First Week London

Hello altogether!!

I arrived last sunday in London!
First day was down due to heavy headache.

I don’t feel very nice in current accommodation which is why I search a new one.
So far 3 options visited and decided for one. Credit Check is due.

I’m so far temporary enrolled at the university because some documents were missing.
I hope to finalize enrolment this week.
University is big and up to date. Latest computers with Win8 and Touchscreen are running in the library.
Food stores availabel throughout the campus as well as a gym, copy shop and stationary shops. There’s also an old crematory. (Ha ha for those who study a little longer)
Fresher’s fare was amazing. Gave a good insight in the campus life, including sporting activities and societies. Maybe enrolling for the Fomula Student Society.

Didn’t get the chance to visit central London so far but had some good views of parks, including Mile End, in eastern London.

Today is free lunch with the other fresher of my faculty and some campus tours.

I’ll let you know about my progress in London here. Meanwhile please post some sightseeing suggestions in the comments :)


Canyon Spotting

Next story was already queued. This time you will read about the Canyon Tour Loop. Again I will give you a short update of the days in between PCH road trip and Canyon Tour. I assure you, I will keep the filling short.

17.6 That day I was doing Window Shopping at the Camarillo Outlets. My shoes bought in Japan about 5.5 months ago starting to have holes which does not look very good! I didn’t buy any shoes but compared prices and models.
18.6 A colleague showed his girlfriend the Santa Monica Pier and beach as well as Venice and Venice Beach. I joined them. On the pier we almost thought about doing the big wheel ride but decided against it after being aware of the price. The weater was really nice and calm. To show his girlfriend an American Delight we went to In&Out for dinner. I had animal style fries instead of a burger and hoped this kind of fries would be better than plain fries. They weren’t. What does fries animal style mean? Fries topped with a special sauce, processed cheese and fried onions.
20.6 Minigolf; I went for Minigolf all alone at Golf’n’Stuff Ventura. This place is magical. It offers two 18 hole minigolf courses both completely different, both beautiful! Furthermore the place offers gokart, bumper boats and arcade games. At each hole I tried to be below 3 shots and if that didn’t work out I started the hole again. On top of that the weather was really nice!
21.6 Cinema Night: The Internship; 2 Guys want to strike success in their life and then the opportunity comes up for an internship at google. Somehow they get the internship and the adventure starts. Eventually they get a job at google! This all mixed up with a romance. The movie is fun but probably not worth the entrance fee for the cinema.
22.6 Disney Adventure Park; A day packed with fun. This park offers more thrill rides than Disneyland opposite to it. I am a little worried about the situation of this park because a few rides were already shut or have been shut when I was in line. Some of the attractions reopened later but some stayed shut. That day was also the premiere of the movie Lone Ranger so finally many ppl just visited the park to see the stars walking on the red carpet. I had a short glimpse and saw Jonny Depp posing! Have a close look at the pictures!
23.6 I went with two other interns to Santa Monica and Venice for the afternoon. We enjoyed a stroll along the coast and cool drinks in a beer garden. The sun gave us company the whole time.
24.6  We all went to watch a baseball match: LA Dodgers VS SF Giants. However the match was not as much entertaining as the food offered. I had a doyer dog. It comes with hot dog bun, sausage, different sauceses, cheese and onions. The kiss cam sometimes showed on the huge screens was the entertainment highlight of the evening.
25.6 Cinema: This is the End; It was fun but shallow entertainment. In this movie hollywood actors play themselves and trying to escape from the apocalypse.
26.6 This was the day when 3 ppl celebrated their birthday. We all met at another interns home, had TriTip and burgers, salads and condiments. It was a very nice BBQ feast with an awesome Whirlpool roundoff! Thanks guys and gals for the awesome party!
27.6 I hardly write about work these days but at that day something notable happened. I sprained my ankle badly when I had to help in loading a truck. My foot swelled to double size within minutes. A colleague brought me to the doctor straight away. After painful waiting a doctor was inspecting my foot, gave me massive shoe to stabilize the foot, a cool pack and a pair of crutches. Back at Home I was watching television with my roomies. The following weekend was more relaxing and movie watching. Although I went for a brunch at Manhatten beach on Sunday (yum!) followed by a coastal drive along to Redondo Beach and eventually to the Peterson Automobil museum. The people in the museum were so kind to borrow me a wheel chair for the duration of my visit. There were some speciality exhibitions about pickups, vehicles from movie sets etc. We also drove by the Hollywood sign to get some close up shots.
01.07 In the evening I went to the doctor to make him observe the progress I made over the weekend. Unfortunately the progress was not very much! The doctor gave a bandage sock and a second cooling pack. I cooked for my roomies that night to thank them for their support
02.07 We had a canyon tour lined up which is why I did some preparation for the trip: Shopping, packing etc.

Now for the Road Trip at which we had an glimpse of an insight in USAs backcountry.

