Fourth of July was fantastic this year. 2008 has been probably the worst year of my life that I can recall, but there have been a few bright spots as well. July 4th was one of them. We actually had the whole family together (my wife and our four kids), which is unusual (if you have teenage kids you'll know what I mean). We grilled and chilled and hung out by the pool. Then we walked down the street to the nearby park (Mount Trashmore) for the annual fireworks show.
Word had it that fireworks shows would be noticably more brief due to budget constraints, but I could not see any reduction in time or quality this year compared to the previous four years. It was a very good show indeed.
The only difference I noticed was a smaller crowd this year. The fireworks show always kicks off a 9:30 pm with a full-packed park by 8:30 pm. This year it was (by my feeble estimation) about 60% capacity of previous years at 9:00 pm. Even after the show it was much easier getting back to our house crossing the one foot bridge that connects the park to the surrounding neighborhood over the creek. I've had to wait at that bridge for ten minutes following shows in 2006 and 2007. This year it was much smoother due to the smaller crowd.
After we got back to our home, I jumped back in the pool and just enjoyed the relative peace and quiet and the stars. Last year, kids were setting off more fireworks until 1 or 2 am. This year it went silent almost immediately after 10pm. I'm sure the dogs enjoyed that as well. Last year I came home to find my little Beagle hidden under one of the kids beds shaking in fear from all the noise outside. This year she was relaxed on the couch. That's what I'm doing this weekend. I walked a few miles on the beach with the family and then did my ten mile bike ride yesterday. Today is couch day for me. :)