If we thought the anchorage was busy before, I don’t know how to describe the Harbor the morning of the 4th. More boats were coming in to fill in the small gaps here and there. We left early to head to shore for the kids games hosted on the pool lawn.
This was the first Fourth of July in 13 years that Shane and I would not be at Lake Marcel. We loved our small town parade and community parade that followed. The lake always had activities for the kids and an incredible fireworks display. Absolute small town Americana. This year, we were grateful to have a very similar experience, but from the boat.
Leaving CocoMar as more boats were coming in was tough, but ultimately everyone was well behaved. We did have an hour or so in the afternoon where the Coast Guard were out in their tender doing dinghy checks, which kept us entertain for a bit.
The festivities kicked off shortly after we reached land. Community members, wearing red Roche Harbor 4th of July shirts were everywhere. It felt very familiar to all of us. We were so grateful for the effort the locals put into creating a fun environment for everyone.
I attempted to grab donuts for the kids and Shane, but found a long line with an hour and a half wait for food. I decided to just grab donuts from The Company Store. I grabbed the very last donuts on the shelves! I also picked up a couple of fun drinks for all of us and ran back to find Wyatt finishing up his first relay. They give prizes to all of the kids after each age bracket. The families were pretty into on the sidelines too.
Kelly took his races pretty seriously. My favorite was watching the littles try their hand at the challenges. Inevitably there would be one or two under fives who who start tearing up half way through. They even had potato sack races! That was my favorite to watch. The littles really had a hard time with that one.
After a fun morning we went out to lunch at the Madrona Grill, which was delicious with good service, and absolutely no wait. We were stuffed and ready to head back to the boat.
On our way back we were greeted by a large sea lion who poked his head out of the water nearby. We all agreed that he was so large, he resembled a polar bear in the water. After spending a couple of minutes looking at us, the sea lion swam towards our dinghy and Shane started to move us forward away from him. This was a big one and they’re quite intimidating, especially when we were in our small dinghy with its electric motor. The sea lion followed us for a bit and eventually lost interest.
Once back, we all relaxed and listened to JFK’s reading of the Declaration of Independence, and watched a video that explained the history of the document’s signing.
Apart from watching the Coast Guard’s activities the boys and I also watched the movie Independence Day. I would have preferred National Treasure as a Fourth of July film, but the kids don’t like it. We all agreed that Bill Pullman’s speech before they head out to defeat the aliens, would have inspired all of us to stand up to the spaceships.
I baked pretzels and made popcorn while we watched the movie. For dinner I turned our left overs into chili, adding sautéed walnuts and zucchini, cocoa powder, some smoke, and tomato paste. It was our last night of hearing the color ceremony. Boats held their horns longer and sounded them more often for the celebration.
I put on our summer playlist as I was washing dishes. It was a playlist I had curated over the years for our Fourth of July parties. Wyatt, Kelly and I danced down by the galley. It was awesome. I am so grateful my boys entertain me by dancing with me when I ask.
Just before 10:30 the kids and I went out on the bow. We were having an issue with the water pump, so Shane joined us once the fireworks got started. They did not disappoint. We’re used to having our fireworks soundtracked, so I brought out our playlist on the bow and had Neil Diamond’s America playing while the explosions burst overhead.
Now that Fourth of July is over, it’s officially summer in the Pacific Northwest, a joke that doesn’t feel very funny this year. I’m ready for some steady sunshine. It can rain, I guess, while we sleep. Sunshine and a warm wind that is perfect for taking us where we want to go.