As we had 4th of July holiday and 4 th July was Thursday we decided to do a huge 4 day trip on that weekend. The only thing which came between me and the trip was the ankle sprain from last week. However, I didn’t want to miss out on that adventure and so rented a wheelchair and asked at the BMW vehicle distribution center for a car in which the wheelchair and luggage fits nicely. The vehicle I got was a nice silver BMW 5 series. Indeed the wheelchair fit nicely in the trunk and there was still space for the luggage.
The first part of the trip brought us to south Las Vegas on Wednesday night. Half way through was a dinner stop at Habit Burger. I noticed that I forgot the national park card from our predecessors and so we had to pay entrance fee at each and every national park seperately – bummer!
When we reached the Siena suites on the Boulder Highway it had about 35 degrees celsius night times. In the parking lot the first true adventure began: cockroaches are spread all over the place. However our appartment seemed to be neat and clean. My friends organized dinner for us at Subways whilst I was waiting in our appartment. Not much after dinner the crew went to bed.
The night was not very long because the itinerary for Thursday the 4th of July was quite packed. I shared the shower in the morning with a cockroach which was not how I planned to start the day. It also gave me something to think about: How can someone be so scared of an insect that he jumps out of the bathtube even though he knows any sprained ankle wouldn’t like it – well my sprained ankle really didn’t like it! I confined the cockroach in an upside down trash can and was able to enjoy a shower.
We split the group and without breakfast one part of the crew left for Hoover Dam. I guess its so famous I don’t even need to explain it much. I got a drop off at one side of the dam and walked once across with the crutches – not without having some scenic stops on my walk in the hot morning sun. I had the dam larger in mind, I mean I saw it two years ago from an airplane and it looked so huge – obviously: you can not imagines somethings size if you are too close. After a while I was picked up on the other side of the dam for a ride back to our appartment.
The group headed towards Zion National Park which was a drive of approximately 4 hours. When we were driving through the valley of the park the road was narrow and surrounded by reddish white layered rock – very dramatic. However we didn’t have much time for a photo stop and left the park on the other side. Just a few miles after the exit we took a left turn towards Ponderosa Ranch where we stopped for a salad lunch. The ranch offered many leisure activities for families. There was ATV driving, zip-lining, swimming, group activities and amongst many others also a 2 hour Jeep Tour. We choose for the jeep tour after lunch. The jeep tour was only at the Ranch’s property and was going steep dirt roads up and down. The scenery had nothing to do with the Zions reddish/white layered rock. It was more bushy. At a few points the view was definitely great but all in all I would not recommend the 33 $ tour at the Ponderosa ranch. As we still had some time after the tour we decided to drive back in the Zion National Park for a few more great views of the blunt rock. When we reached the bottleneck of the valley a narrow tunnel with managed traffic we turned around, mounted the GoPro Camera on the roof of one of our cars and headed back towards the exit of the National Park – we definitely had a few photo stops on the way.
In the evening we reached Page, Arizona. Just before Page we stopped at the Glen Canyon Dam which helps to keep the Lake Powell at its size. The dam itself is a little smaller than the Hoover Dam and the rocks and sand around it is completely reddish. This combined with a almost setting sun was definitely a nice photo spot – well not for me I observed the scenery sitting in the car with the left foot on the glove box because I didn’t bother going outside the car. First thing we did when reaching actual Page was to settle down in our room at the Motel 6. Our room was a little small and the hotel already booked which is why we spontanously booked another room in the Super 8 hotel, the very next building. After some refreshment we drove to Denny’s for dinner and 4th July firework gazing. We had troubles finding the right time for Arizona because its on the same latitude as Utah but still has one hour difference to it. The solution to the problem: Arizona doesn’t have summer time. Finally when we adjusted our clocks to the correct time, the fireworks started at the correct time and after sunset – I was observing from my wheelchair. The firework hasn’t been very professional as every single item was fired manually. It was nice to watch though. When we reached back to our table at Denny’s the food has already been served.
The next day didn’t start much early and with a very simple breakfast buffet at the Super 8 hotel. First on that day we went to a place south of Page where the Colorado River makes a horse shoe bend. I skipped the walk from the parking lot to the actual bend because it was in sand and went steep uphill. I prefered to stay in the car with running aircondition and engine. I had a look at the pictures when my friends came back.
We headed back the road we came, crossed the Glen Canyon from East to West and stopped at the Lake Powell National Park where we had to pay entrance fee – bummer! We squeezed everyone in the BMW 5 and saved so on one entry fare. The walk to and from the beach with crutches was very exhausting. The first couple of meters were on concrete while the last bit was on hot sand. The swim in the warm to cold waters of Lake Powell were really relaxing for body and foot though. I actually didn’t want to leave the water. When I finally reached back to the car I was sweating like hell and had a blister at the left palm. Next stop that day was again in Page for lunch and water bottle refill. Our water bottles going like hot cakes in this hot weather conditions. When we reached Antelope Canyon east of Page the weather was already cooling down and the sky was more and more crowded by clouds, eventually it started to rain. The smell of the fresh summer rain in the air was too nice. The canyon was not crutches/wheelchair accessible and hence one more time I waited in the car for everyone else to come back listening to music. A/C and running motor wasn’t necessary this time because of the strong breeze outside. I again looked at the pictures when my friends came back – the pictures are just too awesome. My friends have been told that they are very lucky to choose this canyon because its at the given light conditions (end of the world darkness below heavy clouds) the better canyon to visit. However they had to evacuate the canyon due to rapid floods that can occur once it started to rain, so my friends got their money back – yeah!
After approx 3 hours drive we finally reached the Monument Valley. It’s an awesome rock formation in the middle of the dessert. The rocks are mostly reddish, layered with some darker rock. With some imagination it is possible to see that the rock formations can also be interpreted as creatures. Shortly after the end of the Monument Valley was the little village of Mexican Hat where we stayed in a hotel called – guess it – Mexican hat. Giving us a little time to relax in the hotel room, we hung out until dinner with some drinks in our cozy room. Dinner was at the restaurant of the hotel. The menu was very simple but the food directly from the swinging grill was very delicious. We opted to hang out a little more at the pool side before we finally went to bed.
Saturday started relaxed: packing and a couple of minutes swinging on the porch-swing in the morning sun. Breakfast was at San Juan Inn & Trading Post a little down the road. If it had been a normal breakfast I wouldn’t have mentioned it. But there is a little something unique at this place. The only girl in our group placed her hand bag beside the bench on the floor. When the waiter came with our delicious food he had a syrup dispenser dangling on his index finger below a plate. Because the syrup can was super full he drew a syrup line from the kitchen through the dining area right into our girls hand bag. We tried to tell him but because he didn’t see the cannikin he didn’t understand what we meant. However once he got rid of the plate in his hand he saw the disaster and apologized slightly. He politely asked if he should bring a damp cloth instead of bringing it right away – what should be the answer? No, thank you no need of a damp cloth I’ll dip my pan cake in the hand bag instead…Tipping was very little this time.
We continued our little road trip back through the Monument Valley, towards Grand Canyon. The most important stop on the way was the Monument Valley visitor center. The visitor center was surrounded by many rock formations. It explained the history of people lived in the area and gave examples of animals which can be interpreted when looking at the rock formations. Also a list of movies recorded at this sacred place was hanging on the wall. There was also an off-road path winding in between the formations but it didn’t seem passable with an BMW 5 series. The temperature at this place was not too hot due to normal winds.
Later when we reached the Grand Canyon the temperature dropped to roughly 12 degrees and it was slightly raining combined with heavy winds. The road was winding along the rim of the canyon and we had several stops along the way to have the breathtaking views from every possible angle. I didn’t leave the car at every stop but at most of them because I wanted to rest my leg a little. Once I was sitting in the car, observing the scenery from the passenger seat, the only girl in the group was about to take a picture of me and asked me to show how much fun I have on this trip. My spontaneous answer in a cute and sad voice at once was: I don’t have fun. However I want to emphasize that this particular situation was very sad because everyone was out of the car and exploring the area on their foot when I was sitting in the car not able to walk without crutches. I definitely need to say that the whole group was caring as much as possible to make this weekend possible for me – thanks for that! Alternative would have been alone at home and that would have been definitely no fun at all.
We didn’t stop at the Grand Canyon Village, instead we hurried south to our home for the night. It was a very nice home-stay in Valle with on site dinner prepared by a maid. When everyone else was going to the gas station to buy some beer and get some cash for dinner, I stayed at the home-stay and helped the landlady to fix her computer. The dinner menu was again very simple (beef or shrimp pasta). It was very delicious and filled our stomachs to our complete satisfaction. Relaxation at the whirl pool was the option after dinner. The jacuzi however looked like it could need fresh water but it was a good round off for the long day.
Breakfast buffet the next morning was again home made: pan-cakes, waffles, fruits, bread, cookies, eggs, bacon, syrup – the list was endless – definitely one of the best breakfasts on this planet. That morning I went on a 45 minute scenic flight over the Grand Canyon. It was a 160 $ and worth every cent! Spectacular views of the canyon, great weather conditions for the flight and a window seat on the airplane – what else would I need? A healed foot maybe but flying doesn’t need a healed foot necessarily. Eventually we went to the Grand Canyon Village for a few more spectacular views from the rim down to the base of the canyon – stunning! The temperature was again above 25 degrees and made us sweat while walking along the rim – especially with the crutches.
That was the final main activity on the weekend. The drive back home took us a giant 9 to 10 hours. We stopped a few times to swap the drivers, relax with ice cream or have some nice food.
This was our short trip out of California, out of Nevada and into Utah and Arizona. I hope you enjoyed reading and don’t need pictures as I have described the trip in much detail.

