As a preface to this post I have to admit something.
I LOVE the fourth of July.
Really. I really do.
It has always been my favorite holiday... spending a summer night playing with pretty fire, eating barbecue, listening to music, catching fireflies, maybe drinking a bit... what's not to love? The smell of gunpowder, the pretty sparklers, the opportunities for pretty photos, huge firework shows, scaring parents with roman candle fights (and desperately holding in laughter when you best friend gets a chunk of her hair burned off...), introducing little siblings to the fun of twisting the wicks of different firecrackers together... seriously, I love this day of the year.
But even though I come home for a nice long visit every summer, I hadn't spent a real Fourth in the US since 2009. That was the summer after my freshman year of college. 5 years is a long time to miss out on your favorite holiday!
So this year I was understandably very excited to be in the US, and wanted to make this Fourth a really great one. I was in Chicago but Patrick and Isabel were heading up to spend the Fourth with some of their friends, so a very good friend of mine from college, René, said I could spend the Fourth chez lui! He even picked me up from Patrick's apartment in Chicago and drove me down to South Bend (home to our university... for which I felt zero nostalgia... I've never been an exemplar Domer...) where he and his lovely Brazilian wife are living for the moment.
It was really great getting to know Nathalia better, she's a gem. Well done René. =]
Being Brazilian, she had never experienced a real Fourth before, so I had all sorts of fun introducing her to the beauty of fountains, snakes and roman candles!
Later we watched the firework show put on by South Bend which was small but nice, and Othman was enjoying the mini Whatsapp videos I sent him!
At the end of the day, I realized that it really just was nice to be back in the: