Monday, June 30, 2014

The 4th of July

One of my favorite American holidays is just around the corner - The 4th of July aka Independence Day!  Yeah, yeah, I know, it's a celebration of American declaring it's independence in 1776 from Great Britain (this date is imprinted on my mind as a result of having to study to get my American citizenship), but why shouldn't there be a celebration?  I love this all American holiday!  It's everything you see at the movies.  Family get togethers, barbecues, parties, parades, pies, flags, red white and blue things everywhere, baseball games, fairs and of course fireworks.  I wish there was a day like this back home, it's actually quite moving seeing the patriotism and just general American-ness (is that a word?) everywhere!

My kiddos have been scouring Pinterest for all things red, white and blue for our 4th of July celebration.  Our menu this year includes blue tortilla chips, red salsa & white sour cream, red white and blue cupcakes, strawberry pretzel dessert decorated to look like a flag, fruit salad with watermelon stars, blueberries, strawberries and pineapple stars, fruit punch for the kiddos with more fruit stars and sangria for the grown ups - of course with the obligatory fruit stars.  Burgers and hot dogs will also be on the menu if we have any room after all our red, white and blue items :)   
Some of last year's creations

I already mentioned fireworks, but man, it gets really crazy here at night on the 4th of July.  In fact, it usually starts getting crazy a couple of weeks before the actual holiday.  Huge tents are set up in parking lots selling all kinds of fireworks in addition to the already ridiculous amount of firework stores along the Interstates.  There's no way this would fly at home and it just looks so dodgy and unregulated to my British brain!  Health and Safety?  Ha, what's that!  Although there are usually some rules regarding where and when you can set them off, nobody seems to care.  
Because you need to be able to buy fireworks 24/7

Massive amounts of massive fireworks!
You start hearing bangs over a week before the 4th, my poor dog starts to freak out, refuses to go outside for her last ablution of the day and starts sleeping in our closet.  I did buy her a thundervest and it does seem to help her anxiety a bit, but last year, it was so bad that the vet had to prescribe her some tranquilizers.  Hopefully it won't come to that again this year!  People set them off in their yards, out in the street - just absolutely everywhere!  I still remember the adverts from when I was a kid in the UK warning of firework danger.  Because of these, it makes me really nervous watching the husband nonchalantly set off these huge things out front of our house.  Although, like I said, over here this is totally normal!  Anyway, the fireworks displays, either organized or unorganized ones are usually spectacular and SO AMERICAN!!  I LOVE IT!!!

So, like millions of other Americans, I'm looking forward to hanging out with my family on Friday, eating lots of red white and blue food and watching some fireworks.  Wouldn't it be nice if we did this back in the UK, just to celebrate being British?  Have a good week y'all! 


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