Monday, June 18, 2012

A Day for the Dads

For the past week, my home town of Baltimore has been holding a Star-Spangled Sailabration, honoring the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Baltimore in the war of 1812 ~ the battle that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the Star-Spangled banner, our national anthem.

Over 40 tall ships and naval vessels have sailed into the Baltimore harbor and many events have been held to celebrate the bicentennial of this famous battle.

Yesterday on Father's Day, my family went to Fort McHenry. I've posted about the wonders of Fort McHenry before here.  Even though the event was free, we had to pre-register and get tickets. The tickets stated that all attendees had to be in the park between 8am-10am even though the show didn't start until 1pm.  They were expecting crowds of 25,000.

Here's DH Jim and my sister battling the crowds to enter Fort McHenry at about 8:30am...



Thanks to our early arrival we did excellent seats and settled in to read, do puzzles, and play cards while we waited...



  Even though we were perfectly situated, I'm not sure this picnic area was...
 

The wait wasn't too bad for the adults...


But some of the adults were forced to get creative in keeping the kids occupied...


Finally at 1pm, the Navy Seals performed a demonstration of an Extraction.  Evidently there was a Highly Valued Individual (an HVI) hidden in the crowd.  Undercover Seals came onto land to locate and extract the HVI.  They used the Zodiac boat to come into shore...you can see it below being hauled onto a Navy Mark V.


The whole time they were attempting to extract the HVI, there was simulated combat with resistance on  shore.

The Zodiac was protected by the firepower of Navy RIB (rigid inflatable boats)...


I have to admit that it was cool to watch these amazing boats and men in action.


Let's just say that the testosterone was flowing.  It was the perfect machismo event for Father's Day.



After the mission was complete, the air show began and there were non-stop aerial demonstrations which led up to the entrance of the Blue Angels, the Navy's flight demonstration team...



The show was an amazing demonstration of flight skill and talent...


Check out this picture below.  Though it looks like the profile of one plane...



It's actually two fighters flying on the same horizontal plane, one inverted.  You could see the two better as they flew away...



Honestly, they were a delight to watch...



And the idea of pulling Gs, flying inverted, all while flying in formation mere feet from one another...



Well, it's just hard not be excited and impressed.



Add a HUGE second dose of machismo to the day.

Jim and Jack loved it.


My brother loved it too.  But I think he liked photo-bombing my pictures even more...


Hey, I'm just amazed that he can still jump that high.  He's not 7 feet tall...he was just jumping up and down behind Jim and Jack hoping to make it in the shot.  He's the same brother who did assisted handstands in front of the Eiffel Tower...



After the show was over, we all came back to my house for a cookout.

Sorry I don't have too many pics from the event, but I was busy being hostess.  It was my goal to do everything so that Jim could relax with all the Dads.  Thanks to my sister and my SIL, we succeeded!  That's not easy to do since Jim is one of the biggest helpers in my entire family and hates to sit still while others are working.

That being said, he did insist that he still Man the Grill...


After dinner, all the Dads piled into the old car that Jim inherited from his father when he passed away. That's my Dad in the front seat and my two brothers in the back.


Any my BIL Jim on the other side of the back...



It's a 1953 Silver Wraith Rolls Royce.  Now.  I know what you're thinking...Jim must be from a pretty wealthy family, right?

Actually, his parents were Department of Defense school teachers and spent most of Jim's childhood living on a base in Wiesbaden, Germany.  His father bought the used Rolls at a great price and they drove it for years as their family car...traveling all over Europe in their free time.

Can you believe that?  Their family car.  When we got it a few years ago, it needed some restoration.  It's finally up and running.

Well.  It was running when Jim put it in reverse to back out of the driveway.  The engine died when he switched to the forward gear.  A quick crank and a jump start...


And they were underway...



See that little flag light sticking out of the side of the window?  That's actually the right turn blinker.

When they got back from their joy ride, the men all sat down and finished watching the U.S. Open.

All in all, I think it was a very macho day.  Navy Seals, guns, fighter planes, old cars and golf.

