July 05, 2015

Celebrating America…actually IN America

This year we were able to celebrate the 4th of July actually in the United States. Now, that may be something that others take for granted, but instead of planning an Independence Day celebration for thousands of people at an Embassy or Consulate somewhere in the world, I was able to spend the whole day with my family doing whatever we wanted!

I woke up early in the morning to go with Kade and Val to see the hot air balloons. Little did we know a thousand other people thought that would be a good idea too because even at 0630 there were so many people you could not walk far without stepping on someone. The hot balloons are magical. The science behind blowing them up and using hot air to control the balloon is amazing. I wanted to document it and was close to take a photo of the inside of the balloon and the guy pulled a new burst of fire and it literally felt like my face would melt off! (The risks I take for blog-fodder) Sadly, the wind was blowing so the balloons just bumped into each other and they could not take off. It was fun to see anyway.
0630 waiting for the hot air balloons

This is when my face was melted off...too close, too close

I picked up Lady Hiva and Lucky Dragon and we went to the parade. He loved the parade. Between all of the horses and the bands, he was excited to be there. Whenever a band went by he would start to dance and then tell us that we had to dance with him. If we stopped he would grab our hands and make us start again. Lady and I were both surprised that he was entertained the entire parade.

We ended the day at Stadium of Fire—a long time tradition in Provo. They were celebrating the 35th year of the Stadium of Fire. It was held at BYU’s LaVell Edwards Stadium. We joined the other 60,000 people in the stadium for a night of concerts and fireworks. We were so excited when they started to give away gift certificates and they chose random seats throughout the stadium and one of the winners was two seats over from us…so close, so close.

MC Montel Williams

I have to admit that the patriotic side of the event was my favorite. The experience was broadcast across the world on AFN (American Forces Network) and Lady Hiva and I talked about all of the people we know who would be watching after years of watching American media on AFN ourselves. They then did a joint color guard representing all the branches of the armed forces and local authorities. I have to admit that I did tear up a bit as we all said the Pledge of Allegiance and sang the National Anthem. So many people sacrificed so much so that we can enjoy the freedoms and lifestyle we now enjoy. Again I was struck with awe that we were celebrating American in the United States.
Presenting the colors...
They had choreographed dancers and plenty of light entertainment throughout the show—that included two scientists who used Mentos and Diet Coke to make a dance of soda spray. It was a bit odd. But it was also amazing to see the way Mentos on Diet Coke can shoot that far. After the performance they had to spray down the field of grass because the Diet Coke would kill it (and people drink this stuff!).

The Journey concert was AWESOME…Lady Hiva and I loved that is who they chose to sing instead of the usual country music choice (not sure my Grandma, who came with us, appreciated that change as much! Hehe). Our seats were perfect for being right in the all of the action and even close enough that the fireworks were literally above our heads. While it was a good show we left covered in ash and felt like we had sunburned faces from the heat.

The most red you will ever see in BYU stadium...

As the day ended full of family, fun and sun, I was again thankful for all that I have. Being born in this beautiful country that was founded and defended on the faith and sacrifice of so many before is something that I will always be thankful for.

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