Independence Day in Utah
Let freedom ring! If there's anything I've learned from living in Utah, they know how to celebrate a holiday. And Fourth of July was no different. There were events on the weekend prior, on each weekday leading up to the actual holiday and the actual day had us doing things from sunrise to way after sun down.
My favorite part of the day? It was actually the beginning. We went to Balloon Fest at sunrise to watch balloons inflate and lift off. I not only loved it because it was a beautiful setting and the variety of balloons made it feel like I was watching a more stationary version of a Macy's Day Parade, but also because I wasn't by myself at sunrise! As someone who has made it a goal to wake up for sunrise each morning, it's usually pretty nice and peaceful but not very exciting. It was a total party and so many people were out. We also went with our friends Taz and Kayla (who are, unfortunately for us, moving back to Florida within the next few weeks so quality time with them is always a bonus), and then our friend AJ met up with us a little later.
The party continued with breakfast at Cafe 300 — a classic diner in Provo with the best French toast. It felt very American to be going to a diner.
After resting for a bit, Matt, AJ and I ventured back in time to the Colonial Fest in Orem. All these events are part of the larger "Freedom Festival" which also includes a parade (we opted out of that one). They had historical plays, a demonstration of a gun firing (shown below) from colonial days, and then you can move on to see the staged Military Outposts that shows what was used during wars starting with WW I to the more recent Operation Desert Storm/Gulf War. As someone who honestly knows very little about this, it was very educational.
And how could we celebrate Independence Day without a BBQ? Or two? First we stopped by my friend Allyssa's house, had some of her amazing cake, played a frisbee game I was terrible at, and then went to our friend's Mandy and and Drew's place for some more good food and a beautiful view of the mountains.
The Stadium of Fire show at LaVell Edwards Stadium was the grand finale of the night. I have some regrets about not going, especially because One Republic was the headliner and I love that band. I remember seeing them at a radio festival when they weren't super famous yet and I've seen them once more in concert — they're just incredible no matter what stage.
Because it was a Wednesday night (#midweekholidaystruggles) I was ready for bed before the show started. Just as we were leaving though, the show began. So Matt and I ended up at a parking lot near the stadium, watching the rest of the show before driving back home and going to bed.
The opportunities I have been given for being born and raised in this beautiful country are incredible. I feel very grateful for the diversity, the environment, the troops that sacrifice their lives and everything else that makes America America. 🇺🇸