What happened after the Roadtrip? Well I wouldn’t call it the standard program, read yourself!

09.07 Cinema: The lone ranger; A very very long story. Jonny Depp could have performed a little better. I would have loved a little more of his fancy dry jokes and more of his Jonny Depp like moves. Nice action and beautiful scenery though!
10.07 Imagine the beach, the pacific ocean, the sound of the waves and the smell of the ocean. Also imagine a fire, the cracking of the dry firewood bending under the heat and the divine smell of barbecued pork. Also imagine the sun just before sunset, yellow glowing clouds on the horizon and the warmth of the last sun rays of the day on your skin. Now combine all these three things and you get a glimpse of the setup we had for our Wednesday Night BBQ. It has been awesome!
11.07 3$ Cinema. Fast and Furious 6! I think everyone knows what this is all about? Fast and stylish cars. This time the former bad ones help the police to catch the new evil. All stunts are damn realistic – for sure!
13.07 Drive-In Cinema: Third time cinema this week. But if the third time would not have been for a drive-in I would not have gone. I watched Despicable Me 2. The frequence for the radio was 95.6. The drive-in at Santa Barbara is definitely a good dating site! The movie was fun too!

So, this is the end of this short entry. Word count is almost a 3500 and I’m quite tired to continue this entry. Please give me some time to prepare the next story – stay tuned as the next entries might be about a fabolous concert weekend in Southern California or about India or maybe Sweden. Let the adventures begin!

Pacific Coast Highway Roadtrip

This story is dedicated to my roadtrip from San Francisco back home to Los Angeles area on the Pacific Coast Highway. However I will start with the days between Hawaii and the trip. Enjoy!

Well I was quite busy right after reaching back to LA from Oahu, Hawaii. From the airport straight back to the park-n-ride where I parked my car. Thank god it was still standing there and didn’t have any new scratches.
I drove to Santa Monika to apply for my Indian Visa (> 200 $) – crazy how they rip of tourists. After only 1 hour I filled all the forms and was ready for the business trip to San Diego. A co-workers girl friend picked me up at another park-n-ride – again I left my car for 2 nights.
Still tired from the over night flight I have had two relaxing baths in the evening, one in the bathtube of my hotel room in San Diego and one at the hotels whirlpool. In between the two baths I was observing my co-workers working on the cars. I learned quite a few things about cars!
My wish was to have dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe and so we went there. It’s a pleaser any time being in a Hard Rock Cafe!
I caught up on a little sleep over night and found myself on the passenger seat of a preproduction series car the next day. We were driving across San Diego for quite a long time to make sure the vehicles hardware/software is working properly. Later in the afternoon I have seen enough testing and started programming in the hotel room. The whirlpool helped relaxing after this long and exhausting day. Dinner was at Rock Bottom, a restaurant with heavy dark furniture and the ambience of a western saloon. Observing girls on the mechanical bull at the Double Deuce bar was a nice round off for the day – although I didn’t ride the bull!
The next day I was again sitting on the passenger seat of a preproduction series car but a different model this time. Later I moved in an electrical vehicle which gave me a nice insight of the vehicle of the future. This day we didn’t drive much around in San Diego but back to Oxnard. Planned rest stop was at the nice Lighthouse Deli&Cafe in San Pedro where I had liver for lunch – didn’t have it for long and it was very tasty! The crew dropped me off at the park-n-ride where I picked up my car and drove back to Camarillo on my own.
I’d say I have learned quite a lot going on the road with my co-workers from the other department.
To keep the evening short and catch up on some more sleep, I just had a quick dinner hangout with two mates at my home in Camarillo

