July 03, 2014

A Capitol Fourth

The Capitol - July 4, 2013
(c) Thrifty Gypsy
Tomorrow is America's birthday - Independence Day!  On this date in 1776, the Founding Fathers presented the Declaration of Independence to the colonies as a clear statement of resolve to cut governmental ties with England.  Now 238 years later, we Americans celebrate in a variety of ways, from backyard barbeques to community firework parties to bedecking ourselves in red, white and blue to show our patriotic fervor (or corniness!)!

Washington Monument & Reflecting Pool
(c) Thrifty Gypsy
Independence Day is one of my more favorite holidays.  Usually we keep it low-key, playing lawn games, barbequing, laughing with family and friends, and capping off the day with some firecrackers!  However, last year we kicked it up a notch and traveled to D.C. for the Capitol Fourth festivities!

We arrived in DC shortly before noon and headed straight for Capitol Hill where we met up with two friends in town from Germany.  I found myself appreciating Independence Day in a unique way as I tried to "see" the festivities through the eyes of a European visitor.  We spent the next few hours meandering through the monuments, grabbing a burger at one of D.C.'s many restaurants, and finally ending up stretched out in the grass at the National Mall to talk away the hours until the fireworks show began!

WWII Monument
(c) Thrifty Gypsy
The "Capitol Fourth" specifically refers to a free concert given right in front of the Capitol building on July 4th.  To attend, all you need to do is show up early and grab a seat before they fill up.  (For more details, see their website.)  The audience's back is to the Capitol building, and the stage for the concert stands between the audience and the Mall.  Last year Neil Diamond and Barry Manilow played, but we skipped the concert because the staging unfortunately blocks good views of the fireworks.  And those fireworks - they don't disappoint!  It was a great show!

This is the first year I won't be in the U.S. for Independence Day, but I'm too excited about our long-anticipated vacation to be wistful.  Wherever you are, at home in the states, abroad on holiday or living as an expat, you can still celebrate America's birthday, and I intend to do so - from Pompeii, Italy!

Happy (early) Independence Day, y'all!  How are you spending your July 4th?

1 comment:

  1. Wow, heading to DC for the 4th - brave people! I still remember going when I was pretty young and just fighting through crowds and crowds of people, but it was still a really cool experience!


Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear your comments, feedback, and suggestions.