Since Wednesday was the Fourth of July (duh!) I figured it was a perfect time to put my Do Something Different Day resolution into practice, so I went to see the fireworks at Dogwood Dell here in Richmond.
Not that I've never seen fireworks before, but this was the first time I've ever seen them in Richmond, which is kind of sad--I've lived here sixteen years.
Anyway, after grabbing the DVD of Season Five of The X-Files from Barnes & Noble (not a traditional Independence Day activity, but with all the conspiracy stories contained within somewhat appropriate), I picked up Alex P. and we headed off to Akida for a sushi orgy. No dice. Closed. Second choice--Mary Angela's for Italian. Closed. Carytown Sushi? Closed. We finally settled on The New York Deli mainly because it was open and not because it in any way, shape, or form resembles a New York deli (decent food, but indecent prices for the size of the servings).
Then it was off to the Dogwood Dell/Byrd Park complex to find a place to park, which was surprisingly easy, and a place to sit with minimal flying Frisbee fallout, sugared-up children, and puppy poop, which was not. At that point my bladder made it clear that drinking four large glasses of iced tea without benefit of a restroom stop had been a bad thing, so I found myself in a long, long, loooooong line at the single convenient Porta-Potty, which turned out to be a good thing because I ran into Andrew L. and Lara, who decided to join us.
Andrew: "We're here for the FREEDOM and FREEDOM has a SOUND!"
G. W.: And, uh, what might that be?
Andrew & Lara in unison: "KA-BOOOOOOM!"
G. W.: (dubiously) "Uh, sure. Why not?"
So here we have Alex P., Andrew L., and Andrew's date Lara posing for my camera phone about an hour before the festivities began. I'd just finishing telling them I was going to send a picture message to a bunch of people so now was the time to show some cleavage (which sorta explains the oddball hand positions).
--The fireworks didn't start until 9:30 or so, but they were worth the wait. Andrew kept yelling "Where's the FREEDOM?" and "I'm ready for some FREEDOM . . . NOW!" We got lots.
--For some reason there were these people wandering amidst the crowd tossing out free packs of Mentos. G. W.: "If I had two liters of Diet Coke I could make some foamy FREEDOM!" Andrew: (affected voice) "I'm making foamy freedom in my pants--right NOW!"
--Glowsticks were everywhere, especially in their necklace permutation. We were amused by this one kid who seemed to be scooping up every necklace he could get his hands on and linking them into an immensely long chain for jumping rope, tying up his sister, wrapping around his chest, wrapping around unsuspecting but surprisingly tolerant dogs, etc. There was also a group of latter-day hippies similarly adorned off to our left. Alex: "They'd better not start a drum circle or I'm going to have to hurt them."
--With each pyrotechnic volley this kid standing next to us kept saying "That ain't enough. (BOOM!) Nope, that ain't enough. (BOOOOOOOM!!!) Still not enough." G. W.: "What's he want, something in the megaton range?"
--Note to self: if I ever do this again I'm going to park in Carytown and walk to Dogwood Dell. The traffic jam afterwards was monumental. On the other hand, once we finally got out of the park we were in a perfect position at the perfect time to see the Grand Finale fireworks over at the Diamond.
I had fun.