Tag Archives: the good life

Happy Birthday America

Sure this is a tad belated but stay with me.

I have always loved the fourth, perhaps it has something to do with my birthday being the third, but I truthfully think its a lot more than that. I would consider myself a very patriotic person for many reasons but mostly the pride I have for the United States military and for those who serve. I spent the better part of growing up living near Colorado Springs so I came to really appreciate our nation’s brave men and women who serve. Military homecomings will always bring me to tears and my heart goes out to those families with mothers, brothers, husbands, fathers, sisters, and wives who are deployed. I could never imagine how nerve racking every single moment would be until their return months later.

Sure the main purpose of the fourth of July is to commemorate our independence from Britain but I also think its about celebrating our amazing service men and women for continuing to fight for America’s freedom and safety. I think the fourth is about looking back to the beginnings of this country and seeing just how far we have come and where we can go. It’s about celebrating freedoms, the birth of this country, creativity, free speech, voting, democracy, and most importantly the people’s voice. It’s a time to remember our duties as citizens and how lucky we are to have all the freedoms we do. Even though it often doesn’t feel like it, we choose our government and our government is one for the people. Despite all the hard times and frustrations of our time, the fourth gives people continued hope, it renews patriotism, and for at least one day of the year people are proud about the country they live in.

and the fireworks just make me happy. I don’t know maybe it is the pyromaniac within me trying to escape or my constant wonder of what make them work the way they do and the chemistry behind the scenes. I guess it has something to do with the tradition behind them and how this is how people have celebrated the fourth for much of this countries history. Maybe it is also their beauty and how they light up a night time sky with so much color, so much noise, and so much joy. Maybe its the hiking to hills to watch them fly over valleys, lakes, or neighborhoods. Maybe its the memories from my childhood when this was the one night I could stay up super late just to watch explosions streak the sky. Maybe it has something to do with how the weather always seems to cooperate for fireworks. The night of the fourth is often one of the best of the summer.

I had probably one of the greatest birthdays and fourth of Julys this past weekend and I have had some pretty wonderful fourths in the past. This one was spent with so many amazing people and many many adventures. The memories will last forever.

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The Island Life

Over spring break this last year I went to the beautiful state of Hawaii. I truthfully didn’t know what to expect from such a trip, but I can tell you, it definitely changed me. The whole trip started off on a Sunday, boarding the plane in cold winter stricken Montana. From here we flew to Salt Lake City and practically had to run to our next gate to avoid missing our flight to Los Angeles. The worst part of the trip had to have been the 5 1/2 hour flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu. Then from Honolulu, we flew to a little airport on the island of Maui, arriving at 10:30 local time, 2:30 am Montana

 

The next day was the most beautiful day I’ve ever seen, 80 degrees by noon and the sun was out. The first day we spent on the beach, getting groceries, and catching some Z’s. The second day, we took advantage of still being jet lagged and went to watch the sunrise from the top of Mt. Haleakala. We had to wake up at 4 in the morning and drive the winding road up the side of the dormant volcano. The wind was piercing and it was dark.  It was completely worth it.

 

The adventure to see the more remote places of the island of Maui was calling us, next thing on our plate was the road to Hana. 40 miles of winding road through the rainforest of Maui.  Those 40 miles consist of 59 bridges, 49 of which are one lane,  and around 620 curves in the road. If you don’t stop along the route it will take you about 2.5 hours to complete. If you don’t stop though, you’ll be missing some beautiful sights.

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Those trees are naturally that color, it reminds me of something out of Dr. Suess.
The last days we were there we spent on the beach, either snorkeling or just relaxing. We did go up for a zip lining tour, which was my favorite part. However, I don’t have any pictures from that adventure to share with you guys. On that trip I did meet two of the coolest people I have ever met. Joe, was one guide that was from California and he was the stereotypical beach bum. Our other guide, Loki, was half Samoan and half Navajo Indian. He was a giant of a man and could be a comedian. Those two made the experience that much more fun.
This trip really opened my eyes to how truly beautiful a place can be without needing the frigid mountain air and the high altitudes. The people of Hawaii are some of my favorite people I have ever met and I highly recommend visiting. I can’t wait to go back. I love it there.