Number 22 - Shoot a Gun

Muzzle flash from an MP5

Muzzle flash from an MP5

I'm not going to go into how it was I found myself in Vegas, all I will say is that it was completely on the level, as were all activities during my trip. This bucket list item was one of the original and actually one which I'd wanted to do long before the list came into existence. I thought it would be one of the more difficult ones, because it's not like you can really do this without going somewhere where it's considered normal. 

As a young boy and back in the days when UK laws were less mad I bought a .177 air rifle from a store on-line. It was my most favourite thing, we had plenty of grounds surrounding our home and I was entertained for countless weeks wandering with my pet dog and shooting at paper targets. My aim wasn't bad either! Sadly I was jumping over a fence and managed to fall and break my precious rifle, despite duct tape and glue it was never quite the same. Ever since then I have wanted to shoot a real firearm and see if I'm actually any good. 

Vegas has everything, literally everything an adult could or could not want. The one thing I wanted to do above all was to get my hands on an M16 and shoot a zombie target. Day 1 of being here that's exactly what me and my colleague did. We visited The Gun Store Las Vegas who were a short Uber trip off of the strip, as this was the first time we'd be doing this we went with the basic package. $80 bought us 10 rounds with a semi-automatic handgun, 25 rounds with a MP5 and 25 rounds with an M16. All in all it wasn't exactly cheap, and although I hid it I was a little nervous - I mean there were people wandering around with guns on their belts!

The handgun was first, I opted to go with the Baretta M9 on the advice of a US Navy Dolphin trainer from California who happened to be in a bar with us in New York a few days earlier (which is a story for another day). The gun had a surprising amount of kickback, but I managed to keep all rounds on target which I didn't think was too bad. After that the MP5 was up, this was a different thing completely, it was seriously fun, but any more than 3 rounds and it just pulled away no matter how hard I tried to control it, most rounds were on target! The final was the M16, which is a controlled firearm in certain US states - this was much easier to control and I certainly managed to put some lead through my zombie! The staff at this range in LV take absolute care of you and do not allow you or anyone else to be in any danger, I felt very safe while with them. 

I'll end by saying I'm absolutely not a gun advocate and I take great comfort in the laws that exist in the UK today. The balance is good, fair and there exists many places in the UK where shooting as an activity exists as a sport - not with a fully M16, but that's hardly a sport... 

New York


It's been a busy few months, my last post was ages ago. Since then two bucket list items have been ticked off and a third is in the pipeline for this year - that's kind of a big deal. I've been putting off writing my blog post about New York because I wanted to make sure I covered off all of the details. However, it doesn't look like I'm going to find some proper time soon so in the interest of actually posting some content here are some pictures with a bit of an explanation!

The long and short is that we held some Technical Architecture meetings at Cushman & Wakefield HQ on 6th Ave, so the aim of this trip was to be in the same room with all those responsible from around the global business.

I'd never been to NYC before and was quite a bit excited. This picture was taken immediately after leaving our hotel (I travelled and stayed in the same hotel as my boss). I think it's hilarious as I managed to take the picture facing the wrong way and without hardly any of the screens bill boards in the shot. The guy on the left however does have an amazing t-shirt. This is also the only picture I took in Times Square, as I somehow didn't take any more.

Day 1 was spent wandering around quite a lot, here is the first ever Shake Shack in Madison Sq Park. The queue was enormous, even compared to the crazy queue when the Covent Garden restaurant opened in London. From here the famous Flat Iron Building can be seen. Dinner was at The Olive Tree in Greenwich Village near Washington Square. I was totally exhausted but managed to eat some Chicken Wings and Nachos! We went to a bar afterwards, although I can't actually remember where it was (other than walking distance) or what it was called.

Day 2 started with a rough morning. We went to Bubby's for Brunch, the food was ridiculously amazing but I only managed to eat half a bagel and drink some coffee due to my fragile state.

From Bubby's the new World Trade Centre can be seen, which is just the most enormous thing I've ever seen. It boggles the mind as to how it's even possible for something to be that big.

This is the 9/11 memorial and one of the reflection pools. The 9/11 memorial museum was fascinating, and so well and respectfully built.

After the memorial we headed over to Battery Park to see Liberty and the Hudson river. From there we walked past Wall Street and over towards the Brooklyn Bridge! This was also immensely massive. There was an Abercrombie and Fitch store just by here where I spent quite a lot of money - whoops!

Just going to leave this one here... Dinner was at Hillstone which is an up-market american steak restaurant. The food was amazing. So this picture wasn't taken by me, or with my rubbish iPhone camera, I have to thank my colleague for this one :)

With fun and games over it was in the office for breakfast and meetings the next morning! The office is located right next to the Rockefella Plaza and Radio City on 6th Avenue, it's just a short walk from Times Square.

One evening we went out to watch some baseball. It was a crazy, awesome experience, unfortunately the Yankees lost to the Astros although I was lucky enough two(?) home runs!

Can't wait to go back.

There are a bunch more pictures which I may try and upload to another post at some point.