After years of being spoiled with the most perfect possible view of a decent fireworks display without leaving the deck of our old beach house on Long Beach Island, I spent this Fourth of July watching an even better fireworks display from the grounds of Cherokee High School in Marlton, N.J., with my wife and her extended family. Some things about it were great, and some were just weird.
At this stage of my life — 42 and grumpy — I am totally over giant crowds. The Marlton fireworks had an ideal number of people — enough to make it seem like an event, and totally worth being there, but a small enough group to allow us to arrive two hours before the fireworks started and find ample space for our beach chairs. And while I would never dream of comparing the show to the Macy’s Spectacular that has spoiled me in New York for most of my life, it was definitely better than the LBI effort.
The weird part: 2010 marked the first Fourth of July since I was about 14 or 15 when I did not indulge in a single sip of beer. Nor did I partake in the American tradition of pigging out on red meat (we did barbecue a little, but it was more for the purposes of eating dinner before heading to the fireworks than for putting on a display of gluttony).
It was still fun, and I’d definitely do it again. With the LBI house no longer an option, there’s no way in hell I’m dealing with the crowds in Hoboken, Manhattan, Philadelphia, or any of the “real” big-city fireworks displays. And spending time with the family is always fun (no, I am NOT just saying that because some of them read this blog!).
But I could have used a cold one, or several.