4th of July in the USA!

Independence Day is the national holiday of the United States of America commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
(I didn’t write that… Thank you Internet).

*Fun fact #1 – The US flag changed appearance for 280 years as each state was added to the union, another star was added. The last star was added on July 4th, 1960, after Hawaii became the 50th state.
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The 13 stripes (seven red and six white) are for the original 13 colonies and the 50 stars represent all the states. Red is for Valor and Hardiness; white is for Innocence and Purity; and blue is for Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice.

North Americans celebrate in several different ways usually including, but not limited to a parade, food mostly prepared on a barbecue, adult beverages and fireworks (liquor and fireworks… kind of silly when I actually write it out).
*Fun fact #2 – more than 66 million Americans bust out the grill on this national holiday.

Here are some photos snagged from the local parade that was kicking off the famous Folsom Pro Rodeo.  For details about this event click here . It’s actually really cute!
*Fun fact #3 – 50 long horn cattle lead this parade followed by half dozen “scoopers” to clean up the cow droppings.
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
There’s a fun run in which locals dress up in costume and jog with the parade. I thought these guys were adorable.
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

For years I have been lucky enough to the get “the invite” from a great family that choose to spend their 4th on a house boat! This year there was a range of ages which in my opinion brings a wonderful balance to the festivities.

Merriam Webster definition: Houseboat
a boat fitted for use as a dwelling; especially : a pleasure craft with a broad beam, a usually shallow draft, and a large superstructure resembling a house.

We celebrated on Lake Oroville. This body of water sits in central California outside of the popular college town of Chico.
*Fun fact #3 – Chico State was nicknamed the “party school” in 1987 by playboy magazine.

At the doc you get to see a variety of other boats.
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Our home for the holiday!
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Some of the gentlemen playing cards. I was honored to be welcomed to the table after a detailed lesson on the game of whist. England, watch out! The ever so humble and shy guy (haha, love ya Peter) in the black hat is the owner of this watercraft.
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The magnificent ladies of the boat.
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(That’s root beer)
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Although there’s a bathroom with a shower (as well as a kitchen, dining area and bedroom) it’s so much more fun to bath like this:

Step one – Jump in!
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Step two – Lather up…
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

…and make the traditional soap-hawk!
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To rinse? That’s Step three – Water slide!
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Time for a little excursion off the house boat. Getting it all ready… And the crew is set to go!
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For all of you that have a need for speed and power, this ones for you!
This was so loud when passing us that we had to stop conversation and wait for the freight train thunder to clear.
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Quick quiz: There are four girls in this pic. One is Portuguese and German. Another is Irish, English and German. One is Irish and French and the other is Native American, Italian, French and German.
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Answer: Crystal the Portuguese/German is at the top and Stephanie the Irish/English/German is to the right. Kelsey is the French/Irish on the left and I’m the bottom set of legs as the remaining mix.

Safety first! We took pride in our vibrant jackets (that were all youth sizes which makes for a well…. Snug fit).
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Side note: We took the boat up towards the some waterfalls which means this water is not “lake warm”. It certainly brings appreciation to the incredible set of lungs we’re so fortunate to have!

Who doesn’t bring back the old school jumping fun!?
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Is he hesitating to jump in due to the sign behind us or the temperature of the water? Judging by his face, the water isn’t warm.
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

This is one of my favorites because of Crystals expression. “Hey! Do you need to jump directly next to me!?”
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But of course…
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I got to catch a ride on the way back, score!
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Sunsets leading to the fireworks they provide that launch over the water.
*Fun fact #5 – $135.6 million is spent nationally on legal fireworks for this celebration.
Happy Independence Day!
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To the other 13 houseboat mates, I thank you. The conversation, constant smiles and hi-fives were and always are my favorite 4th memories… Cheers to genuine people!

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