This week Senator Marco Rubio’s maiden speech on the U.S. Senate Floor.

It is an incredible, and powerful speech of the greatness of America and the American Dream and I proud to call him my Senator. He beautifully communicates what so many Americans, immigrants, and their children have in their hearts, a deep love for an American nation that provides “miracles” for a brighter future… Video and transcript below.

Senator Rubio Delivers First Senate Floor Speech On “The New American Century”

Washington, D.C. – Earlier today, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio delivered his maiden speech on the floor of the United States Senate. Video of the speech can be found here, and the full remarks as delivered are below:

THE AMERICAN CENTURY

Thank you, Mr. President. I have the honor of representing the great people of the state of Florida here in the Senate. And today I speak for the first time on this floor on their behalf.

The Senate is a long ways away from where I come from, both literally and figuratively.

I come from a hard-working and humble family. One that was neither wealthy nor connected. Yet I’ve always considered myself to be a child of privilege because growing up I was blessed with two very important things.

I was raised by a strong and stable family.

And I was blessed to be born here in the United States of America.

America began from a powerful truth – that our rights as individuals do not come from our government. They come from our God.

Government’s job is to protect those rights. And here this Republic has done that better than any government in the history of the world.

Pictures from San Antonio:

Will Samuel order Lulu’s famous 3 lb cinnamon role? (thank you Andy Lee for the tip)

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Children dancing to Mexican folkloric music in typical clothing from Veracruz, Mexico. Taken at San Antonio’s Market Square/ Mercado outside of Mi Tierra Cafe and Bakery.

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Below, a photo of San Fernando Cathedral in downtown San Antonio. San Fernando Cathedral was founded in 1731 and is the oldest, continuously functioning religious community in the State of Texas.

It’s true when they say everything is bigger in Texas. The food is bigger, the days are hotter, the hats are massive and the experiences are more elaborate…

The day started with the largest waffle I had ever attempted to eat. And yes, it was in the shape of Texas. Dad and I soon got on the road for the short drive from Hidalgo to San Antonio.

We spent a total of 20 hours in San Antonio, arriving at our hotel around 11 am on Tuesday.

The visit started a bit humorous, like out of a National Lampoon vacation movie. We stayed at a small hotel I found on a travel site and it seemed to have decent reviews. The description listed its’ location as “steps from the Alamo.” While the staff was great, nothing could have prepared me for the lack water in the room. When I checked with the front desk, they just said “oh yeah I forgot to tell you we are working on the pipes for the next hour.” …umm ok?…. I decided to just go along with my day, praying we would have clean running water upon our return. We headed to the Alamo. Thankfully, we took the car, because “steps away” apparently means a mile in 104 degree weather.

San Antonio has a lot to offer and we did all the basics, The Alamo, River Walk, San Fernando Cathedral, El Mercado and much more.

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We ate a large lunch on the River Walk at the famous Casa Rio Mexican Restaurant for some proper TexMex. After a River Walk cruise we strolled the shops, until my dad decided he needed a large brim hat to protect himself from the sun. We were now on a mission for a hat… We finally stumbled upon a place right across from The Alamo that appeared to have every Mexican wrestling mask every created (we bought one for my brother). It was there that my father found his hat.

The monstrosity of a sombrero couldn’t have been any bigger, if not it would have been an umbrella on his head.

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My dad loved the hat. It reminded him of a sombrero he has in Mexico which he uses when he works in the farm. He said it would be a “sensation” (una sensacion) especially as he planned to use it for our upcoming trip to the Grand Canyon. (I will say a few people did complement my dad on the hat. Others just looked in bewilderment.)

These are the moments that it’s much better that I’m an adult and not a teenager traveling with my father. The 15 year old version of me would have been mortified and would have VERY vocally protested the massive sombrero. My current adult self still thinks the hat is silly, but am more concerned that my dad is happy and is protected from the sun with the sombrero/umbrella.

Now accompanied by his hat, we continued on our San Antonio adventure to San Fernando Cathedral. The historic church is amazingly beautiful. There we lit a candle in front of La Virgen de Guadalupe. (MORE PICTURES AFTER THE JUMP)

It’s all about Texas these days. On day two of the road trip, we entered the Lone Star state for three days of adventures.

Armed with my boyfriend’s hat, my dad and my Jeep Liberty we took on Texas.

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The 10 hour drive from New Orleans and down the Eastern coast of Texas went by smoothly as we enjoyed the changing scenery- farms, towns, rail roads… It was a welcomed change from the mundane drive through Florida where most of what we saw was just tall trees on either side.

