Independence Day this year started off awkwardly. I was going to work in the morning, then we’d do something fun in the afternoon and evening. However, sometime in the late morning I fell asleep for a couple of hours, throwing everything off. (I didn’t realize I was so tired.)
When we left the house mid-afternoon, the three of us stopped for coffee at Caffè Fiorè, then scooted down to visit the Ballard Locks. We hadn’t been there in a while and thought it would be less crazy than nearby Golden Gardens park on a semi-sunny holiday. We weren’t more than 50 feet into the garden area leading up to the locks themselves that we ran into our friends Glenn and Lynn and their two boys.
We walked through the locks, which were busy with boaters coming into Lake Union to watch the fireworks that night, then headed down to the fish ladder to watch the large salmon making their way upstream. It was nice to hang out and chat, and watch people, and look down onto the ladder to see the fish jump.
(I should point out that I was trying to get Ellie more to the right in that photo so her face was peeking through the innermost swirl, but it didn’t work out. This, however, was a happy accident that I couldn’t resist posting!)
Kim and I had sort-of planned on grilling some chicken burgers for dinner, but easily tossed aside that idea when Glenn and Lynn suggested we all get dinner together. We ended up at the Hi-Life in Ballard, which is very family-friendly, especially early before the dinner rush.
On our way home, Ellie was still in a good mood (falling asleep while taking a bottle at the restaurant helped), so we drove down to Carkeek Park, crossed over the train tracks, and walked around on the beach area there.
It would have been nice to stick around for the sunset, but since this is July, we would have had to wait another two hours or so, and our little girl wasn’t going to be an angel that long. We went home and put Ellie to bed around 8:15 pm – she went down easily after a busy day.
For the past few years, Kim and I have spent the Fourth of July on the roof of my office building, which provides a view of the Lake Union fireworks. This year, however, we didn’t think Ellie would get much out of it: we thought she might like the colors, but not the chest-thumping booms that accompany them being so close to the explosions. We’ll get her up there next year.
So, Kim and I stood on our deck and watched the various local shows going on, with a few glimpses of the big displays on the horizon. Despite the neighborhood fireworks, Ellie didn’t wake up at all. (I’m sure that wouldn’t be the case if we still lived in Renton, which was downright frightening on July 4 when we were there.)