Posts Tagged With: 4th of July

Let freedom ring… from within.

Today is July 4th, a federal holiday recognized in the United States of America. In 1776 the original 13 colonies declared their independence from England and was officially observed as a new nation… “Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Definition of Independence: 

1. the time when a country or region gains political freedom from outside control

2. freedom from outside control or support : the state of being independent

Definition of Freedom

1. the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint

2. the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action

My dictionary of thoughts at the moment:

If you are truly independent and living with freedom, I believe you’ve given yourself permission to enjoy life in such a manner…

  • Independent from others emotional demands. 
  • Independent from the programmed way of thinking.
  • Independent of expectations.
  • Independent from inner negative torment.
  • Independent of the need for outward fulfillment.
  • Freedom to live without self induced struggles.
  • Freedom to breathe without the weight of unnecessary stress.
  • Freedom to be exactly who you are without fear of judgement.
  • Freedom to live not only through experiences but beyond your dreams.
  • Freedom to love. Deeply. Truly. Without holding anything back.

No matter what Independence Day means to you (disregarding your countries standards, your families traditions and your friends thoughts), I truly wish you a sense of freedom that ignites a fire within to extend beyond limitations that you may not even know you have.

For more of a proper post on this holiday, I invite you to check out the post 4th of July in the USA

Want a sampler platter of July celebrations? Please enjoy July shenanigans in California

Care to see how Independence Day might be spent in Florida? Check out 4th of July, Santa Rosa Beach style

Witness the good ol’ south celebrating in Fish fry and fireworks and All American holiday – part 2

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All American Holiday – part 2

In the previous post, Fish fry and fireworks, we saw an example of what some choose to do when celebrating Independence Day of the USA. Now lets move on to two more common ways that people spend the 4th of July.

Camping! This term is used loosley as there are many different types.  There’s vacationing in a cabin with running water, bedrooms, toilets and well… a solid roof. Then you’ve got the hardcore backpackers that make a path into the wilderness and chop up their wood to ignite a fire. The single flame that will provide heat to cook with and warmth to nestle next to while curled in their sleeping bags.

The average idea of camping involves tents, picnic tables and make shift kitchenettes. This year, my cousins took the middle ground and invited me to join them at Keystone Lake!   

 
If momma bear in the photo below looks familiar, that’s because you saw her with “little bear” in her belly in the post When it rains, it freezes.  Now look at the whole family!

   
  
Even though I didn’t stay long (due to my connecting event described below), we still made time for a handstand shot! Joining me this time is Reggie, my pretend boss on the job seen in Time to work hard(ish)! 

 
It’s business time (hooray for travel funds)! I brushed the dust from my hair, put on mascara, through some peppermint oil on and away I went! Only 30 miles up the highway, I was clocking in to work. Nailed it!

Instead of representing Ford at the Vans Warped Tour, I’m now the proud ambassader for Chevrolet at a local baseball game! Remember the Drillers?  The team I spoke of in the post Tulsa, more than just the Drillers… I’m now working the tent inside the game for this wonderful holiday celebration! Ironic?

Welcome to the Oneok Stadium in Tulsa Oklahoma.

   
   
Our position today is inviting the guests to sign up for a chance to win 2 dugout seats with $25 Driller dollars. Just by entering they get a complimentary Chevy tote bag.

   
 Naturally Chevy provided a few eye catching vehicles to draw the attention of the baseball fans strolling by.

   
   
You can imagine since it’s “USA’s birthday” most of the people came dressed in red, white and blue and/or some representation of the American flag. 

  
Everybody rise for our National Anthem…

  
Play ball!

   
 Here we go again with the scorching Oklahoma heat. Luckily there was quite a bit of shade offered, however if you asked any of the kids, they’d rather be dripping wet on the sunnyside!

  
Hungry? Sporting events have expanded their food options from the good ol’ peanuts and cotton candy days. Now, along with your typical bites, you can choose from an abundance of snacks.

   
 Side tracked with a random shot! Your eyes see correctly… that’s a Uhaul truck rotating on top of the roof. Advertisement well done!

  
Time for a walk around the ballpark to see if we can gather a few more surveys and get rid of these handy bags! 

 Who’s this?! Only Ryan from the post Tulsa, more than just the Drillers. He’s the one who was next to me when I first heard of the ever so popular Drillers! And CJ? His adorable girlfriend you met when I made it back safely shown in 1,000 miles in 24 hours.

