The Star Spangled Afternoon with Friends

It's not very often I get to celebrate Fourth of July in Japan (for obvious reasons).

Growing up in rural Michigan though, it was one of my favorite holidays. Independence Day meant an afternoon at the beach or a picnic by the river, unless you were in the local town parade, followed by fireworks at night.

The fireworks show was fantastic! (Well, I hadn't seen Japanese fireworks yet.) Most of the townfolk would be there. Kids running around with glow sticks, teenagers hanging out in groups (way too cool to sit with their parents), and adults chatting away with neighbors while passing out food and drinks. It was always truley a blast! ;)

I wasn't planning on doing anything special this year, until my friends decided to get together on the 4th. Then I could not help myself. I had to make a patriotic pie (technically a cheesecake) to celebrate! (I made a fruit stick side dish, too...but whatever, in my head it goes with the pie.)

Let me tell you, I was not the only one excited for Fourth of July. Our lovely hosts E and M just had a darling daughter two months ago and she was totally on top of things. Look at her awesome stars and stripes tshirt! She is just the cutest. I'm sure you can tell from the pictures, this girl has got spunk. We were completely charmed by her the entire day!

And how can you not be when she smiles even in her sleep? So sweet!

I love that we all got to celebrate Independence Day together. We got to catch up on what everyone has been up to, all the while eating delicious homemade pizza, macaroni & cheese, and pie (i.e. cheesecake). It doesn't get much more American than that, right?

Hope you all had an amazing weekend, too! x

The night ended with a big ole yawn! :D

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