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“Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.”  M. F. K. Fisher

Happy 4th of July in America!  (Um, rather belated birthday celebrations…)  Fourth of July (USA’s Independence Day) was a special event for us seeing as we are celebrated on the lake in Michigan.  Michigan is party central when it comes to holidays in the summer months (forget about it in the winter)- so we lived it up.  Every year the lake association holds a special breakfast for residents and their families.  It’s basically a place to go eat breakfast and chat with all the neighbors around the lake.  We engaged in the chatting but considering there are usually no options for vegans, we ate before we left.  This is fine though since we had more time to chat with others.  It’s always nice to have this spare time to chat with people we haven’t seen in years since we have lived miles away.  Then we BBQ’d for lunch and dinner out on the lake – such a blessing!  Then after the sun went down the skies lite up with fireworks galore all over the lake!  So without much more babbling on my part, here’s our holiday in photos:

Today was a special event for my maternal side of the family. My uncle has been working for a few years to restore my deceased grandfathers’ tractors so all of them would once again run. This morning during a local parade all of them were driven by my younger cousins. It was a happy, sad moment for all of us sitting on the sidelines watching them roar past. After the parade we all were playing around on the tractors that we remembered from our childhood with my grandfather. This is me riding one of them at top speed – complete with a giddy look on my face.

Grilling outside on the patio next to the lake. Love life on the lake! The silver thing in the grill is called a “chimney” and is used for charcoal. Apparently this is now used to make the coals heat up quicker – we normally use a gas grill but this is what is available. Warning charcoal isn’t the best for your health if you use it all the time – it has carcinogens.

Since we were having a party on the lake, we chose to make a large grilled salad (Recipe) from the lovely and talented Angela at Oh She Glows website.  We have made this a few times already but really enjoy it for the simplicity and easy access to the ingredients.  We love this recipe since we can take it along on a camping trip and serve about a 100 people (okay maybe that was an exaggeration a bit).  We used all locally grown ingredients to make this recipe today – so exciting to be able to say that!

Here are the vegetables after they are taken from the grill. Isn’t it a gorgeous sight!?!

The finished salad. Mmmmm It doesn’t look like fun but it has all the flavor (umami) that one could ever wish. You can eat it just as is, on top of a salad or even with tortilla chips as a salad.

Every year there is a parade on the lake – and in the city. We had to drive to another city to see the road parade but then locals decorate their boats and parade around the lake in all good fun.

There are a lot of people that were in the parade this year but not as many that decorated. It goes by years if it is good or not. I thought the kayaks were cute, especially with an umbrella.

The sunset was absolutely gorgeous! It was a bit cooler than normal in the summer time so the colors really popped out of the sky.

Genki Husband checking out the lake as the sun was setting.

Genki Husband and I made this vegan cake for everyone to test out. We went ahead and put sprinkles inside the cake for an extra festive look and decorated our heart cake with the American flag. Seems like everyone loved it until they found out it was vegan – we have to stop telling people it’s vegan so they can enjoy it. ha-ha

As a requirement, Genki Husband got a roaring bonfire started to entertain us pyromaniacs.

Fireworks are technically illegal in Michigan if they got past a certain height but many people travel across the state borders and purchase them to bring back for the 4th of July. We did not do this though. It seemed like Chinese lanterns were very popular this year in Michigan. Apparently one must unravel the paper lantern, light the wick inside and let it soar up into the sky. It is amazing how high these can reach – that is if they get past all the trees.

These are the lanterns going off the dock. One is actually in the water and one is floating to the skies. There was also one stuck in a tree – but it didn’t burn anything thank goodness. These go so high that it looks like an airplane.

While the neighbors did fireworks next door, we also watched the fireworks across the lake in all different directions. One actually does not have to buy fireworks on this holiday because there are so many others that do. I think many people actually saved theirs until the weekend for this purpose. We then watched fireworks for a few more days.

The 4th was so exciting all around that the furry babies were so tired. Genki Cat actually stole a bed that was setup at my in-laws on the floor for a family member. It’s a hard life…

If you are American, how was your 4th?  Anyone else see these Chinese Lanterns?