The 4th of July... America's Independence Day... Widespread celebration... Commemoration of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence... Our Nation's birthday... 

{I want to apologize for not preparing a post for Monday, I couldn't help but be caught up in the activities of a great three-day holiday weekend! Hope yours was just as enjoyable...}

Recently, I was able to pass by New York City's Ground Zero and observed the progress on the

Freedom Tower

, which is set to be complete by 2014. This structure will be built 1,776 feet tall making it one of the tallest structures in the world while simultaneously symbolizing the year the United States attained its freedom, 1776. Walking by Ground Zero gave me the chills; it was the first time I had gotten so close to the site of the September 11th attacks in over ten years. I am very appreciative I could see the grounds on such a beautiful day -- it was breathtaking.

During the holiday weekend, I spent a few days in Atlantic City, New Jersey (the East Coast version of Las Vegas) for a friend's birthday (photos coming soon) and the rest with friends in Northern Jersey at a family barbecue. The weather could not have been better and the company was supreme. Filled with great food, laughter and fireworks, I'm happy I was able to spend the weekend like a real American should. I even got to ride a motorcycle for the first time!

The evening of the 4th culminated, as expected, with booming, colorful fireworks illuminating the coast of New York. The view from a New Jersey beach was stunning and the shower of sparks across the horizon looked magical. I am truly pleased with how the photographs captured the sky as it lit up methodically with rockets of glitter and light. Feeling like a kid again, I sat back with my close friends on the beach watching in awe.

{My girl, Dizzy Fresh}

{They see me rollin'}

{Looking not so intimidating}

{Chest bumps. Are they universal?}

{The beginning of trouble}

{The entire line of New York's coast was sprinkled with firework shows}

{See the bridge?}

{Here goes...}

{Attempting to write "Ryan" with sparklers. Not sure why, his name is Bob.}

{Fun for all ages}

{Friends and family gathered around a fire making s'mores together. Perfect.}

{Potential firework lasso}

Without hesitation, I'm adding the

cliche complimentary song

to this post. Happy Hump Day!

Love and Fireworks,