After one night at home, the next weekend trip already started: The Pacific Coast Highway Roadtrip

Friday night was meant to get up north of San Francisco to the Marin Headlands Hostel. We had a yummy tailgate picnic somewhere on the roadside and took impressive pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge by night. The Bridge Towers were partly covered in clouds which gave the pictures extra spice – awesome! The girlfriend of a mate of our group has reached San Francisco a few days earlier and manned our room in the hostel that night so that we were able to enter even after 10 PM.
We knew that there was a long drive ahead of us the next 2 days and so we decided to start early in the day on Saturday. First item on the itinerary was to cross the Golden Gate Bridge. Thank god we took some pictures by night because the Bridge was completely covered in fog that morning. A few minutes later we arrived at the House of Bagels for breakfast: I had my Bagel topped with green onion and LOX (salmon) – definitely the way a day should start!
There was not another stop in San Francisco itself because San Francisco has been part of two other trips already. Instead we stopped at the Stanford University. As described in an earlier entry the campus is one huge village itself. There is everything: huge buildings for each faculty, sporting grounds, yards for relaxing etc. pp. A full scholarship would help if I want to study there! Anyone some money left?
Next stop were the headquarters of Google and Apple. Apple was more a drive through and Google was a non-event. Last time I have been there was a Sunday and no-one complained about us using the Google campus bikes. But this time, a Saturday morning, security staff requested us to not use the bikes as they are Google property.
Our next stop at Santa-Cruz was also a non-event. Seeing the crowds at the pier most of us decided to not stop for the boardwalk. Another reason for not stopping was maybe the outside temperature of above 30 degrees Celsius. A few kilometers past Santa Cruz the appetite of the group members rose to a level which was further decreasing the happiness. So we stopped at the Bangkok West Restaurant for some curry – definitely delicious! The decoration in the restaurant is definitely bringing some Thailand feeling in the restaurant guests minds. Happiness rose again to a very acceptable level. A few miles south was already Monterey. A short stroll along the coast, seal watching at the pier and ice cream stop at McDonalds later we were back in the car. In matters of time we skipped the Monterey Bay Aquarium famous for its large exhibition of large fish. The road leaded us through the cannery row district which reminds us to the large fish industry which has been residing here earlier. Nowadays the district is famous for its bars and restaurants in old fishing industry buildings.
The next stop on our road trip was the 17-Mile drive. A scenic stretch just a few miles west  from the Pacific Coast Highway. Most parts of the drive are on the edge of a Golf Course on one side and the pacific ocean on the other side. It definitely is a beautiful stretch of road but also quite windy. We only stopped twice on the 17-Mile drive: First stop was to meet a colleague who was doing the same trip but in south-north direction and second to take pictures of the lone cypress.
We followed the number 1 further south until we reached a waterfall which lower end is not a pond but the beach. The name of the waterfall is “McWay” waterfall. It’s beautiful to watch but one has soaked up the complete environment quite quick, so we boarded the car again after 20 minutes and drove the last stretch of the pacific coast highway for today until we reached the Big Sur Lodge. This stretch of road was extremely beautiful, due to its narrow roads which are winding up and down, over bridges with green meadows to the left and the steep cliffs on the right. Our home for the night was a cozy bungalow in the Big Sur area. Dinner for the day was a meal consisting of bread, salami and cheese.
Breakfast the next day was at the wooden Big Sur Bakery. Most of us had a croissant either with or without chocolate and a hot drink such as hot chocolate or coffee. This along with the sun on the bakeries patio was an energizing breakfast!
The Big Sur stretch combined with the stretch of the PCH to the Hearst Castle was again very scenic: Winding road, cliffs, mountains to the left, the ocean to the right; Only thing missing was a convertible vehicle to make us feel the breeze.
We stopped at William Randolph Hearst’s famouse estate aka Hearst Castle. He was  wealthy owner of quite a few news papers and tv shows back in the days. We booked the “Designing the Dream” tour which took about 1 hour and 15 minutes without the transport to and from the castle. The tour gave an insight of the pools on the property as well as outside facilities, earlier guest rooms and newer guest rooms. Part of the tour was also a room specially designed for Hearst itself but he never made it to see the room by himself. I am glad that we picked this tour so that I got another sight of the property compared to two years earlier when I did the “Grand Rooms Tour”. All-in-All: Overwhelming!
We stopped for lunch in Cambria at the Main Street Grill where I had a squid steak sandwich – mouthwatering and revitalizing!
The road was winding further south until we stopped in San Luis Obispo for two spots: First the Madonna Inn with a truly remarkable mens restroom and second for a stroll through downtown San Luis Obispo. Well, why is the restroom in Madonna Inn so remarkable? Find it out yourself it’s worth a visit! The stop in downtown was good to add some bubblegum to the Bubblegum Alley and to refresh with frozen yoghurt. I definitely liked the frozen yoghurt concept: Just add whatever yoghurt to your cup, add as many toppings as you like and pay by the weight of the whole cup.
This stop was basically the last on the road trip. Another 180 miles stretch of beautiful landscape later we reached back home! Actually it has been dark after half of it but until then it was definitely worth to look out of the window.

