Sunday, July 05, 2009

celebrating the fourth

justin and i have done fireworks in greenville, washington and a couple of years ago, fayetteville. we knew we wanted to do something different this year, and chose to check out new bern. another opportunity for fireworks over the water and great historic waterfront.

we got there in plenty of time to walk around and explore the downtown area. new bern has always had some of the best architecture, and justin enjoys looking at the old houses.
this is also one of the best churches there--centenary UMC. one of my mom's favorites from back in her youth group days.
and with it being the 4th, the flags were out flying.
we grabbed a quick dinner to go at a cafe downtown and took it down to the waterfront to eat and watch the boats come in and out. as we listened to the live music coming from the sheraton and hilton hotels right there by the docks, we were joined by some other picnickers and people enjoying the waterfront. it was getting warm sitting in the sun, so justin asked if i wanted to move to the shade to finish our meal. as i turned around to see where he was moving, i saw one of the other couples by the tree--with the guy on one knee and a jewelry box in his hand! i joined justin and told him that they had just gotten engaged, and as the couple was hugging and the girl was squealing, another few people walked by and started taking pictures of the couple. i said to justin, "that's weird. why would you take pictures of them like that?" but then we realized it was the girl's parents and her younger brother, who had been hanging out at the other end of the waterfront until he popped the question!

(i love people-watching. can you tell?)

so after all that excitement, we made it back to the car and headed over to the park where they were holding the fireworks that year. with the drawbridge closed, the waterfront park with the gazebo isn't as easily accessible. it was surprisingly easy to get in, and we set up our chairs and my tripod and camera in the grassy area by the parking lot. we actually didn't go into the main park area, but lots of people joined us and it wasn't crowded at all. we stayed busy streaming some john philip sousa on pandora, since their music selection was... well, limited. there was one lone bagpipe player wandering around playing the same six songs.

that's when i really miss the parade field at ft. bragg.
the fireworks were great, and i had fun photographing them again. i included a few of my favorites here.

it actually didn't take too long to get out--about half an hour, and believe me, we've sat in worse. however, i just don't understand why there are 15 volunteers and police officers escorting you in and only two standing at the exit waving to let you out. i've had the same complaints at concerts (oh, i can tell stories there) but we were on the road by 10ish and back home by 11. not too shabby.

so how was everyone else's 4th?

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