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We breezed through Houston as we made our way South in route to Hidalgo, TX to visit with family. My cousin Yani and her husband live on the other side of the border in Reynosa, Mexico. I hadn’t seen her in 13 years.

While driving on I-10 my dad made the commentary that what he really wanted to do is travel through backroads to see the “real” country side. God must have been paying attention, soon after we where driving on tiny two lane highways through almost forgotten Texas towns.

Some of the “largest” towns we drove through include Refugio, TX, the hometown of baseball great Nolan Ryan, and the city of Falfurrias, TX with a population of 5,297. (I think my high school had about 3,000 students alone.)

My father’s only complaint on the drive was the apparent absence of Texas Longhorns. He commented in Spanish “ni vaca de cuerno largo, ni cuernos corto.” Saying he hadn’t seen hardly any cattle on the drive. Growing up on a farm he loves animals and keeps an eye out for farms, ranchos and livestock during our road trips. Hopefully during the next few days in Texas he will finally see some famous Texas Longhorns.

20110614-092229.jpgAbout 5:30 pm we arrived in Hidalgo. My cousins soon after picked us up to take us to dinner. We originally wanted to cross over the border to Reynosa, but figured customs would give us a hassle given all the bags jammed in to my car. We went to dinner at the great American establishment, The Olive Garden.

The most interesting part of our dinner conversation was how social media, like twitter and Facebook, are helping keep Mexican citizens safe. Yani’s husband, Luis, showed me Facebook and twitter users who continuously report when violent incidents occur within Mexico warning people to stay away. The updates are quickly circulated and have helped many Mexicans avoid deadly situations.

Fausta Wertz of Fausta’s Blog writes about President Obama’s visit to Puerto Rico at PJ Media. Check out this great piece discussing the preparations on the island and topics Obama will likely cover during his speech, including Puerto Rican statehood.

“Obama in Puerto Rico: How Will His ‘PR’ Stunt Play Out?”

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/obama-in-puerto-rico-how-will-his-pr-stunt-play-out/

Fausta writes:
“Expect a raucous welcome, but knowledgeable Puerto Rican voters in the U.S. know the island’s Republican governor has their economy recovering via his austerity measures.”

It will also be interesting to see how the visit is portrayed in Puerto Rican communities within the continental United States.

On Sunday, my Dad and I started our road trip adventure out west. We departed from Miami a little bit before 6:00 am. The sun had yet to rise, but our journey was well on its way.

Yet, for most of the day our adventure was well, unadventurous. For 13+ hours we trekked in my 2008 jeep accumulating over 1,000 miles from Florida to Louisiana.  Driving north on the Florida turnpike can be a boring and unexciting path. We both felt like it was the longest car ride EVER and with little progress made as getting out of Florida took over 10 hours. Our only excitement came from the road signs telling us we were getting closer to our destination.

Driving on I-10 West we finally made it to our “Day One” destination – New Orleans.

As we got off the expressway and made our way to our hotel on Canal Street, my Dad’s face lit up like a child on Christmas when he saw the streetcars. He shouted “¡Mira los tranvias!” pointing ot the line of streetcars jetting up and down the road. They reminded him of his childhood in Mexico when he would go into the big city of Veracruz, which was once busy with cable car traffic, the main form of public transportation.

We jumped on the St. Charles streetcar to see NoLa’s Garden District and historic homes. Coincidentally, I ran into a D.C. reporter I’ve worked with on past campaigns who was on vacation with her husband…. When the streetcar got stuck behind a car accident we (including the reporter, her husband and two very lost Texans) all had a mini-adventure trying to find our way back to Canal street by foot. Thank goodness, my iPhone and google maps saved the day!!!

We knew we were heading in the right direction by the joyous sound of music filling the streets.  We were quickly greeted by street performers and fellow camera toting tourists as we made our way to Bourbon Street in hopes of finding some dinner.

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As expected, once in the French Quarters my Dad started taking pictures like if he was paid member of the paparazzi as tried to meander down the crowded streets. We got dinner at and before long we called it a night (especially after seeing the Miami Heat loss).

I knew traveling with a former school bus driver, who is use to getting up at 4 am, we would have an early wake up call. Before the sun was up, we were getting ready to go for day two.

Taking advantage of the morning we squeezed in some last minute sightseeing in New Orleans. First stop, Jackson Square.

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