Baines Family 4th of July 2021

The pile of stumps we burned all weekend.

This 4th of July weekend was a pretty awesome weekend filled with family, beach fires, friends, hikes, and Juneau sun. Daniel, the kids, and I spent 3 nights down at the cabin. With COVID we have not taken a vacation since November 2019 but this weekend felt like a mini-vacation from the hustle and bustle of life. We got to relax, enjoy time with family and friends, and watch the cousins make memories. 

Here’s a recap of the weekend events.

Friday July 2nd – Let the Weekend Begin!

We came down to the cabin after work. As we took our less than a 10-minute boat ride from the Douglas harbor the sense of calm came over me. It felt as if I was coming home since the cabin is pretty much a 2nd home to me since we spend so much time down there. Kelly, Roger, Kyler, Sydney, and their 3 kids: Kaylix, Kali, and Cambri, were already here and Kyler already had a fire going on the beach to burn some tree stumps that we had pulled out of the ground. As we pulled up to the beach my niece Kali came down to greet us with an excited “Hi guys!” As she almost always does. My heart was happy and I was ready for the weekend to get going.

Saturday July 3rd – Fireworks

Saturday started out pretty mellow and ended up being a fun-filled day of adventures. 

On Thursday before we came down I had made an Apple Crumb Cake that was absolutely to die for if I do say so myself. Once everyone had woken up Sydney and I started to make some french toast, bacon, and eggs for breakfast, more like lunch since it was 11:30 before we ate. I really enjoy cooking for the family but cooking with someone is always nice. 

Once everyone was done with breakfast Daniel and I took Jason, Kaylix, and Kali to get Daniel’s Uncle Gary from the Douglas Harbor so he could stay for 2 nights at the cabin. After we picked him up we pulled the Dungeness Crab pots Kyler had set the night before to see if we had gotten any crab to have for dinner. We were in luck! One of our pots was packed with crab, we ended up keeping 4 huge Dungies and throwing back 6 we could have kept. One of the most impressive parts was that Kaylix and Jason pulled up an empty pot too! 

After we had cooked the crab, the whole gang of us, 7 adults and 5 children headed down to Daniel’s cousin’s cabin a mile down the beach from our property. James and Kelsey and Kelsey’s parents own a cabin a mile further away from town from our property and next to them our friends, Adam and Ashley, have some land and were tent camping for the weekend. Since everyone was down there for the weekend we decided to hike down there and have a couple beers and hang out. It was nice to see their property and their cabin is coming along nicely. 

Let the festivities begin! In Juneau, our city fireworks display is at midnight on the 3rd of July. There are a couple reasons for this: 

  1. If the weather is too bad (the cloud ceiling is too low to see the fireworks) on the 3rd they can postpone the fireworks until the next day and we don’t have to miss out. 
  2. We have to wait until midnight because it doesn’t get dark enough to see the fireworks until then. 

This year though was perfect! We had 65 to 70 degree days with sun and not a cloud in the sky, so there wouldn’t have been a problem seeing any of the fireworks. Some years we like to go out on our skiffs into the Gastineau Channel where the cruise ships dock and watch the city fireworks out on the water but this year we ended up staying at the cabin. Mainly because it is a lot of work and our girls are a little too young to make it to midnight to see the fireworks anyway. So, we ended up having a raging beach fire and shooting off a ton of fireworks on the beach. The boys stayed up and shot off fireworks and the girls were able to get to bed at around 11:00 pm. 

Sunday July 4th – Today is the Day!

Ready and waiting for the parade!

This 4th of July was a weird one for me. I grew up in the middle of downtown Douglas where all of the action happens and for years my parents still lived in the same house so we always had a home base in the middle of the chaos. In 2019 my parents retired and moved out of state and with COVID last year this year was the first year of 4th of July festivities without them. 

Overall though the day was a good one. Since the weather was nice Sydney and I decided to walk back with their 2 dogs. Honestly, the walk was a mental health break for both of us and for me calm before needing to pull out all of the coping techniques I needed to deal with the crowds of people. As for the 4th of July festivities, everything was still scaled down from normal. The Douglas Parade had no more than 10 floats, if that, there were only 3 food vendors where there are normally about 10, and the crowds of people weren’t nearly as big. We were able to spend some time at Sandy Beach, ate ice cream and listened to the band play for a while and just relaxed. Once we said goodbye to Kyler and Sydney the kids, Daniel, and I headed back to the cabin for our last night.

Monday July 5th – The Extra Day

Since the 4th was on a Sunday Daniel and I had the Monday after off of work. We finished the weekend with the classic cabin breakfast of sausage, fried potatoes, and eggs, packed up our things, and cleaned up the cabin.

As I write this I can’t help but feel this sense of gratitude. I am so thankful to have such a good relationship with both Kyler and Sydney and how our kids can grow up with each other. It’s something I never had growing up since we lived so far away from my extended family. The weekend all in all was exhausting but mentally rejuvenating at the same time. I am so grateful to be able to enjoy the cabin property.

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