A vote for independence

Yesterday we celebrated July 4 with our American friends.  Having just experienced Canada Day on July 1 in Montreal is was fun to experience the US equivalent in the small town of Westbrook, CT.  We were not disappointed.  You’d be hard pressed to find a nation who takes pride in their country more than the Americans.  I toyed with the idea of prancing down the beach in my Union Jack swimming trunks chanting ‘God Save the Queen‘, but the respect I have for their patriotism prevented me from undoubtedly making a fool of myself.

Grove Beach at dusk, July 4.

The real fun begins as the sun starts to fade.  Everyone gathers on the beach and starts to dig the holes that will become a fire pit.  Most people are moving lethargically having just stepped away from the table, but as the ‘moment’ draws near there is a heightened sense of anticipation and energy that starts to be felt from everywhere, especially from the younger participants!

Our resident fire-maker and host, Brendan, got the fire going and it wasn’t long before the children were all crouched around roasting their marshmallows in earnest.  Marie had Smore making duty and was busy prepping the Graham crackers and Hershey’s chocolate.  The production line seemed endless with one child after another running up with the marshmallows in varying states of doneness, ranging from a light golden colour to a deep black crusty hue.

Roasting marshmallows.

The magic is in watching the kids though.  Put children, a beach, a fire, marshmallows, a pink sky and then fireworks and you’ve got yourself an incredible evening.  Lest we not forget the two dogs, the awesome Primo and Rio, an ultra laid back pro basketball player who goes by the name ‘Q‘ and glow-sticks galore and you’ve got all the makings for an evening that will not ever be forgotten.  Incidentally, Q played for the Montreal basket ball team for a couple of years and so it was like meeting an old friend!

Ollie making the leap during the 'Hole Jumping' Olympics

Just prior to settling in to watching the fireworks, we had an impromptu ‘Hole Jumping’ competition.  Ollie had started digging at about 2.00 p.m. that afternoon and he had kept digging right through to supper time.  The result was a hole that was at least 8′ across and probably 3′ deep.  Talk about an invitation to jump right across it!

The variety of looks that were captured during the glow stick portion of the evening provided for much amusement from all corners.

Happy 4th of July

Finally, the fireworks started popping and banging at around 9.00 p.m. and we were treated to the display that was taking place in Clinton to the right and, hold on, can’t remember the name of the town to the left, but we got to share in their display as well.

The festivities, and by that I mean the fireworks, continued late into the night.  Just when you thought they were done and you started drifting off to sleep a loud BANG! shocked you out of your slumber and brought your heart rate right up.  Eventually I managed to somehow tune them out and fall to sleep.

Thank you America for sharing your Independence Day celebrations with this Canadian family and thank you Karen and Brendan for having us as your guests once again!

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