For the past few years, as long as this great beach side tradition of ours has been in tack, we have come to expect that the Fourth of July carries the risk of one ill fated incident or another popping up and threatening to ruin a piece of our festive little American spirits. There was the year in which nobody showed up but we had a grand time in spite of all the extra food, the time the wrong person (with the demon child) showed and overtook the likes of our RV for an entire weekend, the time it rained and everybody sulked around the beach in sweatshirts (except for Ana who got conveniently lost at the bar) and lastly, the year that violent stomach flue wiped through our entire camping crew with a vengeance, sending nearly every one of us to bed for three days following fireworks.
This year proved no exception. Late Wednesday night my wallet was stolen from the Von's shopping center as I loaded groceries into my cart, car packed to the rim with all our beach gear, bringing me to tears as I realized my much welcomed new iPhone (for those of you who know me, this new phone was a long time coming) had been stashed inside. Two hours later, with a sheriff as a no show, we headed back to the beach to meet Mike in the RV (already camped out in line to ensure parking at our favorite spot) only to awaken to Rex with a golf ball sized swollen left eye. With little hesitation we bid farewell to our prime parking and made our way to the nearest Urgent Care only to hear them conclude - as our google skills had so faintly suggested in the moments of debate that came with having to drive back into town - that he was likely "bit" by "something" and needed additional care only should it become infected (it did, but that's another story and he is fine now)
In the end, the wallet, the phone, the eye and the exhaustion hailing from one long and sleepless night, didn't ruin our day in the least. In fact, after a certain point, the bad stuff just kind of faded from focus and we were back to being simply satisfied by another beautiful holiday on the sand with warm weather, blue skies, good waves and a few old & faithful friends by our side. We spent the day sun bathing, snacking and laughing. And then ended the night over on the shore at San Clemente pier for the most spectacular fireworks show we know. For the those 35 minutes, sitting on a dampened sand bank, watching those big bright lights explode over the ocean, everything - minus Leon screaming hysterically from a beneath a Tye Dye sheet after every single boom - was just as we had planned.
The rest, is for the record books.
Till next year, Independence Day.