From the moment everyone woke (some of us earlier than other, Eva + Art at 5:30 as ususal), it was a charged day. Art had to run out for the muchly-needed wipes and picked up a special addition to our breakfast - BACON! I am always a bit unsettleed by the thought of sizzzling meat in our home since we do not have an exhaust fan. Art just threw open all the window and created the crispiest, tastiest bacon ever. After 10 years of San Francisco 4th of July's we decided to leave behind all of the nonchalante, cavalier librals to their lates and "any color but red, white and blue" wardrobe: destination - the island of Alameda. Eli's budding new vocabulary had him babbling much of the way. When we got to the Oakland span of the Bay Bridge he saw all of the boats and coast line and exclaimed, " BEACH BEACH BEACH." Eva quickly responded, "We're not going to the beach, Eli, we're going to Mielle's house," whereas he responded with a, "Yeah." This was the first conversation we both overheard and it was quite adorable. I can only imagine what else will be on the topic for discussion over the next few years.
Once in Alameda we stopped at Suzy and Lenny's and then headed to the frontline of the parade. Eli rode the Kettler tricycle we borrowed from Somerset, Mielle on her radio flyer and Eva in one of the covered, Little Tykes cars. We only had four blocks to go but it felt like quite a journey. The parade route was along Central Avenue, a lovely tree-lined street. People and pets were lined up on their chairs ready for the action. We made it to Claudia and Ray's house where we had front row seating. The line-up was typica;l firemen, policemen, bands on the flatbeds of trucks, PT Cruiser Club, Trader Joe's employees and a few added attractions. I think hands down was the float of "Joe Guitar" that included 6 fans/family members gathered around Joe whose feet dangled over the edge of the back back of the flatbead, playing the "Star Spangeled Banner" a la Jimmy Hendrix. Oh yes, and the ensembles was complete with a fog machine. Eva will always remember she got candy and I think Eli liked the african-american cowboys the most - he was quite awstruck. We managed to stay until the end of the entire parade. I quickly toted Eli, screaming, back for a nap at S/L/M's house. We then had a mellow time playing with Mielle's toys in and out of the house. What would the 4th be without hotdogs? Not the 4th certainly - so we obliged and ate our share along with chickn/fontina/spinach sasuages.
On the way home the conversation from the back included Eva teaching Eli new words. She would say, "Eli say car" and Eli would respond as closely as possible with, "car." This went on including garage, stairs, street, house and many other words. We stopped by Tiny Bubbles which is where the lesson got more difficult as Eva kept exclaiming, "Eli Eli say restaurant." I finally said, "hey Eva how about cafe," and they were both happy. Eva and Eli were in bed at their usual time. Art went next door to see the fireworks atop our neigbhors house. The plan was to take a monitor with us to listen for the children but I chickened out, afraid that the loud fireworks would wake them but they slept right through the night-time celebration.