Friday, November 9, 2018

Girls Gun Club 2016

In 2016 the girls all came to Baltimore for our reunion, fondly referred in my mind as Girls Gun Club. I just got back from Cincinnati for our 2018 weekend, so of course we have to go back to move forward. 

We hosted the gang at Stony Run. Mary and Shannon arrived one day early and we took a stroll down the trail. Shannon is the bride from the previous post and my oldest friend. Love you Shan.

This was November 2016 and the leaves were gorgeous.

Lunch at Five & Dime in Hampden.

Thanks E for this fun group shot. The whole group arrived on Thursday and E headed to stay in NJ for the long weekend. Smart man. I created an itinerary so we could keep on schedule. Shannon printed it and checked things off the list. It is hysterical to go back and look at this. 



Shannon Arrives
9:20 pm
Southwest 2846

Mary Margaret Arrives
10:29 pm
Spirit Air


Fasting and Bible Study
8:00 am-2:00 pm
Prayer Room
No breaks

Holly Arrives
2:55 pm
Southwest 459

Bridget Arrives
5:37 pm
Delta 3469

Dinner and Book Club
8:00 pm
Stony Run
Discuss Book

10:00 pm
After Dinner Drinks at a Speakeasy


Morning Loop Coffee
8:30 am
Stony Run Trail
5 mile loop

Baltimore Rising Exhibit
1:00 pm
Lazarus Center
Art Exhibit on MICA campus

Whiskey Tasting
2800 Sisson
Whiskey Tasting

Dinner and Bourbon Tasting

Vegetarian options


Breakfast at Stony Run
8:00 am

9:30 am
Eastern Shore

Skeet Shoot
11:00 am
$100 per person
 25 shots each

Pub Crawl in Annapolis
2:00 pm
Gallway Bay
63 Maryland Ave
Castle Bay
193 Main St

Gingerbread Houses


Order In
Uber Eats


8:45 am
Delta 1652

Shannon Departs
9:20 am
Southwest 6640

12:10 pm

Mary Margaret Departs
5:58 pm
Spirit Air

Way back in the blogosphere I remember precious Erin posting about her prepneck tote with hot pink monogram! I coveted it and found these camo flasks on-line. I ordered each friend's monogram in hot pink on Etsy, as an ode to EASW and this fun girls weekend. Holly was sick that weekend and one hilarious memory was that she filled her flask with water and chugged it in the back seat of the car. Mary was like, Oh I see you feel better now?

I use mine all the time and think fondly of this fun weekend at every swig. 

Shannon also had the same idea and had Ball Jar mugs etched with Girls Gun Club and a gun on the mug for each one of us. Such a fun surprise. Bridget brought Cincy shot glasses to get excited for the 2018 trip. Holly brought me  shotgun chap stick and Mary brought us nothing and felt like they missed a memo. Ha!!! But wait for the Cincy trip. They made it up in spades. 

We kicked off the weekend at The Corner Bar, may it rest in peace, and played darts in the back room. Andrew made the best whiskey sours there. You can still find him at the Mt. Vernon Market.

The next morning we had the most idyllic drive over the Bay Bridge to The Point at Pintail at River Plantation. One of my favorite work colleagues, Shelia, and I toured this venue back in the Visit Baltimore days. I had always wanted to come back for an event or to shoot. The long driveway curves down to the property as a love letter to the fall.

We met our instructor and had a thirty minute safety review for the sporting clay course. I think his name was John. He was excellent!

He was an ex-police officer and ex-Marine so safety was his number one priority. He also chose the most beautiful Beretta for us to use with a recoil pad to protect our shoulders. I shot skeet once before, over Lake Michigan in high school, and remember my shoulder burning after that event. This feature saved us all from ibuprofen. 

Our instructor measured our eyes to find out which one was more dominant and then chose me to go first. I had the type of "vision", I guess you call it, where I could leave my eyes both open. My memory of it was a little weird, a little intimidating and totally empowering. Each of us had 5 shots and 5 traps. One of my proudest moments of the day was shooting 4 out of the first 5 clays. I wanted to join the Olympic team with the pure pride of it all. My Mom was the sharp shooter at camp and was so excited to hear the stories afterwards. She told me she asked her Daddy for a shotgun for Christmas one year. I finally understood her love for it. 

Shannon getting a lesson. How cute is her outfit? Shan is only a little bit competitive and of course got the most clays of the day. Way to go Shannon!