There are not much pictures from my side. Please enjoy what I’ve got:

Oahu, Hawaii

Only 4 weeks later, the Hawaii story is up! Enjoy Text and pictures.

My trip to Hawaii actually started on the 6th of June. My smart Mini brought me to a Park&Ride parking spot. I just missed one of the trains to the Airport but the next didn’t make me wait long for it. A shuttle bus brought me from the green lines Airport station to the Airport. It was already less than one hour when I got to the airport so I thought I’ll miss my ride to Hawaii, Oahu. However check-in was still possible and after a while I was sitting on that plane.
I arrived late on Oahu, picked up my rental car at Hertz, a Ford Mustang Convertible, and drove to the supermarket to buy some supplies for the next days: basically water and non-refrigerate items for breakfast and picnic. I have been damn tired probably because LA time is 3 hours ahead. I searched for a nice silent neighbourhood in Honolulu, parked my car and went to sleep. The worst part about the seats in this convertible were that they didn’t recline much more than an airplane seat :/ For the first night I choose the trunk and a sleeping bag for a good nights sleep.

I woke up pretty early on the 7th of June which was awesomely perfect for a visit to Hanauma bay. I had take-away breakfast from a bakery on the way. I had to watch an introduction video at Hanauma bay on “how to treat the reefs”. I walked all the way down to the bay instead of taking the costly tram. I made myself comfortable on the beach and caught up on some sleep. After a while I thought of snorkelling in the turquoise blue waters of the bay. A problem turned up: I lost the clip which holds the goggles and the snorkel together. I improvised and used two bag clips (from this mornings bakery visit) to attach the snorkel to the goggles – off I went. I was a little disappointed because the reef was so grey and only few colorful fishes were sprinkled in the warm waters. Compared to the Great Barrier reaf a real disappointment! Just after lunch time I felt real hungry and struggled in finding the Diamond Head Grill. One-Way roads all across Honolulu didn’t make it easier to find it. The food there was really delicious and inexpensive!
The next Odyssey was Diamond Head Crater. I found it easily but lacked in cash when I had to pay the entrance fee for the park in the crater. So I drove all the way back to find an ATM. Approximately 45 minutes later I have been again to the entrance of the park and ready to pay. Back to Honolulu Downtown I bought some items for a picnic on Waikikis white fine grain beaches and made myself comfortable in front of the warm turquoise waters. In the middle of my picnic, the Friday Fireworks began. It was a 10 to 15 minutes spectacle and nice round off for the day. I didn’t even had to bother about a thin jacket, the air was even night times warm.
Another Odyssey started just after the firework when I tried to find my way to the north east coast to visit a colleagues home whos visiting with his girlfriend. At one point I drove mistakenly on the Highway 3 towards Pearl Harbor and haven’t been able to turn around for 10 miles. That means a 20 miles extra on my Odometer. These 20 miles were most painfull. My colleague welcomed me in his beach front bungalow and we had a nice hour just before sleeping.
I prepared pancakes on the 8th of June to thank the couple to give me accommodation for the night. Later I drove down the east coast to Chinaman’s hat. It is actually a small Island in shape of a chinaman’s hat. After taking a few pictures I headed further south to “Tropical Farms” with free sample of Macadamias, honey and peanut butter – yum. My next stop was the Pali lookout which offered great views towards Honolulu and Waikiki and Hanauma Bay. I choose to hike an unoffical trail along a mountain rim. The hike was indeed quite dangerous but I still made it up to a spot where I viewed through a natural spyhole in a rock. Incredible views bordered through a spyhole!
I spent the rest of the day in the Polynesian Cultural Center to get some cultural insight of the polynesian islands. The afternoon in the cultural center was filled with 20 minute open-air performances of the Islands of Hawaii, Fiji, Tonga, Tahiti, Aoteaora (New Zealand). Performances consisted of dance, music and history of the Islands. One attraction were floating boats in the artificial river. The boats were differently themed accordingly to the island they represent – food for the eyes! There was also a dome shaped cinema in the cultural center where they showed hardly seen landscape of Hawaii – made me wanting more!
I took place in the large dining hall of the cultural center for dinner and served myself from the buffet and drinking fountain – great food although it was cooked in large amounts. The turkey roast in gravy was probably the best :-)
Next item of the itenerary was the production of “Breath of Life” an 1.5 hour spectacular with fire, dance and music. The story in short is of a newly born baby getting introduced in the different cultures of the polynesian Islands, marrying later and having a baby right at the end which could go through the same story again.
I parked my car at Laie point right in front of the sea and slept on the passengers seat.
On Sunday I woke up facing the sea in the dawn. I turned the car around and held a photo shooting with it before I had breakfast sitting on the trunk lid stil watching the uprising sun – relaxing start of the day, huh?!
My first stop of the day was the turtle bay resort where I snorkelled among huge sea turtles. These gigantic turtles moving slowly around in the calm waters of the bay. It looks effortless how they move and slowly flap with their fins. I drove across the north shore and stopped every now and then for some beach stroll or snorkelling. I bought some fresh from tree ice cold Lychees on the way. Snorkelling at the sunset beach was a little better than at Hanauma Bay but still not great compared to the Great Barrier reef. There has been a lot of brown rocks which are perfect hiding spot for colorful fish – every color is better than the grey at Hanauma Bay. I sprinkled a little diversity in my day by doing the hike to the waterfall in the Waimea valley. The path was all paved and equipped with thousands of plant explaining signs. The pond of the waterfall didn’t look much dangerous but still 2 lifeguards were supervising the people swimming there. They also made sure that everyone is wearing a swimwest. I asked them for sun screen because I didn’t have any due to restrictions in hand luggage in airplanes and they were so kind giving me a little. A little further west seemed to be the place for beach fun sports. People were Kite Surfing and wind surfing – my favourite beaches on the whole island!
I took a lunch break at Haleiwa and ate some lamb chops along with rice and shave ice coconut flavoured for dessert. Then I drove southways towards Dohle Pineapple plantation to get an insight in how the pineapple comes from the field to the supermarket. There was a huge FAQ board which covered the same questions answered on the pinapple express. The pineapple express was a train which was going two miles across pineapple plantation fields for the price of 8 $ per ride. Well I just knew that the content of the narrators speech on the train is the same as on the FAQ board because I was doing both – reading and riding. I drove all the way south past Pearl Harbor to KoOlina bay in the south west for a great sunset picnic with crackers and cheese. I then droveup on the west coast until I reached the end of the road where I parked my car for the night. I know the west coast is not very famous for sunrise in the morning – but sometimes I need to make a compromise.
I woke up with the first rays of sunlight on Monday and had breakfast along with compulsory photoshooting. I then tried to start a hike to the most northwest point of the Island Oahu. A girl in another car was starting a conversation with me about Hawaii and her past life. Additionally she gave me about 15 small shells she collected in a secret spot and wished me a good hike to the “edge of the island” – definitely nice chat in the sun! I found that there are 3 geocaches on the path of the hike but my cell phones GPS didn’t work, so I didn’t find any of them – Bugger! The views from the most north-west point were great but bathing was not possible. I saw a few really large birds nesting in that area and also present were some seals almost perfectly hiding on the rocks.
I drove down the west coast after the hike. Again I stopped on some of them and also ate lunch, some take away food which I bought in some restaurant, at Pokai Bay Park Loco Moco.
Next stop was the Pearl Harbor area where I used all the free facilities to soak up an impression of the days around the 7th of December 1941. Afterwards I had a clear vision in mind what happened back then. I drove back to Honololu to have a stroll through Downtown and Chinatown districts both are kind of similiar to other American cities. I neither had a shower nor had a swim in the sea on my last day on Oaho, so I decided to have a swim in the warm turquoise waters of Waikikis Fort DeRusy Beach park. To gain some strength for the long flight back to main land I went to the Hard Rock Cafe Waikiki and had some fries plus chocolate flavoured thick shake – latter one was free because I ordered a mix of vanilla and chocolate; even better! I still had some time which I utilized in the fluffy bear museum – awesome but expensive!
I then dropped the car off at the Hertz Station at the Airport. I first had troubles to get a seat on my airplane because they changed the airplane model and had less seats to offer. They assigned me an exit row seat which was not to recline – Bugger again!
When I reached mainland America, my bussiness trip to San Diego began.

