Follow the sun

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What I will really miss about California is the ocean. I love being able to go to the beach whenever I want within 1o minutes. Not simply because I love to take a walk barefoot in the sand, watch the waves break and listen to the their sound, but mostly because nothing gives me a better mood than a beach day. After a long and stressful weak, for whatever reason, nothing brings back new energy to me faster than relaxing at the beach, feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin, reading a good book, and enjoying a beautiful sunset, seeing how the sky turns pink and the world golden 🙂

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iFLY at Universal CityWalk

On Sunday a couple of friends and me went to Universal CityWalk, as one of our friends’ birthday present was the iFly they have over there. It is an indoor skydiving experience. Even though I don’t believe it comes anywhere close to actual skydiving, which I have done 2 years ago. Jumping out of a plane, getting closer and closer to the ground until the parachute finally opens is something completely different than seeing the floor  only a couple of feet underneath you and of course you also do not experience this moment sitting at the edge of the airplane, your feet hanging out of the plane, waiting to be pushed out by your instructor. This gives me chills just thinking about it again, and I will never forget the stupid smile I had on my face the entire day after the jump, against which I simply couldn’t do anything. But the indoor skydiving is a good start I would say and it is supposed to be fun, even though all the people look more like they are in pain, as their faces are deformed by the strong air pressure 😉 It was a lot of fun to watch, especially with the sound effects of all the kids going ohhh and ahhh every time somebody would fly up high 😀 And also looking at 5 year old kids going for a fly being bent over so much, almost touching their helmets with their feet, because of the air pressure, but still feeling like superman 🙂

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Beverly Hills, 90210

Friday after work I did a little tour wandering around Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive. I felt like going out to some place I haven’t been much, and Rodeo Drive is such a place I have only been once since my stay here, not having my camera with me. It is always nice seeing something different and Rodeo Drive definitely is with all its fancy shops and expensive cars driving around. Drifting off to some side streets I found a cute arts and craft store. They had so many things I would buy if I would have the capacity in my suitcase, but unfortunately I don’t. Of course I couldn’t go home completely empty handed, so I bough some nice trousers and a sweater, that will be perfect for the weather once being back in Germany. On my way back I saw this car, you can see in the last picture. I have never seen anything like this before, my first thought was ‘only in America’.

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Santa Monica at night

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Do you know the feeling when you can’t just sit at home but have the urge to do something?! I felt like this yesterday after work. Unfortunately traffic is crazy around that time, so all the places I had in my mind, where I wanted to go to (Redondo Beach, Rodeo Drive) included about an hour ride based on traffic forecast. Not feeling like sitting for that long in the car, I did a P90X workout, thinking I would get quit of some energy. I did, but the urge to go out was still there. So I spontaneously met with a friend at Urth Caffe in Santa Monica quite late. The ride took me only 9 minutes, this was a true miracle for LA, I wish it would be always like this 😀  After some yummy cappuccino and chocolate tiramisu, I went for a walk to Santa Monica Pier. I haven’t had the chance to take pictures there, as I never had my camera with me when being there.

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On my way back I was pulled over by the police for a control concerning alcohol while driving. They pulled over every 10th car or so, but I didn’t realize it first, so this were the scariest 30 seconds for me, wondering what I had done wrong, until it made click. I have to admit I had my mom on speaker, skyping with here, so I believed this was the reason for my pullover, and I was awaiting a huge fine. But the police man was really nice just asking if I have been drinking, which I obviously did not, except for coffee, and asked for my name and where I am from. Everything was over in not even a minute. So being pulled over is another first, which I of course did not have on my list 😉

 

 

