As a Brit in America, I should be ambivalent, at best, about Independence Day. Or, as a friend on Twitter called it, 'The day we gave you ungrateful colonials your freedom'. But it's hard not to swept up in the fun of the holiday. It's just a big, star spangled, red cup bearing 'Murica-fest of a party.
This was our first Fourth of July in the US for a few years, and our first in our adopted home town of Hermosa. So I wanted to get it right.
Based on my limited Fourth of July experience, I thought the day was mainly about pool parties and fireworks. Imagine my confusion when I saw this sign stretched across Pier Plaza:
Well, if there are no fireworks, what do we do? Not only are fireworks banned for individuals, there also is no city-sponsored display. And we don't have a pool. Nor do our buddies, with whom we planned to spend the day.
I was worried for a short while but TLOML reassured me. The important thing, apparently, is to be outside. It doesn't need to be poolside: lakes, beaches, and parks work just as well. The other important thing is to spend the day with friends. And to drink, steadily, from fairly early on.
Phew. So it turns out we nailed it. We headed to the beach early, which was packed with volleyball playing, daytime drinking, fun-seeking crowds. (We were a little late to catch the tail end of the Hermosa Iron Man, which involves a 1 mile run, a 1 mile paddleboard, and the chugging of a 6 pack of beers). There some amongst our number drank beer disguised as energy drinks and consumed jello shots, before noon. Then back to the Sugar Cube for an afternoon of burgers, something called a turtle pie (nicer than it sounds), and yes, more booze.
As an added bonus, it turns out the reason little old Hermosa doesn't have fireworks is because we get a great, free, view of the ones in Redondo. TLOML and I headed down to the beach after dark and sat in the sand, with hundreds of others, to watch the display.
All in all it was a perfect holiday. And the next day we dispatched Lady P (who enjoyed neither jello shots nor fireworks) to the beach to help with the Surfrider Clean up.
She may, as a result, have a slightly warped view of what the Fourth of July is all about. But living in Hermosa, I think she'll get the right idea soon enough.