I hope that having the Fourth of July fall on a Thursday this year is extra special for everyone. For most, I think that it means having a four day week-end, which is always a bonus.

Mr. X and I celebrated early with our always-favorite party of the year! The incredibly generous owners of my two favorite restaurants, Back on Broadway and Back on the Beach, (and their accompanying catering company,) threw their annual private bash last Saturday night.

The dining area. Photo by Karen Salkin.

I must thank Fred Deni and Jim Crystal for once again opening their beautiful Santa Monica home, and sharing their hospitality with us.

The reason they do it before the actual Fourth Of July is to coincide with the Santa Monica College fireworks display. They’re always done on the Saturday night before the 4th, to cut down on traffic, accidents, etc. on the actual date.

The Elian Project. Photo by Raybuk.

This is how the bash worked this year: we guests arrived to live music, (provided for the second time by The Elian Project, who you would have sworn were the Gipsy Kings!,) and then, after choosing from among the very many beverages the cute bartenders were serving, we got right to one of the most incredible barbecues ever! There were all kinds of salads and creative side dishes, (like chilled jumbo shrimp with asparagus and avocado,) but Mr. X and I had eyes for mainly the fabulous grilled hot dogs. Yum-my!!! He also had poached salmon, while carnivorous moi chowed-down on barbecued short ribs and filet mignon. We were way too full to also try the deluxe burgers and chicken from the giant grill, though everyone else seemed to manage to try everything! (Perhaps they didn’t also gorge themselves on multiple hot dogs, as we did!)

Just part of the side dish buffet. Photo by Karen Salkin.

By 9PM, we were so stuffed that we could hardly move, but we did! Move, that is! Some of the guests walked up the street a few blocks to the college, to see the amazing fireworks up-close and personal. We usually do that, too, but last year we discovered that we could see them really well right from the front lawn of the party, so that’s what we did again this year. And it takes less time to get back for the dessert portion of the evening! You know I want to be the first in line for that!

This year it was a popular brand ice cream bar. The funny thing is that we were enjoying our sundaes in what I just dubbed “The VIP Room,” (thanks to my friend Sharon whom I just told about the place, and it fits perfectly,) when Fred came down to give us “last call for the ice cream bar!” I panicked, and rushed outside to get my last licks in, (figuratively and literally!) And I realized that I finally knew what my club pals felt every time the bartender declared last call for their booze! I will never know what it feels like to be drunk, (because I hate the taste of alcohol, knock on wood,) but I’m so glad I finally got the “last call” feel!

Nothing can top a holiday soiree like that, so Mr. X and I might just kick back and relax at home tomorrow, and stay out of the fray. (And, of course, I’m still watching every second of Wimbledon, whose last few days are a little yin and yang for me this year; I have the absolute low of Roger Federer going out in the second round, but the downright jubilation that creepy Serena Williams got ousted on Monday. For the first time ever, I’ll be more interested in what’s happening on the ladies side than on the mens! You go, girls!)

But how about you guys? How do you celebrate our nation’s birth? I always love to hear what others do, so please feel free to share your comments, below.

And I wish everyone a wonderful, patriotic, and most of all, safe Fourth of July!!! And the whole week-end, too!


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