Go Dodgers

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On Monday I went to my first real Baseball game. The LA Dodgers were playing against the Philadelphia Phillis. Thanks to a friend, who got 4 tickets for free, we had some really nice seats. Who doesn’t like to have $95 tickets  not paying a cent 😉 After some patient explaining about all the rules, me and a friend finally got it after half an hour of watching the game and a lot of laughs, after looking at each other clueless. I mean the basic rules I already new but the more detailed stuff I had no clue about. I still don’t quite understand what the difference between a strike and a ball is, but oh well, my friend told me we are sitting at a wrong angle, so you can hardly see it. So I don’t blame it on me not understanding it but out position 😉 Baseball in general is a sport I could not watch all the time, as it is too boring for me. I prefer sports that are more dynamic. There has to be something going on all the time like with soccer, handball or basketball. Personally I love to watch handball the most because the outcome of the game is unpredictable until the final minutes most of the time. But I don’t want to talk about handball here, so lets get back to Baseball. Unfortunately the Dodgers weren’t able to make any points during the game and lost with a total score of 0 to 5. Some people already asked me if I had a Dodgers Dog, and of course I had! It was good, but I had better ones before. It was my first hotdog in LA though, so again another first beside going to a Baseball game.

All in all it was a fun night! It was great to experience the atmosphere within the stadium. The funniest thing of the night were the cameras going around, showing random people. Some people must have been really embarrassed this night 😉 Oh and I know what Dodgers blue is now 🙂

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P90X – keeping in shape

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2 weeks ago a friend of mine has introduced me to P90X. Going for a run every second 2 can get really boring, especially for me as I really don’t like to run, I simply do it because I feel I have to do something to keep in shape. In Germany I went to a gym, doing classes and mainly cardio training. To be honest I simply wanted to save the money on it while being here. So P90X seemed to be a good alternation, coming close to the classes I did. It consists of 14 different videos and 4 different training plans. You have to follow one of those plans (in my case I chose the classic one) for 90 days. Every day you do a certain workout. Every workout is 30 minutes long. There is a great variety, from yoga, pilates, synergistics, dynamics, to workouts called the warrior. Not much is needed, except for weights and a yoga mat for some videos. Luckily my roommate possesses some weights which I can borrow and the yoga mat is replaced by a towel in my case. Water bottles could replaces weights as well.  Tony Horton is the trainer, accompanied by 3 other people in each video. He tries to make the training as being as fun as possible but also keeps you motivated. In the beginning 30 minutes do not really end up in being 30 minutes because I had to stop the video a couple of times to watch how an exercise is performed correctly, but after a while you get the hang of it. I have been doing it since last Monday now, and I can definitely feel it. Some workouts are easier and some are harder, so that I have to modify at some points. For example I am simply not able to do 50 push ups throughout a workout 😀 Adding yet, because hopefully I will get there. I love that the workout is only 30 minutes long. Even though you should do it daily 30 minutes can be scheduled in your daily activities easily, especially doing it at home, because this saves you the commute to the gym and back. On days, on which I know I will be busy and do not get home until late, like yesterday when I went to a baseball game (post will follow on that) directly after work and wasn’t home before 11 at night, I even forced myself to get up before work. I am so proud of myself 😉 What I also love is the variety. Doing something different every day keeps me motivated more than having to do the same workout every day. I will see if I will be able to keep up with the 90 days plan, but I am confident I will. Summer is coming, or unfortunately is most likely here, here in California! But I like setting new goals for myself, and I see it as a challenge, which will hopefully lead to good results 🙂

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Easter Weekend

As I have been to the Grove but never when the Farmers Market was open, my friends and me decided it is about time now on Saturday. I was surprised when I got there because I have imagined something completely different. Not that I was disappointed but in my mind I had pictures markets how they are in Germany. More like being on an open space, with several little stands, offering fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, dairy products, flowers and so forth. Here it was more like a labyrinth full off different small restaurants and shops. The variety is great and I am sure there is something for everybody. My French friend wanted to show us the French supermarket, which is there as well. Besides all the extraordinary products you can find there, I was so lucky when I found Lindt chocolate. Of course I had to treat myself with one piece of white chocolate, sooo good. Since I didn’t get any easter baskets this year, this was at least a little compensation 😉 Later we had dinner at a Brazilian barbecue place. They had a buffet from which you could choose, to which you could meat that they freshly grilled. It was yummy 🙂

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As the LACMA museum is close by we met with another friend there to walk around for a bit and to end the day with a drink.

