The Traveling Steve's

Happy Florida Fourth of July!

This year we stayed home in Orlando for the July 4th Holiday, due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Normally we go away for a long weekend with a couple added vacation days, although now with retirement it’s not an issue taking the time off. The last few years we’ve made quick trips to South America to tour the wine regions of Chile or Mendoza, Argentina, but this year we spent a relaxing time at home.

We decorated the yard and pool area with red, white and blue lights, added bows and patriotic tensile out front, a giant LED flag, and even a lawn inflatable bear!

Steve (DOS) and I cooked our meals out on the grille all weekend, ranging from burgers, hotdogs, to evening steaks by the pool. Truly all-American healthy eating! I love my new Weber Genesis ii grille by the way as seen in this YouTube video I reviewed before purchasing it. I have the special edition SE 335 model and it really does live up to the hype!

The grille sits inside the caged-in pool area so it’s protected from the frequent summer rain showers and storms, plus is convenient to outdoor pool-side seating or the kitchen inside. This is the view I get when I’m grilling – facing out at the light-covered palm trees.

DOS has really decorated the pool area up since all the landscaping and pool repair and resurfacing has finished. Here are some photos of the yard and pool at night-time, including his unplanned but cool overhead lights which turned the pool tiles into a ‘disco look’! LOL!

And here’s a couple photos of the front yard at night, magically transformed into a colorful red, white, and patriotic blue house and yard.

We even had our own mini-Disney firework display on the side of the house!

On Saturday night, July 4th, our neighborhood was aglow with fireworks it seemed from everywhere! The neighborhood behind us, in front of us, this way – that way, but the biggest show of all was on our street just two houses up from us. An older widowed lady and her sister live there, but they always have their grown kids, grandkids, their friends, and apparently friends of friends come by for a huge pool party barbecue, followed at nightfall by a firework display out front that would rival Disney World!

At first it was a bit annoying with the ‘warm up’ fireworks starting at 6:30pm (it wasn’t even dark then), but the wind was blowing in our direction and the fireworks (and subsequent ash) were landing directly over our house. One of the party men was lighting the fireworks in the street just two houses away from us.

You could see the bits of the exploded paper, cardboard material etc, slowly falling to earth, either on the house, yard, pool cage or scores of the party attendees cars and the resulting smoke pollution enveloping the street.

We have had a fair amount of rain recently, which was good as it prevented any spray sparks from starting a fire. Fortunately the wind shifted later in the evening leading up to the “main event”. In the photo below it’s gradually getting darker and the preliminary fireworks are going off, but it’s still not time for the full round of fireworks yet to come.

The ‘big’ fireworks show started around 9:30pm, and went on and off for over an hour! I don’t know where these people get these fireworks, but they are the quality as well as the quantity and timing of the fireworks are something you would see at a professional display at any theme park.

As I never have much luck photographing fireworks, I took a short video of them shown at the end of this post. DOS and I sat with our next door neighbors in the front yard (with their wonderful German Shepherd, Ranger) and enjoyed the free and local show, while I played some patriotic music on the wireless speakers.

DOS did much better with the firework photographs though, so here are 3 photos he took before the skies got too smoky.

And finally here’s a couple short videos of some of the fireworks I took (14 seconds and 25 seconds respectively.) The show went on and off for at least 45 minutes or so it seemed while we chatted with our neighbors. As far as the men ‘working the show’, they took turns shooting up their arsenals of color. The fireworks went off with amazing accuracy and in mostly quick succession, and we didn’t have to drive anywhere to view them. Enjoy!

Happy Fourth of July and God Bless America!

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