I guess it’s possibly a little strange for British people to be celebrating America’s independence from, well, US, but there were so many 4th of July celebrations going on yesterday it would’ve been stupid not to join in, and you all know me: AS IF I’m going to miss an opportunity to dress in red, white and blue!
(Yes, I know. I KNOW. In my defence, it’s one of my favourite colour combinations, because it’s so OMGNAUTICAL. So I’m telling myself I was just doing what I usually do, and dressing like a sailor…)
This dress is one of my favourites (And well it should be after the saga I went through to buy it), but so far I’ve only ever worn it on vacation. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I always feel like I can “get away with” things more easily in the sun, and on holiday, than I can at home: back home, this dress feels way too short for me, but in the Florida heat it feels just right, so I grab the opportunity to wear it when I can.
Anyway, we had a great time watching the Key Biscayne parade, which was awesome, partly because there were tons of Bichons there and at least one of them was wearing a hat. If there’s anything better than a Bichon in a hat, I just don’t know what it is, and this one in particular looked a lot like Rubin, so, you know, note to self: BUY RUBIN HAT. In the evening we headed down to Bayfront Park to see the fireworks. Now, since we’ve been here, my family have entered into this strange state of over-preparedness whereby everywhere we go, they decide we should have left last Tuesday, because OMGWEWILLNEVERGETPARKED. And, of course, we get to where we’re going, park up instantly, and then have two hours to kill because we got there so early. This had happened in the morning when we went to see the parade (“It’ll give us plenty of time for people watching!” they said enthusiastically, forgetting it would be approximately 100 degrees in the shade…), and it happened again in the evening, which meant we had plenty of time to walk around and soak up the atmosphere, and by “plenty of time” I mean “literally two hours, not even joking.”
As I wandered around, eating over-priced food and slowly turning into a sweaty mess, I noticed there were a whole lot of Others in that park. Like, about 20,000 of them at least, maybe more. The place was SLAMMED. This was fine by us, because we were there so early we’d managed to get what we THOUGHT would be prime viewing points for the fireworks (“Er, you do realise the view will be almost totally obscured by that giant palm tree in front of us?” I pointed out. “No, it won’t!” came the confident response…), but once we’d finished watching the fireworks (Which, yup, were almost totally obscured by that giant palm tree, so now we know what fireworks look like from behind a tree. Luckily Bayfront Park is a good location to watch from, because in addition to its own fireworks, you can also see the display from South Beach, so it was all good.) we knew there would be a crazy rush to get out of the city, so we started heading out of the park as fast as we could.
It was a good job we did this, too, because we’d just reached the street when suddenly all of the people exiting the park behind us started screaming and running for their lives,as if they were all in some end-of-the-world movie. Naturally, I completely panicked at this. If you’ve ever wondered what tens of thousands of people all screaming and running at the same time is like, I will tell you what it’s like: it’s like a Zombie Apocalypse, is what its like. I jest, but it was actually pretty scary for a few seconds: very large crowds always make me a little nervous (especially after the recent tragedy in Boston), and for a few panicked seconds we had no idea what was happening. Luckily, though, we fairly quickly realised the screams were not the “OMGZOMBIES!” type, but rather the, “OMGRAIN!” variety: one of Florida’s sudden torrential rainstorms had crept up on us while we were all distracted by the fireworks, and now all the people behind us were absolutely soaked to the skin by it.
We JUST made it to the shelter of the covered doorway of a nearby building when it hit. Within seconds the road in front of us was like a river and everyone on it was absolutely drenched. Around twenty of us huddled together in that doorway until it passed, and then we began the long walk back to the car, getting periodically rained on as we went. It was wet, uncomfortable, but once the initial shock had passed, also totally hilarious, and I guess we will never forget the 4th of July, 2013, that’s for sure. Because if there’s one thing better than a fantastic day, it’s a fantastic day with a totally weird/hilarious ending which we will remember for ever…
P.S. Please excuse my messy hair – I had to put it up in the car, using my phone as a mirror, and it didn’t work out too well!