After a day like yesterday I wonder how I ever tell people my favorite national holiday is New Years (of course I am petitioning to have my birthday recognized as a national holiday, but it will likely only pop up on the radar now since it was the day Michael Jackson died; I wonder if that is better than celebrating it because it is the day George Michael was born?). New Years is an excellent holiday because it allows for new beginnings, kisses at midnight, drinking of champagne and just a whole lot of random and non-religion based celebration, but the 4th of July has actually been my favorite holiday for a very long time.
Most importantly, it is a day right in the middle of summer. Now anyone that knows me understands how I feel about this season. Sunshine, beach, ocean, surfers and coconut scented suntan lotion to cover up bright red noses goes just perfect with bright blue skies, bucket hats, sunglasses and flip flops. I like to drive barefoot with sand between my toes. In fact I love to have sand make its way into the rug of my car because when I finally get around to cleaning it out the little happy smile that creeps across my face is solely because I am thinking back on why there is all that sand in the car to begin with. Summer is my most inspired season and the 4th brings about some of its most enjoyable attributes.
No matter what day of the week it is no one judges each other for starting to drink beers at ten in the morning. And then continue to drink beers for the rest of the day. Everyone is just so congenial and friendly. It is easy to meet people on this day because everyone seems to be smiling. The common purpose of course is to celebrate the fact that we are living with the freedom to drink beers at ten AM. That we are able to run around and do whatever we want at whatever time of day we want to do it is truly a blessing. There are far too many places in this world that do not get to enjoy this so even if we get wrapped up in the food and drink it is nice to stop for just a minute and remember why we have the choice to consume them.
Oh yes, the food. As crappy and Westernized as possible please. Yesterday we grilled chicken, steak tips and Vidalia onions then we piled on pasta salad, potato salad and corn on the cob with lots of butter and salt (but it was Smart Balance and sea salt so you know it wasn’t too bad for us). A joke was made that the only way we could have been more “American” was if we had apple pie for desert. Then again, our desert of ‘smores was a great way to end a great meal.
The 4th is always a day to hang out with awesome people. Last year Wendy was in town and that was a blast spending time down in Humarock for her week long vacation. We did the standard beers in a Solo cup on the beach with all the crazy characters who light bonfires and fireworks. This year we wrangled the fire into the firepit, drank beers out of the bottle in the backyard with our best friends S&B and played with Hammer and Anvil all afternoon. We all laughed the entire day away and had such a great time, as always when we get together. After the babes went to bed we played a couple hours of Rock Band and took off because our friends turn into pumpkins at 9:00.
We scooted home from our friend’s place and then took the ten minute walk up the hill a little ways to stand on the bridge looking down the commuter rail tracks. There was a perfect view of the John Hancock Tower, the Pru and just the blue light from the top of the State Street “weather” building. Matt rides past there a lot and figured it would be the perfect fireworks viewing area. When we arrived at about 9:45 we knew it would be because a family was already set up in their lawn chairs. But there was plenty of space to spread out so we set up a few feet from them and as the next half hour went on people and cars began to fill in by the barrel full. A few kids even wandered past playing some bongos and tons of people walked their dogs up. It was super community feeling and I was instantly happy to have moved here.
Lawn chair family had a radio on and as soon as I heard the beginning of the William Tell Overture I knew it was time. As a teenager S and I used to go into town almost every year to watch the show. Storrow Drive is closed to vehicles and opened to pedestrians and we would plant ourselves just west of the Hatch Shell in the middle of the street so we could hear the Boston Pops and have maximum viewage of the sparkly prettiness. So last night while Matt and I stood on the bridge waiting for the show and he told me he has never seen the Boston fireworks display live my jaw about hit the ground.
The fireworks display here on the 4th is rated as the top in the nation and there is no doubt why. This year (I read somewhere) over 20,000 pounds of explosives would be shot upwards and would reach heights taller than the John Hancock Tower. Oh hell yeah. And they did not disappoint. Our spot could not have been better unless we were down at the edge of the Charles River. Every color imaginable and all the super cool shimmering beauty lit up the skyline like a parade of lights. This is where I always turn into a kid because I simply can not conceive of anything more phenomenal than big exploding shiny sparkles in the night sky; I always jump up and down, squealing and clapping when they begin and continue to do so throughout the exhibition.
Last night’s display lasted about a half hour or more and as we walked back I told Matt there was no way we were not going right down to my old stomping spot next year. These were good but he deserves to see the full on show complete with the Pops in the background. We walked back home in the nippy night air and I smiled myself to sleep last night completely satisfied with my sunburned shoulders, chilly leg skin, full belly and remembrance of a fantastic day with amazing people. Oh yeah, and those squeal inducing fireworks.