Welcome on Board

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On my last weekend in LA a friend and me went down to Long Beach, where the Queen Mary is stationed. We did a self guided as well as a ghost and haunted encounter tour. It was really interesting to get to parts of the ship, that you normally don’t get to see learning about the story of Queen Mary, a ship with quite a history. Whether being a transatlantic passenger ship, serving as the grey ghost during WW2, or now as a hotel and museum. I am not so sure about the ghost stories and encounters that people are talking about that happened, but oh well it was fun anyway and pretty scary at some points. You definitely got to see some of the not so nice areas of the ship. It must have been amazing leaving New York crossing the Atlantic Ocean on the ship when it was still operating. Being on the ship really made me want to do a cruise tour in the near future. So another thing on my bucket list 🙂

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After that we went to the main area in Long Beach. I loved walking around at the harbor, along the pier with all its shops. The ice cream we got was so yummy, fitting the weather perfectly.

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Litte final treats

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While I slowly realize I am really leaving LA next week, more and more all the things I will miss so much pop up in my mind. This is why I took a long beach walk with my roommate and one of her friends, including his Rhodesian Ridgeback Koi yesterday, enjoying the view on all the boats out there. For dinner we went to our favorite Thai restaurant in Malibu, enjoying the drive there watching the sparkling water and the sun disappear behind the mountains, leaving the world in a golden color.

Going back to normal really does not sound like an option for me at the moment and luckily even though I have to leave, it won’t be for long, as I will be back to do a 4 week round trip with some friends from Germany. Then Scotland is coming up, which will be far from normal as well. Trying to think in a positive way is the best I can do now. But one thing for sure, California I will miss you!

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It is in your soul

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Being so close to having to go back to Germany a lot of random things have crossed my mind lately. Standing in front of my suitcase yesterday I was thinking, what it is that makes me going from one place to another, having a constant urge to discover new places. Not that it is a bad thing, but I am always wondering how people can be so different. I know so many people that still live in the city they were born in, they went to school to and now decided to attend college their as well. Probable they will never leave that town in their lives except for the 2 weeks of holidays they do per year, mostly going to the same places over and over again. And then there is the other extreme like me, making the decision to do a high school year abroad, to study in a new city and county, including an internship and a study abroad in 2 new places. and seeing myself working abroad in the future. And then the constant urge to travel, doing it as often as time and money give away. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that either way is right or wrong, but I think it is amazing that people have such different needs in order to be happy. And then the question where those differences come from. I don’t think I will ever get a complete answer to this, but I am sure my parents had a big influence on me, traveling to far away places when I was younger. Maybe it is somehow in my genes, or to make it easy I simply blame it on my gypsy soul!

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Sunshine, cocktails and fun

My last days are flying by, but I can’t say that I am not making use of them wisely. I had a great weekend with a lot of sunshine, the beach, cocktails, sunsets and most important with amazing people, who always make it fun.

On Friday, after getting off from work early, we went to Crystal Cove close to Newport Beach to enjoy some amazing food and cocktails combined with a beautiful sunset.

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On Saturday, we enjoyed some British humor, watching Notting Hill, at the Eat Sea Hear outdoor movie night in Santa Monica.

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And finally on Sunday we relaxed at the beach and ended the day with some treats from Urth Caffe. I can’t think of a better way to spend the weekend 🙂

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Why do all goods things come to an end?

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“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? – it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”
― Jack KerouacOn the Road

I have two more weeks left in beautiful California, I don’t think I quite realize it yet!  Every time I start thinking about it, my mind sets a huge blockade, holding up a sign saying, “no step further, beyond this point the likelihood of increased unhappiness and bad mood changes is intensified.” So I see myself walking away, thinking about the beautiful beaches and sunsets, all the people I consider my friends here now, the activities I have planned throughout the next weeks as well as about my past experiences, which all bring a huge smile on my face. I know it is the easy way, pretending that this great experience I made so far, just is not going to be over, but will go on. You can’t imagine how pleased I would be spending at least the rest of the summer here, as so many great things are coming up within the summer months.

