So, it’s Monday (blah); it is literally freezing cold out (blah); and I’m coming off a three-day drill at the range (blah) just in time for my better half to leave the country for a week and half later today (extra blah). Basically all I have to say is “Monday, YOU SUCK!” Aaaaand that about sums it up.
Okayokayokay. I’m done with my pseudo-pity party. FOR NOW. Back to the range.
As a Reservist I head to the range with my unit twice a year for two or three days at a time; once in May and again in November. Us enlisted folk zero and qualify on our assigned weapons (M16), and the officers qualify on theirs (9M). Maybe it sounds cool or fun to you, but every range always falls on the most inconvenient weekend of the month (ALWAYS) and each trip to the range always turns out to be a longer-than-it-needs-to-be, chaotic-in-a-bad-way, super-stressful weekend (ALWAYS).
This last weekend, however, wasn’t all that long or chaotic or stressful. Except for the part where it kept me from seeing Shannon for her last three days in town. That part sucked. The rest of the weekend was actually alright.
We convoyed to Marine Corps Base Quantico from the Reserve Center first thing Saturday morning and headed straight for the range. We met up with the Advance Party detail, who’d gone down the night before and already had the range set up for us to zero our weapons. The first iteration of firers were out on the firing line within minutes of arriving, and all the iterations that followed were rodded on and off the range quickly and seamlessly.
The zero range took a little longer than it probably should’ve, but I know a lot of Soldiers — myself included — had difficulty seeing the silhouette on their zero targets through the overgrown grass. Eventually Range Control came out and mowed the range, everyone zeroed, and after an MRE lunch we were back on the firing line qualifying.
I was a first-time GO on the qualification range, hitting 32 out of 40 targets. Like usual, I hit all my 150m, 200m, 250m, and 300m targets dead center mass, and only got half the rounds I was supposed to in my 100m and 50m targets. What the fuck? I know. I don’t get it, either. But I qualified (you only need 23 hits to Q). So, you know, whatever. I’ll take it.
As soon as I got home and took off my boots Emma hijacked them and wobbled around the house in them until she got sick of falling over, which is totally like, LOL. But I mean, really. HOW CUTE IS SHE?!
When the kids and I went to Oregon for a week way the fuck back in July we stayed with my dad, but we spent a solid chunk of our trip over at my mom’s place with her and my Grandma. My Grandma lives in NorCal but when she found out I was going to be in Oregon with all three of my kids — no one on my mom’s side of the family had ever met any of my kids, and one of them is almost a decade old — she booked herself a flight to Portland during the same week we were there.
Keeping in line with the rest of our trip we played it super low key and spent most of the time chillaxin in my mom’s living room and hanging out at the park and playground near her place. We also dropped by Chalk It Up!, an event put on by the City of Tualatin where the kids were given all the solid and liquid chalk they wanted, and were allowed to paint all over the Tualatin Commons with it. Briseis had a blast. Madden and Emma basically fought each other for what the other one had for 97% of the time. My mom and Grandma had fun playing with the kids. And I mostly just stood around taking a billion fucking photos. Enjoy.
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Now that we’ve been back from our trip to Oregon for oh, I don’t know, almost THREE MONTHS I guess now’s as good of a time as any to start posting photos from our trip. I mean, better late than never, right?
Maybe…? Kind of? Probably not? I know, I’m a total slacker. Eh.
Seeeeee what had happened was, I had an extremely horrible experience traveling across the country with all three kids BY MY-FUCKING-SELF and really just wanted to block the entire trip from memory, so I did. I didn’t write about it, I didn’t talk about it, and I didn’t look through any of the photos I took. But now that I’ve had almost three months to put it behind me I’m finally able to think about it without getting so irate I want to throw things. Most of the time. So while I still can’t sit down and write out the experience without getting angry, I can start sharing some of the photos from our trip.
We didn’t really do much during the week that we were there, which means 97% of the photos I took are the exact same photos I’d take here in Virginia…just in Oregon. And just like back here in VA, I took a shit ton of photos while we were there. Srsly. I took roughly a billion photos during the 7 days we were there. Well, 744 to be exact. And because I don’t want to overwhelm your load time by throwing up photos all over your screen, and also because I have waaaaay too many photos to choose from and not enough time to put together one huge post, and mostly because I lack the ability to be selective and say “no” to some photos, I’m going to do this in segments.
So today you get the photos from one of our first days there when we took a day trip to the coast. ← Notice how I said “coast”, not “beach”. That was on purpose. Because anyone who’s been to the PacNW knows that there isn’t a single beachy thing about the Oregon coast. Seriously. No warm sun, no warm water, no bathing suits. Just wetsuits and people huddled on the sand, wrapped in blankets (for realsies), and wind. Lots and lots of wind. And misery. Because what’s fun about going to the “beach” in the middle of the summer and having to wear pants and sweatshirts AND STILL BEING COLD? Nothing. But that’s exactly how the Oregon coast is — 50 fucking degrees, EVEN IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SUMMER.
The kids had a bunch of fun, though, and since that’s the part that matters it ended up being a good day. After we spent an hour or so down on the sand we headed to a local restaurant for lunch, and then stopped at the cutest little farm on the side of the road for some fresh fruit and produce. Seriously — the cutest little side-of-the-road produce stand inside of an old barn.
THE CUTEST little side-of-the-road produce stand inside of THE CUTEST barn with THE CUTEST little old man with his hat and suspenders and cane, AMIRITE?! I am. I’m totally right.
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