Let Freedom Ring.

Happy 236th birthday America! You’re not my country of birth, but I consider you my home. Yes, contrary to popular belief, I was not born in America, regardless of how fluent I am in the English language. I arrived in America at the tender age of 4 in March of 1997, and unfortunately have not visited Vietnam since then. However, I have loved every minute of being in this country and am so blessed to have the amount of freedom and opportunity that I do by living here.

I started off my 4th of July with a trip to Starbucks where I discovered tall hot coffees were free today. Talk about a great start to an eventful day. I then headed to Half Priced Books to see if there was a ridiculous book sale of some sort; I can honestly spend hours at a book store, regardless of which one it is. After rummaging through the clearance section, I came across A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. I have been meaning to read this book for some time now, especially since I heard about it years ago on Oprah’s reading list. Unfortunately, the last time I heard about the book, it was not positive feedback; something regarding false information provided by the author. However, I heard the overall read was worth it, accurate interpretation or not. And of course, for a $1 + tax, how could I turn down such a bargain?

A Million Little Pieces is a semi-fictional novel about a 23-year-old alcoholic and drug abuser and how he copes with rehabilitation through a 12-step program. Even though it was originally promoted as a memoir, it was later discovered that a couple of the events mentioned in the novel never actually occurred – hence the negative critiques that made the novel go from a bestseller to a target for literary bashing. Although there is some fabrication of the events, I will probably read it as if it was simply another novel, rather than one that is based on “real” events.

Afterwards, I headed to South Congress with a friend to explore what the street had to offer as far as vintage shops and eateries. Our bellies were still full from the campus buffet, so eating was not our main priority. However, we could not leave without grabbing a cupcake from Hey Cupcake! – the cupcake food trailer featured on the Travel Channel. Located on the 1600 block of South Congress, the food trailer serves cupcakes for $3 each. The cupcakes are baked fresh daily with the best ingredients and love, of course. The workers are beyond sweet, and the cupcakes can make anyone drool. I grabbed myself a Michael Jackson cupcake, a chocolate cupcake with white cream cheese frosting, that was decorated with patriotic red and blue sprinkles.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful 4th of July! May your evenings be safe and filled with dozens of firework shows. Tonight, I am heading to Auditorium shores for a musical firework display put on by the Austin Symphony Orchestra; I cannot wait for my first Independence Day experience in Austin!

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