This was the year where Nick and I introduced Espen to some of our Fourth of July celebrations, and this was the year where we started a few of our own. First up was a trip to the Balloon Fest in Provo to see some hot air balloons.This requires getting up at 5:30 AM and fighting crowds for parking elbow room, but is always so, so worth it, especially if you can make it early enough to see the balloons being inflated. The whole thing is just pretty spectacular:
|My boys and some balloons. Espen was too distracted to ever look at the camera.|
|Lots of balloons and lots of people.|
|Frighteningly delighted by fire.|
|Some of the balloons all ready to go.|
|Espen learned how to shield his eyes from the sun and it was pretty much the cutest thing ever.|
|From the sublime to the ridiculous: all of a sudden a pig floated past a giant coke bottle, all silhouetted against the sunrise. Salvador Dali would be proud.|
There are no pictures of said breakfast because we were all too hungry to stop eating long enough for a photo. Guru's, you did not disappoint.
Then we headed over to Nick's office where we watched the parade from a second story window along the parade route. With air conditioning, comfy chairs, a water cooler and our very own bathroom. It was a beautiful thing.
|The Anti-social Parade Watchers' Guild|
|Waving to the commoners below.|
It was Espen's first Independence Day parade, and I'm pretty sure he now thinks this is how it works. And I think this is going to be how we will do it for as long as we possibly can. He could see everything, and had plenty of room to fidget and run around if he got bored, which was really great for us. We saw one or two toddlers run out into the street during the parade, and I just know that would either be Espen, or I'd spend the entire time worrying that he was next. Again, aristocratic parade viewing is the way to go!
And here is a deluge of parade photos for you:
|Huge balloons continue to be eternally awesome.|
|So many police cars and fire trucks! Espen was in little boy heaven.|
|Espen dancing to a marching band and my eternally white legs.|
|Being Norwegian/English does not allow for nearly enough feather-wearing. Jeal.|
|A somewhat creepy float from Macey's was made down-right hilarious when the marching band behind it started playing the Monty Python theme.|
|We endured dirty windows.|
|More marching bands.|
|Barbie's Magic Kingdom/Miss American Fork.|
|And did we say that huge balloons are awesome?|
Thank you, America, for a wonderful day! Thank you, Utah, for not bursting into flames when the fireworks popped and crackled for three hours straight. And thank you, powers that be, for a great day with my little family.