After living in Mexico for several years, this year I was excited to finally spend Independence Day in the USA. I was looking forward to having some good old fashioned American fun and to seeing a real fireworks show, as they don't have those in Cancun. Also, it was Fer's first ever 4th of July in the States, another reason to celebrate.
I was SO excited I actually baked red, white, and blue cupcakes! A plus about living in the USA is that you can find recipes on Pinterest and actually find all the ingredients at one store and for a reasonable price. I can't wait to try more new recipes!
On Thursday night we drove to my sister's house in Cooper City, Florida to spend the weekend with her, her fiancé (also named Fernando!), his son Adrian, and Fernando's sister Jackie.
Friday we grilled out with hamburgers and hotdogs, made Mexican ojo rojo drinks (an alcohol free one for me), and after the afternoon storms passed we headed to nearby Bamford park that was hosting fireworks, arts & crafts, rides for kids, live music, and lots of yummy food trucks.
We took our time, walked around and took in the sites. I decided to live it up and get my face painted. We watched my nephew jump in some bounce houses and enjoy rides. The innocence and culture of the 4th of July swept over me. Finally, I was getting to show Fer something unique about my country, after learning about Mexico over the last several years. The diversity of the families, the joy of the children, and the colors of the sunset left us feeling happy and content.
You should have seen Fer's face during the fireworks show, it was priceless. He had never experienced anything like it. The "finale" at the end of the show where they pump up the amount of fireworks and everyone cheers literally left him speechless. He asked me if we would have to wait another 365 days to experience a fireworks show like this. Needless to say, I think his first stateside 4th of July was a success.
On Saturday night we ventured into Sunny Isles Beach where my sister and her fiancé used to live before they bought their house. We ate a family dinner at their favorite local Indian spot. If you know anything about Miami and its surrounding suburbs, it is very diverse. Fer pointed out "Wow there are all different kinds of people that work here. Our waiter is Indian, the hostess was Eastern European, there are a few latinos, and an Asian waitress as well."
Perhaps the best part about being back in the USA is the mindfulness that we are and always have been a nation of immigrants. That it has never been odd or weird for me to see people from different countries speak different languages and live and work in the United States. In that moment I thought back to many times in Cancun where I was stared at because I have light skin and speak English. It became normal to me to feel like an alien in Mexico - a gringa amongst Mexicans. Here, you don't bat an eyelash when you hear another language. You are never a Mexican amongst Americans, you are just American.
In that moment Fer smiled and I could tell he felt comfortable, like he would never be made to feel out of the place living in the USA. A perfect lesson for me and my loved ones to learn on the 4th of July. :)