Spending fourth of July alone
July 3, 2020 1:04 PM   Subscribe

COVID style.

I am staying with family and completing an internship near Baltimore, MD. The family is out of town and I just emerged from a painstakingly long quarantine for COVID exposure (negative, yay!) which has me in kind of a weird place mentally. I've never spent a holiday alone in my life. I know the fourth isn't a huge holiday, but I'd still like it to be fun and not sad.

What can I do around here? I want to avoid crowds, obviously, and don't have much of a desire to see fireworks. Infact, what I'd really like is to get as far away as possible from people. I don't want to be near crowds or people setting off fireworks. My preliminary thought is to go for a solo hike in Pantapsco State Park, which appears to be very nearby. But will it be crowded? I'm glad I don't have COVID but lord knows about everyone else. I'm working daily with a vulnerable population and need to be careful. What other kinds of hidden gems are there around here that I should check out? Please consider that I have literally no visual spatial skills and can get lost walking in a straight line; the trails I'm looking at are out and back, which seems to be my safest bet here.

Besides that, I guess I just cook myself something I really like, or maybe order food.... and hang out? Watch a movie? Mix up the world's stiffest drink, badly needed after the COVID drama? I'll probably videochat with my family at some point which will help.

Any tips for rocking the solo holiday thing are appreciated.
posted by Amy93 to Society & Culture (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Takeout, a stiff drink and a Star Trek: TNG marathon is how I spent my self-isolation quaran-times birthday this year. I don't know if it was fun, exactly- it was still a little sad. I think finding some way to get outdoors is the right way to go, even if only for a bit.

Airbnb's "online experiences" have good press, maybe there's something there you could join that isn't booked yet.
posted by BungaDunga at 1:30 PM on July 3, 2020 [3 favorites]

I had to spend Xmas on my todd a couple of times. Got some films I was wanting to see, good quality food and wine, lie in. Go as easy on yourself as can be. I kind of enjoyed it if truth be told. Summer opens your options of course so why not take the hike. Make something of the day though rather than just drifting through. Generally that works better for me in terms of feeling like it's a day well spent.
posted by biffa at 1:40 PM on July 3, 2020

If you're looking for a nice spot to walk in northern Baltimore, you could check out Hampton National Historic Site. It appears the buildings and facilities are closed, but parking lots and the grounds are open. It's a nice spot to walk a few miles, with historic buildings and nice grounds. It's never been too crowded in my experience - but if it is there's plenty of wide open space to keep your distance.
posted by pilibeen at 1:43 PM on July 3, 2020

Here is Texas it's too hot and Corona infected to go outside, so my quarantined friend and I will get together and watch loads of Randy Rainbow videos and then 1776! After dark we'll watch videos of fireworks and eat hot dogs. A great way to feel patriotic and have a load of laughs!
posted by a humble nudibranch at 1:56 PM on July 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

I have spent most holidays alone. The trick is to find something to do that you look forward to that is hard to do with other people around, plus taking a break to call someone you actually want to speak to. It is the perfect combination of relaxation and sociability.

For me it's something like going to the park, making an elaborate brunch, calling family, then doing some long project that I want to focus on (like making an entire quilt, cleaning out the closets while naked and blasting music everyone else hates, canning + Twilight Zone marathon, etc.) and then making an elaborate dinner. Doing something as opposed to nothing is a pleasant thing.
posted by blnkfrnk at 1:59 PM on July 3, 2020 [6 favorites]

A family member just went raspberry picking at Larriland.
They are now at home making raspberry pie.
posted by sciencegeek at 2:17 PM on July 3, 2020 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Planning on take out BBQ and vanilla ice cream.
posted by metahawk at 3:08 PM on July 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

Best answer: A guy I knew had a unique yearly fourth of July solo celebration: drop a shit ton of acid at 9am, deep clean the house, go for a leisurely bike ride at dusk.

