The Fourth of July provides fond memories of an international celebration.

It's evident the Fourth of July isn't far away as I listen to the neighborhood fireworks outside my window. Each explosion and loud bang reminds me of the celebration three years ago. We were on vacation staying in an apartment in the heart of Barcelona, Spain. It certainly wasn't the traditional way to celebrate the holiday, but it provided opportunity for adventure and celebration.

While staying in Barcelona we participated in the soccer team's advancement to the World Cup. One particular evening we watched one of the games on television and soon heard the cheers and fireworks throughout the city as Barcelona celebrated yet another win. While sitting on our balcony we could hear the word "GOAL!" echo across the city. The festivities went on throughout the night.

Earlier that evening we had indulged in an evening of tapas at the restaurant located below our apartment. There's nothing better than the convenience of quality tapas, cervaza and European soccer all in one location. For me the Fourth of July means tortilla Espanola, skewered shrimp, steamed asparagus and...a few fireworks!