And though we were afraid that traffic would be nightmarish on the way back into the city, the roads were unbelievably clear, even for the last day of a long weekend. Along the crowded lakeshore, people were camping out to watch the fireworks, but they all managed to stay off the roads - which meant smooth sailing on our way home. A great way to spend - and end - a holiday.
The end of June and the beginning of July have always held special meaning for me. June 30 marks the anniversary of the day that my awkward 13-year-old self stepped off a plane into a new country and into the welcoming arms of my two aunts and grandparents who met us at the airport. And how apt that the very next day was Canada Day - marking the day that Canada became an independent country.
21 years later, I'm still proud to be the snow-loving, maple-syrup-flowing-in-my-veins Canuck that I am, even though I've now lived longer in the US than I have in Canada. And I think I feel that way because I grew up in Canada during the years when I was most impressionable (high school and college), and have always felt that moving to Canada gave me opportunities and options that I might not have had otherwise, including - most importantly - the freedom to find and be my gay ol' self. With universal healthcare, to boot.
But July 4th is now important to me because it's important to my (second) adopted country. And this past July 4 may be the last that I celebrate as a non-US citizen. (Though if I were straight, I could have been sponsored for citizenship years ago and not had to go through the legal wrangling and bureacracy I have had to endure over the past few years.) So, if all goes well, next year I should be casting a ballot in an election for the first time in 11 years.
On a Democrat ticket, of course.