It is July the 4th, the Independence Day and worth a celebration. America is a country of freedom, adventure, and courage. It possesses an everlasting spirit to pursue its belief and goal unconditionally. If I want it, I make it happen.  If I believe it, I go for it.  It is this free spirit that empowers the engine of innovation and creativity, the freedom for the good cause that I adore. 
For many years, we mostly stayed home and listened to the fireworks popping in the neighborhood. This year we decided to go out and shoot some fireworks. I have not done it before. It will be an experiment and interesting.
Sunset hour is close to 9:00pm these days and the sky won’t be dark enough till 10:00pm. There is an Art & Vineyard Festival going on in the park. I strolled down the booths and surprisingly discovered quite a few unique and quality art pieces. It is not the typical stuff from Saturday market (our foreign friends called it a hippie market).  It is a nice break for me to see some true art, not home crafts.
Still couple hours from firework display, we had our folding chairs down the grass and enjoyed glasses of mascot. It is sweet but not too sweet, and very smooth.  Band music is in the background and it is a simple pleasure to just watch the little kids play. We used to say America is children’s heaven.  It is no exaggeration at all. They get to experiment anything you can think of earlier on. I can feel that free and daring spirit on them.

Many people were dressed for the occasion particularly kids.  There was this nice man who passed out free balloons. I don’t care for tie-dyed fashion, but his giving spirit makes me to like his shirt and the colorful balloons in his pockets, good match with his shirt. I am too chicken. I could have asked him if I can take his picture so I can get a closer and better shot, but instead, I shoot him from distance. I like street photography, but I know I won’t be good because I am too afraid to ask. I want to be free and courageous, but my Asian cultural background and my introvert nature fight me sometimes.
We checked around and found out where the firework would be launched. One hour prior to the firework show, we found a spot to set up our camera gears, not ideal but OK for our first adventure.  I saw water trucks spraying plenty of water to wet the ground around the launching location.  In addition, two large fire trucks had come to the scene and left. I believe that they came to be familiar with the environment and back to stand by somewhere in case there was a fire emergency.
Both fire trucks have American Flags on the rear end. Being lit in the dark, they look authoritative and glorious. I feel so proud to be an American. I am not just speaking freedom. Americans are very thoughtful and thorough when come to public safety and welfare. A kid falling from the bike can bring couple of fire trucks or ambulance to the scene….
My thoughts were interrupted while firework burst started.  After that, all I can remember is, my hands were continuously on my shutter release till the last minute when we finally took a deep breath of the cold air and packed our equipment home. It was a wonderful July the 4th evening.  I love America.
Below are my firework shots. My first experience shooting fireworks. It was really fun. I will definitely do it again. Next time I will find a better location with some interesting background.

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