Last night we did something totally different and entirely unplanned for 4th of July! I spent the day in Malibu with the girls. We went to the beach, had a great lunch at Kristy’s and ran around Pepperdine’s lovely lawn. Expansive green grass is such a rare commodity these days in Southern California. The draught is wiping it all out.
By the time we got back home the girls were wiped out. But how could we not go out to see the fireworks somewhere? We never formalized a plan so I said “let’s just get into the car and drive around”. I knew downtown had a pretty strong line up of fireworks at Dodger Stadium, the Grand Park and a few other places. The Hollywood Bowl also had fireworks scheduled after their concert. My thought was that if we found the right hill we could see a lot of the fireworks throughout town. The idea of just sitting in the car sounded good to the girls so away we went.
We’re in Woodland Hills. We got on the 101 and headed east. From our exit to the 405 you could see the skyline constantly lit up in the distance with various beautiful fireworks. Simi Valley, Granada Hills, Northridge…they were all having parties! Next we passed Universal at just the right time when their show was going off! We could easily see it in the distance and up close as we drove past it! It was pretty cool! We kept moving east, past Hollywood, the sky started to light up with big fireworks. But these, like the Simi Valley ones were not official. They were huge and illegal! I couldn’t get over how many illegal fireworks were flying all over the place! All over town, everywhere we were, there were “No Fireworks” signs with a warning of fines and jail time. Our excessive dryness in Los Angeles is reason number one why not to shoot explosives but apparently a huge part of our city didn’t care!
We made our way past downtown and caught sight of the Dodger Stadium show! From the 101 we drove to the 110 South and made a big loop to the 105 to the 710 to the 91 back up to the 110 to the 105 west to the 405 and back to the 101. I have to say it was AMAZING! It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Starting with the area south of USC, into the neighborhoods of Compton, Bell, Southgate there were fireworks EVERYWHERE! I mean, it was like taking the Disney fireworks show and spreading it around for blocks and blocks and blocks. I can’t believe there were so many illegal fireworks! Of course, while purchasing fireworks is illegal here a drive down to Mexico can get you anything you want.
The sky was smoky. As I looked across the city from one of the freeway vantage points I realized I felt uneasy. Part of it was that sometimes you could see and feel the fireworks going off right above us. People living in places near the freeway launched fireworks that would explode right over the freeway. Or worse was when we were parallel to the explosives. It was kind of cool but a little scary. But it hit me why it felt a little familiar and a little spooky. It looked like the footage I had seen of Bagdad when it was bombed! Without the fallen buildings of course. But the explosions all across, in all directions and the smoke made it feel a little like a war zone. At that point we said a little prayer of gratitude for our country.
I wasn’t able to get a good picture of the entire skyline lit up. I only had my iPhone on me. So these images are all I have to share. The beautiful part was when the girls were tired and they fell asleep cozy and warm as we drove home.
It was so beautiful and so easy to see amazing fireworks for a solid hour that I think we’ll be doing this again in years to come. Hope you all had a happy and safe 4th of July!