Independence Day 2017

Our first Independence Day in California was pretty cool. We went to a local park for an organised fair/fete type celebration - $8 entry for food stalls, various ways to entertain kids (it was very family focussed), and then an (impressive) firework display after dark.

Chilli dog: messy but delicious
It was pretty similar to some organised Guy Fawkes events I've been to in the UK, but obeyed what I'm consistently recognising as Rule Number One Of America:
Everything is bigger in America
I'm not the first to describe this rule but it really does seem true! The fireworks themselves especially - this was a pretty small fair, serving the community of Goleta (adjacent to Santa Barbara proper) with a total population of around 30,000. That's half the size of Chesterfield (Derbyshire), or about the same as Wilmslow (Cheshire) - yet the display seemed to me to be as impressive (and long) as I'd expect for a large city's main 'official' event, like Manchester or Sheffield. Maybe small British towns have upped their game too without me noticing, but I was impressed anyway.

I took a few firework photos, which may or may not have come out - I'll add some later if they're any good.

Things to remember for next Independence Day:

  • Bring a jumper: short, t-shirt and sandals isn't enough after dark
  • Bring a torch: the local sidewalks are not well lit at night (people don't normally walk anywhere)
  • Wear some red, white and blue clothes: there were a lot of 'patriotic' outfits going on
Aside from that, we've been busy finding somewhere to live longer-term, figuring out all the things we can't do until we have a long-term mailing address, and getting US cell numbers (this took more faff than expected). More on all that some other time... 


  1. Badly lit sidewalks! 🤔 Not sure I would be happy about this at all!

    1. Yeah it was disconcerting. The road we were walking along was (not unusually for round here) a two-lane highway that would normally be 45mph limit. Due to roadworks, actually 35mph, and we had some roadworks between us and the traffic, so it wasn't too bad, but still.

      (The smaller roads that most houses are actually on tend to be 25mph limits, but there's more space between clusters of housing than in the UK, so there are faster roads linking everything up even though this is all very much within a single 'small' town.)

      America (almost all of it) is just completely designed with cars in mind rather than pedestrians. Which does make driving much more pleasant, on the other hand. This Santa Barbara area is also actually really bike-friendly, with wide bike lanes on almost every road. So I can't complain too much!


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