Oh, say does that Star – Spangled Banner yet wave
Over the land of the free and the home of the brave?

What can I say about the country I spent the first 40 years of my life in?  Well I guess I would have to say that I, like many Americans are not very happy with the way things are going there now. But that would require a long political discussion and this blog is about travel and not politics.  Unfortunately they do sometime go hand in hand. With a legislative body dedicated to doing nothing but thinking of new laws to pass, some as inane as it is illegal to cut off a cow’s tail, it truly pays to know the laws before traveling there. To elaborate on the laws in America. I don’t think most Americans know all the laws established here.

When I lived  in Thailand a few years ago, I read on the internet about how America passed something like thirty thousand new laws that year.  The thing to remember is that America is a Republic with Democratic overtones. China is a Republic with Communistic overtones. My pledge of allegiance when I was a child was: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. And to the REPUBLIC for which it stands. One nation under god, indivisible, for Liberty and Justice for all.”

Now I think over the years, with the separation of Church and state, the term under God has been removed. But never has this said “and to the DEMOCRACY for which it stands”.  This means it is a police state and as such most Americans will see the inside of a jail cell at least once in their lives.

We have starving children homeless on our streets. Yet we worry about helping the rebels in Libya and of fighting an incredible war in the Middle East that was really never any of our business to begin with.  We spend our time passing laws to make our society equal for everyone and to try to take the hate crimes and the violence out of it. Yet I believe that America is one notch below Mexico in the most dangerous place that I have ever lived.  We have now killed bin Laden and are having debates on how ethical it was to take this man out and to execute him.

My God, violence is a part of the world and these people have no problems taking American Citizens, cutting off their heads and posting it on the internet.  What happened to showing the world that we are strong?  What happened to the Inglorious Basterds way of making these people fear us?  Now we have become the laughing stock of the world and we are losing our position as a super power.  What will happen when these other countries over run us? Even the greatest superpowers of the world have lasted a short time. What happens to all of our laws and the alienation we cause our own?  What will the world be like then?  Isn’t it time to take a lesson from the bible and remove the thorn from our eyes before we attempt to remove the splinter from theirs?

I’ve learned a lot of things the world could live without that America brings with its culture. But that will be a topic for another page.  As dangerous as America can be, and if you read all the news that American media spits out (one of the things I believe the world would be better off without) you will find that America is probably one of the most dangerous countries to live in.  I mean let’s face it, one wrong turn in a city or being in the wrong place at the wrong time could lead to an untimely death, beating, or mental and physical scar for the rest of your life

Now with all of that being said, I would like to steal 10 cc’s lyrics and say.  “I don’t like America, but I do love her.”  And here is why. America has some of the most diverse and amazing landscapes’ in the world.  From the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean there are some of the most interesting and beautiful places in the world.  Los Angeles, Hollywood and Disneyland in California are something that every one should see.  The diversity in people and languages can not be equaled anywhere else in the world.

One of the man made wonders of the world is Las Vegas Nevada. I say that because its built in a desert most thought could never be inhabited. Bugsy Siegel lost his life proving it could be. However, with the resilience of the American people and some help from the Mafia, the City of Lights is one of the most incredible places in the world that everyone should experience at least once in their lives.

Being situated in a valley with soaring mountains behind it, Salt Lake City is one of the most beautiful and picturesque cities in the world.

The Grand Canyon in Arizona and Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming are two of the greatest natural wonders of the world. Living on this planet without seeing them and learning about them would indeed be a shame.

Colorado is my home state. The Rocky Mountains run through it. Not only does it have some of the greatest snow skiing in the world, it also has some of  the most beautiful scenery anywhere you could travel.  Take the drive from Colorado Springs to Cripple Creek. Cripple Creek’s location is in the bowl of an ancient volcano.  As you drop into that bowl, you can view the entire continental divide stretching from New Mexico to Utah. Tell me that’s not the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen.

New Mexico hosts Roswell where the conspiracy of space aliens are still in the air and Carlsbad Caverns boasts some of the most impressive underground views in the world.
Texas is the largest State in America, and as such has some of the most diverse scenery there is.  From the western plains and the oil fields to the Hill country outside of Austin, (where you will find Lake Travis, Lake Buchanan, and a string of lakes found on the old LBJ ranch), to the Pine trees of Eastern Texas. There is something here for everyone.

The people of Texas are some of the proudest people in America and proudly display the star of Texas on all the gates leading to their domicile as well as flying the Texas flag in front of their homes. The term “Don’t’ mess with Texas” is taken very seriously in these parts. And its no wonder why these people feel the way they do.  This is a state with large ranches and beautiful countryside. And lets not forget the Alamo. These attractions shouldn’t be missed. If you’ve never tasted Texas Bar-b-Que or Whataburger, might I suggest these taste sensations are worth the trip itself.

Branson Missouri is the Grand Ol Opry capitol of the world. In Memphis Tennessee you will find Elvis Presley’s mansion Graceland. Beal Street, which is where the blues was born, still remains one of the greatest blues music streets in the world. Its also a place that Elvis Presley himself used to spend his time on when he wasn’t on the road or spending time in his beloved home.

New Orleans is the birthplace of American Jazz. A trip down Bourbon Street will give you a taste of what its evolved into. It will also give a special treat to you ears.  It’s also the site of one of the greatest hurricane disasters in American when hurricane Katrina made her way onto their shores. And of course, Its the site of Mardi Gras. One of the greatest festivals you could ever attend.

The Great Smoky Mountains are another beautiful mountain range. They run along the border of Tennessee and North Carolina.  It’s the only place I’ve seen a town with the proud and prominent name of “Buck Snort.”

The northern, East Coast is a Mecca of history. With the original 13 colonies being found there, it also has sites of some of the greatest battles of the civil war.  Here you can take tours through these sites and learn about this tumultuous time in our history. A history lesson while you have fun. What a great idea! You can find the original slave quarters in Charleston South Carolina. This is where the slave traders would bring slaves, house them and put them up for auction.  This is indeed a very dark part of American History. But as they say; those who don’t learn from past mistakes are will surely to repeat them.

New York City is of course one of the cities that everyone knows and would like to visit.  And who can blame them?  With amazing architecture, shopping, entertainment, and social diversity its truly one of the greatest cities every built.

Florida houses Disney World which is indeed the happiest and cleanest place on earth.  It also has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world found on the Gulf of Mexico side as well as on the Atlantic Ocean side.  Of course it is also home to one of the most famous spring break destinations called Fort Lauderdale. Daytona Beach is the site of the Daytona 500, of one of the greatest car races in America.

The citizens of America are some of the friendliest and most considerate people in the world. When there is a problem or crises we do love to chip in and help.  I still consider America to be one of the most dangerous places in the world to live. But if you watch the neighborhoods you’re in, and use some common sense, you could come away knowing that we are some of the kindest people you will ever meet.

America, America, God shed his grace on thee and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea!

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