Don’t get me wrong, it may sounds as if I completely hated my life back in Germany, that I don’t want to go back there at all. This is not true. I am super excited to see all my friends and family. Go to some of my favorite spots, and enjoy German food. But life in California just has more to offer. I believe what is my greatest hold back from wanting to go back is the instability I have at home. I am basically going to live with my mom over the summer, as I don’t have my own apartment anymore. I know I will only be home for a couple of weeks until I am going off to Scotland for my study abroad. I am super excited but it will be a completely new environment not knowing anybody again. After that my bachelor thesis semester is coming up, where I will be in a new city again, working in a company and writing my final thesis to get my degree. I have no clue yet where I will go for that. I know that I made all this choices and that I wanted it and still do want, but  sometimes it is a little bit overwhelming. It is great to see so many different places of the world, and I am truly happy that I am the one getting the chance to do so, but sometimes I just feel I need to hit a pause button that allows me to stay a little longer in one place. And of course goodbye’s are always the hardest part about it. I had the chance to meet so many amazing people, feeling I just got to know them entirely and having to leave now. And that is sad. 

But you know what, I will just try to make the best I can out of the 2 weeks I have left here, hoping that I will have the chance to come back in the near future, either for holiday or for work 🙂 And just follow this idea.

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

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Gay Pride Parade

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This Sunday the yearly Gay Pride Parade took place in LA. It was announced as a quite big event and a friend and me decided we would join the spectacle. We unfortunately arrived after the parade had already started so it was quite hard to find a good spot to watch. I hate being small sometimes 😉 But after walking around for a bit we found an acceptable place to stay. The parade was really fun to watch. Everybody was smiling, and obviously having a good time. Many known companies and brands participate, like “Bank of America”,”Chase”,”The Coffee Bean”,”The Abbey”, only to name a few. I always find it amazing how people can wear certain outfits with such a confidence, if you look at the pictures, you will know what outfits I mean 😉 What was also really touching, was a group of 4 old men, probable all in their 70’s, walking in the parade, holding a sign “Senior Gay Community”. Unimaginable what it must have been like for them all their life’s, not being accepted or hiding their true selves, because being gay was nothing you would talk about in the past decades. Made me really happy to see those 4 men walking 🙂 I must say that I believe it is a great idea to encourage equality in this way, and I would watch this spectacle again, if I had the chance to do so next year.

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Up and down we go

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Hiking is always fun. I definitely found my love for it while being here in California. Of course I used to go for walks back in Germany, but you can’t quite compare it to actual hiking, if there are no mountains or at least hills involved, and this is the case in the area of Germany where I live.

The past weekend after the International Dinner Party a couple of friends and me had the day before, where we had way to many calories for that day, we decided a hike would be a perfect option of enjoying the beautiful weather and to burn some of the input of calories from the last day. We went to the Will Rogers State Park, which eventually leads into the Topanga State Park. You start at the Ranch of Will Roger, which today functions as a museum, passing by a polo field and a riding stable, until you finally get to the path on which the actual hike starts. You get some beautiful views of the coast, all parts of LA and some fancy houses. This is always what amazes me the most, the view. Most of the time I seriously question myself why I am doing this over and over again, sweating and having aching calves, but then I know why once getting closer to the top 🙂 No matter how many times I have seen LA from above before, it always amazes me how big the city is, how many green parts it actually has and how beautiful the coastline looks 🙂

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International Dinner Volume 2

This Saturday a couple of friends and me gathered together to have a second round of an international dinner. A lot of my friends come from other countries around the world, so coming together having prepared a typical dish from your country of origin, is a perfect way of trying new and unknown things and to broaden your culinary horizon 🙂

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We were 6 people in total, 3 from France, 2 from the States and me from Germany. We started with a French salad of baby spinach, bacon and goat cheese, combined with tomatoes and onions. Followed by a delicious mix of mushrooms and other vegetables baked in the oven with scallops (American). Then my first dish was served, being a typical German ‘Flammkuchen’, which is a thin dough spread with sour cream, bacon, onions, potatoes and spring onions and then baked in the oven. The last main dish was a typical dish from Reunion Island, called Civet de Beef. Our dessert round started of with a typical French cake with pears, of which I unfortunately forgot the name. As it was my last international dinner I could attend, I prepared a dessert as well, which was typical German Apple Pancakes with cinnamon-sugar. Before we could be served the last dessert, we took a long walk around the neighborhood to process all the food. I basically could have rolled down the streets 😉 After coming back from the walk we finished with an ice cake topped with blueberries and strawberries. I have to say everything was delicious! Unfortunately I did not take any pictures of the evening, what a shame, I seriously should have. I have leftovers for at least half of the week, which is great. All in all I simply love these get-togethers, because can there be a better way of being surrounded by friends, good food and a couple of bottles of wine?!