Jim said he had a Great Day...



That's good because no dad deserves it more than him.

17 comments:

Gerry Krueger said...

Yep..you got of the good ones too! Aren't we lucky...? Jim and Jack look sooo great together...Ger

Cari said...

Looks like everyone had a fantastic day !! Thanks for sharing.

Vicki W said...

I saw the Blue Angels for the first time a few weeks ago and I was totally awed. I would go to see them any time! Also, what a cool car! I'd drive it every day.

Unknown said...

OMG AUNT SUSAN. That is such a great photo of my Daddy!!!!!!!!! Thank you!!!!

Cyn said...

I love, love, love, the I Cook for Nieces grilling apron!!!

We didn't go down as I have to admit, I didn't hear about it until too late to get tickets. I know, I know, but the spring was a bit busy with one Eagle Ceremony (DS), one College Graduation (DD), One Family Reunion (hosted by us), one child flying out to New Mexico for their summer job (DD), one High School Graduation (DS), and second child heading out to his summer job on Wednesday. What can I say, I was focusing on other things!

I'm also way, way, way behind on reading your blog but I'll have plenty of time to catch up now that things are settling down again after the wonderful, fun filled past 9 weeks!

BTW - One of my girlfriends works at the shipyards as a long shoreman running one of the tall cranes. He said that when the Blue Angels were practicing on Thursday and Friday, they were just whipping around the cranes. Awesome!

Cynthia
Windy Meadow

Cyn said...

Sigh, that should have said one of my girlfriends father works at the shipyard as a long shoreman operating one of the tall cranes. Time to sign off and go to bed!

Cynthia
Windy Meadow

verobirdie said...

Looks like a fantastic day. Your family gathering always seem to be fun. Riding in thr RR must be something too.

Rachel said...

What a wonderful day for the Dads - although it sounds to me as though it was fun for the ladies too!

Miriam said...

Love the photos of the Blue Angels.

That car must be quite something to ride in!

Looks like a great family day.

laura z. said...

What a fantastic day you all had! Living in San Diego, we are lucky to see the Blue Angels every year. Aren't they just the best?!?? Love your pictures!!

coral-seas said...

So pleased that you all had a lovely day. Looks like the weather was perfect for the occasion.
Great pics, Susan, it can't have been easy to get those of the Blue Angels, especially the one were the overlap near perfectly.

I love the pic of Jack and Jim standing as tall as they possibly can to make your brother leap ever higher. Happy days!

coral-seas said...

Oh, quick story. Many years ago after visiting a friend I phoned for a taxi (cab) to take back to my Great Aunt's were I was staying for a few days.

After a long wait we rang to ask were my taxi was. Turned out that they had forgotten about me but promised to send a car immediately.

A short while later a vintage RR arrived to drive me home. I felt like royalty being chauffeured through Bristol in that beautiful vehicle. I'll bet the boys turned heads cruising in Jim's beautiful RR.

Createology said...

Now Susan that was the most incredible day of celebrations ever!
Your Rolls Royce is so beautiful. Such a treasure and family heirloom.
Your family is beautifully happy in these photos. Blessings Dear...

Catherine said...

Wow! What an awesome day! Your family always has the best times!! Thanks for sharing!

Sheila said...

I just love your photography! Looks like a wonderful day - you have such a talent for capturing the moment! Your pictures are so fluid.

I love the Rolls Royce story. We have a fondness for heirlooms in my family. I say, Quality Materials last forever, don't they! And beauty too...I think it's that combination that makes for such a potent mix. It's a stunner, worth hanging on to, even when it doesn't run. A bit of parked sculpture. Who needs Rodin? ;) Even better when it does run though!

vicki said...

Susan/ what a great post!! This really was a wonderful day for the guys- my guy would have loved it!! Great family pictures-- looks like a lot of fun!
Vicki

Elizabeth said...

What a wonderful story about the men in your life!! Jim is a real honey!! You are both so lucky to have found each other!!!

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