Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fireworks: One of God's Greatest Gifts to Mankind

We in the Nelly household love the 4th of July. This year especially rocked because Utah had the ability to change the day its citizens celebrated Independence Day to the 5th, and events ended up being spread out across a 3-day weekend.

We began our wonderful weekend on Friday night by going to our first ever Major League Soccer game, Real (as in the Spanish word for royal) Salt Lake vs. the New England Revolution, with Rich's old teammate Reagan Frey and his wife Sarah. It turns out Real is really good and New England is pretty awful. Real won (very) easily, 5-0. Soccer games are so different than any other sporting event I've been to. We brought rolls of streamers with us, and after the goals we threw them into the crowd and even down onto the field. And that's COMPLETELY allowed. I'm used to BYU games where you get a piece of confetti on the floor or field and they're after your life. Soccer is so much more laid back, and I like that.

I felt so out of place because I didn't have anything Real, or anything soccer for that matter, to wear to the game. Rich happily sported his USA jersey.

The CRAZY supporter section at the game. Their "band" played the entire game, but their trumpeter only knew about 2 notes.

The game ended with a pretty good fireworks show (though nothing compared to what we would see the next day), just perfect for kicking off our Independence Day weekend. They even let us go down on the field to watch the game. You would NEVER see that at BYU.

A really cool shot of the fireworks (thanks Sarah for all of the pictures!)

Saturday brought us an all-American BBQ with Cami and Ethan. It was delicious! We headed up to BYU campus afterwards to claim our spots to watch Stadium of Fire. We weren't close enough to the stadium to hear much of Carrie Underwood, but we had a pretty good view for the fireworks. This show put the Real one to shame.

Waiting for the fireworks to start

We sat around Sunday basically waiting for the night when Cami, Ethan, Rich, and I could head over to Chad (another of Rich's old teammates) and his wife Bethany's house to set off fireworks. Chad and Bethany have two adorable kids, Chase and Savannah, and it was awesome setting off the fireworks with them. It's just something else seeing how little ones appreciate it, smiling and yelling and wanting to choose which one we do next.

Chase helping Savannah pose for the picture

A little taste of our fireworks (we put Stadium of Fire to shame, right?)

The official day off for Independence Day in Utah was Monday, which began early in the morning with the Freedom Run 5K for Rich. He thought he could just take it easy in this race and easily earn us $300 so he hadn't really trained for it, but real road racers decided to show up and ruin the fun.

At the start of the race

Rich finished in 4th (with a pretty decent time), but he still may be able to get the 3rd place prize because his teammate Jon Kotter (who came in 3rd) still has eligibility and can't accept prize money. Rich also got a cool trophy for being the first finisher in his age division. And guess who we saw there!

Steve Young!

Rich was brave enough to ask if we could take a picture with him. He had just finished running the 10K and I know he gets this type of thing all the time, but he was gracious enough to let us be adoring fans.

We headed over to the "Grand Parade" after the race, but it wasn't really all that grand. I mean, it was cool. But people camped out overnight for good spots, and there were almost no places left to sit. It wasn't that cool. They didn't even throw out candy.

We finished out our 4th of July weekend with dinner at Burgers Supreme, a Provo classic. Can I just say that In-N-Out is completely overrated? Burgers Supreme is a thousand times better. (If you love In-N-Out, can we please still be friends?)


  1. Hey thanks again for letting us do fireworks with you guys! It was a great night.