50 Memories of America- Final Update 7/21

Well, America, it’s been real. It’s been months since I set out to experience the 50 most American things I could (see Part 1 and Part 2), and my journey has come to an end. To be frank, I didn’t complete the list. Actually, I didn’t even get close.  of 50 to be exact.  I ran out of time. I came up with other things that were important for me to do. Word it however you want, but is there anything more American than setting out to do something and then renegotiating the terms?

The Completed Tasks


50 Memories of America

Quite a bit’s happened in the months since my last update.

Let’s start with watching various patriotic movies, like Top Gun, something by John Wayne, Mighty Ducks 2, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Red Dawn, Miracle, Independence Day, The Patriot, Yankee Doodle Dandy, and Captain America. I watched exactly—- zero of those. I did hit the movie theater quite a few times though. While the aforementioned are certainly about America, is there anything more American than basking in the glory of huge, bombastic blockbusters with explosions, guns, and heroes? Does anything bring forth a blush of red, white, and blue like munching on a large soda and popcorn while guffawing at the antics of our finest comedic actors projected on a three story screen with what I imagine is a few hundred thundering speakers? No, there isn’t, so I’m going to call that a fair substitute. 


I didn’t read a national edition of any newspapers, but I did read quite a bit of National Geographic and National Geographic History, learning about our nations great parks, people, history, and wildlife. To me, those are more worthy of my time and yours than the fear-mongering and divisive journalism of the news. I’m going to call this one a win too.


Big surprise here, but I did pretty well with my eating challenges. Many a time in the past months my family has cooked out all-American burgers, huge porterhouse steaks, and parts of just about every other morally acceptable creature under the sun. When I’m gone I’m going to do my absolute best to eat as much like the locals as possible, so I’ve cherished every bite of U.S. cuisine while I still can. Speaking of which, I’ve certainly drunk my fair share of beers too. I stopped keeping track of my states eventually, but, to be honest, nothing does it for me like good old Wisconsin brews. We’re blessed in our homeland of cows and cheese to find Spotted Cow at just about every bar and gas station, and it’s hard to justify substituting it for something inferior.


The weekend of July 4th was, as you’d expect, primo Americano time, and I didn’t waste it. Split between a great trip down to Milwaukee and a relaxing skip up to Michigan’s beautiful Upper Penninsula, I made a lot of truly great memories.


I tailgated a Brewers game with some awesome friends from college.


This would be a nice picture if it wasn’t for that dome.

My mom, dad, brother, and I drove around the U.P. a bit to find some breathtaking waterfalls. This was my favorite. The natural beauty of Upper Michigan can’t be overstated.


Finally, last weekend was my annual Moosejaw camping retreat. Every year me and some of my closest friends get together, head up to Norther Wisconsin, camp, drink, and do martial arts with others from around the state. While the trip itself could take up a post, I’ll keep it short and sweet and leave it at the fact that the weather was beautiful, the beer was cold, and the company was nothing short of perfect. The highlight of the weekend, though, was the annual canoe race. This was our second time competing, and, as you’d expect, our second victory. Here’s to taking home the bacon again when I’m back next summer.




The winning team.


I did a few more things, which you can see on the checklist below, but I think between this post and the last two I’ve covered the ones that meant the most to me. So, yeah. I didn’t finish my list. I didn’t even come close. I did make some awesome memories with my friends and family, though, that have made leaving for a few years both easier and harder somehow. I guess it’s time to start a 50 Memories of Myanmar list now.


  • Watch Top Gun
  • Read The Great Gatsby
  • Listen to some Bruce Springsteen with the windows down in an American made car.
  • Watch a John Wayne movie
  • Watch Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
  • Watch Rocky IV
  • Watch Red Dawn (1984)
  • Watch D2: The Mighty Ducks
  • Watch Miracle
  • Watch Independence Day
  • Watch The Patriot
  • Watch Yankee Doodle Dandy
  • Listen to jazz and relax for at least a half hour.
  • Read the National Edition of the USA Today
  • Read a Captain America Comic
  • Watch a Captain America Movie
  • Listen to rap music that is critical of America and appreciate their freedom of speech, even though you may disagree
  • Watch an episode of How It’s Made and appreciate the beauty that is American industry

Food and Drink

  • Eat a Wisconsin brat.
  • Drink a Wisconsin beer
  • Eat some Wisconsin cheese curds.
  • Have a classic American hot dog
  • Eat apple pie
  • Eat a piece of meat that’s far bigger than it has any reason to be
  • Eat a simple burger and fries, without any fancy toppings
  • Eat Chinese takeout, because nothing is more American than Americanizing other cultures’ food
  • Deep fry at least four different foods to eat as a meal
  • Drink a beer from at least 10 different states
  • Eat buffalo wings while watching sports at a bar


  • Go to one of the Great Lakes
  • Tailgate a baseball game
  • Smoke a cigar while drinking some fine bourbon
  • Shoot a gun
  • Drink a PBR and listen to country music for at least a half hour
  • Go camping in the beautiful American outdoors
  • Call or write a letter to a senator or congressman
  • Go to a tractor pull/demolition derby/car race type event
  • Go to a museum
  • Spend some time looking at the moon and appreciate that we’ve been there
  • Sing Toby Keith at karaoke
  • Light off fireworks
  • Throw tea into a body of water
  • Go on a brewery tour
  • Gamble
  • Enjoy a bonfire
  • Cruise through town with the windows down in an American made car


  • Memorize the Preamble to the Constitution
  • Participate in a March Madness pool
  • Wear American flag clothing for a day
  • Vote in an Election

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