So my friend and I both agreed fireworks were one of the biggest and most traditional parts of the fourth of July so since it was rainy in the morning, we decided to only do the fireworks. Val had never gone to the celebration in Philadelphia itself. We all thought it had to be the best one or at least a pretty good one. It started off well enough. We had a comfortable enough and fairly cheap journey into the city and Google maps helped us find it.
There was a concert by a bunch of current singers none of us really knew. This was OK because we figured we’d see the fireworks eventually. They were meant to start at 10:30, but 10:30 came and went with no sign of the rubbish music stopping. It finally did at 11:20 – a full 50 minutes late, or exactly when we needed to leave in order to make the last train. There was an old Taiwanese couple who had also picked Philly’s Fourth for similar reasons who were made to wait and wait, listening to terrible modern music that was for Americans aged 15 to 27 rather than any of the rest of us who mainly just wanted some ruddy fireworks. The Taiwanese couple were staying in the city, so they got to run back when it started even though they had just started leaving about 2 minutes before we did, but we had no such option given the train situation.
Once we got to the station, just in the nick of time, our train was declared late even though it had been listed on time up until then. The lateness increased to a 17 minute delay (as did nearly everyone else’s last train to various other suburbs). We probably could have seen them if the app would have let us know how horribly late it was, which they most likely knew. Trains don’t just suddenly go from being bang on time to 17 minutes late that often.
I felt really awful for Chris as it was his first fourth ever and he didn’t even get the basic package and you can’t really have a redo of a first. For this, I want to blame the horrible planning on the part of the city of Philadelphia and some stupid thing called Wawa Welcome America (Wawa is a chain of conveniences stores). We expected that being the city where it all started, it would be something more special than a trashy concert and fireworks with extremely family unfriendly timing, but even though we like to keep this blog positive, this needs to be our third significantly negative comment: be greatly ashamed of yourselves Philadelphia Fourth planners. Give the keys to being the founding city of the nation to someone who cares. I vote Tonganoxie, Kansas. It may not be historically accurate, but neither was this.
Here’s hoping next year is better. In the meantime, here’s Chris’s take on it in video form (it’s not all miserable – Chris slightly raps and both Chris and Val sing):
Here is the link to that chair.