We have spent the majority of the last ten years away from home on the Fourth of July. Both of our sons played club volleyball and the National Championship always overlapped with the holiday. We’ve been fortunate to experience and see how different cities across America celebrate though. Each has their own unique tradition and display of American patriotism, with Columbus (which celebrates on the 3rd with a huge firework display), Minneapolis (Stone Arch Bridge and Festival over the Mississippi River) and Austin (live music scene and watching fireworks from the riverfront) as favorites.
We’re finally home this fourth and I’m considering our options. The last time we were all here, my boys were still riding their bikes in the neighborhood parade. Things have changed quite a bit since then. I’m expecting them to be in and out all day with their friends, so it’s really just me and my husband.
We’ll start the day on a bike ride down to the boardwalk in Newport with friends. The route is easy and scenic. We’ll ride through Balboa Island and take the Ferry across the bay to the peninsula. Weather permitting, I’ll make good use of one of my striped tees, toss on a pair of shorts and either espadrilles or sneakers. I’ll throw a straw bag in the basket on my bike with an extra layer if it gets cool. I would never think of going out in the sun for any extended period of time without sunscreen, a hat, lip protection and sunglasses.
Later in the evening, we’ll have a few friends over for a very casual barbecue. We’re in a position to see several firework shows from our backyard, so we’ll avoid the crowds and stay put. Simple and easy is my mantra for the menu. Minimal decorating with festive napkins, fresh flowers and wicker candle holders will do. A recipe, I’ve yet to try, for a Chipotle-Lime Grilled Chicken looks like a good contender. Marinade and do all the prep the night before, then just toss on the grill. Sounds delicious with a big salad, like this Mango, Avocado, and Arugula and a refreshing mojito. I’ll stick with jeans and a shirt, both in white, and add some color with accessories. As soon as the sun goes down, it gets chilly pretty quickly, so I’ll have a sweater on hand and maybe a few blankets.
How will you spend the Fourth of July this year?