Monday, July 7, 2008

Play Well with Others...

We had a very interesting 4th of July this year...

Ever since I met Mr. Pink Lemonade (Eric)16 years ago, we've spent the 4th of July at his Parent's house - usually having a BBQ and celebrating the day. The culmination of our festivities was always the fireworks show that Eric loved to shoot off (yes, they're still legal in his parent's part of our fair county).

About six years ago, the day after 4th of July, a large grouping of cypress bushes in his parent's backyard spontaneously ignited and burned to the ground... luckily, his father was in the backyard, heard the first sparks and called the fire department immediately, no damage was done to anything but the trees (and a melted rain gutter). Since that incident, (even though the fire had nothing to do with the fireworks the night before) we have been banned (by the Elder Mr. Pink Lemonade), from shooting off fireworks on the 4th.

The next year, it was, with much sadness, that we were relegated to sitting on the ground in the middle of the race track at the local county fair to watch the fireworks display after spending our day at Eric's parent's home. And so it has continued (with the exception of one year where we were forced to sit on one of the lower decks of an aircraft carrier that was no longer in use listening to a swing band... all. day. long... only to venture up long, steep, narrow (did I mention steep & narrow) flights of stairs to the deck with a 5 year old and 10 month old in tow to watch the San Francisco fireworks display in the frigid cold of the evening. Oh, and last year we spent it at the beach being pelted (rather, sandblasted) by flying sand whilst trying to consume cold fried chicken... yummy - then, it was on to the county fair...

This year, however, Eric decided to break free from the traditions that glued us to that good-for-nothing fair... I mean, you have to pay to get in, then, of course the kids want to ride the rides - which are by no means safe - last year, we put them on the spinning strawberries only to watch a very large chunk of metal fall to the ground while the ride was going.. yikes!! they stopped the ride and kindly gave us our tickets back. The children choose a "dumbo"-like ride and it, too broke down during the ride and the children were all stuck six feet off the ground while they tried to bring it down... we decided this is definitely not good entertainment.

We started out our day at the movies... the girls (and I) had been dying to see the new American Girl movie so we, along with three other people in the theater that morning enjoyed our popcorn, icees and Kitt Kitteredge, an American Girl. Great movie, very historically accurate - lots of fun!
Afterward, we met Eric's Parents, his Sister, her Husband and Daughter at the Veterans Home in Yountville for their 4th of July festival. The kids ate pizza, Lauren and her cousin rode the ponies and we headed over to the Lincoln Theater there on the grounds for a 4th of July concert with the Napa Valley Symphony. The concert was magnificent, there was a 14 year old piano prodigy that played "Rhapsody in Blue" like I've never heard before. After intermission, there was the world premiere of "American Festivals," a new Symphonic Oratorio by Bay Area Composer Nolan Gasser On Poetry and Orations by Poet Robert Trent Jones, Jr. - which was narrated by Craig T. Nelson (from "coach") - it was very interesting you can read about it here.

When the concert was over, the fireworks were still 1 1/2 hours away so Eric and the girls and I headed back to Napa to watch them by the river. We ended up at Downtown Joe's, a local restaurant & brewery that we locals love to frequent. They have a fairly small dining room upstairs, overlooking the river in exactly the right direction to see the fireworks. This year, there was no dust and dirt and hard ground to sit on, no bugs jumping all over us, no worrying that the children will be maimed riding the spinning strawberries.... only a cozy booth, delicious grilled white shrimp with angel hair pasta and a glass of wine while we oohed and ahhed over the Fourth of July fireworks... We decided then and there, that in May, we would reserve the tables by the window for the next year - if the rest of the family decides to join us, hurray... if not, we will not be huddled in the cold, but sipping wine by the window...

Turning Lemons into Pink Lemonade!

Posted by Liz of Pink Lemonade

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Jean9 said...

That sounds to me like a really nice way to spend July 4th celebrations.

The Little Window Shoppe said...

Wow, what a story! Very eventful 4th of July. :) I want to see the American Girl movie too! Looks so cute.