Greg's birthday was July 2, and in honor of the occasion, we decided to clean out the back "yard" and get a grill as his birthday gift. He already knew that he wanted a charcoal grill rather than a gas grill, which was convenient because the charcoal ones tended to be much cheaper. We ended up with a pretty basic little number and decided to try it out for the 4th of July.
Making the occasion even more fun, our friend Rachel came up from D.C., and our friend Michael, who lives in Philly, also joined us. I marinated a bunch of veggies and fresh fish and made a couscous/mango/lime dish to go with it.
It turned out to be pretty clear why so many people prefer gas to charcoal. We're going to have to practice a lot in order to figure out how to get enough heat to really grill, rather than simply warm, the food. But we played liberally with lighter fluid, and with an assist from George Foreman, we eventually had a pretty tasty meal.
We also landscaped our entire yard for the occasion.
After dinner, we set off for the city's big 4th of July celebration--a free John Legend concert on the steps of the art museum, followed by fireworks. The concert was good, in spite of the rain, and the fireworks were impressive. The only complaint I have is that I expected the grand finale to be set to some rousing, patriotic anthem--the Star Spangled Banner, God Bless America, etc., and instead, it was a treacly, boring song I had never heard before--I'm a Red White and Blue American. Come on, Philly! Where is John Philip Sousa??
At the end of the night, after standing in the rain for hours, we were pretty beat. Luckily, I had my ghost tour cape with me to keep me warm.