Greetings from Italy, and Happy July 4th! We are just outside Perugia, Umbria, at our friends' place, Le Vigne. Our visit to their beautiful home three years ago is one thing that inspired me to start Glimsen.
Last Saturday, when we stepped out of the van at Le Vigne, our friends, Joan and Roger, came out of their front door and said, "Welcome home!"
What a wonderful greeting it was.
We have been enjoying our visit ever since, and I will be writing more blog posts about it in the coming days. But first, today is July 4th and since Joan and Roger are Americans, too, they hosted a July 4th party this evening for 20+ friends--several Italians, a Canadian, a Welsh, other Americans, and us.
It was an international July 4th party.
For dinner, we had some traditional July 4th fare: grilled hamburgers and bratwurst, potato salad, fruit, and more. For dessert (dolce!), we had cookies and gelato. Since Joan and Mart worked together at Coca-Cola, we also had plenty of Cokes on hand.
Yesterday, Joan asked our daughter to put together an eclectic playlist, which was the perfect request for her because she has a wide knowledge of music for someone so young. She included songs from most every genre and decade. (I made her add "Sweet Home Alabama" for Southern rock, and we laughed when we heard it playing along with the Italian voices in conversation around us.)
During the party, we spoke with some friends we made on our first trip: Marco, our tour guide for two cities, as well as our drivers, Roberto, his wife, and their teenage daughters. The girls spent last year in America on a foreign exchange program, so it was fun hearing about their adventures in and impressions of the US.
We also made some new friends--an American couple living in Assisi and a neighbor couple with a Canadian wife and a Welsh husband. Everyone was friendly, and we enjoyed talking to them about this place that we love.
At the end of the evening, we all went to the fire pit to light sparklers. Roberto popped and poured the champagne so we could toast.
And then all of a sudden, we heard a familiar pop/sizzle sound from the road: fireworks?!
Yes! Roger and Joan surprised us all with our very own fireworks show. But they are such fabulous hosts that I thought, Of course they would have fireworks on July 4th.
Colorful explosions, one after another, lit up the sky over Le Vigne for several minutes. I got almost every one, but here's my favorite:
It was a spectacular ending to a special evening.
And I'm grateful to be able to celebrate this day with loved ones and friends in this beautiful place. As one of the Italian guests said tonight, "Happy Birthday, America!"
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