Happy July 4th (even though it's the 5th)

Coming off an amazing weekend, I am tan, skinny and happy.

Spent the weekend as a country mouse at the largest man made lake east of the M-i-s-s-i-s-s-i-p-p-i.  While the setting had all the makings for a traditional July 4th holiday, we were somewhat unorthodox. Not a single hot dog or hamburger consumed.  In fact, we went to a Japanese steakhouse for dinner Friday (fine dining in the Cumming area, complete with large mockery of a rice paddy hat for birthday celebrations), made cajun shrimp and andouille pockets on Saturday, and I am now getting ready to cook us an Italian feast for Sunday dinner.

I suppose the good ole' USA is the melting pot--we were simply embracing all that it is.

We also taught our French bulldog to swim. If you are familiar with the breed (actually native to England, go figure) then you know, they don't. Entirely too top heavy. Our dog, however, grew up around the water and it was only natural he would one day want to venture all the way in. His mentor, a Venezuelan mix named Mango, taught him to skirt the edge of the lake and this weekend we tested those limits even further by strapping him to a life jacket to see what would happen.

The end result: he prefers to float. On our rafts. With us.

Of course our weekend would not have been complete without fireworks. My dear sweet man helped us trespass on private property (yes, we were asked to leave, no we didn't) for a front row seat to the Cumming fireworks on Friday. Saturday was amateur night around our neighborhood. Never before have I heard or seen so many, albeit smaller ones. Interestingly enough, it sounded like war (or what one might think it does sound like, seeing as I have never actually been in battle) especially with the echo of the lake. Bombs going off, cannons being shot--close your eyes and you could almost believe that's what was happening.

Poetic, in that it was a reminder of exactly what we were celebrating--the fight that ended in Independence for our country. A place where you can eat Japanese on July 4th, own a French bulldog and mix with Venezuelan's (or Argentineans on the Appalachian Trail)---of your own free will.

I heart America. And the days off from work our forefathers made possible.


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