Apparently you have to experience fireworks on the Esplanade at least once in your lifetime. Or at least that's what the two dozen or so Bostonians have told us in the last two weeks. So last night found us bidding our poor dogs (tail-between-the-legs, are-you-really-leaving-us-in-this-weird-thunderstorm poor dogs) adieu for two hours for the "best fireworks display in the nation." The hype and the hordes of people were beckoning my inner skeptic, but I followed along the throngs of glow-sticks nonetheless. It was on again, off again raining, which pleased my introverted side. We were expecting trouble finding a spot, but we quickly staked out a space and listened to the TV broadcast blaring from a box labelled #22. Heralded by all the news personalities as "spectacular" so many times, I began to set myself up for major disappointment. The usual dance: have hope but don't set your expectations too high or you'll be disappointed so if you have hope, have fear that your hope might be too high for reality and subsequently be prepared for both awe and disappointment; seeing as you're prepared for the two extremes, it'll almost always fall somewhere in the middle, which means it was really nothing at all so what did you get so worked up about to begin with? Last night, however, proved to be the exception: it actually was exceptional. The fireworks were nearly perfectly synchronized with the music, and each show (or song) outdid any and every finale I've ever seen. The rain managed to fall right into my eyes as I watched, but then again, without the rain, there would have been twice as many people.