Last week the Mighty 8th Crew set out on a journey to celebrate the holiday season. Our trek would take us to North Georgia, where the gold mines are (supposedly) plentiful and the southern food is mighty fine. What a day we had in store!
Our final destination was Dahlonega, but we stopped about halfway at a charming little hunting lodge in the Dawsonville area to engage in a little skeet shooting.
This very professional skeet shooting company had us fill out all the necessary paperwork, and they also provided a solid safety seminar prior to our journey to the field.
As we waited for our departure, we spent time with Cole, the hunting lodge’s extremely friendly dog. This black Lab pup was truly man’s best friend.
Once we were at the skeet shooting stations, Christin was the first to volunteer. As you can see below, she received a “hands-on” lesson.
After these initial safety tips and lessons, it was time to start launching the clay targets.
Although most of us had never been on the skeet shooting range, the handy hints we received helped us understand the proper technique.
Once everyone was comfortable with the basics, this group of guys ventured out to a more difficult station.
Once Ben yelled “pull!”, Eric summoned the two clay targets that shoot into the sky. Growing up in Kentucky, Ben was very familiar with skeet shooting and easily demonstrated his skeet skills!
Below, this group heads back to base camp looking like a combination of the Beatle’s Abby Road album cover and a Quentin Tarantino movie poster.
Despite my initial apprehension to get into the game, I decided to give it a whirl and knocked my first two clay targets out of the sky!
At this point, the group moved on to the next range. This involved targeting a clay bird and a clay rabbit from the back of a 1980’s-era Chevy pick-up truck.
Tammy channelled her inner Prairie Woman and did a darn good job of chasin’ away them pesky varmints.
Meanwhile, it was time for our instructor to get up close and personal with Christin again. Based on this photo, it seems he was trying to guess what kind of shampoo she uses via smell. Doesn’t he realize she’s armed?! (…and married.)
After our outdoor excursion, it was time to take part in some extremely tasty vittles. We drove on to Dahlonega, home of The Smith House. This place offers all-you-can-eat country cookin’ at a fixed price. You don’t even order what you want, they just bring you whatever they’ve cooked that day.
And let me tell you, every dish they brought to the table was definitely delicious! From fresh fried chicken to fried okra, creamed corn to cornbread, and green beans to collard greens, it was one of the most sumptuous meals we’ve ever tasted!
In some exciting news, we set a WORLD RECORD while dining at The Smith House. Bradley was able to serve up the tiniest serving of collard greens in the history of southern dining. Check out this tiny leaf on the corner of his plate.
Once we were done chowing down on these fine fixin’s, it was time for Secret Santa. After some previous presents being secretly given at the office, today was the day for the final set of gifts to be delivered to each other with the big reveal of each Santa.
Everyone got some cool stuff, including this nice necklace Katina received.
Kevin is a beer aficionado, and his stocking was stuffed with a fistful of craft beers to enjoy.
Then Bev got super creepy calendar of Awkward Family Pet Photos. I guess not every gift can be a gem!
Meanwhile, Christin spent about half an hour battling some well-knotted ribbon atop a gift bag while Kevin and the group patiently waited.
Finally, Eric received a stuffed Darth Vader head that talks. What more could one ask for at the holidays!?
Everyone was so glad to discover their secret santa. Here, Jessica hugs Bradley, her Secret Santa.
And Katina thanks Kevin for his cool gifts.
And then…this happened.
After the hugfest, we walked a couple of blocks to downtown Dahlonega, a charming town square full of mom-and-pop shops of all sorts.
Our first stop was Paul Thomas’ Chocolates, home to some supremely sweet confections.
If you find yourself in Dahlonega, be sure to stop by this shop. They have rows upon rows of delicious and decadent treats!
What else does the town square offer? How about a couple of ladies with a pair of full-grown wolves? Yep, WOLVES.
Apparently Dahlonega has a lax animal control policy, as these dames had two large, full-bred wolves on leashes that were potentially ready to chow down on just about anybody that looked a them wrong.
What better way to end a unique holiday celebration than with two animals that belong much closer to the north pole !? Anyway, we all emerged unscathed despite our engagement with shotgun shells, southern fried food and a pack of wolves.
From our team to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas!