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!
After the guided tour and lunch, my friend and me went to the Spanish section in LA and its main part being on Olvera Street. I loved all the colors, wondering at the same time, who is going to buy all the ‘junk’ people try to sell to tourists. Our tour ended with a Starbucks Frappuccino, after passing by and taking a look at Union Station and the Walt Disney Concert Hall, asking for tickets for the night, which were too expensive as a special show was going on. Oh and I for the first time took the metro in LA, because there is a direct line going from Culver City, which is only 5 minutes by car away from me, to Downtown. A really cheap and relaxing way of transportation I would say, not having to look for parking and driving in Downtown in general, which drives me nuts with all its one way only streets. Of course there are always some weird people in the metro, but I didn’t have to be scared of being on my own. The ride made me feel like being in NY, which is always a good thing 🙂
On Sunday morning, after a fun but exhausting day in Downtown LA (post will follow in the next days), a friend and me had planned on doing a relaxing day at the beach. Unfortunately it had been really windy the entire night and it did not calm down during the morning. Laying at the pool for a bit, I figured it might not be the best idea to go to the beach even though one could already feel that it was going to be a quite hot day. Instead of relaxing, like we had planned, we came up with the idea to do a hike. I have never been to Runyon Canyon before, and since it is really close to the place where my friend lives we decided to go there. Another friend joined us and we started our hike around noon. Soon we could feel that we had picked the worst time to do it, as it was super hot. Unfortunately it wasn’t windy at Runyon Canyon, you could just feel a storm like breeze once in a while. The hike took us around 3 hours in total, as we did both the short and the long way. I can truly say I felt victorious after having climbed to the top of the 3rd and final mountain, before we started our way down again. Even though it was exhausting it was the right decision to go for a hike, because the view was amazing. You could see the Hollywood sign, the Griffith Observatory and of course entire LA from downtown to the beach. Normally there is a thick cloud of smog hovered over LA, but I guess due to the wind the sky was clear, which made it possible to see a lot of details. We stopped several times to admire the nice houses, with their big pools, perfectly fitted into the hills, dreaming about which one we would pick if we could. A really hard decision to make I have to say, changing every couple of minutes when we gained sight to a new and more beautiful house.
After the hike, the fresh fruit we bought tasted amazing. There is nothing about pineapple and water melon, when feeling a little dehydrated, of course besides ice cold water 😉 As we had seen so many beautiful houses we decided we should continue with this and take a tour through the neighborhood of Bel Air by car. I saw some of the most beautiful houses I have ever seen in my entire life! I loved the trees and all the beautifully planted gardens, which made you feel you are not even in LA anymore, as there was no dry part, which is so common in other areas of the city. We ended the day with a quick stop at the Brentwood Country mart, hoping to spot some celebrities but it was too late, as some of the shops had already been closed. All in all is was a perfect day, getting exercise but also relaxing a bit, enjoying the beautiful view and dreaming about what it must be like to be super rich 😉
My Saturday trip around different places in LA, which I talked about in my last post (Forever Hollywood), did not end after visiting the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Instead I decided I should definitely take a look at the UCLA campus. When I got there I was quite impressed, I had no clue that the campus is so big and that it has really nice old buildings. I loved that you could find so many green spots. In Germany many colleges just have buildings at different locations, without really having a campus. I really like the American way! As I went there on a Saturday, it wasn’t busy at all, which was nice because I could take as many pictures as I wanted without being interrupted. To my surprise the campus store was open and I almost bought a sweater if they would have had it in my size. I have to bring something else home rather than just pictures that reminds me of my time in LA, so a sweater for the colder weather in Germany would be a good fit I thought. So I have to come back or order online. Being inside the store I felt like a student again looking at all the books and office supplies. Even tough practically I still am one back in Germany, but due to my internship and working everyday it just doesn’t feel like being one anymore. I realized that I kind of miss it. There was some kind of event going on near the sports field, I could see a lot of people dressed with Indian looking clothes and feathers. I didn’t have time to take a closer look though because my parking ticket was about to expire. Have I mentioned that I hate parking in LA, so expensive sometimes impossible to find a spot 😀
After UCLA I went to the Brentwood Country Mart, which is supposed to be a hot spot for celebrities going there for lunch or to shop in some of the fancy stores. It is relatively small but the food smelled yummy. I for the first time saw paparazzi waiting at the parking lot. Unfortunately I did not have the luck to see anybody famous. But it was fun just walking around, and going inside into stores pretending I could afford spending $700 on a shirt 😉 Interesting to see that they have 20% off your entire purchase sales going on in stores like this as well. But 20% of $700 dollars would really make a difference. I definitely want to go there again to try some food, I just wasn’t hungry when I got there.
The day ended by picking up my roommate from her workplace in Santa Monica, enjoying a delicious strawberry pastry and a ham and cheese croissant for free 🙂
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.
Yesterday my roommate and me took a long walk at the beach and it was simply stunning and beautiful 🙂
Yesterday after a bit of indecisiveness about where to go we ended up in an Italien place called C&O Trattoria close to Venice Pier. A really good choice as we would find out later. They have a really nice outdoor patio, with painted walls and a water fountain that made it like as if you are sitting right in the middle of a plaza in Florence or Venice. It is quite noisy but that doesn’t make the experience any worse, it just feels right. Good memories came back from my last year’s 3 week round trip in Italy starting in Venice, driving through Tuscany and ending in Rome 🙂 We were welcomed by a guy, whose name I didn’t understand, but he explained us all the daily special menu options and asked if we are up for some vino della casa, a Chianti in this case. It was a good choice, even better memories came back 😉 Food wise I went with the “Fettucine Sun Dried tomatoes”. The portion was huge, but really good. I had leftovers for lunch today and some for tomorrow. But this definitely had something to do with the garlic bread knots each table was started with and the free refills every 10 minutes. Bread can be really filling 😉 The only part of the meal which was a bit disappointing was the desert. After having seen many chocolate cakes with a lava filling brought to other tables, my friend decided to get one as well. I was to full, but had a bite and the cake didn’t really taste like anything. The tiramisu a friend had was a bit better, but you could see that it wasn’t homemade, or at least not made with love 😉 What was special about the evening was the singing part. At some point we got some notes and were asked to join in when all the waiters/waitresses started to sing. So the entire patio was filled with people singing…that’s amore. And it truly was a lovely evening 🙂
The pictures are not taken by me.
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 🙂
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’.
So Friday after work I decided to visit another of the typical tourist spots in LA, Hollywood Walk of Fame. Going there on a Friday night was probable one of the worst decisions I could make, but I didn’t realize this until I was on the interstate. 10 lanes full of cars going in both directions, I wish I could have taken a picture of that. As I already was on the interstate I decided to still keep going, so a 20 minutes drive became an hour drive. But I made it there. Was it worth it? Not really, as I have been there before anyways. I mean there are some interesting people out there, but mainly random guys trying to sell you their cds, people dressed as spider man who tried to scare me two times, and yeah it worked as I was looking down on my camera and then they were suddenly right in front of me. The best thing about my trip was probable the shopping I did at Victoria’s Secret and the Starbucks coffee I had 😉