  

As night fell, you could certainly feel the energy changing. The game was coming to an end which meant fireworks were soon on the way! Check out this photo with Tulsa in the back drop. 

   
 Show time! 

  
As I scurried out of the stadium, this sight caught my eye. Although the photo doesn’t show them well, several families and friends gathered outside to observe the colorful sky. Good night Tulsa and Happy Birthday America!

  

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Fish fry and fireworks!

One of my goals with this (unofficial) officially quirky blog is to show you a variety of views in regards to culture, traditions and everyday differences around this beautiful planet. In the next few posts, you’ll see several options in which Americans celebrate their Independence Day, better known as “The 4th of July”.

I’ll start with a quick flashback from years prior. In the 2012 post, 4th of July in the USA I was in Folsom California for a cattle drive followed by a house boat trip with some long time friends. 2013 found me returning to that familiar floating home-of-fun with the same amazing group seen in Jumbled July Shenanigans in California.
Last year I decided to celebrate on the other side of the nation with my mom, seen in 4th of July Santa Rosa Beach Style.

This round brings me to Oklahoma with 3 different ways that “folks around these parts” (to be said with a southern accent) celebrate North America’s anniversary of freedom.

Option 1: The backyard barbeque -AKA- block party, neighborhood social, shindig, friendly feast, cookout, potluck, USA’s birthday party, fish fry, weinie roast, BBQ, grass gather, barefoot dinner, Okie banquet or picnic.

This specific event is an annual barbeque held on the property of the local sherif (yes, this cute little town of Agra knows the name of both cops). With food, drinks, waterslides, a trampoline and fireworks… it’s surely a local favorite! 
 

Lets take a quick walk.  The following photos speak for themselves.  I’ll start with my personal favorite, a country kid with an innocent glare piercing the camera.  I couldn’t of set it up any better. 

     Considering the amount of entertainment provided, this family affair leaves the adults time for enjoying some catch up conversations while encouraging the kids to completely exhaust themselves. 

     With temperatures creeping near 100 degrees (about  37 celsius), a monster waterslide measuring in at 30 x 60 feet (9 x 18 meters) was the main attraction.  Sign me up!

   

A close runner up would be the kiddy pools, or “the bathtub” according to the little girl covered in mud. 

    

Hungry? You’re welcome to the fried fish, pork shoulder, beans, rice, potato salad, fried bread, macaroni salad and more of what most consider southern food. I’ll admit that I did not partake in the “grub” shared by the hospitable hosts, however the line shows that many were eager to fill their bellies!  

       Once the buffet was set and ready, they called attention to the crowd for a blessing of the food and a come and get it holler. The kind eyes pictured below belong to Patty, the woman behind the preparations.

 Here’s a sample plate from my cousin Eric (aka “Dude”). 

 Talk about country style cookin, welcome to the crawfish boil! Yep, they drop corn and potatoes with pounds of crawdads into boiling water and viola! Supper is served. Everyone dip up a plate?  Hardly. Gather around the table and dig in!

   
 

As night crept up, the chairs began to form a horseshoe shape around the soon-to-be firework show. A quick hello to friends Tyler and Austin before the flames begin. Sparklers and Picalo Petes? No way, this colorful display is going sky high!  

    

 

That wraps up the first event of this holiday weekend.  Next up, a baseball game and camping lakeside…
 
  

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4th of July… Santa Rosa Beach style

I’ve spent the last three years celebrating the independence of the USA in Northern California with some dear friends. A houseboat trip, fireworks and quality people definitely equals a memorable holiday. For a change, this 4th of July I chose to be near water on the Gulf of Mexico in Florida with my mom.

Not much description is needed to represent the outdoor venue in which our talented friend, Geoff Mcbride was spreading his love.

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Music + happy humans = Dancing!

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If this beautiful couple looks familiar, it’s because they were there the first time I fell in love with the music of Heritage (who happens to enhance the post below)!

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For the night of the 4th, we were lucky to score our favorite tunes from none other than the band Heritage!

Set up in an open alley, they were the center of attention to a beach side block party.

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Enthusiasm? And the winner is…

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Sun down and an intermission brought us all to the coast for fireworks off the dock.

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“One more song! One more song!”

