Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Family-Style 4th of July

I know I already posted about this 4th of July in DC. You may remember that I mentioned being kinda bummed to be in our nation’s capital for the 4th, so let me justify that statement.

My family is really good at holidays. I mean, you know we do it right.

When I was growing up, my family spent large chunks of the summer at out house in Lake Tahoe. And we spent every 4th of July there. We don't do exactly the same thing every year…but pretty darn close (there are only so many options). So here’s how it’s done:

The crew: Me, Mama, Dad, Sister1, and Sister2.  Most years my aunt, uncle, and 3 younger cousins come along too.

In the morning my parents go for a trail run. When we were younger, my sisters and I sometimes joined for a bike-ride or a hike, but often we preferred to stay home and amuse ourselves. This amusement could include anything from melting crayons in the microwave (my science teacher dad: That’s so cool that you’re experimenting! My mama with an eye-roll: Oh Mollie…) to “building” in the backyard (hammer + nails + shingles from the shed roof = hours of entertainment). But once I hit Junior High, I started joining the parents and Sister1 for the run (that’s another story for another post).

After our morning’s activities it’s time for the Fireman’s Pancake Breakfast in King’s Beach. They do it every year to raise money for the firework show. Breakfast overlooking Lake Tahoe = omg yum! Especially after a hard trail run – load me up with a plate of pancakes and strawberries, and do not hold back on that whipped cream!

After breakfast we usually meander around the King’s Beach Craft Fair, testing out smelly hand lotions and debating spending our minimal savings.

Then it’s off to the beach! A cooler of lemonade and snacks, a bag of books and travel scrabble, and a towel and inner tube for everyone. That’s all we need for a day of happiness.

When we get home from the beach, we usually grill a quick dinner – hamburgers and/or hot dogs and a salad are enough for us. (Sidenote: this picture is from my rooftop grilling this year. A burger with tomato, onion, avocado, mustard and ketchup, and cheddar cheese on a whole wheat bun. You know you're jealous!)

Then the important part - fireworks! There are actually three nights of fireworks in Lake Tahoe: King’s Beach on the 3rd, Tahoe City on the 4th, and Homewood on the 5th. By the end we are pretty pro at firework oohing and aahing. We get to the beach early to claim a good spot. And then we wait…and wait…and wait for what feels like forever! My aunt is good about bringing treats to placate us as our anticipation builds (Here, stop whining and have a Starburst.).

And then finally the show starts as fireworks are shot off of a barge out on the lake. Beautiful! (A younger cousin usually cries and my dad makes excited-kid comments – Wow! Look at that one!)

All too soon it ends, and we make the excruciatingly long trek back to the car. 

And that is how we do 4th of July!