Sunday, July 8, 2012

Celebrating Independence Day in Amsterdam

...Better late than never, right?
Of the many parallel joys+frustrations that come with living the expat life,
the feeling of missing out on important cultural traditions can be tough.
For me it's celebrating one of my favorite holidays, 4th of July!
 Like most Americans, I have fond memories of warm summer breezes, childhood trips to Lake Michigan to watch fireworks with family and friends, lighting sparklers,
relaxing around bonfires, and a swarm of red, white and blue everywhere.

This year, I celebrated on the actual holiday with a few American gals and some delicious cocktails last Wednesday. Then it dawned on me this year marks my third year celebrating our Independence Day here in Amsterdam! Although happy hour was great fun, it just didn't feel like The Fourth. Don't get me wrong, in the past I've had a blast relaxing in the park (2010) or grilling veggieburgers with friends (2011) but this year heading to a more traditional fair sounded really appealing...

Saturday afternoon I loaded my bike with picnic necessities, picked up my friend LaTasha and headed over to Vondelpark for the annual picnic with Democrats Abroad.

Just as predicted, we found ourselves in a lively group of American expats and enjoyed munching on a delicious picnic spread while sharing our expat stories together.
Plus, we had an impromptu watermelon seed spitting contest,
Which is also something silly I used to do with mama while growing up, such great fun!
 Celebrating this holiday really feels like summer has officially arrived!


Sure, we missed out on late night fireworks but instead managed to register for our overseas voting ballots which in the long run is clearly more important.

I'm curious how my fellow expats celebrated- A picnic party? Drinks with friends? Nothing at all?
Either way, I hope you all had a lovely holiday, no matter where in the world you are!

PS. Don't forget, you can easily register for a voting ballot right here.
Go on, what are you waiting for??


  1. Anonymous9.7.12

    Half the fun of eating watermelon is spitting seeds at each other....i have not even done that lately! -mom

  2. Alas, the watermelons we could find for sale in Portland on the 4th were all seedless! I agree that dispending with

    1. what a bummer! hope you're having a great time in pdx, big hugs to everyone! xx

  3. ah, thanks for the tip...going to register right now!