Fourth of July 2014

Celebrating the Fourth (Photo by Chris Walker)

We had a great 4th of July! We met old friends & made new friends on the lawn of our friend’s home in Alameda. His house is right on the parade route so we convened there around 10am to watch the Alameda 4th of July Parade. His home was under renovation, but folks brought everything necessary for a great parade watching experience there on his front lawn. There were chips, salsa, crackers, cheese and someone even brought the makings for Bloody Marys, plus a little table to make them on, all towed in on a little red wagon (the streets around the parade route are blocked off from about a 1/2 mile away.)

Playing with the Big Kids (Photo by Chris Walker)

We also brought our little red wagon, but instead of the makings for a Bloody Mary, we brought in our two boys, dressed appropriately patriotically in red, white and blue. :) They had a great time running around on the lawn and spending time watching the bigger kids play as we all waited for the parade to start.

Standing at Attention

This was the boys’ first parade and I was a little nervous about what they would think. Our Alamedan friend Nancy even brought a shaded double stroller in case they got too hot and needed to cool off (what a sweetie!), but the boys did great. They just sat with us and watched the parade roll, walk and occasionally trot by (their first time seeing life-size horses!) Since they don’t talk very much I’m not sure what they thought, but they seemed to enjoy it. There were many smiles and no tears, so I count that as a good time.

Watching the Parade with Uncle Terry (Photo by Chris Walker)

The parade itself was amazingly long, everyone seemed to be in it! We saw fire departments, scouting groups, horses, military folk, environmental activists, local businesses, including the local funeral parlor looking very serious with a horse-drawn hearse (nice touch). By the time the parade was over, we were pooped and ready to get the kids and ourselves home and down for a nap.

Patriotic Hoffman Clan

Post-nap we grilled in the backyard and debated about whether to try to take the kids to see some fireworks. We decided to forego fireworks, since that would mean keeping them up way past their bedtime and we weren’t sure if they would enjoy them (or be scared of the loud booms.) Luckily, while we were getting them ready for bed, Dan came up with a great idea: tune into the local PBS station, which was broadcasting the fireworks from Washington DC, with accompaniment from the National Symphony Orchestra, called “A Capitol Fourth“. The kids were fascinated to watch the fireworks on our TV and the symphony music was a perfect match. Bravo Dan!

Is that an A for America or an A for Arizona Dan?

Our satiated little tykes went to bed soon afterward and their second fourth was done. (Heck, I don’t remember what we did for their first.)

Is it done yet?

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