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!
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.
On Saturday, we enjoyed some British humor, watching Notting Hill, at the Eat Sea Hear outdoor movie night in Santa Monica.
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 🙂
On Saturday me and a couple of friends decided to do a day-trip to Big Bear Lake. We left cloudy LA, just to be above the clouds 1 1/2 hours later as you can see on the following picture. I felt like being on a plane, as this is a view I am normally just exposed to being on an air plane.
Big Bear normally is a ski resort, but when we arrived there was no snow anymore in the village, only some parts of the mountains around us where still covered with snow. We did a hike on the Cougar Trail, which was definitely worth doing as we had a beautiful view of the lake and the mountains surrounding us. Unfortunately it was a pretty busy day, so I guess all the bears were scared away by all the people. But we saw a coyote, which was roaming around the streets close to the houses.
The village has some cute shops, restaurants and a delicious ice cream place as we figured out. All in all it is a nice place, where you can definitely spend a weekend, just enjoying the beautiful nature around you.
Yesterday I finally had time to check out my new camera lens, which I got on Sunday. Previously I have been using the standard kit lens (18-55mm), which came with my camera. It is a nice lens and absolutely sufficient for getting started when buying your first dslr camera and I was always pleased with the pictures I took. Especially because of the wide angel you can achieve, which is great for some nature pictures. But especially since being in California I wanted a lens with a greater focal length, with which I could zoom in a little more and get closer to objects. So I ordered a Canon 55-250mm telephoto zoom lens. I figured this would be a good adaption to my standard lens and I got a really good deal on it. I have to say that at the moment I don’t have the resources to spend a lot of money as I am on a budget here in California, but the value of the dollar compared to the Euro really works to my advantage, so I figured when expanding your camera equipment I should do it here in the States. I was really excited the entire week after opening the package, but I simply didn’t have enough time to go somewhere to take pictures. The weather was really nice yesterday throughout the day, and since I simply love the beach, I decided to again take some pictures of the sunset. First because it would let me compare the lens better to my other one, because I have been taking pictures of a sunset several times and second no sunset is the same here. Each one is beautiful and my mood improves instantly the second I step onto the sand. I still can’t quite believe how lucky I am to be able to go to the beach whenever I want! This is a privilege, which I will miss the most when going back to Germany and of course the good weather, as this makes the perfect combination.
So here are some outcomes, which turned out pretty good in my opinion 🙂 For example the birds, of which I would have never been able to take a closer shoot without such a lens, as they keep running away if you get close, just as they run from the water every time a wave approaches 😉
Tomorrow I am going to Big Bear Lake with a couple of friends, so hopefully I will be able to capture some nice shots there. I am excited for the weekend 🙂
Activity wise my weekend was great with a variety of things i did, food wise it was the opposite, limited on burgers only 😉
So Friday night I went out with a couple of friends to The Cat & Fiddle, a British place here in LA to have dinner. It was an interesting evening meeting new people at a cool location. I ordered a Portobello Burger with chicken instead of beef, because I am not that much into British food like fish & ships or shepherds pies. The burger was great, definitely would have it again.
On Saturday we went hiking in the Hollywood hills up to the Hollywood sign. It was nice to see the sign from a close distance and the view over the hills was great. Afterwards we went to the Griffith observatory to enjoy the sunset. We were a little late but still it was worth it. Being there at night with the view over the entire city and all the sparkling lights was just gorgeous. Definitely a must do again. We decided to have dinner at a typical American Diner, called Mel’s Drive-in on Sunset Boulevard, as I haven’t been to one since being here in the States. So of course, a burger was recommended to me. The burger was good, but next time I definitely have to try one of their famous milkshakes, simply did not have any room for it at this evening 😉
On Sunday we went to the Natural History Museum. I have been to the one in Washington DC before, so it was nothing new, but going to a museum once in a while is a nice activity. In-N-Out burger apparently is the place to eat a burger here in California. It is a must do when coming here, so we decided to have dinner there. I have to say it was nothing special, pretty much comparable to a big mac at McDonalds’, of which I am not a big fan. But everyone says the first time you go there everybody has the same opinion and after the 2nd time you get addicted. I hope I won’t 😀
So after eating burgers 3 days in a row now, I am good for the next couple of weeks I would say. And some extra workout is needed this week 😀 But my weekend was great. I was able to tick off a couple of things from my must-do-list 🙂
I have to admit that I am not a big fan of Valentines Day in general. There definitely is a bigger hype about it here in the States than there is in Germany. I haven’t seen so many stores all decorated in pink with a thousand of hearts and entire sections in supermarkets full of stuff just for this day in my entire time in Germany combined, as I have seen in a week here! But I have to say I like it here better than in Germany. At least everybody is into it.
As my Valentine is back in Germany, I decided to go for a walk with my flatmate to Venice Beach as it was such a nice and sunny day. We walked all the way to the end of the beach close to Marina. The beach was full of hearts drawn into the sand. I guess many people had the idea to come to beach as it was a perfect day for it. We had ice cream at cold stones, which was really good! So this was the Valentine’s present I had for myself 😉
Finally we enjoyed the perfect sunset at the pier in Venice and went back home to get ready to have some sushi for dinner. All in all it was a nice alternative Valentine’s day 🙂
My flatmate is working in a German bakery, so of course I had to check this out. There would be nothing about German bread for lunch or a ‘Koernerbroetchen’ on the weekends. So I went to 3rd street promenade with my flatmate to look at all the stores they have there and to stop by at the bakery. It is a cute place, but of course, as I already expected, they didn’t have any German bread there. So I either have to keep on looking or just stick with toast for the next couple of months. But despite the fact that they are not really German, their chocolate-ship muffins and apple turnovers are delicious. And I have to try their pretzel sticks, as they looked delicious as well. The best thing about this is, that I can have them for free as my flatmate is allowed to bring home whatever she wants after work 🙂
As the weather was really nice we decided to go down to the beach to relax a bit over there. We had lunch at Tender Greens, really good salads and homemade lemonade over there. We decided to stay there to watch the sunset in Santa Monica, but unfortunately it started to get quite cloudy. After walking the entire day we ended the day by relaxing in the pool and hot tub we have in our complex. Great way to end the day 🙂
Oh and I have to add, this might be one of the coolest things I have seen in a while. We passed by a church on our way to Santa Monica and there was some kind of event going on. Nothing special so far, but they had created artificial snow outside on the lawn in front of the church, so that the kids could play. They had snowball fights and so many happy faces and smiles in one place you hardly get to see. So this was my first snow I saw in California, like it might have been the first snow ever for those children in their life.
So on Saturday I was invited to make a road trip to Santa Babara by the other intern at my company, as she was going there with a couple of friends. It was a fun group of 7 people, mainly from different places in Europe. Santa Babara is a pretty city with a nice pier and cute shops. I might have to go there again to do some shopping, when I get the chance. Walking up and down the streets feels as if being in Europe a little as the houses have a Mediterranean touch. On our way back we decided to stop at Manhattan Beach peer to have some self made brownies at the beach and to enjoy the sunset. It was gorgeous!