06 July 2008


Well, my 4th of July ended with me in a very wet pair of capris, but I'd have to say that it was a great first 4th of July in Fredericksburg, marketed as America's most historic city and a very fitting place to celebrate.

Here's what we ended up doing on Friday: Breakfast at M's - yummy, fluffy pancakes and a big old glass of milk. Followed by a leisurely walk downtown where we stopped by Hyperion and discovered what may be my downfall: The monkey - a frozen mocha with banana (fresh!) mixed right in. They make mine with skim milk and use fresh banana straight from the peel. Um...yum. I've had two of them in as many days now. And today might be number three.

Our first stop was the raft race I've previously mentioned. What fun! We stood on the Chatham Bridge which was touted as the perfect vantage point. There were people lining both sides of the bridge and traffic slowly filtering by - many wondering why the heck all these people were peering over the sides of the bridge. So here's the point - people enter rafts in the race and pretty much just cross their fingers that the vessels make it from Falmouth to the City Dock down the Rappahannock River. I hear they give prizes for best Huck Finn rafts and for rafts that We Didn't Think Would Make It and other awards. Here's just a couple of the entrants:

You may notice patriotic themes here... Oh, and participants actually pushing the rafts...

One of the rafts had a sound system and a woman singing patriotic songs as they floated. I heard another raft had a live video feed to the City Dock so viewers could track their progress (they ended up sinking near the end, but the camera was luckily waterproof). It was a lot of fun and we're talking about getting some sort of museum curator raft together for next year ;)

Anyway, we then walked around the downtown street fair which was super-hot and super-crowded but a lot of fun. Vendors were selling everything from fresh lemonade and kettle corn to jewelry, vintage linens, religious crafts, wooden toys, and doggie treats. After lunch at Caroline Street Cafe (which was sadly unprepared for the crowds), we meandered home to rest and cool down.

For dinner we had hot dogs (veggie ones for me), baked beans, potato salad, grilled squash from the farmer's market, veggies & dip, and a berry trifle for dessert. We actually couldn't sit outside to eat, which was our plan, because Mother Nature decided to give us an evening of torrential wind and rain that blew sideways. My poor cabinet out on the back stoop made it through, but was a little soggy despite the tarps wrapped around her. I'm hoping the rain will eventually stop for a whole day so she can dry out and I can start sanding!

Oh, back to the evening. Well, as fireworks time came ticking closer, we were a little worried that the show would not go on. But it did! By 8:30 the skies were clear and the rain had moved away (sadly to some other town to ruin their night, I'm sure). Old Mill Park was packed and very, very muddy, but we braved the puddles and sat on the very wet grass on what became a very wet "waterproof" blanket to watch the display. Pretty great, I must say!

It was funny, though, to walk through my neighborhood down to the park. There were tons of people just setting up chairs in parking lots or on the sidewalks as we walked past. Somehow I think we could have just stayed home and gotten a pretty good show - maybe next year.

But now it's life back to normal. Did my normal farmers market run yesterday morning. Worked in the garden during the day pulling weeds and planting my new hydrangea until the mosquitoes chased me inside. Hope everyone enjoyed a lovely holiday weekend!


L. said...

Sounds like a wet and wonderful time; I wish someone *cough* Jim *cough* had been a little more prepared for his trip so that we would have been able to come down and take in the patriotic sights with everyone!

M said...

It was fun, wasn't it? Next year, we'll have to try the Quarles parking lot...

Mommy, Esq. said...

Sounds like you had a great 4th of July - mine was fun too. Can't wait to see you this weekend!