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On Sunday I went to Venice again, but took a walk at the Venice Canals, where I haven’t been before. I loved the surrounding. So many nice houses with beautiful little gardens. Cold Stone ice cream to go, to finish our walk at the Venice pier, before relaxing for a bit at the beach was perfect. How I will miss the combination of grabbing some Cold Stone’s and then relaxing at the beach, while watching the sunset! On Sunday I unfortunately had to leave before sunset but just to be able to enjoy it at the Moonshadows in Malibu. A really nice place, directly at the water, with a really nice view. A little more upscale, especially on this day I would say, as a lot of family’s were apparently celebrating Easter.

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All in all I had a perfect weekend with many firsts, which is always good as I can mark things off from my must-do list 🙂 The list is getting smaller, but still seems endless as new things are added frequently by me 😉 But this is what I love LA for, endless possibilities 🙂

Walking on my own

As I mentioned in my previous post Halftime, last Friday half of my stay here in Los Angeles was over. As it was Good Friday and my supervisor gave me the option of taking the day off if I want to, I decided to do so. This allowed me to handle some stuff with DMV, I hate there opening times, having a normal job you have to take a day off or at least leave early or come in late if you have to go there. I then went to the beach in Marina and started walking from there all the way passing Venice pier along the Venice boardwalk, passing by all the shops, artists, restaurants and muscle beach to buy some postcards. It can be so relaxing sometimes just to be alone, not having to talk to somebody and just go wherever you feel like. On my way back a huge crowd of probable 200 people had gathered around a group of 15 street dancers. I watched their show, which lasted at least half an hour and it probable was the best show I have ever seen. It all seemed really professional and at some points was hilarious.

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Still on the beach this cute little dog kept jumping at me and really didn’t want to let me go.

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Later I realized that it was quite a strange coincidence that I went to Venice on my half time day, as this was the place I went to on my first day here as well.  Such coincidences sometimes make me wonder if it really is just an coincidence or if there is more. This is a question I will most likely never answer in my life but still it makes me think. No matter what, Venice is such a fun place to go to once in a while, it is just a place you can find nowhere else in LA. I love the mix of people. No matter in what a bad mood you are, in Venice you will find something or somebody that makes you smile 🙂

 

 

Half time

Can’t believe it, today half of my time here in LA is already over! About 5 month, 156 days, today’s day 78, 77 full days left. Time is flying guys. It is hard to describe my feelings. I love LA, and I am so glad I made so many new friends here. I love the weather, being so close to the beach, the incredible amount of different restaurants and bars, and California in general. Going 3 hours by car and you have the feeling you are in a completely different place. But of course I miss my family and friends in Germany. I miss German bread and chocolate.

“I know this much: that there is objective time, but also subjective time, the kind you wear on the inside of your wrist, next to where the pulse lies. And this personal time, which is the true time, is measured in your relationship to memory.” ― Julian Barnes

Even though 5 months are really not a long time, and especially 78 days are not seeing it subjectively, measuring it in my personal time though those days and months are worth a lot. The past 78 days will be days I will always remember as those days created such great memories so far. Even though being only such a small portion of my entire life, those days stick out. I can honestly say that I did the right decision to go abroad again, and making the investment to be able to do it here in LA. I am looking forward to the 2nd half of my stay, what new things and adventures it will bring, and who else I might meet. As the days go by I will see if my desire to get home increases or my desire to stay here. But until the final day on which I have to say goodbye, I will try to make the most out of the time I have here, trying to do things I love, explore California and make incredible memories 🙂

Dinner time at Larchmont Bungalow

Yesterday I explored the area of Larchmont as a friend had told me it is a nice area with cute restaurants and cafes. A couple of friends and me decided to check out this place cold Larchmont Bungalow as the menu looked really good. It was a really cute place. Really cozy decorated, and the fact that it was an entire old house converted into a Cafe was really charming as well. I had an iced Coffee Latte, as I needed to wake up after work and a Honey Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken Sandwich, which was delicious. After trying a piece of cake from my friend I had to order my own whole piece of Cinnamon-Apple cheesecake as my desert. Definitely something I have to try making at home. 

I have to admit I like places like this 10 times more than all the coffee shop and bakery chains here in the States. I can’t say that I do not love Starbucks but I really prefer more authentic places. I will see what else I can find, while being here 🙂

Sorry for the bad picture quality but my memory card broke right outside of the Cafe when I wanted to take my first picture -.-

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