Friday, July 15, 2011

Fourth of July Double Beachy Celebration

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

Date: July 4, 2011
Location: Mc Nears Beach, Point Reyes, Vallejo

Americans take the 4th of July seriously, but Pinoys in the US are doubly serious about this day! Yes, Filipinos in the US have two great reasons to celebrate this holiday - as it meant America's Birthday (Independence Day) and Filipino-American Friendship Day for them. You can just imagine how double the fun it was celebrating it with my kababayan in California!

My day-long celebration was with a good friend, best female buddy in law school and now California lawyer Atty. Jeanne Serrano and her hubby Pavs and the rest of their family and friends.

Picnic Pinoy Style at Mc Near's Beach

From Daly City where I was picked up by Jeanne, we headed to Mc Nears' Beach in San Rafael, California.

This little gem is really great spot to have a BBQ! Jeanne's sistah Magen, reserved (for a fee of $225) the area near the swimming pool so guests only have to pay the $10 at the gate as parking fee per car, whether the car is loaded with four peeps like ours. The place is huge and spacious with lots of picnic tables and chairs, BBQ grills and a hammock so that was great for the celebration attended by about 40 people (which gets more and more as the day progresses).

Around the park there were also tons of people celebrating the nation's birthday with games, food, music and making memories ( and space wasn't a problem because the place is huge so everyone found their designated space) on the green grass either under the shady trees, close to feel the warm breeze from the beach, or near the tennis courts for those who are sporty.

With the perfect sunny day, tons of yummy familiar food( like laing, chicken wings, watermelon and strawberry!), and lots of cool peeps (old and new friends), I had one of the best picnic ever in the US! Yes that was one mega celebration ( even sans swimming coz the swimming pool is too crowded (with kids) and it is pretty rocky along the beach).

Point Reyes National Seashore

Taking advantage of the long sunny day, we left Mc Near's and drove along some of the prettiest scenery dotted by century - old oaks on our way to West Marin and stopping by to feel the coolness of those trees. It was spectacular!

At the end of the winding scenic drive is Point Reyes National Seashore which is said to be West Coast’s only national seashore and home to the Great Beach also known as "Point Reyes Beach".

Point Reyes Beach is huge expanse of undeveloped ocean beach to roam. It is good for Toto (Jeanne's lovable dog) as dogs are allowed on a leash on this beach.

Downside is that the place is dangerous for real swimming or surfing ( oh well, fine with me because I couldn't stand the freezing water!!!) and the beach is known for "sneaker waves" so swim at your own risk!

We left Point Reyes Beach and got lost (intentionally!!) on the back roads leading to the quaint little town of Nicasio, California . I felt like in the middle of the prairie while in Nicasio which nestled in a hidden valley in Marin County.

Nicasio is home to Old Saint Mary's Church, a charming white church established in 1867. This one room church is close to Jeanne's and Pav's heart as it was where they were wed four years ago by July 19. We also passed by a place called Lucas Ranch famous for being a backdrop for movies.

And for the culmination of this fun day? We watched a firework extravaganza at the Vallejo School Grounds, a few minutes away from Jeanne and Pav's residence.I found a very good spot atop a roof, perfect place to watch the sky light up with the fireworks display! Took videos but couldn't post it so this photo.

As I retire to bed that night at my friend's lovely home, I kept thinking "how nice it is to catch up with good old friend and add another heap of a good time in my memorable occasion calendar"! And I am wishing it won't be the last...

(This is part of the 5-week US Summer Vacation series, which took place from June 30, 2011 to August 3,2011 in California, Colorado, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pemnsylvania, and Indiana)

1.Four Countries In One Day

2. Enjoying Cable Cars in San Francisco

3. Enjoying Union Square and Downtown San Francisco

4. Commuting Easy With Panoramic Views

5. Mad About Museum in Sacramento California

6.Museums Trekking in Sacramento,California

7. Catching Gold Fever In Coloma,California

8. Psyched With Mormon Battalion In Coloma,California

9. Eureka! Sacramento, California

10. Highway 49 Summer Adventures

11. At Home In Daly City, California

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