Leading up to the holiday, a good friend was explaining how the 4th of July was her most favorite holiday. I say she was explaining it because I needed all the details in my attempt to fully understand how that could possibly be anyone’s favorite holiday. What about Thanksgiving, Christmas, even Halloween? As she described memories of big family bbqs and being on a boat out on the lake in the glorious summer sunshine, I slowly started to comprehend how this could be a favorite holiday. Oh riiight, that’s what we used to do back when I lived near family. Let me tell you, that’s not generally how this holiday shakes out when you are an adult living away from home, and married to a British ex-pat which makes you think you aren’t that really independent of ol’ England after all 😉Sure I’ve done Family Fourth at Gas Works Park in Seattle a few times, once in the rain hiding under blankets and twice in the hot sun. For most years in Seattle and California, this holiday has been just a day off for me while husband spent the day at work (neither of us miss his retail career, apart from the employee discounts). This year, since the holiday was smack in the middle of the week, we didn’t make any plans for the fourth even though we both had the day off. Until the very last minute. Andrew and his bff James booked a townhouse in Seabrook, Washington for a few nights for the three of us. James’ family has been going to Seabrook for the 4th for years, and the stories I’ve heard of fireworks on the beach, endless games and family time was something I thought sounded a lovely way to spend the summer holiday. James’ family has always included us in holiday celebrations, and have treated us like true family members ever since I’ve known James. Sometimes these types of welcoming, loving people come into your life so unexpectedly and provide all the warm feelings of family without the weird pressures or drama that can come from time spent with real family.
Seabrook is a beach town along the Washington coast. The founders wanted to create a village by the sea, and purchased the land less than two decades ago, and quickly started building vacation homes. There are now dozens of houses of all sizes for rent, some perched above the ocean beach and some across the street in the village where you can also find a spa, bike rentals, a community pool, a pizza restaurant, a bakery and a market. Apart from major provisions to feed a large family, the village has practically anything a few days at the coast would require.Everyone in Seabrook for the 4th wore their stars & stripes or very festive red, white & blue attire, carefully chosen to help celebrate the anniversary of America’s Independence. After waking up in our rented townhome in the village, we had loads of fun all day long with toddlers stomping on pop-its and a giant delicious dinner of which I contributed nothing, and ended with an incredible fireworks display on the beach and s’mores by the roaring fire. This year’s 4th of July reminded me that it can be a top holiday if you make it so. I could say it also reminded me to be less cynical, but that is not likely to change anytime soon! Without a doubt, though, it is always who you’re surrounded with that makes or breaks a memorable time. And this crew made it the greatest 4th of July holiday. I’m already thinking about a 4-day weekend next year for the fourth, and heading out to Seabrook once again to see if this year’s fireworks display can be topped.