I had a pretty low-key but still enjoyable Fourth of July. The boy was out of town visiting his grandma at the end of last week (I know, super sweet. He adores his grandma.) and he didn't come home until Saturday afternoon. After an hour or so of unwinding from his long drive, he was ready to do something and we decided to get our national holiday started with—what else?—food. We grabbed a bite to eat at BJ's, chosen because its delicious and because the boy had a $50 gift card. Who says there's no such thing as a free meal? He had the crispy chicken sandwich while I went a healthier route with the sesame chicken salad, which is one of my faves because of the mandarin oranges, red pepper, wontons and sesame dressing. Yum.
After our early dinner, we went back home to hang with Hazel and take the love muffin (as I call her) for a walk. A few hours later we made our way over—with our friend Taylor in tow—to Simi's 39th annual fireworks extravaganza, which is held at a big park on the east side of town. Never the early birds, we literally left for the event just 30 minutes before the fireworks were set to go off! Parking was a nightmare, of course, so we ended up parking a mile or two away. It was a brisk 15-minute walk to the park where hundreds of people were sitting in lawn chairs and on blankets awaiting the Siss! Boom! Bah! The boys complained the whole way but despite my flip flop-clad feet feeling a little sore from rushing through the throngs of people lining the sidewalks, I actually enjoyed it. The night air was the perfect balance of not-too-hot and not-too-cold and it's great to see how the whole community comes together on holidays like July Fourth to be part of one shared experience. It makes this 126,000-person city feel more like a small town.
Anyhow, we made it to the park and set up our chairs and blankets in the nick of time. Just moments after settling in, the show started. Even though I am 24, I still love watching fireworks, especially when they are set to patriotic music! The only thing that could have made it better was if we were at the beach—I love seeing the reflection of the fireworks on the water—or if we were in New York. Haha, I wish. Much to the boy's chagrin, I tried my best to take some good fireworks photos. Unfortunately, I hadn't read this blog post with tips on photographing fireworks (which I saw today while catching up on posts at A Room Somewhere) but I think my pics turned out pretty good, even for an amateur.
Here's my night in pictures:
The boys have sensitive ears, as you can see. Taylor hates having his picture taken, hence the closed eyes. Though, I guess he doesn't know that even though he can't see me, the camera can still see him!
I hope you had a fabulous weekend and enjoyed celebrating Independence Day! I think this weekend it really hit me that it is the middle of the summer and I better take advantage of it before it's over. Just two years out of college, I still wish I had a summer break with tons of free time to do whatever I want, whenever I want. But since I don't, I just need to not be such a couch potato on the weekend and get out of the apartment. I did do that a bit on Sunday, which I will talk about more in "Weekend Recap, part II." So stay tuned!