Day 10: Amazing Race

This morning we got a clue to go to Golfland where at least one of us would have to shoot a hole in one. We got our clubs and our color coded balls and hit the miniature golf links. The clue said if no one got a hole in one we would have to complete all three courses. The kids got the bright idea to purposefully avoid getting a hole in one so we could do all three, but thankfully their competitive nature took over and they were trying their best to sink the ball.

The windmill hole was our lucky spot. 4 of us got a hole in one there. Denver was feeling very sad and disappointed about not getting a hole in one, so a little further down the course John took him back to the windmill where he was successful at last. It changed his whole outlook on the rest of the course and he was a much happier camper.

After we finished golfing through castles and over streams (I totally hit it into the water twice!) we opened an envelope to head over to the HP Pavillion to watch the women’s Olympic gymnastic trials. This challenge was especially exciting for Sage who is an amazing gymnast. I know I am biased, but she is seriously incredible and does it all. Beam, vault, uneven bars, and floor. The look of pure joy on her face when we read that we were going to see the best gymnasts in the country compete was priceless!

We headed over to San Jose where there was a huge festival going on outside to celebrate “the road to London” olympic gymnastic trials. There were bounce houses, climbing walls… Oh and these two Olympic champions happened to be there…

Kerri Strug and Carly Patterson were there signing autographs.

The kid’s moment with the two was very quick so it kind of looks like Carly and Kerri are photo bombing the picture, but we figure when Sage is busy winning gold medals in the Olympics, they can include this picture on her “getting to know you” video montage and it will illustrate her destined rise to gymnastic greatness.

After our brush with Olympic greats, the kids climbed and bounced and slid.


The next several things that happened culminated into one of the scariest moments of my life. We got in line to go inside the stadium. John went back to the car to get the binoculars while the rest of us held our spot in line. The kids asked if they could go down the slide one more time while I waited in line and since it was moving so slow, I said “yes, but stay together!” they happily ran off to go down the inflated slide. The line moved forward a bit and I watched the kids carefully from my spot in line. Bailey got to the top of the slide and checked where I was. We waved as the line moved forward again, but I knew they would be joining me soon.

The line suddenly surged ahead and some lines were shifted and redirected. I kept moving forward through the sudden chaos and figured I could text Bailey if they needed a little help finding me in line. Next thing I know Bailey and Denver are joining me in line. “Where’s Sage?” … Bailey said, “she was right behind me.” I was mildly worried at this point expecting Sage to break through the crowd… Any second…

…No Sage…

…No Sage… Suddenly John showed up and said, “where’s Sage?”. I think saying this part out loud is when I really started to panic. “we don’t know!”. John had Bailey and Denver stand at a designated spot and we RAN! The crowd was so thick at this point as they were opening the stadium and we were tearing through the crowd looking for our little red-hatted, toe headed baby girl. We inevitably jostled people to go against the flow of traffic and found ourselves fighting to get back to the slide. She was not there. I can’t explain the utter fear that we felt at that moment realizing Sage was somewhere, completely alone in this huge, fast-moving crowd. I KNEW we would find her, but I was imagining how scared she was and I needed to hold her that second. John went into the park and was yelling her name. I walked back toward the line sending up a silent prayer just saying, “Please! Please let me find her!”.

As soon as I finished that thought, I looked up and saw her. She was sobbing and was with a uniformed man and woman. I ran over to her and scooped her up and hugged her so tight and I didn’t let go until I had to. Sage clung to me and said, “I was so worried i would never find you again.” it completely broke my heart!

The sweet usher walked with us to get Bailey and Denver and personally led us into the stadium to make sure we all got in together. It turns out the kids decided they could go down the slide one extra time and Sage was the last one off. While the other kids pulled their shoes on and started running to find me; she got off the slide and started running, stopped, and went back to get her forgotten shoes.

The whole ordeal probably took 2 minutes, but every second that we didn’t know where Sage was felt like an eternity. Once we were together I kept finding Sage looking at me and she would either smile at me, or squeeze my hand or say,”I’m so glad we’re all together.” and I imagine every second she was alone felt as long as they did to me.

I am so glad Sage knew who to look for to help her, and I realize it was a series of things that led to Sage being lost, but with my 20/20 hindsight I realized we should have had bracelets with cellphone numbers and info for the kids to wear for the vacation. I would have much rather felt silly and overprotective not using the bracelets than the fear and panic I felt not knowing where my 8 year old was and realizing while she knows our home phone, it didn’t do any good in this situation.

We all calmed down and settled into our seats to watch the competition. It was amazing. The gymnasts were super talented. Jordyn Wieber is going to rock the Olympics. We had a blast, but I was so relieved to be sitting together that we could have been watching a lawn being mown and I would have been happy.


We ended up going to dinner where the kids wanted to go: Rainforest Cafe which was an hour away but it was worth it to watch their faces as the forest came alive with thunderstorms, gorillas swinging and leopards twitched their tails. Then, we ran to Ghirardelli Square before they closed laughing the whole way. After our sundaes we walked to the beach to see how different the tide was and Mr. John and I ended up driving around SF long after the kids had fallen asleep in the car; just happy and grateful to have everyone close and safe.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Vtay

    Wow! An exciting and memorable day in many ways! I know that feeling and the adrenaline that shoots through your body when you are trying to find a lost child. Almost an out of body experience!

    This will be a funny story to tell when she is an Olympic hero….about the time she got lost at the Olympic trials………….

  2. Sue

    Isn't that the worst feeling! We lost our son Jesse for quite a few minutes when he was five, at the SLO Farmer's market, and it was the longest few minutes of my life! So glad all ended well! What a fun day otherwise:)

  3. do you know that I felt the urge to pray for you guys several times this weekend? A strong urge? I am so glad that your trip was a success and a great adventure and you have so many fond memories of what you did. I also understand the panic, three of my kids walked to the post office once and went the opposite way of what I expected. It was the longest 1/2 hour of my life, when no one could find them. Awful. So glad that that is just a bad memory and hopefully, the only one of the trip! Thanks for sharing those adventures and you have inspired lots of people! Race on…

  4. Besides the horrible feeling of losing your kid, you also can't help but feel like a bad parent! It only takes a second.
    Kathy, that is so sweet! I just adore you and thank you… Your prayers definitely helped!

  5. TracyLH

    Oh, I am so sorry that you went through that! It is so incredibly terrifying and nervewracking to lose sight of your child. I have been there before when my little boy hid in a clothes rack. My mother-in-law lost my husband when he was little in Times Square. Heart stopping when it happens and I am so glad that all turned out well!

  6. The kids definitely had a wonderful time along with a nice and new game to learn. I had a wonderful time going through this post.

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