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America the Beautiful

America the Beautiful

First of all, a thank you to several of you who took a moment to reply to my last post about cooking popcorn on the stove.  That story definitely resonated with people in a number of ways and it was fun to read your stories and share your memories of cooking popcorn on stoves, in kettles and in air poppers.

Everyone knows the song America the Beautiful…well okay, at least the majority of people in America know the song.  But do you know the history of the song.  The year was 1893 and Ms. Katharine Lee Bates, a 33 year old English teacher from Massachusetts set out on a long train trip to teach a summer class in Colorado.  During the trip, her train left the storied New England coastline and made visits to Chicago where she viewed exciting “new” skyscrapers, then traveled across the Great Plains and finally during her stay in Colorado, she hiked to the very top of Pikes Peak.  It was there on top of that mountain, looking west into the incredible range of the Rocky Mountains, and east across a vast expanse of the flat plains, that some of the words started coming to her.

She began writing the poem that would become America the Beautiful as soon as she got back to her hotel room, and it was published two years later on July 4.  In the decades that followed, the poem was adapted to music and gained the adoration of Americans from sea to shining sea.

Interestingly, despite the popularity of the song, Ms. Bates never sought royalties from the repeated publication or performance of the song.

The lyrics are ringing in my ears because as this message reaches your inbox, I will be departing on my own journey into the Rocky Mountains.  I am taking a little winter trip with my son to have some fun skiing and also to look at a handful of hotels and resorts in the Rockies.  Colorado is an obvious and extremely popular destination for winter meetings and conferences, but did you know there are incredible group meeting deals to be found in the mountains during summer.  When you are in your office in Florida, Texas, DC or wherever and you are trying to think of where to hold your meeting in July that won’t be extremely hot and uncomfortable, think about the high country in Colorado.   VenueQuest can help you sort out which resorts are the best fit for your team and show you how to have memorable team building activities that you can’t find in most other places.