Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Fourth Of July In Venice - Freedom!

When you leave somewhere as pretty as Minnesota in the Summer, it helps to return to somewhere as pretty as Venice. It helps even more when your excellent friends plan a July 4th party to rock their foundation.

A foundation that is in jeopardy, by the way, as big developers once again are trying to cleanse our town of our charming bungalows to put up massive ugly boxes, this time on Penmar. So, what better way to celebrate our freedom than a big old bash/show of defiance? And that's exactly what we did.

It was not only a Fourth of July party, but also a one year birthday party for Hatchet Hall (and the 111th birthday for Venice!), the restaurant owned and operated by our party hosts. Chef Brian Dunsmoor and his team closed down the restaurant for the day, but did not take the day off, as they cooked up a crawfish boil feast for all of us lucky friends. Crawfish, sausage, Weiser Farms potatoes, corn on the cob, fried chicken, biscuits, watermelon ... that's about as American as you can get, and it was outrageously delicious. Of course.

Andy Clockwise spun tunes for us all day (kindly throwing down a lot of Prince as I'd just come from visiting Paisley Park and was missing the Minneapolis fireworks coordinated to his music), and we all got DOWN. There's not a whole lot better than day drinking and dancing in the sunshine ... unless it's sunset drinking and dancing ... or nighttime fireworks drinking and dancing ... all of which are American dreams.

The Penmar residents graciously opened the party up to all of Venice, so the crowd was a fine mix of old friends and new. I started a million stories that I didn't finish, only to pick back up where we left off hours later. New stories were also created, as the kegs were slowly depleted and the explosions in the sky began. We all gathered outside for a group photo before it got dark, to document a special time in history, a special day, and a special and beloved place that might not always be here, at least like it was.

It truly was a Happy 4th Of July. We never made it down to the beach to see the official fireworks display, but we didn't need to. The feeling is inside of us, and it was really just about being together. Happy Birthday to our Venice ... we love you just the way you are!  We The People! Freedom!

Thank you to Brian and Lacey for hosting a day we won't soon forget. Love!

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