I had an enjoyable Fourth of July with my friends and family. It had a bit of a rough start and I had to do about three hours of work, but the time was well spent as it made my work day today much easier (as well as many other people's across the country). I'll do my best to make sure that you'll be able to get your ice cream!
Wade joined us from Ellensburg and we went to Ray's Boathouse Cafe for lunch. It was a very nice place, although the route we took (following the nav system, not the restaurant's directions) took us through most of the industrial areas in Seattle. We got seats on the deck and after some musical chairs, the adults had the views of the Sound and the Olympics started to peak through the distant haze. It was truly beautiful. There was a house on the point across the water and all through lunch, the flag posted by their house was nicely blowing in the breeze. Unfortunately, by the time lunch was done, the flag didn't wave so fully.
I asked the host where we could walk along the water and he directed us to check out the locks separating Lake Washington and the Sound. They were impressive! Firstly, it is a Corps of Engineers facility so it was emblazoned with Engineer castles all over. There was even one designed in the flower bed! On top of their being locks and a visitor center, they have nice flower gardens and a beautiful park. Being the Fourth of July, there was a band in the park playing patriotic tunes. It was really nice. We got to watch the locks get loaded (quite a manual task, I was surprised to see) and then fill with water. They filled fairly quickly and the operators said that it was running slowly because of the baby salmon swimming out to sea.
After that we went to get ice cream and luckily, they had the right brand, at least for the flavors we bought. They had bulk tubs of some competitor (a local brand) and our 56 ounce containers for a better flavor variety. Heather had an italian soda, which was good, because I got to watch how it was made (I bought raspberry syrup the day before and the sodas I made just weren't right). Her's had cream in it, something I had never seen before. Obviously, I didn't pay that much attention, because both she and Wade had seen that before.
After the locks, we thought about going to Gasworks Park to a festival and to ultimately watch fireworks, but the parking looked to be horrendous (based upon how far people were walking) so we called Roger and asked if we could come over. We weren't inviting ourself over, he had mentioned it when I was talking to him earlier in the day, trying to firm up some lunch plans. So we stopped at a QFC and Heather went in to get some "good" beer and she delivered. Newcastle Brown, Bass and Crazy 8 Ball Stout, all winners.
We found our way to Roger and Gina's new house (thank you nav system, this time) and were greeted by several dogs (more dogs than kids) and a bunch of their friends. We all had a lot of fun and it was neat to see how our kids acted in a social environment like that. Chase was quite the social butterfly, Parker really liked Cinnamon (Tad and Chloe's little dog) and Alec really dug the 92" projector and Xbox 360 Roger had setup in the basement. The setup was totally bad-ass!
We moved the furniture in and out of the rain a few times, drank beer, and Roger grilled tri-tip, burgers, pork, egg plant and more. Alec threw me the frisbee once and I slipped down the hill that Rog's front yard is on chasing Alec's throw. It was quite funny, I watched my beer shoot up out of the bottle as I went down, but I didn't drop the bottle. I socialized, played some Halo 2, played some hackey sack (it mush be the soccer coaching that translates into the skills with the sack, Rog). It was a great time.
There were fireworks which we 'watched' from Roger's front yard which the kids enjoyed greatly. We had to leave before the pyrotechnic display concluded, which really disappointed Chase. We drove away, after making a quick phone call about siting the po-po and all three kids promptly fell asleep.
All in all, it was a great day!