June 29

It’s Fourth of July weekend, or, as I call it, Exploding Christmas. ~ Stephen Colbert

You’re welcome. ~ George Washington

[Getting an early start (because holidays are all about eating), the Super and I used her pandemic OK’ed coupon for dinner at D. Michael B’s. Still the best menu in town, and our after Senior College classes go to place for a nosh and a beverage . . . ]

July 2

[So, here we are waking up. What’s not to like about coffee and doughnuts . . . ]

America’s a family. We all yell at each other, and it all works out. ~ Louis C.K.

[The coffee and doughnuts are on the right . . . ]

[And right across the street . . . ]

[The previous Ben Franklin is now The Edge Company, a new enterprise begun under the ownership of Kiyana Miller, a graduate of Alexandria Area High School a mere five years ago . . . ]

[It opened the previous day – we had to check it out . . . ]

[Of course one must always cross at the light, so here’s looking back at the Chamber of Commerce event from the corner of 7th & Broadway . . . ]

Unfortunately for novelists, real life is getting way too funny and far-fetched. ~ Carl Hiaasen

[Thanks be to Coldwell Banker . . . ]

[Looking back at whence we came from The Edge’s front door . . . ]

Thanksgiving without turkey is like the Fourth of July with no apple pie or Friday with no two pizzas. ~ Joey from Friends

[Kiyana played basketball for the Cardinals, and she is with her old (“previous” would be better) coach Wendy Kohler. Photo on loan from the coach’s FB page . . . ]

[And then it was on to Carlos Creek Winery for Patchouli . . . ]

The duo known as Patchouli consists of master guitarist Bruce Hecksel and singer/songwriter, guitarist Julie Patchouli. These two living musical legends have performed over 3,500 live shows, traveled over a million miles on tour, recorded and released 19 CDs, earned multiple songwriting and industry awards, performed on TV, film and are played on radio programs around the world. That being the case, it’s likely you’ve heard of them, perhaps even seen them perform live. If not, I must strongly urge you to do so. For, the feel-good-vibrations at a Patchouli show are, in my experience, unparalleled. Their authentic, musical light washes over audiences, leaving no mouth un-smiled (theartofmusic.com).

He makes me melt like a popsicle on the fourth of July. ~ Darla, “The Little Rascals”

Americans will put up with anything provided it doesn’t block traffic. ~ Dan Rather

[Bruce is also an artist of some repute – guitar shapes are featured in all his works . . . ]

When you’re born, you get a ticket to the freak show. When you’re born in America, you get a front-row seat. ~ George Carlin

[Remember that food part of holidays? The Super needed a snack . . . ]

If our Founding Fathers wanted us to care about the rest of the world, they wouldn’t have declared their independence from it. ~ Stephen Colbert

You wonder sometimes how our government puts on its pants in the morning. ~ Jon Stewart

[When we arrived at the winery there was not a chair or table to be had . . . ]

Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it. ~ George Bernard Shaw

Let’s not forget why we celebrate 4th of July, it is the day Will Smith saved us from the aliens. ~ “Independence Day”

The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off. ~ Gloria Steinem

[A classic Patchouli original . . . ]

All people are born alike. Except Republicans and Democrats. ~ Groucho Marx

A real patriot is the fellow who gets a parking ticket and rejoices that the system works. ~ Bill Vaughan

I normally don’t have a burger, a brat, and a steak but… it’s 4th of July. And I need the energy if I’m gonna start blowing crap up. It’s what the founding fathers would want. ~ Jim Gaffigan

July 3

[The Fat Boys are loathe to walk on holiday weekends. So the Super and I took the babies for a stroll around the Ridgewood neighborhood (a/k/a, across the street from us) . . . ]

[As the crow flies, I grew up one house away from the Karnises in Victoria Heights . . . ]

Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels. ~ Mark Twain

America is a large friendly dog in a small room. Every time it wags its tail, it knocks over a chair. ~ Arnold Toynbee

[That’s Arrowwood on the far side of Lake Darling . . . ]

[After the walk, some outside play time . . . ]

[This is Quinie . . . ]

[There must be something to find in here?]

