In a perfect world, our first 4th of July in Vegas would have involved the following . . . . .
Going to a city parade, swimming all day in our pool, BBQ-ing hamburgers & hot dogs on the grill in the back yard, and lighting fireworks in the culdesac.
To me, that is the 4th of July. (At least when you live in warm places. In Oregon, forget about the swimming - grab a sweater!)
But we don't have our own pool, yet. (I like to avoid the apartment pool on saturdays & holidays because that's when the crowds and smokers/drinkers come out). And we don't have a BBQ grill. (Sold it in Oregon, plus it's against the rules to have one on your patio here). And lighting fireworks is not allowed in the complex. (That rule is a-okay with me.)
Hmm, so how do we celebrate the 4th? That was my question for weeks. I love the 4th of July. I didn't want to miss out on having a great holiday.
I did some research. Scott asked around at work. And we came up with some ideas and options that I think worked out very well.
I love small town parades. Especially parades on the 4th of July! Lucky for us the sun stayed behind the clouds all morning and temperatures hovered in the low-80's. That is unheard of. What amazing luck!
This creepy fish made the rounds with Lake Mead Park Rangers, reminding kids to wear life jackets on the water. Note: later that day 6 boats capsized or sank on Lake Mead due to high winds.
Anna was my little model for the day . . .
The only thing the parade was missing was a marching band. How am I supposed to celebrate my nation's independence without a marching band?! It's a travesty. Moving on . . . .
Before the fireworks show there was music, food, and activities going on in the park. We weren't necessarily interested in those, but we did take a stroll through the park to check it out and eventually settled on a nice patch of cool grass to hang out for a while.
Now let's talk about this gorgeous light for a moment, shall we?
Okay, that's all.
Here's where our genius/lucky plan comes into play. There is an LDS church one block from the park, up the hill. Between the park and the church is an empty, dusty, desert-y field. So . . . . we parked at the church, giving us a clear, unobstructed view of the fireworks show. It really could not have worked out better.
These family pictures (taken with a self-timer on the back of the van) show our vantage point.
And then the show began . . .
18 minutes of patriotic explosion!
Partway through the program the large, yellow-ish moon rose above the mountains in front of us. I loved our view.
Just such a great evening. And then came the finale. Wow!
My camera was on the same manual settings as the previous fireworks photos, and I wasn't going to spend time fiddling with it. So this is the photo I got.
Talk about "bombs bursting in air." All we could talk about on the way home (and the next day) was the amazing finale.
I think we pulled together a pretty great 4th of July celebration for ourselves. The kids are a little disappointed they didn't get to do sparklers and I had a few heart-pangs, missing my Oregon friends who were all together for the 4th (a tradition for our clan). But we were together as a family, exploring, and making new traditions in our new home. Plus, this holiday gave us the opportunity to take our first family photo together in Nevada!
Next year we're looking forward to swimming in our pool, BBQ-ing in our backyard, and watching the city fireworks from our balcony. That will be heaven.