How This Canadian Fell In Love With America

Dear America,

You’ve opened your arms to allow me to live in your glorious nation for almost three years now and today is your birthday. Happy Birthday, girl! I know how you get about age, so I won’t tell people how old you are but I will say that you age well.  Like an exceptionally expensive, fine wine. The older you get, the more tolerant and open minded you become and this pleases me. I say… YOU GO GIRL! This is your time. Don’t let anyone stop you!

If you must know, it was your younger sister’s birthday a few days ago as well! What are the chances? On July 1st it was Canada Day, which is essentially exactly like Independance Day except there’s never been a movie called “Canada Day”… for obvious reasons: Bieber is busy.  But now that I live with you I feel like it’s my duty to pay homage to all the things that I love about you.

Our relationship started when I was child. Do you even remember that? I would come down from the brutal Toronto winters and would soak up the sun at grandparents Miami condo.  Two weeks of every Christmas vacation consisted of frequent trips to the mall for Express, Abercrombie and Bath and Body Works. These things didn’t exist in Canada and were therefore huge treats in my life. They were also tools to make people at school jealous and thus, me more popular. America, I thank you for my warm winters spent with my family and for shopping… just in general. Two things I will cherish for the rest of eternity.

When I was in high school I made a few trips to NYC. What’s not to love (and fear) about that place? There are people on every single inch of concrete all going different directions in a hurry. NYC I thank you for your love and respect for the theatre. You made me believe that you can actually have a career in the arts by virtue of continuing to create it. I heart NYC, just like everybody else.

Then I decided I was going to move in with you. You didn’t make it easy, let’s be real for a minute. You made me jump through hoops to prove my legitimacy as an actor in order to legally become roommates.  Who knows who was working that day, but you gave me the working papers and I moved in with you at the address of Hollywood, California.  Just a few months ago, I was lucky enough to get a job shooting a Road Trip commercial that flew me across your great nation. Who knows how long it would take me to see all the great places I went to in two weeks? All I know is that throughout that trip I got to know the real you, and you know what girl? I like you.

We started in Denver. Glorious, brisk, fresh aired Colorado. It reminded me of home. If home had gigantic mountains and the cleanest streets imaginable. I wore my thick Hudson’s Bay wool Poncho (which I bought in San Franscisco) and was stopped on every single street corner to be complimented. The people of Denver understood a fantastic, four point blanket when they saw one and that warmed my soul.   Also? Anyone who gets how annoying it is to wear winter boots to a wedding and have to change into stilettos once you get inside the venue understands who I am on the inside. I feel like Denver and I really get each other.

I won’t lie, I didn’t think I’d like Texas. I felt like everything I stood for wouldn’t be tolerated in Texas. I also thought that their portion sizes were going to offend me. But, get this! I loved it there. First of all: Austin has the flagship Whole Foods store so… without sounding like a complete L.A. douchebag, it was love at first site.  Second of all: I fancy myself a non-red-meat eater but there was a BBQ joint that looked like it was pulled straight out of 1940 and mama wanted to try some smoked meat!

I love you Texas for your ribs, for your flagship Whole Foods store, for you love of the American Flag, for your incredible vintage stores, for your respect for the cyclists (there were bike paths everywhere) and for your kind citizens!

Next up was the city of delightful indulgence! I felt like I was in a movie once I hit New Orleans because it was the definition of “Southern Hospitality” and that was something I’d only ever seen on the big screen.  It was humid, sunny and full of people drinking on the cobblestone streets.  And then a cab driver told me that there were drive -thru daiquiri bars which blew my mind because it seemed rather counter intuitive. But who am I to judge what this great place is doing with their drive thru’s?  Let people live their lives, ok? Everyone I met was friendly and talkative. I asked about Katrina and people wanted to tell their story.  It felt like there was a community in New Orleans that I hadn’t experienced anywhere else. Also? There was a sense of parrrrttyyyyy that really made me feel like a grandma.

And then it was back to the West Coast where I live. After travelling for two weeks it felt nice to come back to Los Angeles, because Los Angeles now feels like home.  So in honor of all of your unique nooks and crannys, your smoked meat and your friendly faces… America? I salute you from coast to coast.

Had I not moved here I never would have done that commercial that allowed me to see your beautiful country and all of it’s varieties of food and landscapes.  Thank you for letting me stay here. Thank you for employing me. And most importantly… thank you for letting me fulfill my dream. Now, let’s eat some burgers and blow stuff up!