Christopher Columbus, as everyone knows, is honoured by posterity because he was the last to discover America. ~ James Joyce

[This is Laddie . . . ]

America is a country that doesn’t know where it is going but is determined to set a speed record getting there. ~ Laurence J. Peter

[Quinie could be a partner in a game of catch . . . ]

It was decided almost two hundred years ago that English should be the language spoken in the United States. It is not known, however, why this decision has not been carried out. ~ George Mikes

Laughter is America’s most important export. ~ Walt Disney

True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else. ~ Clarence Darrow

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. ~ George Orwell

I venture to suggest that patriotism is not a short and frenzied outburst of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime. ~ Adlai E. Stevenson

[And later it was on to the theatre . . . ]

July 2 & 3 @ 7:30pm

Jonny James and the Hall of Fames (The Song Remains the Same – JJHOF Does Zeppelin, Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon & Other Floydian Tales) is back again with a brand-new show paying tribute to another of the greatest British bands of all time. Queen has rocked us over the years with their chart-topping hits and bountiful B-sides – and JJHOF is here to keep it all alive. The core group (Jonny James, Andy, Mike and Matt) will be joined by the ridiculously talented singer/actor, Ben Bakken.

This show is dedicated to bringing you the live performances of Queen with all the energy, extravagance and rock you can handle. Featuring hits like “Another One Bites the Dust,” “Don’t Stop Me Now,” “Somebody to Love,” “We Will Rock You” and many more. This new show is bound to be “A Kind of Magic!”

[A preview . . . ]

[My usual terrible shots with the phone camera . . . ]

The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville

Intellectually I know that America is no better than any other country; emotionally I know she is better than every other country. ~ Sinclair Lewis

[Yes, it’s true. We knew Freddie. We met him on a city street bench in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 2018. Where else would one expect to meet him?]

July 4

[Again, it comes back to eating. The Super and I had the Alexandria Golf Club dining room all to ourselves for breakfasts that fed us for the next two meals back home . . . ]

[The difference was her menu had “French” toast . . . ]

[While mine had “Frech” toast?]

We’re immigrants. We get the job done. ~ Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Hamilton”

[Not only great, uncluttered ambience, but a quite nice view too . . . ]

[Things to come this summer . . . ]

[Then back to Carlos Creek Winery for an afternoon with Josie Nelson . . . ]

[Would you believe 93 degrees and windy?]

[Folks found shade where they could . . . ]

[We’d missed Josie’s first 3 or 4 performances the season thru scheduling conflicts and bad weather. We were determined to stick it out . . . ]

[There were a substantial group of tweens in the crowd – obviously Josie fans. They kept going by the stage and putting tips in her jar. I asked Josie to ask her fans to drop their parents’ business cards in as well. We’re always looking for donors for Theatre L’Homme Dieu . . . ]

We’re the kids in America. ~ Kim Wilde

It’s a party in the U.S.A. ~ Miley Cyrus

I’m just like my country. I’m young, scrappy and hungry. ~  “Hamilton”

She was an American girl. ~ Tom Petty

Being a Jehovah’s Witness, I don’t celebrate birthdays or holidays. I don’t vote. ~ Prince

Ah, my dad’s whistle. On holidays when I was a kid, we would all be off in the rock pools along the beach. When it came time to go, we’d hear the whistle and we’d all come running. Like dogs! ~ Kate Winslett

I said I didn’t want to spend most of my life in Holidays Inns, but I’ve checked and they’ve all been redecorated. They’re marvelous places to stay and I’ve thought it over and that’s where I’d like to be. ~ Walter Mondale

[A Josie original . . . ]

Nothing says holidays, like a cheese log. ~ Ellen DeGeneres

I celebrate everyone’s religious holidays. if it’s good enough for the righteous, it’s good enough for the self-righteous, I always say. ~ Bette Midler

[On the way home, crossing over the Carlos-Darling bridge looking out over Little Darling . . . ]

[Lots of boats between the points of Little and Big Darling – great sandy bottom swimming . . . ]

[The Bumpster’s old house on Darling, now an VRBO. Seems to be a hundred cars there every weekend . . . ]

[Vacant volleyball courts at The Lure – well, it’s 93 degrees, for Pete’s sake . . . ]

[Nevertheless, a good crowd for outdoor dining . . . ]

[And next door Zorba’s as well . . . ]

[Next up, the Alexandria Golf Club . . . ]

[Too hot for much activity . . . ]

[The kids’ bouncy thing is deflated after use for the Patio Grand Opening on the 2nd. We didn’t make this one – you can only cover so much and it was a long, hot afternoon at the winery . . . ]

I’m Muslim the way many of my Jewish friends are Jewish: I avoid pork, and I take the big holidays off. ~ Aasif Mandvi

If all our national holidays were observed on Wednesdays, we could wind up with nine-day weekends. ~ George Carlin

I don’t like holidays. And I don’t like crowds of people. I don’t like noise. ~ Roz Chast (New Yorker cartoonist)

Up Next: TBD

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