“America, America” (Independence Day Take Two)


Ah, the 4th of July. The day when the United States declared their independence. Thirteen colonies broke free from the ties of the British crown and today, this day is commonly celebrated with a bang. This means fireworks, BBQs, parades - all during which families and friends usually get together.

It’s a beautiful thing and the patriotic spirit can be felt: “America, America…” Stars and stripes forever - of course.

In my opinion, this is the prime U.S. American holiday. I mean, it doesn’t get anymore patriotic, more American, than the birthday of the nation, right?

I didn’t think I would be spending a second 4th of July in the U.S., but I am very happy about how everything eventually fell into place (up to this point), so I could toast to 'Merica's independence the second time in a row.

I have come to realize that holidays - well, especially this one - come with quite a bit of pressure: the pressure of really doing something, and not just sitting at home, doing nothing. I guess there certainly is a great number of people out there that don’t have anything special planned for that day but most people do something, even if it’s just hanging out by the beach, which is, especially on a beautiful 4th like this year, almost a no-brainer (here in San Diego). Damn, but the beaches here get slammed with hungry BBQers.

So, Rickey and I initially didn’t have a real plan, also because he was supposed to work that day. Someone’s gotta be there and respond first, when someone is in trouble or generally needs help, right? So, I was just going to have a friend from the gym and her significant other over for some pizza and then the plan was to walk down to OB Pier to watch the fireworks go off at 9 pm. Low key. Before Rickey had to go to work in the afternoon, we were planning on stopping by that one, more or less secluded, beach area where people from his dive shop were planning on grilling some burgers and hang out.

Plans changed short notice on Monday evening as Rickey surprise me and revealed that he got the next day off. YAY! Our first 4th together. I was thrilled. This also meant that with our newly done backyard we were eager to have a handful of friends over who, as we knew, didn’t have anything in particular planned, either. All I technically wanted was a good BBQ. Haha.

Tuesday - the holiday was here. We stopped at the liquor store in the late morning, got some drinks, and headed over to Point Loma with the doggo. Welcome to the madness of the 4th. The beach was crowded like hell. Everyone brought their stuff for the day, kids were screaming and playing in the water, music was blasting, people had their tents set up and you could smell the meat on the grill.

Happy 4th of July!

It was, in fact, so crowded at 11 am already that Rickey’s dive shop friends had to re-locate to OB Dog Beach. I can totally see why there are, on the other hand, also people dreading this day and deciding to rather stay at home. 

We needed to get some stuff for BBQing later. I already saw it coming…the store would be near an explosion (with people) and I should be right. Holy mother! You see it on one of the pictures. Everyone was getting their last minute booze and beef here. Too funny to see. We were among those “last-minuters”. 

We finally got everything we needed and prepped the backyard a little; around 5 pm, people showed up and we ended up being a group of 7 peeps, hanging out, grilling, drinking, playing games, all while having country blasting. My absolute perfect evening (and what bliss to have our own secluded backyard space). 

Americans are all about fireworks on holidays I feel like. It’s really not a big deal to me because in Europe, everyone technically can fire away, whenever. Here, it’s not allowed for personal purposes (some people get these uber loud things from Mexico or Arizona and its annoying when those go off in front of the house). It’s kind of cute to see how excited everyone was when we went down to the pier around 8.30 pm ish, mingling with the crowd, and seeing 20 minute fireworks show. 

I’d call this a successful second 4th of July. 

If you are in the U.S.: How & where did you spent this year’s Independence Day?