Sunsets, Crabs, Parades, & Pie

Every 4th of July over the past 15 years or so, I find myself on Gwynn's Island with some of my most favorite people in the world.  My best friend, Lauren and her family welcomed me into their 4th of July traditions so many years ago, and I've been lucky enough to make it back every year, save two years when Lauren and I both had summer jobs that kept us away...that was the pits. Never again!  4th of July just isn't the same without the island.  So here we go!  Off on a recap of my island adventures this July 4th of 2011.  Partly for you, and partly (well mostly) for me. Don't get too lost in the island sunsets....

Ruben and I made it to the island just in time for the sunset cruise.  And that's Lauren. She's perty. 

Capt. Jim manning the helm of the Queen.

So what you see here is a rope tying trick that will most likely result in you losing a bet to Austin, Lauren's brother.  That is, unless, you are like Lauren, and have mad skills for figuring out rope tying tricks.

Island home sweet island home.

Read the poem about Nancy, Lauren's mom.  Every word is true.

If you catch a trout, you have to kiss it.  Duh.

The 4th of July madness is only just beginning...

Amanda's GORGEOUS homemade blueberry peach pie.

Oh just a little crab pickin'.  And the salsa you see (but cannot taste through a picture, which means you need to get some!!) is homemade by Victor (the guy kicking the ball in the picture above), and is sold to help fund Project Zoranger, a non-profit dedicated to providing clean water solutions to Zoranger,  a small farming community in rural Haiti.  Follow these links for more information on Project Zoranger, or to order SALSA (which you totally won't regret...it is innnncredible).

I don't think I could ever get tired of the sunsets here.  Raise your hand if you agree.

Pretty girls.  Heather and Amanda.

Steve (left) and Mike (right), first-timers to the island, are good friends of ours from college.  They look happy, no?

If you want to see Nancy rock out...just put on "White Wedding."

Every year there is a 4th of July parade, and pretty much everyone in the neighborhood participates.  This doesn't leave very many people to actually watch the parade, but that isn't really the point anyway.  Anyone and anything is welcome in the parade.  There are a lot of golf carts, but there are also scooters, bikes, tandem bikes, and of course Norma Jean.

Decorating begins...

Before the parade started, Heather got the big idea to set up a photo booth with my camera and clicker.  We had big plans for it later in the evening, but unfortunately a gigantic storm ran us all inside and we had to abandon our photobooth, but we got a few in before the parade.  I wish I could keep Heather in my pocket.  She is always full of good ideas.

Lauren makes for a good stool.  

Lauren is ready for the parade!!!  So is the hen!

Capt. Jim usually drives Norma Jean.  He's the greatest.

Nancy always follows us around with her camera, and so she usually isn't in very many pictures (heyyy...I know that feeling!), but I GOT her. :)  

Yay 4th of July!!!

Later that night, I tried my hand at shooting fireworks using my clicker and the BULB setting on my camera.  Fireworks look SO COOL.  Unfortunately, I had no idea how far back I would need to be, and I started off way too close to the fireworks, and by the time I got back far enough, there were only a few left.   I still rather like the shots that go off the side of the frame though.

Our last big adventure for the night was our attempt at light writing.  I think we pretty much mastered the art.

This is Master Light Writer, Lauren at work.  Peace.

This is our beach scene...you can see it right?  I know you can see the sail boat.  Nice sailboat, John!

To all my friends from the island, I'll be sending out a link to my Flickr with the rest of the pictures...so never fear, your personal light writing interpretation dance is there.

To Nancy and Jim - Thank you times one million bazillion kajillion.

Happy 4th everyone!