Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Fourth of July

First off, Happy Belated Fourth of July!

Celebrating Independance Day outside of America is certainly an experience.  First off, there is no rush to buy the normal picnic supplies, since no one else is preparing for a large picnic (or very few others).  This definitely makes my life a bit easier:)  However, finding guests who can come to your picnic can be rather tricky, especially if the Fourth is in the middle of the week.

Since having children, holidays that are unique to America and also family traditions on other international holidays have become very important to me. This year, we baked blueberry muffins and I sent them to Monkey's kindergarten group, along with a map of the U.S. and a letter explaining the Fourth of July and how it's celebrated.

My amazingly supportive husband has been making a habit of leaving work early to help me feel like we're really celebrating this holiday.  The past few years we've had picnics in our garden, some large, some small.  This year, we celebrate with good friends from a German-English family (although the Englander couldn't come since he was working).  As well as getting once again comfortable with grilling over our fire place, we were able to enjoy fruit salad (one of my favorite things about summer!) and smores (again, high on the "favorite things" list).

Because we're not here with an Ex-pat group, there's no larger organized gathering. It's up to me to decide how big or small to celebrate. As far as I've understood, the firework display that's offered from the US Army post in Wiesbaden is only available to us if we're escorted by someone with a goverment pass (either who works for the Consulate or is in the Armed Forces). Bummer. But since it doesn't get dark until 10pm, driving 45 minutes to a fireworks display at such a late hour with our kids isn't really an option I'd like to explore.

Igor's favorite food from the picnic
Instead, we're  happy with hamburgers, fruit salad (can I mention again just how good this is in summer!), and smores.  I've needed to become a bit creative with smores, since we don't have graham crackers.  However, chocolate covered "butter keks" work perfectly and marshmellows can be found in several larger grocery stores.  We end the day with our annual "give the kids a bath because they're covered in marshmellow, chocolate and dirt" activity.

If you're American, I hope you had a lovely day celebrating our freedom as Americans.  I'd love to hear what you did or what traditions you have.

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