Monday, November 16, 2009

American cultural education, suggestions requested

It has been so long since I have written a substantive blog post and for my followers and readers, I humbly apologize.

I have had many different demands on my time and while I wanted to blog, I began seeing its lure as a source of possible procrastination from accomplishing other things that needed to be finished. Hence the cyber silence.

I will be resuming my travelogue of places I visited in France because there are still many sights that I know people will be interested in and perhaps have not heard of before. Such as the village of Peyrusse la Roc that was once conquered by Pepin le Bref.

Here is a taste of what is to come.

Charlemagne's father may not have conquered this particular ruin, but he did conquer whatever was standing there in the 8th century.

In the meantime, I wanted to ask my readers for some suggestions. My husband and I are hosting an exchange student from Belgium for the school year and we wish to make sure she has as complete of an American cultural experience as possible.

There are many ways where I am trying to help her become as "Americanized" such as teaching her the subtleties of American English versus the Queen's English which she was taught in Belgium. For example the country France should be pronounced as if it rhymes with pants and not ambiance.

The word "can't" has to sound like pant and not Immanuel Kant.

I have a working checklist of things for her to complete and I wanted to ask for additions to the list that I may have overlooked. The ones with the X after them have been completed, the rest are things are waiting to be tasted, seen or experienced.

American food:

corn on the cob X
apple pie X
pumpkin pie X

strawberry shortcake X
hot dogs X
barbequed ribs X
pot roast X
Kraft macaroni and cheese X
potato salad
tater tots

steak X

Thanksgiving turkey / dressing

Mashed potatoes & gravy

Prime rib

Fast food restaurants:
McDonald's X
Burger King X
Arby's X
Taco Bell
Kentucky Fried Chicken


The Wizard of Oz X

Back to the Future X

What’s Up Doc? X

West Side Story X


Sound of Music X

South Pacific

Annie Get Your Gun

Star Wars

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure X

Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey X

The Breakfast Club X

National Lampoon’s Animal House

Blazing Saddles

Young Frankenstein

Some Like it Hot

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory X

Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory


Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid


How the Grinch Stole Christmas X

Charlie Brown Christmas X

Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

All in the Family
The Cosby Show
Family Ties
Barney Miller
Dark Shadows


High school football games X
putt putt golf
hiking X
picnic on the beach X

Thanks in advance for your feedback,



Cara said...

Real Maple Syrup (yes, I know a Canadian thing, but it comes from Vermont too, right?).

Linda C. McCabe said...


Yes it does. Check!

My hubby insists on real maple syrup. He cannot stand that cheap artificial flavored and colored stuff that most Americans think of as syrup.

Leslie said...

I don't knwo where you are, but if you can make it to a Chic-Fil-A, do it. It outstrips all other fast food restaurants. And I commend your inclusion of the very specific Kraft Mac 'n Cheese. I support Scooby-doo shaped, but I am remarkably biased. Scooby is my favorite noodle shape.

As for movies, well, I love the inclusion of both Blazing Saddles [favorite Mel Brooks!] and Young Frankenstein, but to support the trifecta, skip Depp for Wilder in Wonka. It's the standby. I might also suggest Singing in the Rain and Clue [Tim Curry, Leslie Anne Warren, Christopher Lloyd and, to top off an amazing cast, Madelein Kahn!]

And excuse me as I glow past green into purple jealousy at the thought of Legoland. If you make it, full report please!

Good luck with the experience.

Linda C. McCabe said...


Thanks for chiming in here.

Singing in the Rain, should absolutely be added to the list.

She had already seen the Tim Burton version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory but has not seen the classic Gene Wilder version. They are different and I want to make sure she sees that one as well since it made such an impression on a generation of children.

I live in Northern California, so getting to Disneyland and Legoland isn't that difficult. Just a loooong drive down the length of my state.

And Legoland is wonderful. My son loves it. For him, it is his "happiest place on earth." We're planning another trip down there over the holidays, so I should probably blog about that after I return with lots of pictures. It is in my opinion, the best bargain for your theme park dollar.

Cara said...

What the heck is Legoland? And can I add Summerstock, Brigadoon and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers to your list?

Cara said...

Oh, and Annie!

Linda C. McCabe said...

Legoland is a theme park devoted to Legos. Here's a link to the one in California:

My son loves it there. Absolutely loves it.

I had not heard of the movie Summerstock before. It's got Gene Kelly, Judy Garland and Phil Silvers, so it has to be worth a look. Besides the fact it has your recommendation!

I'll add Brigadoon and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. It's been a long time since I've seen either one of those.

BTW, I forgot to add some other things on my list that she accomplished: dressing up for Halloween, going out trick-or-treating (she went door to door, but just watched as my son bagged the candy), going to a haunted house and eating caramel apples.

Oh, and she ate cheesecake for the first time. One more thing that needs to be added to her list is trying carrot cake.