I can't believe that we lived a 3 minute drive away from the balloon launch site for 2 years and never went to watch. Lazy bums, we are. Now it's a 20 minute drive!
Another activity we checked out for the first time was the Colonial Heritage Festival. It was kind of cool to see so many people dressed in colonial costumes and to watch/explore all of the aspects of colonial life, from carving fiddles, to homemade soap, to witnessing a printing press in action. There were a lot of fun kids activities, but Nicole wasn't quite old enough for any of them yet.
^^^Frontier-style campsite. The actors went about their daily activities and even snoozed in the cots.
Nicole loved watching the Freedom Days Parade on the morning on the 4th. She danced every time a marching band went by and clapped when she saw horses. We were so thankful to have a spot in the shade, and that the day was intermittently cloudy. Also, Nicole turns so red when she gets warm!
The evening consisted of a couple different block parties... at the first one Nicole had her first experience with water balloons (and dropped them on her feet almost every time, LOL) At the other one with Doug's family and their neighbors, we stuffed ourselves and there were mini "tractor" rides and candy cannon launches and plenty of fireworks. Nicole clapped every time a firework went off... until we got to the aerial rockets. Those were a little too loud for her liking. Maybe we should invest in some noise-canceling muffs for future babies...
The cool thing about Utah is that you can go up on the mountains and watch fireworks bursting in the air all across the valley. (Yep, dear CA friends, they're legal here.) Our whole drive home on the freeway was lit with people setting off fireworks in the air. One of these years, I just want to sit on the trail by our house that looks out across the valley and watch fireworks from there. It would be simple and awesome, I bet. When kids are older, right? :)
Nicole didn't get to bed until 10. She was exhausted and slept in past 9:30 and it was glorious.
Now for the rest of the photo dump :D
Despite the imperfections, I am thankful for this country. We have been blessed beyond our comprehension, living in a country like America and whatnot. God bless the USA!