Since I posted about Canada on the first of July, I figured that for the fourth it was only fair to make mention of our favourite neighbour (or favorite neighbor, we’re pretty flexible that way). I’ve lived within a 30 minute drive of the border most of my life, and have visited many more times than I can count. I even lived in the United States twice for brief periods, working as a travel nurse in hospitals in Connecticut and Berkeley, California. I’ve driven across the country from east to west and from north to south and have set foot in 31 of the 50 states. And although I have to admit that my first love is my home country, there’s a lot to love about America as well.
1) The People
Almost all Americans that I’ve met have been really, really nice. Amazingly nice. Almost eerily nice. Of course, every country has it’s grumpy folks as well, but I’ve pretty much always felt welcomed and well treated when visiting. And people who complain about all the “Have a nice days” feeling fake and getting on their nerves really should spend some time in a place where public service workers consider a frown and a “hrumph” to be as much as could be expected of them.
2) The Climate
Canada is divided into four basic climate zones. There’s the part where I live: A little too wet but otherwise okay. Then moving north and east you hit: Too cold in winter, okay in summer. As you get further east you head into: Too cold in winter, too muggy in summer. And then there’s the massive top chunk of the country that falls into: Just plain too cold. Hardly anyone lives there. Those two facts are related.
The United States has all those zones as well, but then there’s so much more. There are places that are warm year round. There are even places where it’s nicer in winter than in summer. And then there’s that little piece of heaven called Hawaii. You don’t need a passport to lie on a sunny beach in January. As a Canadian, I’m more than a little bit jealous about that.
3) Theme Parks
You’ve got Disney World and Disneyland. And then of course there’s Universal Studios, Seaworlds, Legolands, etc. And then there’s that giant adult theme park called Las Vegas.
4) The Land
Your country is drop dead gorgeous. Sure, it has it’s unattractive parts, just like any country, but the good spots are so very, very good. Yosemite, Monument Valley, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Cape Cod, the Smokey Mountains, Big Sur, any back road in New England in fall, the list is endless. There’s just too much natural beauty for anyone to see in one lifetime.