Managing, maintaining, and housekeeping a guest house you own while also having a full time job away from it, are not easy activities at all, but they are very rewarding when we see our efforts making our guests comfortable and allowing them to have an enjoyable stay. Having our hands full presently makes Rich and I unable to sometimes partake in the many community activities we used to enjoy when the kids were home, one of them being the old fashion 4th of July parade in downtown Sonoma Plaza.
When I first got to California and went to the parade for the first time, I remember initially feeling quite underwhelmed and unimpressed. You gotta know I grew up in a very cosmopolitan city with events popping up at an almost daily basis. A parade for us “Regiomontanos” includes 3D holographic motion images of our historic heroes preceded by Matachines and perhaps followed by a single guy in extremely ragged clothing, making zombie noises wearing a Frankenstein’s monster mask throwing candy violently at you. So this quaint parade with what appeared very simple floats and occasional horses having bowel movements while very orderly and obediently marching under the heat of a beating sun, for a 20 year old Isabel, it just didn’t appear to be very entertaining. As a then semi-new to town, I did keep my eyes and ears open a lot more than my mouth. That’s one to be grateful for!
Succeeding at keeping my initial opinions to myself while keeping an open mind, I then started seeing things with a different perspective. I saw children not only excited but asking questions about the floats and each of the participating groups in the parade, I heard people commenting their observations about how so and so looked perched up on their float or if so and so was walking in rhythm and not throwing the whole thing off again. I saw many older folks recognizing almost every participant and even recognizing out of towners as so and so’s kid, I saw many adults enjoying seeing their children having a good time, and saw many others having a good time walking around with their glasses at hand taking the whole scene in and talking about what they’ll be doing next… dancing when the band begins, or see what kinds of crafts they’ll be seeing at the vendor stands? I saw a community not only enjoying themselves, but a community that was having that much fun because they were an intricate part of the festivities themselves. They had children in it, they had spouses in it, they had neighbors in it, they had members of their church in it.
The feeling of togetherness I used to feel in my neighborhood growing up, when organizing the Posadas in December, when planing the street parties, that feeling was lost for me when I left my hometown. I then found it. I saw it again one summer afternoon. Come find it too.
For more information on Sonoma Valley’s 4th of July celebrations: http://www.sonomavolunteerfirefighters.org/events/fourth-of-july/
Come spend a few days in this beautiful Valley of the Moon, don’t spend a small fortune in lodging, instead, get a private and memorably comfortable stay affordably at The Big and Juicy Grape.
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