Independence Day is my favorite holiday tied with Thanksgiving. What do they both have in common, besides a day-off from work and the obligatory gluttony ensues? They give us a time to reflect, give thanks and spend time with the ones we love…as well as drink great wine and eat good food.
The 2013 edition of our nation’s birthday was extremely productive and extremely sweltering. Here are the brief highlights:
After sleeping in until 6:30, I headed out for a recovery run after races the night before. Per usual, Mother Nature, my arch nemesis and serious bitch, made this seemingly ordinary 4-miler feel like a half-marathon. At 7:31 AM I passed the digital thermometer just outside condo complex and it read 86 degrees. As I trudged, I felt the witch of a woman staring me down and getting hotter and hotter. When I finished my run at 7:57 (remember, this is AM), it was 90 degrees and 80% humidity. Yuck!
With that said, mission accomplished and time to get ready for the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. There are few things that get me as revved up that the thought of these world class athletes throwing down the gauntlet. My boy Joey “Jaws” Chestnut prevailed with a world record 69 hot dogs! The only problem…I didn’t get to watch.
The Town of Merrimack, in their infinite wisdom, schedules their annual 4th of July parade for 1:00 every year. Besides being chuckleheads for making little kids march during the hottest time of the day, they also forsake those who are hosting cookouts and who want to watch the damn hotdog eating contest! Grrr…
It was still nice to watch my boy take in the pomp of the parade and like clockwork, the NH Police Pipes and Drum Corps pass and I begin to tear up. Every time I hear bagpipes I think of KRV, one of the brave who fought and died to defend not only our freedoms, but to promote freedom globally. Thanks buddy.
Once we were able to recover from the heat of the parade, it was time for me to man the grill and put on a show. Hot dogs, Cajun and BBQ chicken, corn, veggies…you name it, I was on it! But don’t forget, on hot days it’s all about “hydration, hydration, hydration”. So I had a Bud Strawberry-Limerita, a couple beers, and then busted out the big boy. This year’s great Independence Day wine was the outstanding ’09 Turley Dogtown Zinfandel.
What’s more American than Zinfandel? Luckily for American wine lovers, BBQ goes best with America’s grape. Yes, I know I mentioned that Rhone varietals are great with BBQ, but it’s the 4th of F-ing July, the hell if I’m drinking some French grape!
Finally, we packed up the car with our badass Panama Jack lounge chairs that we got from Big Lots, headed to a grassy knoll and set up shop, road soda (G&T) and all, to watch the fireworks. Although we thought they started at 9:00, when they eventually got going a half-hour later, we were not disappointed. It’s amazing how the BOOM and sparkle turns spectators of any age into 8 year olds for those glorious 20 minutes.
What a great day, a great celebration of our nation, great times with our families, reflections on the heroes that allow us to enjoy these days, and an appreciation for life. Damn I love Independence Day!
Categories: Wine & Spirits