But more on that in the next story :-)

Yosemite – Memorial Day Weekend Getaway

Only 3 weeks passed and the next tremendous activities happened.
However I’ll split up the stories to keep them nice and short. Now you will read about the Yosemite National Park getaway. In the next story I’ll write about Hawaii and later then about the Road Trip on the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway).

On the Thursday night before the long Memorial Day Weekend I did nothing more than writing the last blog entry. So far nothing spectacular happened.

But then on Friday the trip to Yosemite National Park started just after work. A 6 hour drive with tailgate picnic brought us to our cozy camping cabin. The walls were made of thick timber, there was a small kitchenette with only basic tools, pots and pans and also a small relaxation area just beside the front entrance. The porch was just big enough to hold a small wooden swing. This night didn’t last very long as we all have been very tired after that long ride.

We didn’t waste much time on Saturday morning and steered the car towards Yosemite west entrance after pan cake breakfast. The one hour ride to the entrance offered spectacular views of a valley with the road beside a river. One of the motorhome drivers didn’t have much luck this morning as he fell down into the river with his recreational vehicle. Already impressed by the scenery on the way we were even more impressed when reached the actual Yosemite Valley. First day was meant for a long breathtaking hike and so we started to hike the Mist Trail at Curry Village. The first part of the trail, let’s say until the upper part of the Vernal fall, was pretty much crowded. Soon we got to know why this trail is called Mist Trail: The hiker is having a “shower” in the mist of the Vernal fall. The path climbed further uphill, offering a wider and wider view of the Yosemite valley. When we reached the Nevada fall upper part  the path was at its maximum height and the crowd was already cleared. Up there the famous half dome was clearly visible. Another steep path was winding down back to the parking lot. The whole hike including breaks took us quite a while and emptied our energy reserves which is why we stopped for a lunch/dinner combination at an italian restaurant for a bite to eat. Completely starched we had a visit to the famous Ahwahnee hotel with its large hall reminding us to a hall known from Harry Potter movies. The backyard of the hotel was quite large and inviting to lay down but we didn’t. Our next stop was the lookout “Tunnel View” with views towards Half Dome – awesome! We hurried to reach the Glacier point before sunset and just made it in time. The drive there took us approximately 1.5 hours following a narrow road. It was completely worth to visit this spot because it offered a panoramic view of the valley inclusive half dome. It is hard to describe how it was to see the sunset up there and even the pictures will just give a small clue of how it actually was. For me there was not more left on that day than a long and tiring drive back to our campground for toast and banana as dinner.

