Five-Day Whirlwind

Last week, I found out that one of my best friends’ dad died.  He’d been sick for quite some time, but my friend and I hadn’t been in constant contact like we used to be, so I didn’t know how bad it was until I got the sad news.  When I found out, Jamie and I had a night to think about it, and we decided that we should be there for her.  We shared a good number of years as BFF’s, traveling around the country, laughing til we cried, and building a solid friendship.  It was only right we be there – she would be there for us.   The funeral was in Connecticut on Friday morning of last week, so we flew up there on Thursday night.

We flew into Boston around midnight, got up on Friday at 6:45 and began our drive 2 hours west to Connecticut.  I wasn’t sure what to expect when we got there, but I’m so glad that we went, that we supported our friend, and that we paid our respects to her wonderful father.   I was so proud of her for getting up and addressing everyone and declaring the love she had for her dad.  She was even a pallbarer, saying she wouldn’t have it any other way, that she had to take him to his final resting place.  Heartbreaking, but she was so, so, so brave and I am so lucky to have spent time with her dad in my life.  He was such a fantastic person who always left me leaving happy when I’d go home from a visit.

After the funeral, we drove back to Boston for my 7pm flight home.  We had existing plans for the weekend before I ever knew I was going to New England, so we continued on with our plans, and honestly, I’m glad, because it was a welcome distraction.

Chris picked me up from the airport and we drove to Red Lion, PA to spend the night with his cousin, girlfriend and their cute 5 year old son.  We had plans to do Christmas early, so we got to their house, went straight to bed, and on Saturday morning, did gifts.  It was nice to have some joy after such a sorrowful Friday.

Richie opening gifts.

Chris and Richie goofing off.

More playing.

After we did our gift exchange, we did something that’s been on my bucket list for a long time:  We went to the shooting range!!  Chris’ cousin, Richard, belongs to the local range, so he was able to get us in to shoot some guns.

I was a little nervous before we got there, but I went into hyper nervous mode when we got onto the range and the people next to us were firing.  Even with the earphones on, it was ridiculously loud and totally shook your body.  Very intimidating and scary.  Richard explained that the rifle actually had less kick back than the Glock 9, so we started with that.

Richard, prepping the Rifle.

Learning how to hold the gun correctly.

Chris shooting.

Our target looks a little damaged.

After the rifle, Richard loaded up the Glock 9 which made me incredibly nervous.  I got a huge adrenaline rush and was too scared to even hold it.  I made him shoot it at least 5 times before I would even touch the gun.  It sounds really wimpy, but guns really scare me, so I was just big time nervous, mostly because I was afraid of the power.  Silly me thought the gun would have enough kickback to knock myself in the forehead, but alas, that was not the case.

Richard with the Glock.

Richard was really great and emptied out the gun and let me hold it with no bullets just to get a feel for the gun itself.  That helped a lot and a few minutes later, I was ready to shoot.  You would think by the pictures that the rifle had more power, but actually, the Glock had a larger bullet and more power.  Oh, and it’s really loud.

Yikes, me with the Glock.

This is likely the last time you'll see me with a gun.

Cross it off the bucket list!!

After about an hour at the shooting range, we left Red Lion and continued west toward Hershey, PA.  Last year for Christmas, Chris got a gift certificate for 2 tickets to a Hershey Bears game (the AHL team for the Capitals), and we’re just now using them!  Even though Hershey lost, it was still a really fun game and we got to see some up and comers who will soon be playing for the Caps.

Chris, before the game.

The most annoying fan, EVER.

Fight.

Obligatory picture together at the game.

We stayed the night in Hershey on Saturday and drove home on Sunday, getting back to the area around noon.  We had tickets to see a Candlelight Christmas at the Kennedy Center, so around 4, we left to have dinner in Arlington with my family before the show, and then we headed into DC.  It was fun to do something so festive right before Christmas, and the music was really beautiful.

The Washington Chorus, lit up by Candlelight.

It’s been a really long 5 days, and I’ve run the gamut on emotions, but I’m grateful for each of the experiences I’ve had during those days.  Whether it was the sad or the good, I’m just happy that I am surrounded by such wonderful people in my life.

 

 

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