Saying Goodbye

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Sorry you all, I haven’t had the time to be active the last couple of weeks. Moving back to Germany kept and still keeps me really busy. This post has been ‘sitting’ here for a while now unfinished of course. But I could finally finish it today, just a short one…

This is it, the day that I did not want to come got here, being the one on which I had to leave LA. It is unbelievable to me how fast the past 5 months have passed by. Months felt more like weeks, but I should see this as a good sign, because it truly means I had a great time, creating amazing memories, which will stay forever. Saying goodbye is always the hardest part, but when you have people that tell you it is no goodbye but rather a see you soon, one just has to be positive and simply believe that it is true, or try to make the effort to make it happen. For me actually it is the truths as I will be back in Germany for only 2 weeks, writing exams, but then coming back to do a roundtrip along the west coast with some German friends. So it truly is a see you soon, very soon actually. The hardest part will be to say goodbye again then, because this will be a see you soon, not knowing what soon means. Months, a year, or several years. I really hope if won’t be the last one.

I have to say it is hard if not almost impossible not to fall in love with California. I enjoyed each and every moment being here, with small ups and downs. The landscape, the weather and the lifestyle are the perfect combination. Leaving this behind feels like being knocked off your feed falling right on your face, but I know that after a little stumbling trying to get up and staggering around everything will become perfect again, as I will just start my next journey. California you have been so good to me, I will miss you bunches and see you soon!

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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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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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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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If you’re going to San Francisco…

Hope everybody had a great Memorial Day Weekend. I know I am kind of late, but I was really busy this week, and then I did not have my pictures with me when I wanted to upload the post yesterday.

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For my second Memorial Day in the States ever I went to SF to meet up with my host family (back from when I did my High School Year) and to attend the graduation of my host sister who got her Master Degree in Business Administration. I was so excited to meet them after not having seen them for 4 years now, except for my other host sister, with who I could meet up in Brussels when she did an internship there.

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Honestly, I fell in love with the city, and I can’t wait to go back in August when I will do a round trip throughout the West coast of the States with a couple of friends from Germany. What I love about the city?! Almost everything. The architecture, the location at the water and the surrounding bay area, all the food places and options you have, the steep streets, the sea lions at the pier, that everything is basically in walking distance or accessible with public transportation, the diversity of the city without loosing its intimacy, I could go on and on. Not that I do not like LA, and I definitely favor the weather and the beaches here, but what really makes me prefer SF is the fact of not having to rely on a car like one has to in LA. Even though the walking can be so tiresome, I loved doing it, because this in my opinion is the best way of exploring a city, by walking around, being able to stop whenever you want and take a closer look, and eventually getting lost, only to see even more of the city, not only the main tourist attractions.

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After a long drive up, which I had to do by myself as my roommate wasn’t able to drive being under the influence of pain killers for her gallbladder problem, I made it to SF Friday morning, after one night of staying with her at her families place in Fremont. I attended the graduation, which was kind of boring like always, but I was in good company. We had dinner at a place in North Beach, which was really fancy and yummy. We ended the day with some cake at a cute pastries place. I slept in a hostel at Fort Mason, an old military base, which was really nice, as I had a gorgeous view on the Golden Gate Bridge and the sunset from there. I can recommend Hosteling International at Fishermen’s Wharf to everybody, who wants a cheap but good alternative. On Saturday we all together went to Angle Island, doing a tram tour on the island, and from there heading to Alcatraz. I loved the view you had from the boat on Alcatraz, Sausalito and SF. The entire trip took us almost 7 hours, but it was definitely worth it doing the combined tour of Angel island and Alcatraz. We walked around Pier 39, watched the sea lions until my host dad got pooped on, making the decision this was the indicator that it is time to go. We walked back to my hostel, grabbed my suitcase to take it back to my host families hotel where I would stay the second night. We had Ramen for dinner, a special Japanese dish, which I never had before, but was similar to the Vietnamese place I am going to regularly here in LA. As we were all really tired and my host family had to catch an early flight next morning going back to Washington, we ended the day with typical SF ice cream called ‘It’s it’, which is ice cream between two oatmeal cookies, yummy 🙂 Next morning I said goodbye and went to sleep again, as it was only 6:30 in the morning. I loved waking up later having an amazing view over SF out of the rooms window which was located on the 22 floor of the building. As my host family had left I toured SF on my own for a bit, visiting Chinatown, having some clam chowder soup at Fishermen’s Wharf, climbing up the streets to Lombard Street, until finally heading back to Fremont. As my roommate has had surgery for her gallbladder, we could not really do anything expect watching TV until I had a home cooked dinner of chicken, potatoes and salad. On Monday I left early in the morning, driving back alone. I am good with driving for the next couple of days now 😀

