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Thanksgiving Traditions - the Paintball Edition

So Thanksgiving weekend was a blast. Now traditions vary from family to family, but Thanksgiving (at least among most of the people I've spoken to) generally involves a family dinner with Turkey and Pumpkin Pie. Great Aunt Sally comes in and pinches the cheeks of everybody under the age of 20. The men sit around watching football while the women gossip in the kitchen. Kids running around -- kicked out to play in the fall weather. Any of this sounding familiar? Dinner is served -- turkey and pumpkin pie. Grandma's traditional cranberry sauce. Yummmy. All good right?

Well ours family does this too -- after all, they raised me, they must do everything the normal way >;-P Right. You're not new here.

hahaha so first of all, Thanksgiving takes place at my aunt's cottage up in Muskoka (which, btw, is one of my favourite places on the planet so I'll be very disappointed if they ever choose not to host it there :) -- but it means quite the drive up. So I promptly deemed the Friday a half day (after my afternoon meetings conveniently were all canceled -- clearly I'm not the only one inclined to extend a long weekend!) and headed out. Not tooooo much traffic, and a great drive with the changing leaves. Probably about 3-5 days too late for the *really* spectacular leaves, but it was still pretty good.

So Thanksgiving -- a time to reflect on the things we're most thankful for. One of which is traditionally family. So how do we recognize this wonderful event? Yeah we go out and shoot each other >;-P hahaha somewhere over the last few years a reasonably new tradition of Thanksgiving Paintball has arisen. Due primarily to my
work/teaching schedule I've never made it up in time to experience this, but this year I was there, so of course I went along. The fact that I've never played before, shot a pellet gun exactly once the night before (AND hit the target >;-) and otherwise my entire weaponry knowledge was playing laser tag in highschool, is entirely irrelevant. hahaha Now to be honest, I didn't expect to enjoy it all that much, but I had an absolute blast. We were outside in perfect weather on an approx 100 acre property -- of which we were using maybe 10? (my estimating of property size isn't entirely accurate so I could be way off on that, but sounds good to me; big enough to run around not so big as to be exhausted just getting there :) And they had forts and foxholes and a variety of other things to keep life entertaining.

So we, and the other families there, get divided into two teams -- Canada vs US (I know, inventive eh? And of course Canada consistently won :). First game, the US team went out to guard the fortress and Canada was to invade (I was on the Canadian team, along with one of my uncles, two of my cousins, and some extra people. My other uncle, cousins, and dad were all on the other team). So my cousins clearly had a plan (they've played more than a *few* times) so I asked if I could join them or if that'd get them killed. After a significant glance at each other manners clearly won out over instinct and they said I could come "if you can keep up" hahaha they don't know me very well :) So we took off running all the way around a side path to get to the back of the fortress for a rear attack. When we got almost to the back we were spotted and the fire fight started. I found a fence I could be behind and from there started shooting, while the boys kept running to get around the back. I picked off one random stranger and (I found out later) my uncle before thoroughly losing a battle with somebody in another tower. Nailed me with a headshot. I'll tell ya -- the walk of shame back through the war with your hands over your head, not so much fun. Even less so (albeit somewhat amusing) when you walk into base to see people's eyes widen "are you ok???" I kinda wish I'd had a camera with this yellow dye all in my hair and all over my face. Truly attractive I tell ya :) But I raided the supply of paper towels and soon enough all was well with the world again. Fortunately my cousins did much better and pretty much wiped out the rest of the Americans on their own before one really great player on the other team got both of them. hahaha Next we switched teams -- and defending wasn't nearly as much fun. Boring even. I think I fired all of about two shots that round. Could've had a nap in my fort for all the effort the other team was making to claim it *sigh*

Round two was fort against fort -- pretty much like it seems. One team in one fort, another team in the other. Try to take control of both of them. This was disturbingly easy. I left the fort right at the beginning and stuck right near it, working my way to the other and shooting at anybody who tried to leave the other fort. My cousins took the longer route through the woods around behind while I
tried to fire at anybody who might give them any grief. My aim is, well, questionable at best *g* but at least it let them know where somebody was coming from :) Managed to take out one of my US cousins hiding in the opposing tower just as my teammates were getting there. The best part was my cousin who "mercy"d my dad -- with an empty gun. hahaha classic. So we ended up with the Canadian team in both forts shooting at each other >;-P Eventually the ref called it - no American's left. What a shame.

Round three was capture the flag -- this was where I discovered my kamikaze instincts! hahaha got so frustrated with nobody doing anything to actually get the flag, that I did. And got it back within a foot of our fort before I was shot in the back by my uncle >;-P (admittedly the same one I'd killed earlier, so fair enough I guess :) But being there, one of my teammates was easily able to step out and grab it for the win. Switching forts the game continued -- I ran out of bullets in that round so spent some time scaring people by firing an empty gun *g* I made two kamazi runs (you got two lives in this game) for the flag, but sadly was rather savagely shot down in both of them. The 2nd attempt drew enough fire that my teammate *was* able to get in from the other side and snag the flag out though, so we won yet again.

A great family gathering :) I'm sure it'll catch on everywhere.

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Note - The other "traditional" Thanksgiving item is the turkey -- but that story definitely requires pictures and alas Blogger is not happy with photos today... So as soon as I can upload you'll get the rest of the story :)

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