I think that the 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. It has things I love: warmth, food, wearing a certain outfit for the occasion, time with friends... and fireworks.
I had the day off, which was GREAT! I haven't had a holiday off since I started my job and I was thankful to not work this one because it turned out that we had a FULL day of celebrating.
We began in Stow, Ohio. My old roommate, Erica is from there and she and her husband Zack (I was in their wedding the weekend we moved to Ohio) were visiting Erica's family, as they are en route from Spokane to their new home-to-be in Michigan (three sets of close friends have recently relocated to Michigan, so we're scheming a trip). So we joined them in the morning for the 4th of July parade in Stow. We sat on a grassy hill in front of a funeral home, her family's preferred spot because said funeral home gives out free donuts and coffee. We partook, naturally.
And then we enjoyed the parade.
I interrupted Carson's donut eating for a picture... not a good idea.
Erica marched in this band in high school. We thought that all the high school students now looked like babies.
We were near the very end of the parade... can you imagine doing this for a few miles?
After the parade, we had lunch with Erica's family and then sat around talking for most of the afternoon. While we were there, I got a text inviting us to a cookout at some friends' house, so we decided on a whim to attend. We were the only ones to NOT bring a side dish or dessert that belonged on Pinterest, so we may not be invited back, but our chips and soda were still welcome.
The highlight of that party centered around food and fellowship... until water balloons and smoke bombs came out. Let's just say that there were lots of wet people by the end.
From the cookout, Carson, Lana and I headed over to Willoughby for fireworks. A group from the cookout was there too, but we didn't find each other in time for the show. We sat right in front of the field where there was a firetruck, so we thought that meant the fireworks would be right in front of us... and we had to wait a little over an hour before they started. Pictures were in order.
From where we sat, we could see fireworks shows in other places through the tree tops, but nothing compared to the show that we saw. Because we were right in front of the fireworks, we basically had to lay on our backs in order to see them... they were huge and loud and prettier than any I'd seen before.
This picture? Unedited.
While we watched, we noticed that things kept falling on us - it was "dust" from the fireworks. We called it shrapnel, but I really don't know the correct term for it. Anyway, it was covering us - we smelled like sulfur. It looks like the blanket was dirty, but I promise you that it's from the fireworks - told you that we were up close!
Carson slept on the way home... traffic was a beast and we made it home just before midnight but we're still glad we went!