I think that, perhaps, this year was one of my favorite firework-viewing experiences ever. It's certainly at the top of the list.
Here on the Central Coast of California, we have several firework shows to choose from, and they are all in beach towns. But the traffic to these displays can get so crazy! Also, in the summer, we get a lot of fog from the heavy marine layer. The high inland temperatures (90s and higher) combine with the cold water temperatures (mid-50s) to create fog at the coast. Case in point, as I'm typing this, it's foggy outside and somewhere around 60 degrees. Not a speck of sunshine or blue sky to be seen*. Often, the fog burns off later in the afternoon, and every once in a while the wind shifts a bit and blows the fog seaward, but we get a lot of fog in the summer. We call it June gloom (even as we move into July). So, with all of this fog, sometimes the fireworks don't look like fireworks, but rather like glowing tufts of cotton candy.
I mentioned to a friend that we were thinking of paddling into the bay to watch the local firework show from the kayaks, and she said that she and other friends usually paddle over to the dunes and watch from there. So after spending the middle of the day in town at a little festival (where it was sunny and warm), we came home and got ready to paddle. Lo and behold, it was sunny at the coast, and the marine layer seemed to be parked a little ways out to sea. Still, I packed up warm clothes while hubby loaded the boats. After picking up some burritos and beer, were were ready.
We met our friend at the bay at about 7:00pm, and paddled over to the dunes. It was a great paddle. We got some exercise, we got to paddle through the sailboats in the marina, we saw the sea life, and we even passed the barge from which the fireworks would be launched. Unfortunately, the fog rolled in just as we were crossing the bay. Still, we had hopes that the fog layer would be high enough to still allow for a good show.
At the dunes, there were just a few other families. We ate and drank, and the kids played with other kids. The fireworks started at 9:00, and we definitely had the best seats in town. The fireworks exploded right in front of us, over the water and below the fog, so the the view was perfect. The kids were mesmerized. And best of all? No big crowds. And no traffic. Especially on the way out. Instead of battling a mass exodus of cars, we launched into water that was completely calm and still. It was dark and peaceful as we paddled back to the marina, just the sound of our paddles dipping into the water. We only saw one motorized boat on the way, and it managed to not run over us. Bonus.
It was a late night, and the kids were tired, but it was fantastic: Good, clean livin'.
But I don't have pictures, because even though I took my camera with me, I forgot to use it. That's usually how I roll.
Hope everyone had a great time celebrating the day on which our slave-owning forefathers told King George he could take his Empire and shove it up his tyrannical arse**.
*But if I drive about a mile--or even half a mile--inland, it will be sunny and warm.
**It's all a bit politically fraught, but HEY!, I like fireworks and BBQ!