Seattle - Washington
After our long flight to Seattle and because of the time difference with Shanghai I was completely wrecked when I woke up this morning. I now know what a jetlag is. Luckily I didn't have to go out, so my wrinkled face and the bags under my eyes were reserved for the members of STORM and our hosts, Barb and Larry.
Barb and Larry are an amazing American couple, who were crazy enough to let 11 of our STORM members stay at their home. We slept in their basement, where we had the most comfortable beds, we could finally do some laundry, and in the morning we were greeted with American sized muffins and bananas for Breakfast. All the asked in return was a group picture and a cheer for the Seahawks every once in a while. Barb is without a doubt the most enthusiastic fan I ever met.
Unfortunately after breakfast we had to leave Barb's place to meet the other team members and get some chores done. The chores included loading the mini trucks, stickering crowdfunders cartridges, writing blogs, upgrading the motorcycle and cooking. Bob did an amazing job cooking us good old fashioned boerenkool met worst, or mashed potatoes with kale and sausage.
After this dinner I was full and nourished, and it gave me the energy to go for a jog, but not before we cleaned out the entire apartment, for we would have to leave early next day. It took us more than an hour to get the apartment presentable, but after that I was ready to go. Barbs house is about 100 meters high on a hill, with a beautiful view of the sea, so Yorick and I decided to run down, along the coastline to the pier and back. On our way down we enjoyed the view and we had fun spotting some other team members on a walk, but the way back was a different story. Although this round was only 4 km long and the way back along the coast started out fine, we soon discovered that running up a 10% hill is extremely exhausting. Yorick somehow found the strength to pull a final 20 meter sprint, while I was wheezing my way up the final yards.
Obviously I was sweating like an otter and I immediately wanted to take a shower. Unfortunately the shower was dibsed by a few other guys, so I went to see Nick, Brian and Barb, who invited us for cocktails, in my sports outfit. She didn't seem to mind that I smelled like an old sports sock and just gave me the best Black Russian I ever had (the only one actually) and while drinking it I found out that Barb is an amazing woman. She conquered so many challenges and still manages to enjoy life and grab it by the balls. Her fun life stories of collapsed iglos kept us up way too late and I slept like a baby once I got to my bed.