Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Black Powder and Meat: A Man's Take on July 4

Well, another holiday has come and gone, but with it's passing comes great memories and tales of great adventure. Laura and I both had a long weekend and she even took a half day the Friday before the long weekend, so we got to start our July escapades rather early. We packed up all of our clothes, supplies (we usually cook a meal for everyone) and of course kilos of fireworks and set off to where else, then the family lake house. It does seem we frequent that place, but it is closer to Augusta and there are a ton of fun things to do, so it makes sense that we would go there. We arrived late afternoon around 4 just as Laura's family was arriving/unpacking. So we followed suite and unloaded everything. That evening was pretty chill and soon the ladies (Laura and Karla) took off for the outlet malls to stimulate our economy. Because of that, Eric and I were in on kid duty, so games of all sorts ensued from ping pong to monopoly to keep them busy. Later, we ate a hodge-podge dinner of chicken pot pie and tortellini which satisfied our hungry bellies.

The next morning, we all got up and made a hot breakfast with fresh summertime fruit to get the day started. Then we made plans to go boating/tubing/any other water sport that you can do behind a boat. Somehow, though it always takes us all morning to get to the boat. It's like some weird force vortex. I mean, literally the boat is 150 ft away, yet it can take us from after breakfast until just before lunch before we actually depart from the dock. In the meantime it's usually filled with a lot of running around, yelling from the dock to the house, packing things, putting on sunscreen, and finding people who have disappeared. But eventually, we always make it out and have a great time. It was very hot and humid so tubing and swimming were on the agenda pretty much everyday, however, mother nature always decided to rain on our afternoon, pun definitely intended. Pretty much everyday while we were there, we got a thunderstorm at about 3 o'clock or so thus cutting our outdoor agenda short. In fact, on Saturday, we even got caught out in the rain on the lake! I had never felt rain hitting my face while speeding back to the dock until this point and let me tell you, it was not comfortable. Think ice pellets being fired at your face through a blow gun. But we made it back inside before it got really thunderous and lightningy. So we finished our game of monopoly and played the Wii.
Later that night, we went to Johnny's pizza for some tasty dinner and live music. I realized that we seem to be developing a habitual pattern for our time at the lake house and it made me laugh. We certainly can become creatures of habit! That evening, Laura's sister Kristen and her fiance arrived at the lake house from Myrtle beach, so we just hung around and talked.

Sunday morning came quickly and early and that meant that I had to follow through on my promise to the kids to go fishing off the dock. Our chances of actually fishing looked pretty dim because we couldn't find the tackle box. At all. But fortunately, the super sleuthing skills of my young brother in law paid off and Lucas discovered the tackle box, inside of a toolbox, in the midst of a junk pile, in the middle of out storage shed. But we got to fishing for awhile which was fun. We saw a dead fish and caught a beer coozie. No actual fish were caught or harmed on this venture. Then pretty much, the day went as the first. Boating, followed by a storm, followed by inside play. But Sunday night was mine and Laura's turn to cook dinner so we made this awesome fiesta chicken crock pot recipe which everyone loved. After that scrumptious dinner, we had cherry cheese cake pit that Laura made and we celebrated Kristen's 23rd birthday! That night, all of the ladies left us guys at the lake house to return to Atlanta to run the Peachtree road race the next morning.

So finally, the fourth of July rolled around. Most of my morning was finishing all of the fusing and taping for the fireworks show to be held that evening. The men played pool and Wii with the kids and eventually ended up having lunch. The ladies returned to us with smiles and racing stories. But they also returned with some very pungent odors attributable to the race the just ran in the intense humidity that is Georgia. We love them anyway though. Laura actually had a terrible number this year but still had a great time of 56 minutes and 22 seconds. Yay Laura! We tried to go out boating again but got caught in a crazy monsoon with crazy winds that were making white caps on the water. Needless to say, we had to boat back through windy drizzle yet again. I was pretty nervous that it wasn't going to stop and all of the long hours of preparing the fireworks show was going to waste. I mean it literally rained the rest of the day. I even wore my phone battery out from checking the weather way too much.

Fortunately, the rain cleared off about 7 pm that night, so we were able to grill amazingly delicious steaks prepared by moi (I'm probably biased) outside and then too watch all of my hard work and money explode in the sky before my very eyes. The show went extremely well and everyone had a blast. The only problem is that it was so humid and there was no wind that it got a little smoky. I looked back at the kids with sparklers just watching this wall of smoke gather and slowly migrate to the edge of the lake while Eric and I were preparing the finale. But the rain held out, and the no one was injured, and we had a great show. Even got some spectators who appreciated the show evidenced by honking their boat horns. The show is attached at the bottom. All in all it was a fabulous 4th of July, complete with meat and fireworks. Ahh. We all had a great time with great food and great memories. And THAT is why the 4th is my favorite holiday! Tell us about your weekend or leave a comment about the pics and video! That's all folks!

Opening Board and Middle Show Board

 Middle Show Single Tubes Slow Timed
 Setting Up Right Side of Finale

The Show!


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