Of all the summer holidays (Memorial Day, Labor Day, Flag Day…my birthday) I love the 4th. It reminds me of why I love being an American. The smell of hotdogs, fireworks, time with family and friends…all in 100-degree heat. Love it. It IS great to be an American, even if you don’t like the current administration, or the governor, or our dependency on oil. It’s still a great place to be – the best, I believe. So, in honor of our country’s birthday, I offer up my top firework venues from the past decade (or so!)
TOP TEN: BEST 4TH OF JULY’S
1. Ames, Iowa. Without a doubt, this is my all-time favorite. Scott and I had been married just a touch over 11 months and we had settled into this great midwestern state. We hopped in Scott’s maroon Diesel truck, drove to Jack Trice football stadium, popped the tailgate down and watched the local fireworks. They were awesome. There Scott and I sat, hand in hand, thankful for our marriage and for our country.
2. Palm Beach, Florida. I think we’d been married nearly 3 years when we flew down to Florida to visit my parents. We had a great seafood dinner – can’t remember the name, but the company was pretty great – and then headed to the inner coastal waters for “the show.” Amazing stuff. That was one for the memory books.
3. Pflugerville, Texas. The first year we were back in Texas (’03 I believe) Scott’s parents headed down to see us. My parents met up with us and Will and we all drove to some warehouse district in P-town. We weren’t too sure about it, but Scott’s then-assistant, a Pflugerville native, swore they were the best in the city and we wouldn’t get caught in traffic. Boy, was she right. Literally, they shot them off a block from where we sat. They were so stinkin’ loud, but by that time Will had fallen asleep and missed the whole show. It was back when Scott’s dad, Bryant, was in better health. I miss those days. It was a really, really great night.
4/5. Bowie, Texas. Forgive me for not remembering the year. But, I was in Bowie without Scott (again, can’t remember why) for the 4th. It was me, Scott’s parents and brother, Cory. All I remember is learning, first-hand, just how much Cory loves fire and all things that blow up!
And, in ’01, we went back as a family of 3 and had sparklers out on the back patio. Will wasn’t too sure about them, but he sure took it all in. I think that was an all-nighter too (see #7)!
6. Washington, D.C. Ok, so it wasn’t ME that actually saw this show. It was my husband. But, when he got home and told me about it, we both made a pact to be in D.C. when our kids got older and celebrate this holiday in our nation’s capital.
7. Austin, Texas. Just after Anna-Laura was born (6 weeks, I think), we drove down to my dad’s office, near Zilker Park to watch the show. The kids were so incredibly patient, but it took forever for it to get dark. Hey, when your kids go to bed at 7:30 and the show doesn’t start until 9, it’s a long hour-and-a-half. We made it for about two fireworks and then watched the rest from the van’s rearview mirror. Oh, and Anna-Laura was up all night. Fun times. But, looking back I’m glad we made the trek.
8. Central Texas. Yep, a couple of years ago, we were convinced that the local fireworks show was right near our house. After Scott, my mom and the kids drove all over town with no cigar, we gave up and watched them on tv. That one made the list for the laughs it gave us afterwards!!
9. Round Rock, Texas. We enjoyed the show (was it last year??) at the Dell Diamond baseball stadium with my folks. That was fun, watching them from air-conditioning and drinking a Dr. Pepper!
10. Indianapolis, Indiana. The summer before I had Will (’00), we met up with some co-workers (the Niemann’s and Jana) and headed to downtown Indy. Somehow, we found a parking spot and watched the show laying down on the grass looking up. A-W-E-S-O-M-E. I believe the show was choreographed to the Indianapolis Symphony music, which aired over the local radio station waves. Very cool.
For the past few years, we’ve been able to enjoy the 4th of July parade at my parent’s place. They always have a kids parade and it’s great fun to watch.
Here’s hoping YOUR 4th is equally spectacular. And, as we’ve learned over the years, it ‘ain’t about the fireworks, but about time with family and a heart of thankfulness for our freedom. God Bless the U.S.A.