Fireworks -- cul-de-sac style!

OK, so it's true that my family lives twenty miles south of Washington, D.C. and we have the opportunity every year to go into the big city and watch some fireworks that are, let's face it, pretty spectacular.

You don't get the chance every day to see a live concert featuring the National Symphony Orchestra, along with famous Hollywood, Broadway, Motown and Nashville types -- and oh have mercy, but the "1812 Overture" with cannons fired by soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Regiment -- The Old Guard.

tangent: Members of The Old Guard are among the most elite soldiers of the U.S. Army -- whose job is to protect the nation's capital, to serve as honor guards at military funerals at Arlington National Cemetery and -- their greatest responsibility and honor -- to stand perpetual vigil at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington.

Well, I have been to the Capitol to watch the glamorous fireworks, and I'm sure I'll go again some day. But these days I prefer a suburban Independence Day celebration.

Because, really -- it's hard to beat a cul-de-sac filled with neighbors who have all gathered to watch stuff blow up.

About six families all converged in front of our driveway last night, with the fireworks they had purchased from the Marching Band Boosters Club fireworks stand or the Send a Gymnast to Nationals and Use a Ten-Percent Off Coupon booth.

Virginia law prevents us from sending any explode-y stuff up into the air.

We do get to play with sparklers, though!

The tall boy loves the neighborhood festivities because he gets to be the go-to guy for all explosions.

The tall boy's Uncle Godfather came over with his family to watch the fun. And to drink a little wine out of a jam jar, because that's how we roll.

Another beautiful thing about the cul-de-sac fireworks is that somebody always brings a special treat. Sometimes it's margaritas and sometimes it's glo-sticks.

Gotta love it either way!

The grand finale was this monstrosity of a bucket o' fun; how swell is it that this particular one-wick extravaganza is called "These Colors Don't Bleed"?! It tells you everything you need to know about fireworks in the South. Even the wussy Virginia South where you can't fill the skies with "These Colors Don't Bleed" -- you can just fill the cul-de-sac.

Check out the fireworks refuse littering the street as my Teenage Doppelganger lights the monster finale!

Nope! These colors don't bleed at all!

I hope everyone had a fabulous Independence Day!

Image Credits:
"D.C. Fireworks" courtesy of
"NSO 4th of July" courtesy of A Capitol Fourth
"Guard at the Tomb" courtesy of