Friday Finds: July 4th Edition

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As we head into the long weekend celebrating our nation’s independence, my mind is very much focused on what it means to be American today. Despite the many challenges we continue to face as a nation, I still believe our melting pot is a land of great opportunity. We have so much to be thankful for, including our forefathers who had a vision of equality and freedom for this great land: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. On this 240th anniversary  of America, I encourage you to revisit the Declaration of Independence in its entirety, and reflect back on just how far we have come in that time – but also, remember our responsibility in upholding its intentions going forward.

 

Let’s start with a fews lists of America’s bests:

America’s Best Historic Small Town

100 Hottest Restaurants in America

The Best Beaches in the USA

America’s Top BBQ Joints

Happiest Cities in the U.S.

The Best Fireworks Displays in America

Zion 2If you’re not up for the full Lower 48 Road Trip, perhaps a shorter National Park Tour is more your speed? Our National Park System was founded in 1916 with the establishment of Yellowstone and Yosemite. Since then, the list has grown to 58 parks. US 89 (aka National Park Highway) connects six of the nation’s most spectacular between Montana and Arizona, and I would love to see them all!

 

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I find these sorts of comparisons fascinating! By size, Washington State is a third the size of Thailand, but shares a comparable GDP. Whereas we are more closely matched with the size of Syria, but have 10x GDP. The United States just barely edges out China on size, and we’re currently neck-and-neck for the #1 economy in the world.

 

Barnes Excited that husband and wife architects, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, were chosen to design the Obama Presidential Center. “Martin Nesbitt, the foundation’s president and close friend of Obama, told the Chicago Tribune that personal chemistry between the architects and the first couple was an important factor in their selection.” How cute is that?

 

Now Watching: The Americans (FX)

Now Reading: Me Before You, Jojo Moyes (NYTimes #1 Bestseller)

Now Listening: Can’t Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake (#1 on America’s Top 40)

Have a wonderful 4th – and be careful out there this weekend!!

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