An uninvited guestMonday was my first 4th of July in the USA and what a day it was. Every second of it was memorable. We started the day early, as the husband, Dad and Mom T, Grandma G and myself packed up a delicious lunch we’d prepared the night before and made our way to Shenandoah National Park for an Independence Day picnic.

The park itself was absolutely stunning. Situated along the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the park is a haven for forest creatures including deer and bears! But the best part of our adventure was dining with deer.

While we were driving through the mountain to look for a good location to settle down and have our meal, we crossed the path of a large number of deer. Some were wandering around, others were crossing the road and some others were just chilling by the roadside eating grass. It was quite a scene.

But the most fascinating exchange occurred when one deer approached our lunch table after we’d finally settled down. Apparently the deer was hungry and wanted to grab some of the goodies on our table. We didn’t feed it, as it is against the law to feed wild animals for fear of making pests out of them. This was all new to me.

So, the deer left our table disappointed but continued to circulate and then some minutes later it was accompanied by another one. Both deer entertained themselves by chasing each about the park while we sat eating and enjoying their circular motion. I have to admit that was my first meal with deer.

In the evening we headed to downtown Harrisonburg where a plethora of activities were taking place. The highlight was Eddie from Ohio, an American folk band that enchanted us with their upbeat, whimsical songs. A display of colorful fireworks wrapped up our wonderful day, as we sat on chairs on the grass in the middle of Harrisonburg’s court square and looked up into the dark blue sky as it was lit by a wonderful mélange of sight and sound. Ah, what a day. Happy Fourth of July everyone!