Also on Sunday we didn’t waste much time in the morning. This day we steered the car towards Yosemite south entrance. It looked like the crowd was a lil larger there. Our first stop was at the Sequoias at Mariposa grove. Sequioas are one of the largest trees of the world and approximately 200 of those mammoth trees are standing right here. We decided to have a short 2 hour stroll through the area to get to see a few of those trees. It was actually not hard to spot those trees. Some of them had brandings from wild fires, others were hit by lightnings and a few were cut down by humanbeings – majestic trees!
The drive from the south entrance of the national park to the valley offered a few more stunning scenic views of the Yosemite park with always changing colors. After salad lunch with ice cream for dessert we started an easy stroll on mostly paved road to the mirror lake. First I was disappointed because the lake mirrored half dome but the image was not really clear due to small waves. But then two of my fellows discovered a part of the lake where the Half Dome was mirrored without any distractions – jaw dropping! I also walked in the mirror lake and found that the temperature of the water must be below 12 degrees celsius – jaw dropped again, felt like stitches in the foot while being in there. We returned back to the car and turned on ignition for the ride back to our cabin in Midpines. The sunset was kind of viewed from our porch and the day ended with some pasta for dinner.
On Memorial Day itself we drove through Yosemite National Park from west to east through the Tioga pass. The road was on a high plain and winded between forests, lakes and meadows. Sometimes steep gradients offered dramatic views into valleys. On the other side (east) of the Yosemite a spectacular view of Mono Lake was opening. A short detour north of Mono Lake brought us to a vista point where we got a good impression of how large the lake actually is.
At this point we choose to travel the highway 395 down to LA on a 250 mile stretch. On the way south we had a short detour to search some natural hot springs but we ended up on a dirt road without finding the hot springs. Later we stopped for a tailgate picnic at an old farm area. We passed Mt. Whitney, USAs highest mountain (Alaska excluded) [4421 m], on our way through the Owens Valley.

28.5 Hangover 3: Fun, Fun, Fun. Usually the second and third episode of a series of films is boring. But the production team around Hangover did a good job in changing the story a little to make the film as good as the other 2.
29.5 Croods: I was asked to watch the movie because of its cuteness. And this is actually what it is. This movie was already quite long in the theaters and so I was alone in the theater – someone should have joined me! Still a fun night out!
30.5 On that evening I have been out for a bar tour in Thousand Oaks. The “Lava Lounge” was a nice bar with billard tables and Karaoke. We went to Brendans which I have been visiting a few times in the past already. Not much crowd there on a Thursday.
31.5 Toppers pizza for lunch. I ordered salami and pepperoni as topping. Well pepperoni was a spicy salami too. Hence it was meat pizza with meat – stupid. Evening was meant for surfing but I just have been too tired for surfing, so I relaxed on the beach when colleagues were surfing. The day ended with a BBQ at a colleagues house. One more time tri-tip and steaks – There will never be enough of it!
1.6 Disneyland Anaheim…There is not much to say than whats written on the entry card: “Disneyland just got happier”. It was a day full of action. I wouldn’t bother describe much (it would not be possible) but have a look at the pictures below.
2.6 LA downtown sightseeing. I went to LA downtown to see some of LAs history. First I found a building which has been restored as one of the first buildings of the town. Earlier it has been broken because of some earthquake. I walked past the Town Hall by day and darkness. It’s actually quite nice illuminated by night. I passed the Walt Disney Concert Hall which has definitely a unique architecture. There also is an Angels Flight which helped  the wealthy people of LA to climb the gradient between Hill and Olive street conviniently. My visit expanded towards Little Tokyo and Chinatown – both are not so spectacular.
3.6 Cinema with “Now you see me”. It’s a magician movie which was quite hard to understand for me. Afterwards a colleague helped me to understand the story. Very tricky! Its not a must watch.
4.6 Crystal Fighters Concert. I’d call it a nice concert. We have been there quite early at 8. Alpine was the supporting act and played from 8.30 to 9.30 and the main act started from 10. Alpine is made of two female lead singers both not wearing standard clothing – I’d rather call it something more weird (still attractive). The drummer didn’t bother about a shirt/t-shirt and sat with trouser and shoes behind the drum set. Two guitarist were hitting the strings very accurate. All-in-all a very good supporting act. I finally had a short chat with one of the lead singers but didn’t bother about autographs.
The main act then was also quite nice. The band members were mainly male supported by two female background singers. The (hair-)dresses were all very weird except from the female singers. However the songs were nice and sometimes easy to sing along. A very nice evening which probably ended too late for a drive back to Camarillo.
Worst part of this evening: bottomless cup of water was 1$
5.6 I was busy packing my bag for Hawaii

My trip to Hawaii started in the night of the 6.6

For now enjoy the pictures coming along with this entry and stay tuned for the Hawaii story:

Home » Yosemite - Memorial Day Weekend Getaway » Yosemite - Memorial Day Weekend Getaway
2013-05-24 19.51.11.jpg
2013-05-25 08.38.41.jpg
2013-05-25 10.57.32.jpg
2013-05-25 19.56.47.jpg
2013-05-25 20.09.38.jpg
2013-05-26 17.17.02.jpg
2013-05-27 08.33.29.jpg
2013-05-27 10.15.18.jpg
2013-05-27 11.38.16.jpg

What happened after Vegas?

Hello guys and gals it has been a long time since the last post. Thats the reason why I give you the recent incidents in form of an itinarary. You will have to miss out on pictures but the list gives you already a good idea of my life in California.

