Monday, July 11, 2011

On Independence Day

Now the Lord is the Spirit,
and where the Spirit of the Lord is,
There is freedom.
~2 Corinthians 3:17

We spent the majority of the day on the 4th of July recuperating from an awesome mini-vacation to Atlanta.  I did laundry and cleaned up a bit and we played with the kids, all the while the Hubs and I himmed and hawwed about how we wanted to spend our evening. 

We had several options; The first was to meet friends at the beach for fireworks, we've never watched the fireworks from the beach so this seemed enticing.  Although, then we deal with the parking issues, the crowds, the sand, the issue getting off of the key and home, so it would be a late night.  The second option was to watch the fireworks from the Marina like we usually do.  It's a good display, parking is not bad, and the kids could get to bed at a decent hour (since it was a school night and all).  The final option, was to skip the fireworks, watch them on TV, and enjoy an evening at home with the family.

Around 4:30 we decided to not decide and instead we would carry out our tradition of eating dinner at our favorite family friendly, locally owned Italian restaurant.  We've eaten here many 4th of July's so off we went.


This is the kind of place where the owner immediately brings two plates of hot buttered noodles for the kids the moment you sit down.

But he doesn't charge you for them.  It's the kind of place where it's okay if the kids get a little loud, and the older people there actually comment on how cute they are and how well behaved they are even though they aren't whisper quiet.

It's a 4th of July meal of noodles, pizza, and lemonade that is quickly becoming as much a 4th of July tradition as the fireworks themselves.

As we left the restaurant we noticed that the storm clouds were rolling in.  Black thunderous clouds coming in from the east that were beginning to drop speckles of rain on our evening.  We decided to head to the beach anyway and we would just see what happens. 

We arrived just in time to witness a mass exodus as hundreds (not exaggerating here) of beach goers were heading for their vehicles and leaving the lot.  Parking was not a problem.  We parked and waited.  Lightning came, Thunder boomed, and heavy sheets of rain pelted our window.  The girls watched Dora for half and hour and then got our of their car seats and began to play in the rear of Hubs' SUV.  We saw our friends, who were waiting it out in their truck, they were soaked head to toe, enjoying a brew at their tailgate, and making the most of their time together.

Half an hour later the sheets of rain turned to a drizzle.  We put our suits on in the truck and headed out to the beach.  The beach was nearly empty.  We got a spot for our towels right on the boundary line for the fireworks.  We put down our things and headed to the water.

**The rest of these photos were taken by my girlfriend Becky with her iphone.  I am so grateful she took some photos.  Given the rain and the unpredictable weather I did not bring my DSLR to the beach.  I did edit these photos in LR **

The view was surreal.  A giant, full arch rainbow stretched before us, and water so warm it was soothing against the cold intermittent mist of rain. 
The children did not mind.  Here Camdyn plays with her best friend and her little brother. 

Chloe Belle was giddy about the beach.

And before we knew it the sun was setting.  The kids got out of the water to dry off before the main event.

I had a hard time figuring out which was more spectacular, the sunset or the fireworks...
Then, we sat together as a family and enjoyed the most terrific display of fireworks I have ever seen.  They were literally right above our heads.  This was Chloe Belle's first fireworks and she kept saying "OH MY GOSH!" 

After the fireworks were over, we stayed on the beach for 45 minutes while the kids played with glow sticks and had a snack.  It ended up taking us 30 minutes to drive off of the key, and another 20 to get home.  The kids were in bed by 11:30 and extremely tired the next day.

But it was worth it a 100x over.  The image of that rainbow, the sunset, and the children's faces, and the camaraderie with friends will make this 4th of July one of the best we've ever had.

I say...It becomes tradition.


Cole said...

I like your new header!

Your 4th sounds amazing - I can't imagine getting to see fireworks on the beach like that... and those rainbow pics are amazing! Your pizza and noodles tradition sounds good :)

Lexie Loo & Dylan Too said...

Those rainbow pictures are incredible! I'm glad you had a nice 4th of July!

Mama Hen said...

Holy cow, those rainbow water pictures are gorgeous! All the pictures you take are always beautiful! I love creating traditions! Pasta and lemonade at your favorite little Italian place on the It is funny how such little things can begin to mean so much as time goes on. I hope you are doing well! Have a great day!

Mama Hen

Liz said...

I love how Chloe has her horsies all lined up in that one photo. Adorable ...

And those water and rainbow shots are amazing. Especially since they started off as an iPhone photo. Great job - you have a lot to teach me when I get home!! Get ready ... camera and wine :)

Casey Martinez said...

that was fun to read! I love hearing about the place you ate that sounded so kid friendly, the unexpected storm that you sat through and ended up clearing the beach but, making it more enjoyable for you all! Sounds absolutely wonderful!!! Love hearing about your youngest saying oh my gosh and seeing your last picture. Too cute!

Ashley Sisk said...

WOW - you really lucked out - those last shots are absolutely gorgeous.

Alisia said...

Your Demetrios pictures and story made me so happy! I have been eating Demetrios pizza weekly since in my mother's womb! My parents started going there while they were dating and took us EVERY sunday after church while we were growing up. I remember running in and grabbing a booster chair on our way to the table, we never ordered, the waitresses just put our food on the table when we pulled up because they all knew our order! I now love taking my own girls there because I have so many happy memories from my childhood!

Jennifer said...

Happy belated 4th..LOL! I am so glad you decided to wait out the storm and stay for the fireworks. The kids looked like they were having a blast in the water!! And the rainbow is beautiful. That alone was worth it. I think you have a family tradition that you will enjoy for years to come :)

Ashley said...

Sounds absolutely perfect!

TV's Take said...

I cherish times like this - no real plan and more fun than you could imagine. Kuddos for going for it - it would have been much easier staying at home but not as much fun. LOVE those pictures!

Nessa said...

What a glorious sunset! Don't you love when everything just works out better than you imagined?

LeeAnn said...

I am beyond late here. LOL It looks like you guys had a wonderful July 4th! I love the pictures of the kids at the beach, and that cool rainbow in the background. Becky's phone takes awesome pictures, btw. :-)

I miss you. I need to shoot you an email...

Faith said...

WOW these are just amazing!! love that rainbow.