Happy 4th Everyone! Blessings to all of you and to our great nation, in good times and in bad! Well gang, we have experienced our first national holiday here in Chicago. It’s definitely different celebrating in a BIG city rather than our little La Verne. And, by the way, I heard about the overwhelming success of our little LV annual “4th of July” parade and it’s “celebrity” showing of our very own … Fr. Rich! What a fun time that must have been, with all our Stars & Stripes members and our fearless leader! Here’s one of the many pics I received from Martha & Peggy:
I know they all had way too much fun! Right? Of course, the first year I’m not there and we get to be in the parade! Dang it! Ok, can you guys do it again next year because I will definitely be home for that! Ok, promise??
Anyway, the best part of the day was this! Jason & Justina (aka “Choochie”) arrived at noon, right in time for Eddie’s 4th of July BBQ down at the apartment’s patio. They’ll be with us for a week, excited to see our new (temporary) home and they have a few requests of their own .. like Field Museum, lake tour, and lots of bike rides all around the city!
After a delicious lunch, our first stop is Grant Park to watch the fireworks.
We left our house about 8:00 p.m. under an almost full sun (it doesn’t get dark here til after 9:00 p.m.!!) and walked to the most northern part of Grant Park called Millennium Park. This is a very new part of the park and it’s really spectacular. It’s hard for me to really describe the park, but just so you know, this city does a great job on their parks. This one houses the outdoor Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a rose garden, a climbing wall, a children’s playground with the funnest swings I have ever seen, and more! So after a nice walk around this part of the park, listening to the live free symphony concert, and a lot of people watching, the fireworks began! They are shot off from a barge sitting in the lake so that everyone up and down the city can have a great view of the show. And it was really great!
Because we weren’t at “Navy Pier” we weren’t able to experience the show with the patriotic music that I’m sure was playing in the background so we just sang our own songs. “I’m Proud to be an American” is our all-time favorite, so Choochie was our soloist for the event! You can imagine the looks we got as she entertained us! There were lots of big bangs and then … it was over. I’m not complaining, but I do think that our own little LV show goes for a lot longer than this one did and of course with the music and the company, it’s always a great time. But, we had our Chicago 4th of July experience and it was all good!
There is one thing different about the 4th here … lots different from home. When we got back to our apartment, which was well after 11:00 p.m., we thought we’d check out the view from the roof, just to see if there were any lingering shows out there or to see what else we could see from the roof. Boy were we surprised! Lingering shows? That is an understatement for sure! Everywhere we looked there were fireworks shows and I mean everywhere. Look to the north, fireworks … the west … fireworks! Everywhere! Fireworks! But my question was this … how and why are they doing these shows so late and for so long?? By this time we had been watching for well over a half an hour, so we’re talking almost 11:30 p.m. How you ask? Because they’re all ILLEGAL!! Apparently they sell these big fireworks up in Wisconsin and everyone takes them home for their very own fireworks shows! It’s totally crazy! It’s as if every single family is having their own BIG BANG show! It made me a little nervous to say the least. I was glad to be 12 stories up and just watching from afar when we figured this out. So after getting more than our fill of fireworks shows, we went back home to say goodnight. We thank God for this great nation and all those who defend it now, in the past, and in the future. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your service to our country and to us. We are truly grateful. We hope you all had a great 4th of July and summer-kick-off! We sure did! Talk to you tomorrow!