Living right next to the nation's capital, everyone said that the best fireworks show was at the Mall in D.C. However, it is a PITA to get there - you have to get a spot early in the morning and basically camp out there all day. Which of course means that it will be a PITA to get out of there as well. We didn't feel like sitting in traffic or braving the Metro, so we decided to drive to the town of Frederick, as they had quite a big event for the 4th.
Frederick is one of the larger Maryland cities. It's about 30 minutes from West Virginia, and you can see the Appalachians from there. Frederick reminds me of Alexandria, but whereas Alexandria has a quaint, expensive and upper class feel to it, Frederick appears older, a little more beat up, and more middle class. Both cities are beautiful, but Frederick has more character. The first time we went there, I felt Frederick had a very punk rock/grunge feel to it. Later, Charles was asking around, and apparently Frederick holds some of the best rock concerts and music festivals in the area. I had read the city correctly.
I rode Lily in the morning and we headed out around 3:00 pm. This is our first time celebrating July 4th on our own. The 4th is also Charles's brother's wedding anniversary, so for the last 8 years, we had either celebrated it with the in-laws in Miami or not celebrated at all. I think this was also the first time since I can remember when both Charles and I were off of work for the occasion-we've always either had to work the day of, or the day after.
We had a lot of fun.
|FREE WATER. Seriously. Free water.|
I don't know about you, but every time Charles and I went to any kind of outdoor event in South FL, water was $6 (SIX DOLLARS) for a bottle.
|Butterfly chips. Awesome.|
|We shared a Philly cheesesteak sandwich|
|A lot of people were swimming and playing in the canal.|
It was quite shallow, but you couldn't see the bottom.
|More kids in the canal|
|A lot of people were walking on the grass barefoot. Charles decided to join in. :)|
Kayakers on the park lake
|The beer garden.|
WAAAAY overpriced, but we got to sit down and listen to the bands on the country music stage.
|The park was starting to fill up.|
|We sat down by the canal for awhile|
|And then went up this hill for another while.|
|Going back down the hill. Charles loved this bridge.|
|More people in the water|
|The second stage, where the random music was playing.|
I wish I'd gotten photos of all of the people dressed like punk rockers, with multi-colored hair, Converse sneakers, skinny jeans and various belts and piercings. They were of all ages. We had fun people watching. Like most places in the D.C. area, Frederick has a very international group of citizens. We heard all kinds of accents and languages as we walked around.
By 9:00 pm, it was still light out, so of course the fireworks hadn't started. Charles and I were beat, however, so we packed up and headed home. We still got stuck in traffic leaving Frederick, and were able to see the fireworks driving home.
We had done what we'd originally intended: hang out at the park and just experience 4th of July. The fireworks are the only thing we've never missed. Even last year when I was on colic watch with Bali, I still saw the fireworks from the barn. It was a nice change to get to live the rest of a traditional 4th of July.
Next time, though, we're packing food and arriving a little later!