Saturday, July 05, 2008

4th of July, Harrisburg (Balla)

Somehow, even though we aren't on a road trip this summer, we managed to find ourselves away from home on the 4th of July. There we were, having a lite bite alfresco, when the fireworks started high over the Susquehanna River.

Unfortunately, they were not quite high enough...

In between us and the explosions was this seven-story high parking garage. It was fun for a few minutes, waiting for those special fireworks that climbed high enough for us to get the whole view. But eventually Julie and Z started asking if we could run across the street and climb to the roof of the garage.

So there we were, moments later, dashing up the stairs. (Who has time for elevators!?) Yeah, I had just done a 5K training run and my quads were a bit sore...but the payoff was way,way cool! Upon arriving at the top, we were greeted with a bird's eye view of the fireworks being set off from City Island.

With that fun time under our belts, consider our previous three fireworks watching experiences:

Parked in the middle of Veirs Mill Road, watching the second half of the Wheaton fireworks.

Hanging out in a parking lot in Topeka, setting off M-80s and watching people all around the city set off their own not-so-little displays.

Standing on a Motel 6 balcony in Albuquerque. (Did we even see any fireworks?)

Can't we ever just go to the park, put a blanket down, and watch fireworks like normal Americans?


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

This Will Make a Good Poster for Our Apartment in Běijīng

What a rare treat it was the other night to have a goodbye party thrown on our behalf. I mean, it's not like we are moving away permanently to some far-off, exotic, say, York, Pennsylvania...

Hey, we'll be gone for about a year. By the time anyone really notices that we've left, it will be just about time for us turn around and head back. And there we'll be...dropping off and picking up the kids at school (I should say schools, plural), and lectoring and distributing communion at Mass on Sunday.

In the meantime, thanks, gang, for noticing that we will be leaving. And be sure to think of us the next time you pour yourself a nice, warm glass of Qīngdǎo. (Yes, they really do drink it that way! "Coming up next...Our cameras follow Steve Balla around China in his ongoing quest to wash down some tasty xiǎolóngbāo with a cold bottle of píjiǔ.")