Happy Fourth of July everyone. As I approach the weekend of family activities, I am reminded of years gone past and the amazing Fourth of July celebrations I have attended.
When I was a kid, I remember lighting fireworks in the backyard, fear trembling in my hands as I swirled brightly colored sparklers around.
The summer after I graduated grom college I was dating a Marine. He and I spent the weekend prior to the fourth together in Arlington, VA. I had to work on 7/5, so we figured we wouldn’t see each other for the fourth. After all, I lived in New Jersey at the time – not exactly a quick drive.
But, I was from CA, and taking long drives was bred into me since birth. I got in my car, drove to see him and we watched the fireworks from the Key Bridge. Very romantic.
Fast forward a couple of years. I met and married my true love. We moved into a three story brownstone in Jersey City, NJ. The neighborhood wasn’t great, but it was somewhat safe. Our place was on the top floor and we had exclusive roof rights. Which met, that every 4th of July, we walked up to the roof and watched the fireworks as they went off over the Hudson. At that time, the firework display alternated between the East River and the Hudson. Our place had an amazing view of Battery Park, the twin towers (pre- 9/11), and Ellis Island. It was the perfect place to watch firworks. And definitely more romantic than the Key Bridge.
July 1999 to present
Now I spend my Fourth of July holiday with my wonderful kids and husband. We watch fireworks on July 3rd as the light the sky above a local Indian casino – Pechanga Resort. On the fourth we BBQ, swim, play, and hang out. My husband has a large family and many of his brothers come over to enjoy the holiday with us.
Later, once the sky is dark, we load into the truck, drive around the corner to a dirt lot that overlooks the park where the firework display occurs, tune the radio to the simulcast and watch. It is a wonderful tradition. The only missing this year is our dog – who died a year ago.
To you and yours, I wish you a wonderful Fourth of July. I hope the day brings many pleasant memories. Any you’d like to share?