Fourth of July! (Well, Fifth Now…)

The fourth started out with everything normal: food, shower, dress. During the day we went about our usual activities, grocery shopping among them. It’s the nighttime, for those of you who don’t partake in the festivities or aren’t American, that’s really the highlight of events.

star spangled nails

star spangled nails

Of course we started in about four o’clock: my younger sister and I painted our nails festive colors (she has fireworks on hers, I had the American flag on mine). While I was busied with that, I sipped at a glass of sweetened aloe juice with blueberries and strawberries mixed in to quench my thirst.

A wonderfully sweet drink

A wonderfully sweet drink

While some families have a picnic outside with a blanket and a cooler packed with potato salads, sub sandwiches and other such yummy meals, we decided to eat inside, where the bugs couldn’t bother us (as we have what is called “sweet” blood, biting bugs tend to devour us). After dinner we set out to find the perfect spot for viewing fireworks.

Now you don’t want to park close or sit close to where they’re actually taking off from–you have to crane your neck back to see everything, your car alarm will be set off and you could have the sparks land in your lap–so we chose a spot that had a treeline between us and the place the fireworks were taking off at. Torin and I enjoyed some frozen custard (which I had no idea was really just a creemee) as we settled in and waited for the sky to go dark.

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And then the fireworks started. It was very different from the relatively small town that I grew up in: in Vermont they set off fireworks with pauses to “ooh” and “ahh” appropriately at them (Yes, everyone I know there actually “ooh”s and “ahh”s). The end, in Vermont, is signaled by a quick secession of fireworks in a last hurrah. In Virginia–it’s totally different. There are constant groupings of fireworks and little mini-marathons going off lower in the sky. We had no clue when it was going to end, or how we would know when it was nearing the end. Of course, they only managed to up the ante at the end to make sure we realized that it was the grand finale. The colors were beautiful, and even though we were bug-bitten and serenaded by distant car alarms, we still enjoyed the show.

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What festivities are included in your town? Do you go to them, or choose to make an experience in your own backyard? Share and enjoy!

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