Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Happy Birthday, America!

Of course, we had to wish America a big "Happy Birthday!" with popsicles, sparklers, and fiery fountains in our backyard.

However, the next morning, on the actual 4th of July, is when the party really began. Brad and I joined our friends Alex and Amber for a day of Independence Day fun. We started our afternoon out at the Hot Chicken Festival, where the goal was to prove that Nashville's chicken is the only thing hotter than the 4th of July.

And, boy were they right! Despite the all-you-can-eat watermelons, mouths were breathing fire all over the place. We waited in line (forever) amongst the other first 500 guests to get two free samples of any hot chicken of our choice. Which meant, that Brad got four free samples, because I know better than to try to even attempt to consume something that is called "400 Degrees." Brad, on the other hand, was not so wise.

Once we were sufficiently sunburned from the noon-day's heat and had consumed multiple cups of freshly squeezed lemonade and some red, white, and blue sherbet, we ventured across the river to procure our seat for the city's fireworks display. We got there at 2:30, and could barely find a place for the four of us to sit. The show didn't start until 9:30, but this is what the riverfront looked like already at 5:00.

Luckily, we were able to snag the best seats in the house. We were all the way up front next to the fence, so nobody was in front of us, and we were all the way to the side. So, while there were 100,000 people to our right, there were only 20 or so to our left, alleviating the claustrophobia.

The temperature was so high, and the sun was so blazing, that we went on a venture to 2nd Avenue in order to find Brad his very first cowboy hat to help him from getting further sunburned. Thanks to a damaged hat that was on sale for $5, Brad is now officially a Southern Boy. Amber and I, meanwhile, huddled on the blanket under an umbrella, savoring any ounce of shade we could muster.

Five hours and five gallons of sweat later, we heard ourselves saying things like, "Are we completely crazy?" and "Who in the world actually does this???" and "Alright, great experience to say we did it, but only one time in our lives." or "What ever made us think this would be worth it??"

But we were enjoying all of the pre-show activities, concerts, and vendors. We especially loved this firefighter boat that sprayed water in red, white and blue. They also had a performance with the Nashville Symphony playing patriotic songs while a speaker passionately read the Declaration of Independence and other patriotic quotes from some of America's past heroes, before honoring our armed forces by asking any men or women who have fought for our nation to stand and be recognized. It was so powerful.

And once the actual fireworks display began, any doubts of whether or not we made the right decision to watch the show on the river were immediately squelched. It was absolutely breathtaking!

Fireworks (or, as I like to call them, Christmas lights in the sky) filled our entire view. They had constant fountains coming up from the ground and a perpetual stream of massive explosions occupying the sky. The show, combined with the live soundtrack of the symphony, was something like we had  never experienced before. We couldn't take our eyes off it.

I literally Ooh'ed an Ahh'ed and squealed and clapped and grinned so hard that my cheeks hurt. I felt like I was seven years old, but I couldn't help it! It was the most spectacular thing I had ever seen in my life.

Not to mention the most romantic. There's nothing that says romance like kissing the love of your life with the glow of fireworks shining behind your eyelids.

We are 100% glad that we braved the crowd, heat, and traffic to experience the Best Fireworks Show in the South first hand. It's definitely a memory that we'll cherish for a long time to come.

Did you have a great Independence Day? Did you watch a big show or put one on yourself? And most importantly, did you eat a lot of watermelon??


Bryan said...

Nashville Rocks!


so bummed we missed the weekend with you guys but im pretty sure I never would have made it through that day! Im exhausted just reading it! What a great fireworks display, glad you had an awesome time! We settled for ehams over the park district...probly not as many oohs and ahhs as you got though :)

Amy Arnett said...

We should have waved at you from the Pedestrian bridge! We did not get there until about 7:45 so the bridge was already mostly full. We did find a spot to sit on the sidewalk and got to people watch for an hour and a half. It did really make me wonder how many people the bridge was designed to hold though. I agree, the show was awesome. We could not hear the symphony, but we were almost at eye level with the fireworks. It was the best fireworks finale I have ever seen!

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