4th of July has always been an interesting holiday in our household. I’m American – my husband is English. ‘Nuff said.

BUT, this past year my husband & I did achieve the difficult, time-consuming, expensive and, frankly, emotionally-draining task of securing him his official status as a ‘Legal U.S. Resident’ (yay!) — so, this July we just had to celebrate the 4th together in good ol’ American, Southern-California style.

We ventured through the North Orange County towns of Santa Ana, Fullerton and Brea during the day – just soaking up the Americana and searching for celebrations.  We ended up at the 32nd Annual Brea County Fair – a perfect ‘small-town’ Americana setting where we were able to soak up everything from a classic car & hot rod show, to live bands, to row upon row of American-themed merchandise booths, carnival games, and of course – fresh-grilled Hot Dogs served-up by U.S. War Veterans of American Legion Unit 181.  It was a fantastic afternoon that made me feel like a kid again – and reminded me of why I’m so proud to be American.

Then, we ended the day back in our neck of the woods in the city of Santa Ana – one of the few remaining cities in Orange County where fireworks are still legal.  And, it’s hard to describe just how loud, crazy and FUN it is in our neighborhood once the sun goes down… Fireworks of every kind – from small, store-bought sparklers & poppers all the way to full-blown rockets (the quite illegal, imported-from-Mexico kind – my favorite!).  So many fireworks are set off up & down every street, by the end of the night it looks like a fog has rolled in… but, it’s just smoke settling after the excitement has died down.

God bless America.