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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

4th of July Weekend

I think it prudent to open up this post by expressing my condolences to people who were injured or lost loved ones as a result of Flight 214's crash landing.

I cannot imagine at all what a horrifying and scary situation that must have been. I hope for a speedy recovery to all those affected by that incident.

Can you spot the beer can?

 So, in other news, I spent the 4th of July weekend at Dockweiler State Beach, which is a stone's throw from LAX. Honestly you can watch planes taking off all day long, which is one of the appealing parts I think. The recent incident notwithstanding I think flying is one of the most amazing experiences in the world. Every time one would take off, we would all stop and gaze as it was swallowed by the clouds, off to a new country.

Anyway, we got there on the night of the 4th. My extended family had already been set up for a day or two so we were able to squeeze in without much trouble. Nearly every space you can park and camp in is booked well in advance for the 4th of July weekend, and this year was no exception. As we arrived there was food on the grill, and a bonfire already glowing just few dozen yards past the campers.

Police patrolled the area and even though many of the beach's patrons were firing off the most illegal of fireworks nobody seemed to be arrested or even reprimanded for having lit them. I think it's one of those days that nobody in an official position would ever admit (but we all know too well ) is a day that the law looks the other way because let's be honest: they think the fireworks are cool too.

Or maybe they'd just be booking the entire beach if they did and that's way more work than letting people rattle off a few imported sky-dazzlers.

I cut together a video for your viewing pleasure featuring some highlights from that evening check it out here. I don't think youtube will allow me to embed it because I threw some music on top of it. But honestly, would you have preferred no music?

We had our own fireworks to play with that night and by the good grace of whoever brought them, I was able to use a roman candle for the first time. How have I never played with one of those before? Those will forever be a staple of my patriotic gunpowder-related endeavors for many years to come. After all the fireworks finished going off us younger people pulled out the game Gestures® and started playing that on the beach before eventually moving back to the campers where the food was, naturally.

When that was over and most everyone was nice and drunk due to shots being thrown out left and right, we returned to the beach and played midnight horseshoes. I got a ringer! Three points. Just about 1:30 in the morning the alcohol worked it's magic; those who drank started feeling sluggish to pre-hungover. And so it was bedtime!

These kids caught some tiny crabs in a bucket

The next day we had some chorizo and egg burritos, mixed with diced up bits of the sausage from the night prior - an excellent combination I might add. The next day was met with frisbee throwing, a tremendous horseshoes comeback (down 4-19 to later win it 21-20), tanning, burning, and for my baby nephew: fear of coming into any kind of contact with the sand.

Eventually Peter took him to the water

I'll remember it for the rest of my life. I picked up him and carried him to the sand, tried setting him down and his feet curled in as though I were slowly lowering him into a molten pit of death. I decided maybe it was a band-aid ripping scenario and he'd be fine once he was plopped down. So I did just that and immediately Rocco (22 months old) started scanning his surroundings, realized it was completely sand in all directions, and said in his mumbly baby way:

"Oh no, no, no, no….."

Crestfallen. Thank you Rocco. I would've felt bad if it wasn't so funny.

Later that night the whole family had a hell of a time playing charades. We wrote down movies mostly then broke off into teams. There were some hilarious moments especially when Peter had to act out "Sex and the City", as well as Jeffrey's "Dumb and Dumber". Our team lost but we did super well, and had some great moments, I thought. I have a question though, and I'll put it out there to the reader, do you think it's slightly cheating to deliberately ask questions to the actor who is performing? I think it ruins the game a bit. POINT IN QUESTION: Someone was acting out The Lorax, which I don't think any of us had seen, and even fewer read back in the day. Earlier their team happened to be the same one that had drawn Green Eggs and Ham, so the actor in question repeated some of the gestures for that one, and one of the guessers said, "Is it a Dr. Seuss Book?" Then immediately after the actor confirmed it with a head nod, the guesser blurted out, "THE LORAX!"

Now, I don't know 'bout you, but I think that defeats the fun of the game. Just a little bit.

We played well into the next day, and we all had a really great time. Everyone slept comfortably that night.

Took this after washing my hands
The next day we helped clean up and pack things up. Not much in happened in terms of activities, just packing and loading. After we finished up there, I said goodbye to my grandparents and drove back home with my mom and brother. We made it home a little exhausted, a little burnt, but fairly content with the weekend.


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