questionswhat's your most favorable way to spend july 4th?

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My older sister who lives several states away is here visiting with my 16 yr old nephew and a friend of his. It is great seeing them and spending the time with them since they haven't been up in about 6 years (though we have gone down to visit in that time). I took vacation this week so I could spend as much time with them as possible, taking them to the local carnivals, seeing all the fireworks, even planning to take them to Hershey Park one day. it's nice spending any holiday with family and friends.

Enjoy your time with your relatives @ndevries1981!

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My "most favorable" way to spend the 4th of July is to cook outdoors, drink beer and be thankful for our ancestors who were brave enough to bring us over here.

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Cooking out and fireworks, it's pretty hard to find something better than that.

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I agree. Good friends and family, enjoying good food, watching the children play, attending the parade and then, later in the evening, the fireworks. While I prefer lobsters (and we do splurge every few years), I'm content with burgers, salads and home-made icecream. Sunshine helps, but we've had some pretty nice holidays even when it's been raining.

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Cooking, friends, family, and fireworks.

Luckily, we can still have all four here.

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Since I live near a bunch of rednecks and whatnot, I like to stay away from fireworks as much as possible on the 4th, since they set them off weeks before and after the 4th.

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I firmly believe that it is not the 4th of July unless one hears the Boston Pops play the 1812 Overture. I only had the chance to hear it live once; we were on the Esplanade, just west of the Hatch Shell, and it was wicked awesome.

This year, the Boston Pops, some cannons, and a few fireworks are being broadcast live on CBS from 10-11PM Eastern time, the last 20 minutes commercial-free.

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Doing anything but work.

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My favorite way is to play with a Chinese explosive, eat some German food and drink some imported beer (because American beer sucks, except for microbreweries). Makes a whole ton of sense doing this to celebrate American Independence.

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It used to be "Twilight Zone Marathon: Summer Edition" but since I no longer have cable (and since every episode is available on Netflix), I plan to either go for a long walk in the woods or have a movie marathon, followed by MAYBE watching the fireworks from the waterfront a few blocks from my apartment.

And listening to the original and revival Broadway cast recordings of 1776 at least once.

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Doing things that make my mom nervous

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@susan11125: I hadn't even thought about ice cream. Maybe I should break out the ice cream maker. It's been shelved for years-- the ingredients are just so expensive.

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Tuesday is my best friend's birthday, so we'll be taking him to dinner and then cake and gifts at my house afterward. Wednesday I am expecting about 40 friends over for a cookout and watching the fireworks display held downtown from my deck (private fireworks are banned due to drought). Thursday morning a group of friends and I are going horseback riding at a local stable. Friday is volunteer work in the morning followed by movies and lunch out with friends. There's a local arts and music festival Saturday, and Saturday evening is our monthly cooking club get together, we are having a Tuscan picnic this time. Sunday is my gaming group. No rest for the wicked!

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@moondrake: Oh thanks, now I want to make ice cream. I have this little guy (and no I didn't pay that much because I am not ridiculous and you all teach me well to look for bargains.) :)

Should I do basic vanilla, something with berries, chocolate chip or coffee flavor?

My current plans involve keeping things low key, and likely looking from a vantage point high in Seattle down at the Lake Union fireworks. :)

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@inkycatz: I would go with vanilla, and you can put the "mix-ins" on the side for people to make whatever they want. Although the best ice cream I ever made was with ripe fresh peaches and peach brandy and it was simply magnificent! I am thinking Midori and honeydew melon puree would make for a very nice ice cream as well. Amaretto and fresh cherries? Drambuie and dark chocolate bits? I'll have to make something non-alcoholic as there will be kids at the party, but while I rarely consume alcohol, I think it pairs very nicely with ice cream and fruit.

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Grill, drink and blow things up
Unfortunately, for the last two years fireworks have been banned.
So I'll just cook and drink and maybe launch water balloons at the gas station across the street