Today is the day we put aside all our differences, all our complaints and let the pride take over without reservations. America may not be perfect but I do believe she is the greatest country on Earth and feel extremely lucky to have been born here. At 232 years old, we're young 'uns as countries go but rather hard to ignore. The United States is like the Marlon Brando of nations. And, as my Dad used to say, "Love it or leave it!"
Often, when I was traveling abroad, I would be forced to defend my country. One of my favorite arguments was with a guy in New Zealand who said we were the bullies of the world. I didn't disagree with him per se though I did relish in pointing out that he was wearing Levi's, drinking a Coca-Cola and sitting on a Harley Davidson. I mean, who did he think he was? Marlon Brando?
Quite ironically, I'm celebrating America's birthday by heading to Mexico. In a few hours, I'll board a cruise ship with my mother, Iva Mae. This trip was a long time in the making. For years, I have tried to get my mother to travel with me and for years, she has balked. Time and time again, she'd put me off with her infamously non-committal line: "We'll see."
I finally realized that I'd been aiming too high with pitches like, "Let's go to Scotland and locate our ancestors!" and "Peru! I've always wanted to see Peru!" Since my mother has never been out of North America, such crazy plans scared her off. And since I have a reputation for rough-and-ready travel, I think she was afraid I would make her sleep in the dirt and climb a mountain or something.
So, we're starting small. A very simple three-day cruise to Ensendada, Mexico. We leave in a few hours from San Pedro so she didn't even have to get on a plane. And, since she has feet trouble, I assured her that our ample butts could stay continuously parked on a deck lounge chair, if that's what she wanted. No pressure to explore, walk to or do anything extra. This approach seemed to work.
She is now standing behind me, packing excitedly for our first official mother-daughter sea-faring adventure: "Hmmmm ... I wonder if this 'cover-up' covers up enough?.... I hear they have a casino on board ... Will this jacket be too warm?... Oh, I need my curling iron ...Make-up! I still have to pack my make-up!"
Happy Fourth of July, everyone!