Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Good Friends, Good Food, Good Day!

In the past, I haven’t been very inclined to go see the 4th of July fireworks celebration at Magic Island. I can recall going once back in ’98 or so? I think it was an okay time. So when Jules sent me the invitation to go this year…I, uh…well, I’ll just say that I’ll pretty much do anything for Jules. She coordinated it with Donna.

It was potluck and I never know what to bring. I started thinking about it early. People usually buy something to bring and I didn’t wanna do that. They were gonna be there all day so I wanted to bring something solid [read: not dessert].

I settled on my healthy version of fried chicken. If you nevah come, too bad! You missed out!


After IMPACT the night before, I got home, showered, decompressed a lot, then got set up for cooking. I had just finished with packing up the chicken when my ride called. It was about 2:30 AM. I had not slept at all. Mom was concerned that I’d be cranky; why would she think that?

Henry and Dwayne picked me up and we were off! The gates opened at 4. We got there about quarter-to, so we relaxed a bit. When we got into the parking lot, we got a good spot and then had to find out where the ladies were. Donna had parked one row away from us. We unloaded a bunch of stuff; Henry brought a hand-truck, so that was easy. Jules and Cheryl were already holding a spot for us near a tree, so they were easy to find.

It was dark while we were setting up the tent, but Donna KNEW how to put it together! She laid out the poles and we got started. It took us about 15 minutes. Donna even taught us the advanced course on bungy cords.

Later on in the day, I watched some guys next door put up their tent. It took them at least a half-hour, probably more, in the sunlit sky. Their tent was one of those where the poles are all connected by a bungy cord so it’s easy, just snap in place stuff. The people next door had a tent like ours, but several of their bungy cords snapped off and their tarps were flapping in the breeze. Ours stayed put all day long! Go Donna!

We had several tables, mats, and chairs. After a short deliberation, we set up the tent with a “livingroom” and a “diningroom.” Good thinking, ‘cuz it was the perfect set up the whole day. [Jules, gotta remember that for next time].

The 4 a.m. crew: Henry, Dwayne, Donna, Jules, Cheryl, and Bonnie. Good job everyone!

Throughout the day, we had plen’y activity to keep everyone entertained. We had card games, portagee horseshoes, balloon animals and hats [Bonnie], volleyball, water time for the kids, water balloon games, etc. We played a Q&A game where we get to ask the person next to us a question, but we all took an oath never to reveal the answers to outsiders. Nah! It’s only gonna cost ya’ $50 per answer.

Henry’s letting me try out his DSLR so we took some shots with it. Okay, confession, I was a little cranky. I had a small 15-min nap somewhere in the day. So I didn’t take too many pictures. Hopefully I can snag some from Jules. You gotta see the hats! But if not, too bad, you missed out if you weren’t there!

And the food! Steak, salmon steak, chicken, chili, pumpkin pie, lychee, crackers & cheese, oysters, fruits of all kinds, veggies of all kinds, hot dogs, Jello…. O-NO. I scarfed down all the cherries, couldn’t get enough of ‘um.

Others trickled in: Donna’s aunt, cousin Tricia, her husband Jay, their sons Jayden [5] and Bryce [3], Jayson, Steve and Alex, Tony, Harold [?], Krystal and her dogs Vinnie & Rosie, Yuri, Prakay, Scott and friends.

bvvvv [<--- Mega jumped in my lap and wanted to say something]

The show got started and it was fantastic! We had the perfect spot for it. Well worth the entire day! Steve had a lens for the night shots. I liked the fireworks that kinda looked like orchids. Some of the shots look like they're of a galaxy or something.

After the show, everyone was good about helping to clean up and haul stuff to the cars. We had a great group of friends with us that day! I don’t know if it could’ve gone any better!

Well, if they do it again, hopefully I can grab some sleep next time. By the end of the night, I even forgot that I had to get home somehow! Donna and Henry hadn’t had much more sleep either and I dunno how they had so much energy! I must be getting old, no can handle the all-nighters anymore. I’m not in studio-condition. ; )

Enjoy the pictures! MAHALO to JULES and DONNA!

Chino with Jayden and Bryce. Henry showing me how to take action shots.

Rosie, the mommy. She's snarling at the dog next door.

Vinnie, Rosie's son. He's chill like that.

Both of them in Jules' lap. Think she needs some help.

Reinforcement arrives! Alex with Vinnie. Alex pointed out to me that he's missing teeth. :D

Donna finally getting in some siesta time.

Cheryl's having a good time!

A shot from the livingroom.

Bonnie and Yuri grillin' it up! Mmmm!

I liked these also 'cuz they looked like moving stars.

The RED WHITE and BLUE finale!