Sunday, November 15, 2009

Airsoft!!! It's a sport, It's messy and it gets them out of the house!

Arrick and Ian became involved with airsoft last January. They had a great time with it and found that a few of their good friends also had a good time with the fun! John came home and I specifically asked him if he was going to go play airsoft with the boys. His reply was, nah. Let them have their fun. The next thing I know, John is hip deep in airsoft with the boys! They are addicted! Now, they have specific camo outfits, high powered airsoft guns, grenades...yes, I said grenades, they have those little plastic bbs in them, not real ones. lol Arrick even got Ryan into airsoft!

The guys of all ages and training come together for fun and for highly organized operations. This is serious stuff...some active duty use airsoft as training exercises. It's pretty safe for the most part. Except when one walks in front of some one while they are firing their rapid fire gun...and takes a bb up the side of the head...Arrick! They all wear goggles or masks and there are rules.
John outfitted in his gear out at Bethel Airsoft field, his field name? Taz!
Ian cradling his high powered gun!

Ryan in his camouflaged fedora ready for the battlefield and looking quite debonair! His field name? Fedora!
Arrick readying to play sniper! He's learned to lay low with his tall frame! One too many shots to the buttocks learned him!
We're ready, we're armed, we have testosterone!!

Zach, Arrick's best friend since 3rd grade, also takes time to come play airsoft when he's home from VA Tech. Except, I don't think he learned that a red hat doesn't really blend in!
Arrick tramping through the woods out at the Ballahack airsoft field.
Zach, aka ready and waiting for action...airsoft action! Although if you know of a nice girl who is single, he'll be ready for her too!
Ian, Zach, Arrick, Ryan and Gabe, all ready to take to the airsoft field at Ballahack!
Arrick, locked and loaded....and ready to shoot himself in the foot! No worries, he has boots on! Arrick's nickname on the field? Yup..Target!

Ryan, just chillin'...cuz that's how he rolls!
Ian, waiting...and when it's time, he's "action man"!! That's why his field name is "Set", also the name of an Egyptian Demon. He doesn't look demonic...that's why its such great cover!

Bark in the Park

Arrick works for a doggie day care and volunteered his time at the "Bark in the Park" at Chesapeake's City park this fall. Ian, John and I ventured out with Eva, our Golden Retriever to check it out!
Arrick distributed doggie treats and made sure the water bowls stayed filled for the pups visiting is employer's tent.

Arrick's employer offered Pawdictures for pups who wanted a look extra special!
There were all kinds of dogs out on this sunny day!

Seconds before I snapped this picture the two dogs were rubbing noses...then this happened. Guess they didn't "connect" lol

pools were available for the pups to rest and play!
We're members of this organization. We have a soft spot in our hearts for Goldens.
This little guy was too cute in keeping up with all of the big dogs!

This little tike had help! lol
This dude was taking it easy!!
So many beautiful pups out on this sunny autumn day!

too cute!
Eva stops in for a visit and scratch from Arrick.
Arrick making sure every pup got a treat and a drink before venturing on!
Pups would show off their ability to jump and catch a frisbee or ball before falling into the pool. I think the dogs really had more fun than their people did!!

On our own in Charleson,SC

John returned from deployment in September and we decided that it was time we take a little trip on our own without the boys. So off we went to one of our favorite destinations, Charleston, SC. We booked our room and off we went!

It was a rainy day when we left but it didn'tmatter. We saw military convoys....

and interesting billboards advertising services and products....

We checked into our room and as always were very pleased with our accomodations! This is the courtyard of our favorite place to stay in old towne Charleston! We're always spoiled when we stay here!

The courtyard at night!
Our sitting room...

complete with working gas fireplace. It was rainy and chilly so we did turn it on our first evening there.

Our bedroom...

John and I, armed with many a brochure, began our exploration of the parts of Charleston we hadn't seen. First on our list, Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens

This plantation is America's most photographed plantation and is a popular location for film and tv. Films such as The Notebook, Queen and North and South were filmed here.

these live oaks planted by the son of the original owner in 1743 greet visitors as they enter the plantation. The temperatures were much cooler as we entered the grounds.

Slave alley on Boone Hall Plantation. These homes what is left of the many quarters for slaves who worked on the plantation.

On the underside of those magestic branches lives the "resurection plant". This plant during the dry season will shrivel up but as soon as moisture is in the air, the plant comes to life! The Spanish moss that hangs from the trees doesn't harm the tree at all...but acts to soak up the moisture in the air!

The grand entrance to the plantation.

We toured the house but pictures were not allowed. The downstairs was open for tours but the upstairs was reserved for the family that currently owns this working plantation. They say it's haunted! Go figure!

The gardens were lovely even in October! I got some great ideas but now to get those guys to help me actually put them into place!

The plantation grows many types of produce and plants that are available at local farmer's markets and for locals to come and pick themselves. They also grow a patch of cotton for school children to see it growing. I took this picture that looks like it's almost ready to be harvested!

We had dinner here at this former Navy stopping point! Food was great and we dined out on the deck! Our views were of the marshes and Charleston harbor! LOVELY!!

Under the structure are swings where one can rest from a long walk or just enjoy the harbor!
Looking out from our dining table to see some of the few barrier islands in Charleston harbor.

John and I decided to go on a ghost walk! Our tour guide was a local man, born and raised in Charleston. He had a talent and flair to tell the ghost stories and give you chills!

Charleston is built upon grave yard after graveyard. When the population increased and roads, homes and businesses needed land on which to build, headstones were merely picked up and stacked at the churches and construction commenced! Here are a stack of headstones at St. Philips church just a block away from our room.
St. Philips church and more examples of that incredible iron work so typical of Charleston!

Day light pictures of the graveyard.
John's favorite restaurant in Charleston is Sticky Fingers! So we had to have dinner there! I took this picture as the weekend prior to our arrival the city celebrated Breast Cancer awareness with many events and show of support!

John ready to dive into his dinner. Needless to say there wasn't much dinner conversation from him that evening! We went to the Aquarium too!
We also went to Fort Moultrie! Ft. Moultrie has a 171 year history in defending Charleston! It was pretty cool!

Charleston from Ft. Moultrie,

John and I ventured out to find the Angel Tree. This tree dates back to the fall of the Roman Empire! This live oak has branches that dip up and down and covers more than an acre. Live oaks never shed their leaves all at once. They shed them and grow new leaves....hence, Live Oak.

John and I also took a gourmet cooking class. An author and chef taught us to make a few dishes from items she purchased at the local farmer's market. Not only did we learn quite a few helpful tips in food preparation we learned we need a new kitchen! I didn't take any pictures at the class, since our hands were busy! We did buy the cookbook that our instructor had written and she also left us a pleasant note in it as well!
This is the street in front of our lodging. We took the cooking class right across the street! Good thing too because the wine they served was delish!!