This is Mary crushing a double trap! She was really freaked out in the beginning of the day but put on a brave face for us all. Mary was my maid of honor. She knew I really wanted to go shooting and even though she wasn't super into it, she still went. To this day it was one of the greatest gifts of friendship. She sacrificed her own trepidation to overcome her fears for the group. Later in the day she was the only one to hit both clays in the double trap and was super confident. Way to go Mary. Thanks so much for being such a trooper.

Bridget gets her gun.

Holly too. We all hit a ton of shots. I had no idea we would, but I owe it all to our incredible instructor. He didn't talk down to us, or make us feel like this wasn't for us. He was super patient and was so proud of us for all doing so well. It was truly awesome, empowering and uplifting after a very hard loss in the election of 2016 two days prior. Yelling "pull" is fun y'all. 

For future girls gun club outings I would suggest the following:
  • bring protective clear goggles/glasses, not sunglasses
  • bring or buy earplugs at the pro-shop, they sell hot pink
  • wear a vest or tighter fitting clothing so the gun doesn't slip on your shoulder, now I know why those suede shoulder patches are on hunting shirts
  • build up your arm muscles at the gym; holding a gun in that position made me feel pathetically weak in my upper arm area
  • backwards hats, always a good idea
  • absolutely no drinking beforehand, we did not, and would have been turned away if we had even had a sip of beer
  • get your nails done in advance!!! 

The Point at Pintail is truly beautiful. It was pricey but worth the attention to have a scorekeeper/pull guy, and the instructor. There are tons of places to shoot sporting clays around the country. The nearest in Baltimore is at Loch Raven. And the Gun Club at the Greenbrier looks incredible. 

Broken clay.

Save the shells for your Christmas lights. :)

The fifth trap was the hardest shooting the rabbits. They rolled on the ground. I honestly think I would be a terrible hunter. I think I hit one out of five. 

I know gun control is a huge dividing issue in this country. I think hunting for sport, and not food, is wasteful and gross. I think assault rifles should be banned. Having a gun in the house freaks me out if it is not locked up safely.  Guns in the house in general really freaks me out actually. We were taught guns should be respected and that guns don't cause accidents, people do. Sadly there are a lot of people who should not have guns. Clearly with every week another mass shooting is in the news. Hearing all the gun shots that day was loud. It was such a new experience for all of us. I had grown up with guns so they didn't seem as scary. But how do you control this beast? The money from the gun lobby? It's big, I get it, and I don't have the answers. But for that day at Pintail, it was a great, safe, and very powerful outing for my girls. 

This will truly go down as one of the most fun mornings of my adult life. I'm planning another GGC soon, so stay tuned. I've even had dreams of creating a travel concept with Girls Gun Club outings as the main focus. If you really want to nerd out, head to my GGC Pinterest page from a million years ago also inspired by Erin and Summer is a Verb. I would have Whiskey in a Tea Cup on every bedside table and stacks of back issues of Garden and Gun. I actually want to do a co-ed trip because I have a feeling Eric would be really good at shooting skeet.

So, after the fun on the Eastern Shore we were ready to really unwind and landed at Kooper's Tavern back in Fells Point. The bar was swarming with actual, real live Irish men in kilts!!! Mary (far left) lived in Ireland and inspired my move back in 2004. 

Fells was gorgeous that night. I popped out to get a coffee at Pitango and to call my Momma to tell her how giddy I was from our adventures. She was so happy for us and told me stories about getting a shotgun one Christmas when she was ten. Isn't that hilarious? 

We also hit Brewer's Art on the way home for some garlic fries.

You readers know I love a theme. The Baltimore Whiskey Company makes the most beautifully barrel aged gin, called Shot Tower!!! Very much like Old Tom gin. And Holly found this lip gloss for me in the airport in New Hampshire. Weeks later I saw a snowman dressed up in hunting gear and sent a love text to my GGC.

Even grandmother Tayloe got in on the fun. Thanks Holly for this picture.

As if the fun outside wasn't enough, we also made gingerbread houses that night and laughed and laughed.  

Someone, who must not be named, did not get into the Gingerbread Builders Association build. Meaning "they" were just not excited about it. They may have  even made a "crack den" gingerbread house. I blame Shannon. She wins at everything and her thatched roof, Chex house was unbeatable and frankly intimidating. Not like there were any judges. But we knew who won, Shannon. The paper porn on the table is from Draper James.   

So much fun had by all. Even crack den builders.

Mary, Bridget, me, Holly and Shannon at Blue Pit BBQ. 

It was the greatest having you precious girls with us in Baltimore. I love your faces.