Sunday, July 3, 2011

Independence Day '11

My hometown has always hosted a Blackberry Festival, ever since I can remember. When I was a kid, I thought it was the greatest thing in the world. It's lost some of the magic as I've gotten older, but I still make it a priority to keep the tradition alive and visit the festival every year. J and I had two summers together while we were dating. He visited during the festival during both summers, but this was our first festival as a married couple. 

Due to some unforeseen circumstances, we ended up officially getting on the road about 4:30-ish. We were cruisin' along and doing well until we came to construction. The marquees on the side of the road claimed we only had 19 minutes of congestion, but we think it was really 19 minutes until the next marquee. Note our speed, ON THE HIGHWAY. (By the way: that's my lovely little grandma and grandpa on the dashboard there!)

That was aggravating. (Not to mention it was 103 degrees outside..thank goodness for a/c!) We tolerated that for about 45 minutes and finally were able to speed up again. We encountered a wreck in OKC, but it only slowed us down briefly. What was supposed to be a 3-hour trip turned into a 5-hour trip. We unloaded our car and went down to the festival pretty quickly to meet some of our friends. We had a good time together, and it was great to see them again! (We hadn't seen them since our wedding!) 

On Saturday morning, we got up for the annual Blackberry Parade. It was already pretty hot at 10 am, and the parade lasted 30-45 minutes. Afterwards, we all walked down to the festival again to get some food and have a look at the car show. It was so hot that J and I abandoned the idea of a car show pretty quickly and just walked back to my parents' house for some a/c and a good nap. ;)

Years ago, my parents had an annual 4th of July cookout. We invited friends and family, played games, ate good food, and stayed to watch the fireworks. But in 2006, when my parents opened up a snowcone stand, we could no longer have our cookout because they were too busy working the stand at the festival. This year, though, they didn't participate in the festival, so the cookout was back on! I apologize for the not-so-good quality of picture. I actually own a point-and-shoot, but I rarely carry it with me, just because my iPhone has a camera, and that's always on me, anyway. But since I've started blogging, I may have to switch back to my Fuji. ...Anyway.

Everyone brought food and chairs and we sat out on the lawn after 7 pm (when the temperature had finally dropped below 100 degrees!) and had a meal. Then the boys started a game of wiffle ball.

You can see a few pictures above of J in his competitive stance...hah! 

Around 8:30, we decided to walk back down to the festival and start getting set up for the fireworks. When I was a kid, everyone would gather on the baseball field as early as 7:30 or 8:00 and stake out spots for firework-watchin'. I guess lots of people decided that watching from their home would be a better idea, because we didn't fight much of a crowd. While we waited on some friends, we people-watched (always a good time); talked to a few of the kids who were running around, playing catch or kickball; and took pictures. See?

K and N arrived, so we took some pictures of each other. 

We watched the fireworks and decided that we'd better take advantage of the carnival food one last time before it left at midnight. So we got in line for a fried Snickers, which I'd never had before. 

Yum! We stayed to talk to our friends and people-watch for a little bit and then we walked back home.

Now it's Sunday, and in a couple of hours, we're all going over to my Meme and Papa's house to eat some of Meme's delicious home cooking. Afterwards, the guy are going golfing while the gals will just hang out and talk. :) 

It's been a great weekend, and it was fun to see the family and friends we hadn't seen since our wedding. (You'd think a 3-hour commute wouldn't be that much -- and we're thankful it's not more -- but it's a bit of a pain sometimes!)

The 4th of July is still my favorite holiday. :)

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