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Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Birthday, USA!

Obviously, I'm not an American, but I often feel as though I am. I left a big chunk of my heart in Texas, and the two people I love most in this world are US citizens, so I'm admittedly attached. Living back in Canada, I have come to realize that there are a lot of things that I sorely miss about the States. So, today, I submit my list of:

Top Ten Things I Love About the United States of America today:

*Sonic. Cheesecake Factory. Braum's (regional, I know). Chik-fil-A iced tea. PF Chang's. Oh, the list could go on and on....

*Warm weather. Again, I understand that this is more regional than national, but it IS pretty great that you can travel within one country to see 8 feet of snow in North Dakota, and 8 miles of coastal palm trees in Florida.

*The ability to vote directly for the President. I'm still undecided as to which governmental system is "better" (checks-and-balances vs. parliamentary), but I definitely embrace the fact that in the US, you can vote for the PERSON of president (as opposed to the PARTY). Although I would side primarily with Democrats, I love the option of voting for a Republican here-and-there. Cuz, really, Republicans aren't ALL bad, tee hee!

*College football. There is nothing better than attending a college football game (especially in the South) with 120,000 other DIEHARD fans on a Saturday afternoon. Well, okay, maybe not the first few games in August and September, where you can die from stadium heat stroke, but that's what ESPN is for! ROLL TIDE ROLL!

*30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgages. I had no idea that you could only fix your rate for five years MAX in Canada (essentially a five-year ARM)! And I love that, in the US, you can write off your mortgage interest.

*Target. No, even better: SUPER Target.

*Patriotism. Now, of course there is some degree of patriotism present in every country. Having just celebrated Canada Day this week, there were tons of Maple Leaf flags flying, but NOTHING like the year-round patriotism of the US. I love it when people are proud of their country. Declaring national pride doesn't mean that you love every single thing about the country or your leaders, of course. It means that you love where you come from and want to see your nation flourish. I really like all the stars-and-stripes t-shirts at every store in an American mall, and the huge American flags hung from every car dealership and Perkins restaurant in the USA.

*Interstates, freeways and speed limits. Oh, the things I took for granted the last decade! Did you know that there is not ONE freeway in the city of Winnipeg (population 600,000)?? And did you know that the top speed limit in the province of Manitoba is 60 mph (100 kph)?? Crazy!

*USPS (United States Postal Service). I miss Saturday mail carrying, "cheap" postal prices, and "fast" delivery!

*Outlet Malls. Enough said.

God Bless America!