Today is July 4, Independence Day. And yet here I sit, in Central London, silently celebrating my Independence while living back among the Brits from whom I am supposed to be independent. Fate works in wierd ways!
The American expat community (of whom I am not a member, really) has a lot of celebrations and does it's best to commemorate the holiday but nothing beats what I used to do, which is watch the fireworks down on the Jersey Shore. I do miss the shore, and the heat, those markers of an American summer in the NorthEast.
To reflect the stereotype of Americans as obese heart attacks on two legs, London diners have rib and hotdog eating competitions as a way to mark the holiday.
One of my fondest July 4 memories is the one where my mother and I were in Livingston, Montana (a throwback to I don't even know when) and we got caught in a 4th of July parade that sprung up out of nowhere. It was such a strange, yet really cool, experience - Livingston looks like modern life hasn't touched it a bit. It was really hot, and people pulled their deck chairs up to the side of the parade route to watch the marching bands and makeshift floats go by. It doesn't get more American than that.