I know in these parts we are all getting excited to celebrate the Fourth of July. I love the 4th with all the BBQs, parades and fireworks. SJ and I also got engaged on the Fourth so it has been an extra special day for us for 13 years now. This year, right after the Fourth we fly to Paris and get to do it all over again on the 14th. Yup- 10 days after we celebrate our Independence Day, France does the same thing with their Bastille Day holiday.
I have always wanted to spend July 14th in France and am over the moon I get to do it this year. As a kid a few girl friends of mine and I would fly to Minnesota for summer camp - a French summer camp. Oh I know what you're thinking but it was regular summer camp complete with archery and crafts but we spoke French, ate French food (did you have fresh baguette at your summer camp? No? I rest my case.) and oh yeah - if you were there for the July session you also got to reenact the storming of the Bastille. It was a load of fun with the campers being divided into Royals and Peasants (I never got to be a Royal) and we had a day of dressing up, singing songs, putting people in jail (a shed turned into a prison for about 15 minutes) and then tossing them into the lake. It is an important part of French history and the counselors at Lac Du Bois did a fantastic job with all the theatrics. In case you are curious, Lac Du Bois is part of a group of language camps run by Concordia Language Villages. If you have a kid even slightly interested in foreign language, please look into these camps for a summer activity.
Found a video with a good little summary of what Bastille Day is like in Paris- take a peek if you like.