My fourth of July and getting into the American spirit

Boston, in my mind the heart and soul of the fourth of July. Photo credit scullingfool.

I am a lover of holidays and pageantry, things the fourth of July does in spades.  It is one of my very favorite holidays. Growing up, it was a time for the whole neighborhood to come together in the street just outside my house and set off fireworks together. This year the fourth was a travel day from Ometepe to Granada and the whole time I was dreaming of being back in Boston, while searching for festivities here. When I lived in Boston, I adored the incredible bang-out spectacle put on along the Charles River. Can any other place really rival the Bostonian spirit on the fourth? I miss the crackling energy and excitement of the crowds, big band music being played by the Boston Pops, the visual explosions of a mad fireworks show over the Charles, and over-the-top Americana and patriotism. America–and I say this with complete sincerity on the fourth–FUCK YEAH.

Back at our hostel in Granada, we started the evening out fairly normally, gathering in the hostel common room eating guacamole and drinking Flor de Caña seven-year rum. Nick fancied things up for the occasion with smoothies instead of the usual rum and (imho) crap Coke.

What says “America” more than mango-banana-rum liquados? I switched to beer later. 😛

Captain Social holding court.

After a while of usual raucousness, the Americans in the group started to get restless. The table split based on nationality and we rocked out. Immediately, I found my partner in crime: Trent, an amazing guy from Utah who it turns out I have so much in common it is freaky, or, as he put it, awesome. He was also feeling the need to celebrate and do something quintessentially American. We both missed the celebrations happening at home. One tradition of his is to read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution every year on the fourth, which I loved and may need to add to my life. He had actually spent a good chunk of the day searching for fireworks but unfortunately to no end. The two of us broke away from the crowd (really people, ladies night shots at some bar? I sooo need better festivities than that on the fourth!!) and headed to Parque Central for late night hot dogs and to brainstorm some Americana mischief. What could we do?

Inspiration struck: find some tea and dump it in a body of water. Concrete, simple, silly, and perfectly on theme. The Bostonian in me loved it. Initially I was thinking as a purist and assumed we could track down some real-ish tea in a teabag. But, after three tries, the first tea we came across was premade sweetened Nescafe iced tea. It was too hilarious to pass up. We got some in a to-go plastic cup with a straw and slice of lime. Just like Paul Revere used to make.

Now for the body of water. We noted a few dingy half-filled fountains as backups, but headed due west towards Lake Nicaragua. Along the walk, Trent started drinking our prop. 😛 I hadn’t been to the promenade along the lake shore yet, and in fact didn’t even know it existed. Turns out it was the perfect spot. We hopped the parapet and trudged through the marshy grass to the water’s edge.

At 11:30 p.m., just in time for it to still be the fourth of July, we ceremoniously poured our cup of iced tea into Lake Nicaragua while singing “America the Beautiful”, whose lyrics were written by Katharine Lee Bates, Wellesley class of 1884. I threw in a loud chorus of “SISTERhood” as is Wellesley tradition. After we finished our song, Trent chucked in the lime round as well, just for good measure. It was utterly delightful. I was in stitches.

Lake Nicaragua shore in daylight.

Who knew this combo plus a couple of Toña litros would be quite so awesome?

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