Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Flashback: A Fourth of July to Remember 2014

Ever since I watched the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating contest on TV in a casino in Vegas 4 years ago, I already had it in my mind that I want to see it live. It didn't take much convincing to get boyfriend on board. I love the Fourth of July. Actually my family always has a huge party and my dad goes crazy with fireworks. I'm used to doing it big on our nation's birthday. I always wish I were in Tulsa that day. My parents have a big property with a pool and basketball court. They always set up the lawn chairs in a big circle for the fireworks display. Their place is the best to just hang out. The 4th, and Thanksgiving - those are the days I miss them most.

Anyhow, Nathan's was awesome!! The announcer is hilarious. He has that jazz age straw hat and a goofy voice. Apparently he's been the announcer for ages. My favorite part was when they called the contestants up. They had the funniest introduction messages - from totally random stuff to some very serious eating competition stats. We got up early and went down to Coney Island. It's a bit of a hike from our place since we live in an L shape from that side of Southern Brooklyn. It was a bus to Atlantic, then a train to the beach. It wasn't very busy at first so we were able to get a beer and a dog before we found a spot - beer at 9AM, that's my kind of holiday. They passed out fun clappers, beads, hats, all kinds of stuff. Since we were standing towards the entrance point, we got a few goodies. 

The wait wasn't too bad. We hung out and talked, there was a couple of musicians - a song from a Broadway play a few cast members came down to perform. There was a bunch of dancing hot dogs, of course.

First up was the women's competition. They can only eat half or less than the men. But it was still really entertaining! Amazing how they have all these little techniques - using coffee instead of water to break up the buns quicker. 3 buns, drink, 2 dogs, drink.
Female competition
And the bad news. I read on the internet that one of the main reasons to get there early is so you can get in the first section before they close it off. They break up the crowd with big barriers so they can create walkways in and around for contestants, press, etc. I assumed we'd have a wrist band or something, but nope. Anyway, after the women were done, boyfriend had to pee so he just left and came back. I was surprised! I thought for sure he would have a hard time because of what I read. Surprised...and stoked though, because I had to pee too! So I walked out the exact same way he did, went to the bathroom, got us another beer, and headed back. I came up the barrier near where we'd been standing all morning and the woman wouldn't let me pass. She said they had just shut the option to go back in. So unlucky. Obviously, if it had been shut when I left I would have held out. The most important part of the day was about to start! But of course I didn't, so I was stuck. I had such a girl moment too. (Why does that always happen at the worst times??) I literally started to tear up...I just couldn't believe we'd gotten up so early, been there all morning standing in the same place, only to completely miss the most important part. And this was not a situation where you can still see, just not as good. This was a see or don't see. I was really disappointed. It's silly, I know. I even knew it was silly at the time. I had two big beers and literally no where to stand. I was in the walkway, so I had to go all the way to the back. I didn't want boyfriend to have to come out the very least he should see the main event. So I tried to just stand to the side and wait. Of course he came out looking for me. He tried talking to the guard and said "she's my girlfriend, we've been here all day, blah blah". They just were not budging. So, we sulked to the back and watched the television screens. Then it started pouring down rain haha Needless to say, next time I'll hold it :(

I still kinda wish I'd written a letter or something. It was really was a huge bummer.

After the contest, we stopped at a classic pizza spot in Brooklyn. Di Fara is legend. This old man literally cuts the basil with scissors for every pizza. And he pours fresh olive oil on the pies with a little metal watering can. One of the cutest things ever. The pizza was delicious too of course!

Later in the day we headed down to the Brooklyn piers for the big Macy's Fireworks Show. And wow, unbelievable. By far the best fireworks display I've ever seen. 

You can see they lit the freedom tower for the 4th.

We had a really great time hanging out at Brooklyn Bridge Park beforehand too. Beautiful views of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan. The ships kept coming by spraying water everywhere. It made for really awesome photos.

Haha look at that handsome fellow :)

Don't you just love that pano.
3 separate sets of fireworks, and they were going off on the bridge as well!

Oh, flashback! Sorry for the late post. Hope you all had a fantastic fourth this year!
With <3,