Man, that house was *clean*.
posted by j_curiouser at 3:20 PM on July 3, 2020 [13 favorites]

Seconding the berry picking suggestion. Future-Mrs-Bassooner and I went to a u-pick blueberry farm today, and it felt very safe as it was super easy to stay 15 feet away from people.
posted by bassooner at 3:58 PM on July 3, 2020

If you think of it as just a nice day off instead of "spending the holiday alone" it's pretty nice. Just do what you want, you have no actual obligation to make a big production for it.
posted by thelonius at 4:36 PM on July 3, 2020 [4 favorites]

I signed up for online activities off ThingsToDoDC.com. I'm doing a scavenger hunt, and an event with a Ben Franklin impersonator, and then some kind of virtual fireworks event. National Archives is also putting on some impersonator/patriotic/historical activities.

There's also Roanoke Rocks The 3rd, which i am watching right now on YouTube, featuring so far a magic act and BMX bike show (all prerecorded stuff, I believe).
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:49 PM on July 3, 2020

I spent my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, alone when I had a nasty case of strep. It was great! I picked a movie I was vaguely interested in and quit in the middle. No one complained. I ate Mac and cheese and a milkshake, in my underwear. No one judged me. I hogged the blankets, set the temp to roasting. No one said it was too hot or whatever. I basically treated it as “do whatever the hell I want day.” Highly recommend it. Were it my 4th alone, I’d get/make myself the most indulgent burger, watch shitty TV and yell “shut up!” at errant fireworks.
posted by Pretty Good Talker at 5:56 PM on July 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

Do you have access to a smoker or charcoal grill? I always acquire some nice meats and fowl and vegetables and spend the afternoon smoking and grilling and chatting with neighbors and sitting in my driveway to watch fireworks. It’s nice and leisurely and I have accomplished something and I have food for the next few days.

Tomorrow it’s smoked chicken wings tossed in a creamy ghost pepper wing sauce and filet mignon with baked sweet potato fries.

Then there are actually some celebratory concerts and whatnot on PBS and they can be fun too. Maybe poke around the internet and see if anyone you enjoy listening to is playing a quarantine concert.
posted by sara is disenchanted at 5:58 PM on July 3, 2020

I actually read things dealing with American History on July 4th. I have a somewhat big collection of books, lots of them anthologies of first-hand sources - letters, original documents, things like that. Some years I just poke in and out of different books; other years I try to focus on a particular element of history (this year I'm going to focus on different racial-relations readings). Sometimes I ditch the history and go with travelogue. Or even food writing. It's a reflective, contemplative way to spend the day.

The best part is, you can probably find copies of things like the Declaration or the Constitution or Thomas Paine's COMMON SENSE or other historic writings online, for free. If you have a Kindle, I'm pretty sure you can get a copy of the Lewis and Clarke diaries from their big voyage for free or super-cheap on Kindle - that is a surprisingly fun read.

But yeah, try that. Pull together a couple of things that are either historically significant or are about history and read.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:28 PM on July 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Get your favourite take-out and watch Hamilton on Disney+ (get the free trial).
posted by essexjan at 4:05 AM on July 4, 2020 [3 favorites]

Best answer: My neighbors have a big family party on the 4th, my deck overlooks the big open area where they congregate, maskless. So I feel slightly weird many years hanging out eating tasty food, enjoying sunshine, reading, being on the web. so what. I made some blackbean salad/ dip and am enjoying it with chips, coffee and MeFi. Later I will have greek salad with bread that is nearly ready to be baked. If they think my solitude is weird, I can think their inability to park and insouciance about Covid is weird. (5 cars and trucks in space for 9 or 10) Especially in Pandemic time, but really all the time, it's okay to be alone in public.

Call the park, ask how crowded it is and if there are less crowded trails.

Go to a dog park, watch dogs run and play. This is pretty fun if you like dogs.

Many places are open that sell books. Find a pleasant location and read.

The free trial on Disney+ is not available, so pay for a subscr. Make a nice meal, get some tasty beverages, popcorn, and watch Hamilton. I will be doing this later.

For me, being single and living alone in Pandemic Time is difficult, and the timing was bad, because some old relationships died and new ones are nascent. This will end, we will have stories, we will be changed. Be proudly alone and know that it's a great skill to develop, will serve you well.
posted by theora55 at 10:24 AM on July 4, 2020

No ones home? Eat whatever foods in the house, drink/smoke whatever you like, get naked and sit around. Enjoy.
posted by Geckwoistmeinauto at 10:57 AM on July 4, 2020

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