Independence Day 2012 started with a Kayaking and Paddleboarding adventure. The weather was just perfect for the upcoming activities the day had to offer. Next to walking the Ridgeline, Paddleboarding or Kayaking early in the morning is probably the most therapeutic activity GTMO has to offer. Once on the water you can stay close to your friends or venture off a little on your own. You can't help but go deep in thought and reflect on your life and maybe even dream a little.
After the most relaxing hour on the water I had 20 minutes to get ready for a really rare event; the citizenship ceremony held on this very day. That was really great to witness. When I became a citizen of the United States there were probably 100 people doing the same, it was in San Diego and there was nothing special about the day, except that I became a citizen of course. On this day my friend Val was naturalized by someone from the U.S. who traveled from Jamaica to perform the ceremony for a Mexican in Cuba. Pretty amazing and so glad I was a part of her special day.
Rest? No way! we're just getting started. Windmill Beach here we come! Many families gathered on one of our best beaches and were greeted with pretty fantastic waves. Amazing for little people to play in and for grown ups to ride the boogie boards. It was fun, relaxing, entertaining. It was a great afternoon.
We had a couple of hours to recover from the beach before heading to the celebrations at the Bayview and Tiki Bar. The parking lot was blocked off for the children's events... face painting, games, balloons, shaved ice, mosquitoes -- of course they were out but it's OK, no one here travels without bug repellent or as we like to call it, GTMO Perfume - tropical is my favorite scent.
The adults without kids had their fun as well. They were sitting in the Patio of the Tiki Bar and Bayview enjoying live music from Anberlin. Good music, good energy, refreshing drinks. The evening ended with the most amazing music and fireworks combination.
MWR GTMO did a fantastic job putting on a show we will never forget. We did not attend the two previous years' events because we made other plans. I recommend planning your parties early and attending this event instead. We all had a great time and the kids were in bed by 10 pm and slept in until 9 am the next day, that's a treat in my book!!
Hope you had a great 4th of July as well. I am personally thankful for all this great nation has given me and my family!