Like good Americans, we celebrated our country's 230th birthday by overeating and blowing things up. Which is alot better than last year, which we spent getting Tenley's medical exams and US Visa so we could come home from China.
With the exception of last year, we attend "Bombs Over Azusa" annually at Doug & Tina's house. It's a great location because the largely Mexican neighborhood prides itself on bringing totally illegal fireworks back from Mexico and Arizona and setting them off. Consequently, you get to watch the legal explosives that you & everyone else on the street are setting off and the bottle rockets, Roman candles, M80's, and commercial grade mortars from the surrounding neighborhood. The city council talked of bringing back the fireworks show at Citrus College, but it was vetoed on the grounds that it couldn't compete with the "show" that goes on over on D&T's street.
Doug & Tina brought in chips, salsa & guacomole from La Tolteca (super yummy!) and BBQ chicken & ribs from the local bar b que. Jeff & Tina got into a rib eating contest and I'm amazed they had any room for the huge fruit salad Doug's sisters brought or the evil pound cake I made.
Tenley and James were the floor show (as usual) and happily unloaded the bookshelf, were hypnotized by Elmo, and had complete meltdowns over whose turn it was to ride the tricycle. For the first time, Tenley exploited their 4 month age difference and James' new walking skills by being the bully and we were forced to speak rather sharply with her about sharing and that it wasn't nice to knock James down and take his toys. ...and eventually we hid the tryke in the garage.
We all trotted out to the front yard as night fell to watch the show and set off our own stock of small fountains, flowers, sparklers and snakes (which we have dubbed "Flaming Turds" because that's exactly what they look like). The pack Doug & Tina bought had some good larger fountains, and much to our surprise, Tenley and James weren't bothered at all by the ones that whistled or made loud pops. James fell asleep by 9 and Ten was fine until a) she fell down & skinned her knee, and b) she discovered that we really weren't going to let her run in the street and dance around under the lit firework like it was a sprinkler - then she pitched a fit.
We called it a night at 10 when Tenley was beyond wiped out and we had run out of things to blow up. The Tenster passed out in Duarte, and we watched other revelers still shooting off moarters well passed 10:30.
It was a great night, and it was so much fun watching Tenley cry "pretty! more!" as she watched the cascading showers of brightly colored sparks in the night sky. Her first 4th of July as an American girl a success.
** Note: despite how much she's grown in the last year, Tenley still fit into her 4th of July dress from '05. Here she is having a little lunch with Jeff last year at the medical clinic on Shaimain Island before her Visa appt. & swearing in.