Friday, July 10, 2009

independence day elsewhere

This was the first time I have ever been out of the country, or even out of Provo, for The Fourth of July. The summer after my graduation I spent a month in Africa and came home just shy of a week prior to the big day. That was the most memorable Fourth I've ever had. I was overwhelmed with gratitude for America. Africa was definitely the poorest and most desolate place I have lived or even visited. London and Brussels don't even compare to Ghana. However, every single time I leave leave the States, no matter where I go, I'm constantly reminded of how blessed I am to have grown up in America.
Secretly, I was slightly dreading The Fourth. I was worried I'd be a little sad to not be home, or even in America for the big day. Thankfully, it was a Saturday so Al didn't have to work and I didn't have to be alone. We met up with some Americans and non-Americans alike and took a train to the beach.
So nice.
As much as I totally love old European cities, Belgian chocolate, Belgian waffles, old churches, museums, and beautiful, old streets, it was a real treat to go somewhere that had no traces of Europe. And with the right imagination, it could be mistaken for America (nude swimmers made this a little more difficult, but thankfully those were only children).

Magnum Ice Cream, yum.
Totally un-American, but we could not resist.

Alex, Me, Lani, Lauren, Steph, Lauren, 3 other guys and Tristan
"Okay, Americans on the left, Non-Americans on the right (except for Tristan), please."
It wasn't purposeful, but perhaps we were feeling particularly proud to be Americans and stuck together that day.
There were a number of "School House Rock" numbers sung.

Me, Lauren, Lani, Steph & Lauren
Steph is from BYU and works with Alex. She met these other girls from BYU in her ward in Brussels.

We got home around 8:30 and in order to top off the American day we decided to hit up Transformers despite the many, and should-have-been-heeded warnings (Rebb).
We couldn't help ourselves, especially Al. Let me preface this.
When we were training to Italy, we drove through the most beautiful places I've ever seen in Switzerland. In the most persuasive way I could think of, I desperately tried to convince Al that we needed to live in Lucern Switzerland for some period of our lives.
"Eh. I don't know."
"What?! Why not?"
And then, of all the reasons not to move to Switzerland - far from family, far from beedies, questionable job conditions, foreign language he responds,
"There aren't any movie theaters."
Are you kidding me?
Movies over the most beautiful place in the world?
Granted, when he asked why I did want to move there, besides the fact that it was beautiful I said,
"To farm."
That being said, you can imagine how exciting this trip to the movie theater was after a month long absence.
On the metro I looked over and this is the face I saw:

Genuine joy.

Even though the flick was pretty, no, really bad, it did help us feel pretty American.
Not to mention they had this in theater.

We hope you all had a wonderful Fourth of July.

Love America!


em ♥ muffin said...

can i just express my gratitude that i'm not the only wife in the twilight zone known as the beedies?

Kellee Marie Cook said...

I am so happy you stuck with the tradition of getting a treat before any sort of event, especially a movie. Looks like it had quite the array of sweets too. Almost as good as jelly babies, almost.

p.s. I love the sun hat!

Hayley (and Kyle) said...

Well, Crans-Montana has a great movie theater, worth the commute. Last time I was there they released Harry Potter #5.... in french, I don't know if that's a problem for you guys....

PS Crans-Montana, Champery, and Montreux are amazing. You should try to hit up the International Jazz Festival in Montreux--- it's in like the next couple weeks-- it's AWESOME!

Mandy said...

Looks like a fun 4th. It also looks like you were one of the nude swimmers.

Jessica said...

Annie and Al,

This is Jess and Marty! We are so glad we found your blog! Keep posting often so we can live our dreams of living abroad through you! You look beautiful and happy as always!

Love you both!

J & M

Rebecca Ann Groesbeck said...

ahhhhh MAGNUMS. eat a myan mystica for me will you? and i'm so glad i gave you the necessary moral support to buy the hat, it looks fabulous on you. how are you so beautiful annie dear? truly i am blown away. loves.