Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Capitol Fourth

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The day after Max’s birthday my grandparents arrived. The day my grandparents left I went to Scout Camp, which we’re not really going to talk about other than to say it involved wasp stings and lots of complaining (from the boys too). The day camp ended our Independence Day weekend festivities began. Last year we didn’t see a single firework. This year we set out to see some of the best. We live in the nation’s capital and while it is WORK to get downtown on a holiday it’s worth it. Every time.

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But first, we swam. I came home from camp Saturday and was one hot mess, so we kicked off the party at the neighborhood pool. We took no pictures, but we went back last weekend and took these. I figure these won’t merit their own blog post, so I’ll throw them in with the 4th. Pretty much the same suits, smiles and swimming action right?

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We’ve finally convinced Anderson to wear his “magic jacket.” Makes everyone feel safer.

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Wanna see a really big baby gut? Wanna nibble on that baby gut? I do.

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Anderson is all confidence without the magic jacket in the kiddie pool.

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Monday morning we hit the Montgomery Village town parade. We ran into some ward peeps and enjoyed their Otter Pops.

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We grilled hamburgers for lunch, rested a bit, then loaded up and headed out. And by loaded up I mean packed just about everything we own. Double stroller, two kids, two camping chairs, half a dozen water bottles, one backpack, one diaper bag, three Frisbees, two umbrellas, one kite, one camera, one blanket, one bag of food and one bucket of fried chicken. I’m tired all over again.IMG_0313

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Kids got sleepy.

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We finally arrived downtown, walked all the way around the Capitol, waded through security and then fought billions (felt that way) of people for a spot.

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Then our friends, Eric & Krysta, arrived and we moved to their more comfortable grassy spot.

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Especially playing with “Crazy Uncle Eric.”

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Finally the show began. Let’s talk about the concert for a minute. A Capitol 4th is the DC 4th of July concert that is broadcast live on PBS every year. This year’s line up included Jordin Sparks, Steve Martin, Little Richard, the cast of Broadway’s Million Dollar Quartet, Kelli O’Hara, Josh Groban and Matthew Morrison. Did you catch the significance of those last two? My all time favorite Glee moment features Matthew Morrison talking about Josh Groban and what you ought to do if you don’t know who he is. In fact, this scene has sparked a bit of a catch phrase around these parts. Whenever we receive bad news or are dreading something it’s, “Oh Cheryl you’re stuck with two babies and no diapers in the Chicago airport overnight on a cot? (true story) Kill yourself!” We all thought we were so funny and overdramatic, just like Sandy in Glee, until one day I announced we were out of milk and Anderson said, “Oh Mom, kill yourself.” Better stop saying that one.

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ANYway, do you think Josh & Matthew put it together? First that classic scene and two years later they’re sharing a stage in DC? No, just me? Well, I enjoyed the connection and their performances.

As I mentioned, the whole experience was a lot of work. It was hot. It was sweaty. It was exhausting. We paid for the adventure July 5th when our kids were beyond tired and cranky. (Didn’t help that Max had his 1 year check up with shots early the next morning.) But we were there! In Washington DC! Sitting in front of the Capitol enjoying a live concert and watching fireworks! Celebrating America! There’s just something about being there. Watching the strangers, young and old, around you get up and shake what their mama gave them to the banjo of Steve Martin’s bluegrass band. Seeing families laugh and play cards while they wait for the show to begin. Eating your chicken and drinking your Coke outside on a blanket. Listening to the National Symphony Orchestra accompany fireworks with “1812 Overture.” Rolling your eyes because you brought way more than you needed EXCEPT wipes. Heck, we didn’t even fly the kite, but wipes? We could have really used more of those. Riding home for 2 hours on the metro sweaty armpit to sweaty armpit with a bunch of people you don’t know. It’s just so American. And I love it. We won’t live here forever and so far we’re averaging tackling downtown on the 4th every other year. This was our 3rd time in 5 years. We’ve done it in rain by the Washington Monument civilian style. We’ve done it in good weather on the Capitol balcony VIP style. We’ve made mistakes. We’ve learned. This year we ended up being in a less than ideal spot for fireworks -- and for the concert if you care about actually seeing anything (really Eric, we don’t blame you) -- but oh we could hear the orchestra play! And it was beautiful. And by the time we leave DC we just might get all of it right.

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8 comments:

Harley King said...

Who is Eric Crane? Kill yourself!

Nothing tastes better than Coke and Chicken on July 4th.

Mom said...

God bless America.

Ming said...

How how I love this family! Love the 4th of July outfits...we should all wear red, white and blue more often. It just looks so good!

My favorite pic = you holding Max on the metro. Precious.

I love that you fight the crowds and DO DC on the 4th. MTM. I know my 4th in the capitol is one I will NEVER forget. So much energy, so much pride and so much fun!

Jill said...

Looks like a long day, but a lot of fun. We've never tried the Fourth of July concert (just Memorial Day), maybe next year. Would you do it again?

Ali Snow said...

4th of July is totally my favorite holiday. Too fun. Way to embrace the day.

Ryan and Cheryl Harris said...

Thanks for the shout out....that is so funny. I'm sure Mathew Morrison and Josh Groban made the connection.

I'm sad and glad that we weren't with you. Sad because it really is so American and it would been fun to be with you but glad because I know my kids would not have lasted and I would have wanted to KM!!

So happy you had a good fourth. Great pictures.

Mike said...

Love the picture of Anderson saluting the flag.

Dad

Emily Reese said...

The basement looks fantastic! The 4th of July looks like it was celebrated to the fullest. Love, Emily