From the lakes of Minnesota
To the hills of Tennessee
Across the plains of Texas
From sea to shining sea
From Detroit down to Houston,
And New York to L.A
Well there’s pride in every American heart
And its time we stand and say
That I’m proud to be an American
Where at least I know I’m free
And I won’t forget the men who died
Who gave that right to me
And I gladly stand up
Next to you and defend her still today
Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land
God bless the USA
– Lee Greenwood
Friday 4 August
Los Angeles, California
It’s been a whirlwind week and, as I suspected when I left Sydney last Thursday, a heck of a lot of fun at the same time. I don’t think I’ve ever done so much in such a short space of time and as I sit writing this last blog in LAX waiting for my fourteen-hour flight home, the events of the last nine days here is starting to catch up with me, and I have a feeling it won’t be hard to get some good sleep on the overnight flight that lands in Sydney at 6:20am Sunday morning.
We flew to Los Angeles from Chicago this morning after saying goodbye to Matt and Jaimie. I guess it’s not as hard this time around because we’ll be back in Chicago in late November around Thanksgiving, but they’re such welcoming people that it wasn’t without a little sadness for me, because of the week we enjoyed. They were, of course, a big part of that, and they’re a big part of why I enjoy coming to Chicago so much. I feel like our friendship gets even better each time we’re in town.
We arrived out west a little before one o’clock, many hours before our flight to Sydney, so we hired a car and went down to Santa Monica. It’s become something of a last-day tradition that we end up eating at Bubba Gump’s on the famous old pier, and enjoy some Southern California sunshine before a stop at the legendarily famous In-N-Out burgers en route back to the airport. The weather didn’t disappoint today. Nor did the views, as you can see.
So, it’s back home for ten weeks, and back to America for a six-week tour (with my parents in tow) on October 21.
Thanks to everyone who made this trip so much fun:
Obviously, at the top of that list is Kevin and Ashley – guys, it was my pleasure to be there to see you get hitched. Thanks for the invite. It was an epic weekend in Michigan, one that I’m not going to forget anytime soon.
To Matt and Jaimie and the kids for getting me crash at your place, to Mike, Jane and Bri for the same, and to all the people – Longhini’s, Alley’s, Weller’s, Rovik’s and anyone else I’ve missed – who took time out of their busy summertime schedules to have dinner/lunch/a beer/multiple beers with me. It means a lot. You guys are all the best part of Chicago (which is an extraordinary city that I fall more in love with each time I visit) and, as we say in Australia, “I love youse all.”
And thanks to everyone who’s read these blogs.
Until October, America…