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I had an awesome Memorial Day weekend, based on a great city and being surrounded by people I love 🙂 Can’t wait to come back to SF and to go to Washington to visit my host family again before going back to Germany.

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Feels like holidays

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How am I going to survive this day?! Definitely by going to the beach or pool later tonight after leaving my air-conditioned work place 🙂 I love the weather of LA but this, being used to the German climate, definitely brings me to my limits. Feels more like a holiday in Spain right now to me than normal days 😉 But oh well I shouldn’t complain but enjoy it! And the best part about it, this weather is the perfect excuse to enjoy as much ice cream as one wants 🙂

Forever Hollywood

Today I had time to do some things that were still on my bucket list. I visited the Farmer’s Market in Santa Monica with my roommate, trying some delicious fruits like mandarines, cherries, apples and sweet lemons. One other thing that was still on my list was visiting the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. A lot of the famous people buried there, many having been actors, are probable from a generation my parents would know better about, but I wanted to take a walk anyway. I have to say I really prefer the American design of cemeteries compared to the German one. I like the open space, and the random arrangement of graves on the lawn, some just having a stone and others having a little bed of flowers. On German cemeteries each grave has the exact same size and graves are linked with each other, with no space in-between. Everything is perfectly divided by walkways and there is no lawn at all. There are way more flowers and plants on German graves, as people try to have a perfect arrangement of flowers around the tombstone. With all the flowers it should be nice, but somehow German cemeteries are simply depressing to me whereas American are not. Maybe it is the preciseness that creates that feeling, or taking a look at graves that are not arranged perfectly leaving the impression that no one really cares for those people being buried there… Whatever it is, I enjoyed walking around, even though it was a super hot day. The most known person to me being buried on the Hollywood cemetery is Johnny Ramone, having been guitarist of the band the Ramones, so of course I stopped by. The lake behind was especially pretty 🙂 After my walk I started wondering where other famous Hollywood stars like Marilyn Monroe or Michael Jackson are buried. I looked it up, and now another thing was added to my bucket list 😉 One thing crossed off, a new one is added, this is how it goes.

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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 🙂

Being in the desert

This weekend some friends and me did a little road trip to the Joshua Tree National Park. We left LA early on Saturday to avoid traffic and to be able to make most of our day. It is amazing how vegetation is changing in California. You drive for 2 hours and have the feeling to be in a completely different country. Last weekend when we went to Big Bear I felt like being somewhere in Canada and this weekend I felt like being in the middle of a western movie. I really love that about California 🙂 I figured out that nature is amazing. Trees are growing in the middle of rocks, and flowers give color in the most monotonous vegetation. We spent the night in a motel in 29 Palms, after having a great day in the park.

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On Sunday we stopped by in Palm Springs, after driving through a sandstorm on our way there. Like the earthquakes we have here, this is my first sandstorm ever. Scary as you could not see anything but only hear the sand smashing against your car. I am glad we were inside of the car though! When we arrived in Palm Springs we had the most beautiful weather again. We ended our road trip with frozen yogurt, which was the perfect choice regarding the weather. All in all it was a really nice weekend, and I am looking forward to the next one 🙂

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