Sunday, July 24, 2011

Vaca - shun.

So...I was gone for a while...cuz I was on this little thing called a Vaca - shun. And I call it a vaca - shun because I didn't interact with human civilization for a while.

Okay so I actually did. First I went on a week long vacation which consisted of a night in Vegas where we saw Phantom of the Opera, and then a 4 day cruise to Ensenada, Mexico. It was a super fun and super eye opening experience. Here are some pictures.

This was the hotel where we saw Phantom: The Venetian. It was exciting.

This is just my favorite building in Vegas...because it is cool looking. Yep.

This is a sunset in Long Beach. California is great, but not as amazing as everyone else makes it out to be.

This was our water slide on the ship...that I didn't go on. Sad day, I know.

This is Catalina. If I am ever filthy rich, I will have a house here.

This was the beach in Ensenada. It's okay to be jealous on this one.

I met these AWESOME fellow Utah Mormons on the ship. It was quite a relief. And in that picture, we are totally playing poker. Just setting a good example.

So that's a little bit of what the cruise was like. Basically, there were a lot of cool sights, and I spent a butt load of money in Ensenada, and people everywhere were smoking and drinking and it was kind of nasty. But still a cool experience.

And then I went to girls camp, which was total opposite of the cruise!

I didn't take really any good pictures of that, but suffice to say it was quite an experience. The week went by really quickly, and I came home smelling like a wet dog. was pretty dang spiritual. A lot of pretty cool stuff like that happened. And it was my last year, so as far as last years go it was pretty sweet! I actually didn't do much camp stuff. Like certification and whatever. I did get my liahona award, though, which for  those of you outside my stake, it's basically an award you get for completing 4 years of camp, reading the book of mormon, writing an essay about your favorite book of mormon character, and memorizing a bunch of value stuff. So, it was pretty cool!

That's about it. I'm not really going into detail cuz, there's too much. Haha!


Monday, July 4, 2011

Let Freedom Ring!

Today is Independence day. Obviously. Except by the time you read this, it probably won't be anymore. But that is beside the point.

The real reason I got on the computer was to look up a walkthrough for Ganon's Castle for Ocarina of Time. Because I am a nerd, a dumb nerd, a dumb SICK nerd (seriously, I can't stop coughing. somebody please kill me) and I had nothing better to do.

But then I decided to blog about our amazing country. Because it's the freaking 4th of July and I have a lot to say about it.

First of all, when I checked my tweets this morning there was a really funny one from Dan Bergstein which read: "Eh, I dunno. Hot dogs and a beanbag toss game? And maybe Sears can have a sale?" - Our forefathers deciding how best to celebrate freedom.

The sad truth is, many people don't understand WHY they celebrate, they just do. Many people celebrate the 4th by lighting fireworks and getting drunk, but they don't even know who was the first man to sign the Declaration of Independence (that was me, in case you were wondering. I was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence. Be jealous) or even what that famous document is for.

In fact, ask an American what the Declaration of Independence is and they'll reply "Uh...Nicholas Cage....treasure map? know, I want some pizza. You want some pizza? I'm going to go get some pizza.."

Hopefully the majority of us are better than that. But the fact is we take our freedoms WAAAAY too much for granted. I love the American Revolution story more than food, or air. Or puppies. Or puppies covered in food AND air. Seriously, if I could go back to one time period, it would be during the American Revolution. I would have loved to be a part of that. In fact, there was a point in time where I did...kind of...take a certain Students of Liberty...oh 8th grade. Stupid King George III. Every second I spent with that man was pure agony.

Anyways, my family has been in the United States since before it was called the United States. My great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather fought alongside George Washington in the American Revolution. Skyles once said to me that there is no such thing as "American blood" but if he could chop me in half he would realize just how wrong he is. Cuz seriously, my blood does not get any more red, white, or blue.

Really though, anything patriotic, like seeing the flag raised, or a soldier coming home, I get this amazing feeling in my heart, like, I am so, SO blessed to live in this amazing country. You know that feeling? That overwhelming happiness? Yeah, that's pretty much what it is. That's how much I love this country.

I love the 4th of July not just because there are always fireworks on my birthday, or I can BBQ without a good reason. I Independence Day because the other 364 days of the year, everybody hates on the U.S.A. and forgets about our founding fathers and everything they did for us. But on the 4th, people take a moment to have a sense of pride for our country. We recognize how blessed we are to have our basic rights and freedoms that men and women gave their lives, and continue to give their lives for.

What people fail to realize sometimes is that we aren't just America. We are the United States of America. We are a people who were once united in a common cause: liberty! And freedom from oppression! United we stand, divided we fall.
On the 2nd, and 4th of July, I went to see the play Cries of Freedom...TWICE because it was THAT GOOD. Not just because a lot of my friends were in it, though that was certainly a motivating factor. Even though some of the songs were super duper cheesy (Freedom isn't Free is now a classic for my family), and seeing my friends be really silly (King George III about killed me, literally 4 years ago and somewhat figuratively a few hours ago) it still sent a really clear message: Freedom is not easy to come by. It takes a whole lot of sacrifice. And actually some parts of the play were really intense! They even sang "Do You Hear the People Sing" which made me want to be in Les Mis again. I could actually go on and on about how I was kind of skeptical about the play at first, but left thinking "asldkfjf;akdlfj;f!!! I HAVE to see that again it was so good I freaking love America!!!" and how amazing every part of it was...but I won't. Suffice to say it was awesome.

But seriously, it made me want to give back to my country somehow. I'm too much of a wimp to be in the army, but maybe somebody will cross this blog and be like, "hey, that weird short girl is right! I should be more patriotic!"

Because seriously, we live in a fantastic country. And next time somebody complains about everything that is wrong with our country (which in my house is like every day) I am going to beat them with a heavy rock.

Just kidding. But I hope people will recognize what an amazing country we live in. Why do we have such a problem with illegal immigration? Because America is so dang AWESOME and everyone wants to live here! I don't blame them!

So the moral of this angsty blog is, I love America. I have so much pride for my country it borders on nationalistic racism. I couldn't be happier to share my birthday with anyone else, besides this amazing country. Well, birthweekend. You get the idea.

And yes, I even wrote an essay about how awesome America is for the AP English test. And I'm going to end this blog the same way I ended that essay.

God bless the USA!