We live in the BEST neighborhood in the world. Really and truly. We went to our neighborhood 4 of July parade and it was lovely to be able to roll right out of bed (Yes, and don't I show it! In my defense it was a long night with Josie teething and nursing all night.) and walk a block, chat with neighbors, see the kids ride bikes in the parade and some of them were all decked out (we weren't, but we will know better next year). Here is part of the "gang" post-parade hanging out. They did a couple laps around the parade route just for fun after it was all done. We liked it so much, we even signed up to help with the event next year. It is just what we like about living in our neighborhood.
We thought about going to the "big parade" put on by our twin cities, but we blew it off. In past years we've been involved in one float or another and while it is fun, it is usually A LOT of waiting, hot, and tiring. Here are some pictures of the Homebirth is Healthy float few a couple years ago. My dad pulled the float the couple years we were involved (which was appropriate since he was born at home).I have a 14 mo. old Dema in the picture. You can't see it very well, but the float had a plastic play house and a birthing pool (with water!).
We decided to blow of the big parade and cook up some stuff for the cookout at Cynthia and Ernie's instead. Josie was teething and VERY needy all day so I asked Rob to cook the Vegan Dad's Creamy Mac and Cheeze (I was dying to try that recipe out) and the Red, White, and Blueberry Cobbler from Vegan Planet and whip up some hummus. We alway add peas and carrots to Mac and Cheeze for added nutrition and I think it tastes better that way. From his own admission, he gets a little flustered when I ask him to multi-task, especially in the kitchen. It took a while and nothing turned out as well as he had hoped, but it was all edible and the kitchen was trashed. I especially liked the Creamy Mac and Cheeze and would make it again in a second. I think it would make a great sauce for lasagna...note to self when it is cool enough to actually bake something in the oven again. I was disappointed with the cobbler, but it was still good...the dough just didn't work just right, but since I was on the sidelines taking care of Josie, I'm not sure what went wrong. The picture of the cobbler is before we put the Strawberry-Grand Marnier Sauce on. The kids loved it anyway and there was only one serving left when we went home so it was fine. We will have to make it again soon to figure out the dough. I loved the hummus, but Rob thought it was off...I will always eat hummus.
We had such a nice time at the cookout trying to convince C and E's friends to move into a house for sale close by, chatting with Leo about Lego (I love how his face lights up and the detail he goes into...there house is a Lego lovers dream), getting to know everyone (talking politics, religion, music, hiking on the east coast, etc.) and enjoying the atypically nice weather (not too hot, not too cool), and then the fireworks. Okay, there are no words to describe how cool it is to be able to walk a block, hang out with wonderful people, eating and chatting, and then watch an AMAZING fireworks display put on by neighbors a few blocks away. The fireworks were so impressive, especially for someone who just does them in the street in front of their house, and I just kept thinking to myself "we live in the best neighborhood on the planet". It was so fun to watch the kids play and enjoy the fireworks and then get all cranky and hungry since most of the kids (ours especially) had blown off all food and drink in preference for playing until the fireworks were about half way over and then they were all the sudden overtaken by thirst and hunger. Josie experienced her first fireworks...she had just gotten to sleep nursing in my arms when they began, but she really enjoyed them.
We didn't have to deal with traffic or crowds, we just walked home after a perfect day.