Quick update here, as I’d like to get out for a walk on the beach before breakfast.

Continuing to enjoy it here: the beach, the food, the people, the history. It’s Independence Day here on Tuesday, and the country is still young enough to take such a celebration very seriously. Flags are everywhere, including on people’s cars — I’m glad to see we’re not the only country with jackasses who think it’s a good idea to put a large, loosely attached flapping object on the back of their truck.

Tomorrow, the day before Independence Day, is Memorial Day. It will be an interesting transition to watch the country go from mourning to celebration in a short period of time. The juxtaposition may seem jarring to some, but to me it seems natural. How can you celebrate your independence without simultaneously mourning those who died while earning it?

Our country has been in existence for so long that we don’t take Memorial or Veteran’s Day as seriously as we should. Unless you know someone who’s serving or is a veteran, it is all too easy not to think about the sacrifices that have been made to allow us to live the lifestyles we do. (God, I sound like a Republican!) But here, the country is small and the opposition to its continued existence fierce. Everyone has lost someone, and everyone knows exactly what they died defending. It’s a fascinating concept, especially as a historian.

But enough of these abstract musings for now… off to deal with international travel crises. And hopefully, eventually, the beach.