Week 26: Loud Noises

Well, having just spent the weekend celebrating the 4th of July at the beach, I’m sure no explanation is needed for this week’s theme, but I’ll give you one anyways 🙂

Loud noises are what I’m working with, while still doing some catching up in my 52 week challenge.  Luckily for me, some good planning and a timely loud holiday made this one an easy theme.  Of course, with all of the festivities in full swing around me, I had to go with fireworks for the “loud noises”, because really, is there anything else much louder around this time of year?  Or ever?

It’s always fun being at the beach to celebrate this holiday.  Up until the past few years, I actually had not been out to see the fireworks on the 4th for a long time.  In being invited by my aunt to go to the beach with her and my cousins, I’ve been lucky enough to not only get a few days of free beach vacationing, but have also had some fun times hanging out and watching the shows.

This year was a little different from the last few with my aunt and family.  We were all exhausted from traveling and being out in the sun that day.  Not only were we tired, but we were staying with another one of my aunts, and about 15 other cousins were within a 10 block radius, so imagine trying to organize all of us meeting up at the same place in Ocean City, which is packed for the 4th.  Pretty unlikely.  So as the storm clouds started to come in, and the rain started to come down, the idea of all of us going out seemed less likely to happen.  Luckily for us, we were staying in a new place and had spoken with some of the residents who lived there, who informed us that we didn’t even need to leave the place to see the fireworks.  So, as the lights and sounds started outside, we all ventured out to the balcony to see the show.  It may not have been the same as being down in the crowds and seeing it up close, but we still had a great view, and trust me, you don’t want to be out in that traffic once the show is over if you don’t have to — a five-minute walk turns into a whole hour of an ordeal.  Plus, we got an added bonus!  If you look really closely, I tried to catch some of the fireworks that must have been happening on the other side of the bay.  So even if they did look like baby fireworks, it was like we got two shows in one 🙂

So the regular, permitted, official firework show is loud enough to count for my “loud noises”, right?  Yeah, that’s what I thought too.  You know how there’s always that rebel or two in the neighborhood that sets off fireworks even though it’s illegal (here it is, as least)?  Well, the crowds in OC are a whole other story.  Sure, I was expecting some noise and a few stray fireworks, but that’s nothing compared to what I actually got.  Usually when I got to the beach with my aunt, we stay in a little place just north of OC, Bethany Beach, which is a much more quiet town.  Unfortunately, the little old place where we stayed got torn down last summer, so we’ve been going to new places, and as I mentioned, stayed with family this trip.  So, much to my delight, my other aunt got a nice little ocean front place for the week; something I’ve rarely had before, and definitely never on the 4th of July.

Shortly after the firework shows ended, regardless of the rainy weather outside, tons of people flocked to the beach.  It was dark, and people were using flashlights to find their way around.  At first, you had the regular culprits — people with glow sticks, sparklers, and maybe a few fireworks which just sat on the ground.  Nothing surprising, nothing really loud.  Then, and as I suspect after the alcohol kicked in, the partiers came out, and they brought the big guns.  These people clearly stumbling around, and not experts, were setting off huge, and I mean huge, fireworks on the beach and near all of the buildings.  There’s your loud noises.  Not only could you hear it inside with all the doors and windows shut, but because of all the streets running perpendicular to the beach, if they were too close to an intersection, you could actually hear the echo of the fireworks bouncing between the buildings.  Fun stuff.  I didn’t mind it, since I’m up late most nights anyways, and enjoyed the free show.  I’m sure others, however, were a little annoyed as the amateur show went on well past two in the morning.  With each firework they set off there was a roar of cheers, regardless of how successful they were.  Yes, there were some very unsuccessful blowing up in the sand with people running away detonations, but that didn’t discourage the rowdy crowd on the beach!  I’m guessing that since they just kept going, no one was hurt, so I felt a little better about watching, and laughing as I eavesdropped on their laughing and craziness.

Eventually, the cops strolled by, flicked their lights, and the crowd started running.  That didn’t deter them for the entire weekend, but it worked for that night.  I had plenty of time to snap some pictures, and kind of appreciated their lack of expertise.  Firework pictures can get a little redundant and boring in my opinion.  Though they’re pretty to look at, it can get tiring to see the same thing after a while.  With the amateurs, and their lack of ability to get a lot of their fireworks off the ground, I got some interesting shots of the sand and ocean being illuminated by the lights.  So enjoy their (hopefully) harmless mishaps, and some people’s’ sleepless 4th of July night!

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