. Just after Foy came back to watch with me, Robert Giannou (I really hope I spelled that correctly), shook their hands:


And started them off!


And, just like that, Andy and Dad were the very first car to take off starting the Newfoundland Targa of 2013! If you want to see an incredible shot of Dad and Andy, check out TargaNL’s Facebook album here!

Finally, a shot of the Sawyers taking off on Sunday. I’m sure prayers would still be appreciated.


Next post: Pictures from Monday that were taken on Tuesday and Marilyn gives a tiny tip (first time ever!) to a waitress that thinks it’s generous.