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Monday, July 6, 2009

a fun-filled fourth

4th of july weekend started out with a nice spa pedicure with the teen, who then headed off to her dad's for the week. talk about yay!/boo. i spent the rest of the day mostly confused by what day it was - it was only friday, but because the hub was home too, i kept thinking it was saturday. heh.

we had dinner at the grandparents' (costco rotisserie chicken! so good and so cheap) and then the hub whisked me away for an unexpected bonus - quasi-date night at the movies! we haven't been to the movie theater together since the night before the bean was born, so that was a treat. we bought tickets for "the hangover," but upon entering the theater found that there weren't any seats left aside from the very front row. blech. so we hightailed it outta there and ended up sitting down to watch "the proposal." super cute movie, and led me to add hot ass ryan reynolds to my "to do" list. phew, that man is smokin'. i guess i didn't do too badly - it was either ryan reynolds or bradley cooper. rowwwwwr.

the next morning, we enjoyed a little playtime with the bean, who loves to hop into the bed just as i'm trying to make it.

"haha, mom, you can't do shit."

"look, i'm sleeping. really, i'm sleeping!"

the bean's very british "mum" has evolved into a good old fashioned american "mooooom!"

we headed over to the grandparents' to suck up some of their air conditioning while the hub and his grandpa played a round of golf. the bean loves going over there to play with all of the old school toys - stuff her daddy played with when he was little.

the table was already festively decorated.

i'd gotten a wild bug up my ass that morning to bring my own patriotic contribution for dessert - a red velvet pound cake recipe i'd had bookmarked forever (i cut the recipe in half and it fit perfectly into a loaf pan). i wanted to decorate the top with some edible blue stars, but couldn't find any. oh, well.

all tuckered out from playing with a zillion toys, the bean zonked out for a looooong, three-hour nap.

while she slept, the ILs and i snuck out to get our cars washed (i'd forgotten what the hell color my car was) and pick up the makings for homemade ice cream. inside this thing:

was a whole lotta half-and-half, sugar, and vanilla. amazing that such deliciousness comes from only three simple ingredients.

and after churning in this thing for a while:

we pulled the lid off to find cold, creamy, scrumptious ice cream.

the bean zeroed in on that bucket like a moth to a flame. she was our official taste-tester.

"cold!" she said.

"grandpa, can i have some more, please?"

and, of course, being a big ol' sucker for that face (as the rest of us are), he gave in.

"num! ooh, my tongue is frozen."

for dinner, there were ribs slow-cooked on the bbq, juicy steaks seasoned by yours truly, and grilled chicken. grandma made her fabulous potato salad, which is always a hit. i never liked potato salad until i had hers. seriously, it's that good.

this is her not-so-secret ingredient. it's fantastic.

there was also this stuff, which i [obviously] didn't partake in, but i enjoyed capturing the pretty, bright colors with the camera.

we watched the thermometer go down as the afternoon gave way to a deliciously cool evening.

when it was time for dessert, i sliced up that red velvet pound cake and we served it alongside scoops of mouthwatering homemade ice cream.

since we'd snoozed and loozed (i know, i know, but it didn't look the same if i wrote "lost") last year and didn't see any fireworks, we made it a point to check the pomona fairplex's website to see what time their show was scheduled to start. we'd been before and had saved on regular admission tickets by simply paying $9 to park in their parking lot and watch the show, so that was the plan again. we get to see several different shows from that vantage point, so it's a pretty cool way to see some fireworks and cap off our holiday.

inspired by my friend winnie, who's a fantastic photographer and had posted some beautiful fireworks pictures she shot last week, i brought the good camera and read through her instructions (and the links she posted) before we left. sadly for me, i don't own a tripod nor do i have the remote control for my nikon, but i figured it wouldn't hurt to give it a shot.

of course, my pictures are nowhere near as awesome as hers, but i (and the hub) sure gave it the ol' college try. they're not TOO bad, and it was fun to experiment with the camera settings and try something other than the "auto" feature. heh.

this one's kinda crazy - there was a small airplane flying through the air as the show went on, and you can see it in action in this shot.

the show itself was a bit disappointing - you could tell they were trying to save as much cash as they could, because they shot the fireworks off one at a time, with long gaps in between. and even after the weak "grand finale," we looked at our watches and realized that it had only been a 15-minute show. hell, the fireworks at the nearby high school lasted at least half an hour. oh, well.

and that was it. 'twas a happy independence day for the wans, and we were happy to have at least one more day to relax and unwind. yay for long weekends!


  1. The ice cream and red velvet cake looks amazing! Yum!

  2. I think your fireworks pics are great! Much better than the ones I took last night at the Hollywood Bowl!

  3. Taking pics of fireworks terrifies me. It seems so hard!

  4. A good relaxing 4th. Nice! And all that food... I'm not joking when I tell you that I paused halfway through reading this to go heat up some leftover BBQ.

  5. 1) The pound cake is gorgeous!
    2) I love that your inlaws have the same old school kind of ice cream maker I do. No one has the ice/salt version any more.
    3) It is SUCH a good thing you weren't with me this weekend. There were bowls of watermelon, cherries, clementines, grapes, strawberries everywhere. Our dessert was a frozen pie filled with blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries.
    4) I was inspired by Winnie too - The hubs was beyond impressed with my fireworks shot from my point and shoot - especially since I don't have much of a zoom. But I DO have a fantastic point and shoot.

  6. I want a slice of that pound cake so badly. I dig the picture of the cherries. Very good lighting :) You did a fab job on the fireworks shots! Esp considering you didn't have a tripod. I can never hold the camera steady enough w/o tripod at night.

  7. nothing beats homemade ice cream!

  8. How did you manage to get so much good shit into one post? Potato salad? Red velvet? Old toys? Homemade ice cream? Faint.

  9. The poundcake is making me drool. I'm going to have to give it a whirl!

    Your fireworks pics are pretty - very nice. :)

  10. i liked the proposal, too. ryan reynolds = dreamy.


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