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Although this photo isn’t amazing quality, I dig the glowing jewelry.

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Just as the band was finishing up, mom and I ran into one of my new favorite hair clients and long lost friend that I didn’t even know I had… Remember Stephen from recent posts? He’s back!

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After a day of music and an evening block party with quality vibes, what summer holiday would be complete without a recovery day on the beach? Same sand, lovely mother and a creative handstand shot (not sure if that was helpful to the recovery by the way) to celebrate the anniversary of our Independence Day.

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For fun facts and more about this holiday, check out the post called 4th of July in the USA (or just click on it).

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4th of July in the USA!

Independence Day is the national holiday of the United States of America commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
(I didn’t write that… Thank you Internet).

*Fun fact #1 – The US flag changed appearance for 280 years as each state was added to the union, another star was added. The last star was added on July 4th, 1960, after Hawaii became the 50th state.
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The 13 stripes (seven red and six white) are for the original 13 colonies and the 50 stars represent all the states. Red is for Valor and Hardiness; white is for Innocence and Purity; and blue is for Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice.

North Americans celebrate in several different ways usually including, but not limited to a parade, food mostly prepared on a barbecue, adult beverages and fireworks (liquor and fireworks… kind of silly when I actually write it out).
*Fun fact #2 – more than 66 million Americans bust out the grill on this national holiday.

Here are some photos snagged from the local parade that was kicking off the famous Folsom Pro Rodeo.  For details about this event click here . It’s actually really cute!
*Fun fact #3 – 50 long horn cattle lead this parade followed by half dozen “scoopers” to clean up the cow droppings.
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There’s a fun run in which locals dress up in costume and jog with the parade. I thought these guys were adorable.
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For years I have been lucky enough to the get “the invite” from a great family that choose to spend their 4th on a house boat! This year there was a range of ages which in my opinion brings a wonderful balance to the festivities.

Merriam Webster definition: Houseboat
a boat fitted for use as a dwelling; especially : a pleasure craft with a broad beam, a usually shallow draft, and a large superstructure resembling a house.

We celebrated on Lake Oroville. This body of water sits in central California outside of the popular college town of Chico.
*Fun fact #3 – Chico State was nicknamed the “party school” in 1987 by playboy magazine.

At the doc you get to see a variety of other boats.
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Our home for the holiday!
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Some of the gentlemen playing cards. I was honored to be welcomed to the table after a detailed lesson on the game of whist. England, watch out! The ever so humble and shy guy (haha, love ya Peter) in the black hat is the owner of this watercraft.
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The magnificent ladies of the boat.
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(That’s root beer)
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Although there’s a bathroom with a shower (as well as a kitchen, dining area and bedroom) it’s so much more fun to bath like this:

Step one – Jump in!
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Step two – Lather up…
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…and make the traditional soap-hawk!
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To rinse? That’s Step three – Water slide!
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Time for a little excursion off the house boat. Getting it all ready… And the crew is set to go!
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For all of you that have a need for speed and power, this ones for you!
This was so loud when passing us that we had to stop conversation and wait for the freight train thunder to clear.
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Quick quiz: There are four girls in this pic. One is Portuguese and German. Another is Irish, English and German. One is Irish and French and the other is Native American, Italian, French and German.
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Answer: Crystal the Portuguese/German is at the top and Stephanie the Irish/English/German is to the right. Kelsey is the French/Irish on the left and I’m the bottom set of legs as the remaining mix.

Safety first! We took pride in our vibrant jackets (that were all youth sizes which makes for a well…. Snug fit).
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Side note: We took the boat up towards the some waterfalls which means this water is not “lake warm”. It certainly brings appreciation to the incredible set of lungs we’re so fortunate to have!

Who doesn’t bring back the old school jumping fun!?
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Is he hesitating to jump in due to the sign behind us or the temperature of the water? Judging by his face, the water isn’t warm.
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This is one of my favorites because of Crystals expression. “Hey! Do you need to jump directly next to me!?”
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But of course…
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I got to catch a ride on the way back, score!
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Sunsets leading to the fireworks they provide that launch over the water.
*Fun fact #5 – $135.6 million is spent nationally on legal fireworks for this celebration.
Happy Independence Day!
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To the other 13 houseboat mates, I thank you. The conversation, constant smiles and hi-fives were and always are my favorite 4th memories… Cheers to genuine people!

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