Fireworks at Iwo Jima

Want a fabulous view of the DC Fourth of July fireworks? Turns out that you don’t have to camp out all day in the nasty summer heat and humidity, among the throngs of sweaty, patriotic people. In our case, you just have to head down the street.

We are usually too lazy to plan a Fourth of July gathering. Too hot, too many crowds, too many logistics to deal with, etc. But here in our last summer in our nation’s capital (ack, it feels weird to say that), we decided to do as the Romans do and check out the fireworks, along with hundreds of thousands of other celebrants.

Okay, so we’re not crazy. We weren’t about to camp out downtown on the Mall all day long. I did that plenty as a child (hi, Mom!) and while it’s certainly a unique experience, it’s not something I’m raring to sign up for again.

I have to say that I’m really proud of how well everything worked out this year. It was all quite perfect, actually. Around 4 pm, we packed up an amazing (if I do say so myself) picnic dinner, drove down to Rosslyn and parked at the public lot next to Holiday Inn, walked 0.7 mile to Iwo Jima, and claimed our spot on the grass. There was practically nobody there yet at that time.

We had the perfect view of the Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, and Lincoln Memorial.

Our view from Iwo Jima in Rosslyn

On the picnic menu: hummus, tabbouleh with goat cheese, charred corn salad, feta dip (spicy!), avocado lime fruit salad, various accompanying veggies/chips/pitas, and fruity sodas. For dessert: brownies and lime white chocolate chip cookies.

We ate very well.

It was a very hot and humid day yesterday, and the bugs were out in full force. Thankfully, it was also very cloudy, which saved us sunburns, at least. The clouds looked quite ominous all night long, and it even sprinkled a few times, but it was nothing we couldn’t handle.

We chatted, played a few rounds of the weirdo card game Fluxx, knitted, and watched all of the amusing people around us. There was an overly friendly young man in head to toe Under Armour who wanted to play Euchre with everyone around him. There was a crazily made up woman who waited by herself for at least couple of hours, shooing people away who tried to set their blankets down nearby, because she was supposedly saving the space for 25 friends. (They eventually arrived. It was a church group.) There was a rotund Asian baby sitting on his grandfather’s lap.

The fireworks were delightful (if not a little anticlimactic), of course. Note to fireworks planners: crowds LOVE it when you do heart shapes. Just sayin’.

The show wrapped up around 9:20-9:25. We fought the sea of humanity on the way back to our car, and won. We made it back to our apartments before 10. Pretty amazing, considering.

We like the Fourth of July. I think Thomas said it best: “You have to love a secular holiday in which people celebrate that it’s pretty cool to live here. And it ends with watching things blow up. Pretty cool.”