Tuesday, 30.04 – Pain & Gain; Weird movie connected to a true story. Life the American dream, get the money, spend the money but don’t get caught in your naughty business!
Wednesday, 01.05. – BBQ at Ours – The usual BBQ again a yummy delight for hump-day.
Thursday, 02.05. – Tennis at the pool, Cooking gettogether – It has been warm that day in Thousand Oaks – I mean really warm, 30 degress Celsius. Still we treated us with a soak in the hot jacuzzi and self made dinner from the scratch. Damn tasty!
Friday, 03.05. – Beach Hangout, Habit, Juno – Yep the day at work has been long and the days before even more stressful. That’s why I treated myself with a hangout by the beach. Giving myself a treat at habit is just enough for the hard time spent at the beach soaking up the sun. I saw movie Juno twice and actress who acts for Juno does a great job – so cute! However did you know what Juno stand for? Juno is the godhead for family, responsible for motherhood, wedding and birth.
Saturday, 04.05. – Beach Party at a colleagues home. This was the embodiment of fun! Three times BBQ in one day, sitting by the pool, playing drinking games partly with non-alcoholics (drivers were present) and soaking in the jacuzzi. BBQ was made of pork-veggie-skewers, TriTip beef roast and pork ribs. What a feast!
Sunday, 05.05. – Getty Center is one of a kind. Theres a lot of weird art but also a lot of nice pieces. Best part was probably the “Overdrive”-Exhibition with art that shows the development of LA in the 20th century. To give the Sunday a nice fade out we have been visiting the Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. You won’t believe it theres a shop where you pay thousands of dollars entrance fee.
Monday, 06.05. – Dinner at CheeseCake Factory. I had some Skinnilicious pasta with tomato sauce. It was damn delicious and had also less than 500 calories.
Tuesday, 07.05. – Inline Skating was fantastic. I was practicing curves and it turned out very well – almost master now! There was not much time in between for dinner, so a Wendys Double Cheese Burger had to do before the cinema started. The movie we watched was Iron Man 3. Not my favourite of the trilogy but still very spectacular!
Wednesday, 08.05. – A wednesday without BBQ. Still I was not bored: Tennis and Pool were a good replacement for the BBQ. No one won, no one lost – neither at tennis nor at the pool.
Thursday, 09.05. – A colleagues father arrived in that week so we spent the Thursday night together at Malibu Dume Point for some really nice view along the coast and a tasty dinner at Paradise Cove restaurant. I had a floating sandwich. Actually the sandwich was swimming in a creamy seafood soup.
Friday, 10.05. – This was the day when our San Diego Trip started. After a long drive through Los Angelian rush hour we had lust after Pasta. So we hung out in our weekend bungalow and enjoyed pasta for dinner. A colleague and I took the chance for a small night out in busy San Diego Pacific Beach area. The final destination was the Red Saloon with country music remixes – just a feast for the ears. The taxi ride back was a must as we have been walking 30 minutes to the club.
Saturday, 11.05. – Our first stop in Diego was the Zoo. The zoo has the image of being one of the worlds best. However the fauna (which is usually why you go into a zoo) was less spectacular than the flora. There were so many unusual trees, bushes and plants – just a feast for the eyes (to use the same expression again). For lunch we have been at Old Town continued by a stroll through the same. It had the flair of being in an old western city – really nice! What is a visit to Diego without visiting the Pacific Beach Pier? Left and right of the first third of the pier were small and cozy bungalows and I already thought of buying one and renting them out. The end of the pier was breezy and held views of a couple of dolphins – quite hard to spot them without my specs. Again pasta was hip for dinner, this time accompanied by an icy tasty berry smoothie bought at the road side. The coke float for dessert was a very nice round off. Again we hung out in our bungalow but today it was possible to motivate more people for a night out at the Red Saloon. The drive towards the venue was made with a cab for only 7 $ but they way back was made on foot because a colleague tried to avoid puking in a cab. He didn’t puke on the way :-)
Sunday, 12.05. – This day started with a stroll at Point Loma – San Diego Skyline view inclusive. This place is actually quite good to get grounded after a short night of sleep – breathe and relax: repeat. We paid 10 $ per car to get priority parking at the USS Midway aircraft carrier. Amazing how ppl are living on such a huge ship. There is everything provided for the soldiers: bunk beds, mess facility, doctor play rooms and a huge dentist area. The most impressive on the guided audio tour were the recorded audio of contemporary witnesses. Last two stops before a long journey back home to Camarillo was the Balboa Park with a slice of a concert with a huge outside organ and the Habit Burger with Nut Sundae dessert. The stroll through the park was exhausting due to extreme hot weather conditions.
Monday, 13.05. – It’s nothing to say about an easy start into a week. I hung out at a colleagues home to play some Basketball by the beach. The sandwich dinner gave me back the strength I needed to laugh while watchin IT Crowd on the colleagues couch.
Tuesday, 14.05. – That Tuesday we watched “The Great Gatsby” in the cinemas. Great story with an unexpected turn. Also actors were playing their rolls quite well. It’s a must watch!
Wednesday, 15.05. – Two of the colleagues were on a business trip to San Diego, so the BBQ was held for 3 ppl. The start off was on the patio to soak up the sun whilst exchanging some small talk. For BBQ we had chicken steaks already marinated from the super market and salad. The finish was made by an Oreo Cookie Ice Cream roll. Wow what a feast!
Thursday, 16.05. – There was not much to do, the colleagues just came back from their trip to San Diego. So another colleague and I made a two man BBQ with the leftovers after playing some Basketball by the beach. The IT Crowd afterwards was already compulsive.
Friday, 17.05. – One of our colleagues was in going out mood but he has not been able to convince everyone else of his outgoing mood. We ended up in the pool/jacuzzi at his house for some small talk and acknowledging that our lives here are not too bad.
Saturday, 18.05. – The Strawberry Festival was not a bad start for the weekend. It ended up in a fest and I counted 3 dishes in total: Strawberry pizza, Strawberry funnel cake and Strawberry build your own shortcake. A colleague was so kind and shouted me a strawberry smoothie with a mix of fresh strawberries and strawberry syrup. The strawberry lemonade was also very welcome on this hot spring day. I tried strawberry but and strawberry margaritha but both was not of my taste. A BBQ to a colleagues birthday plus jacuzzi was a nice round off for the day.
Sunday, 19.05. – What would you think of a nice sunday getaway in a muscle car America? We picked the Wheels and Wave car show in Santa Barbara. There were not only American but also German cars put on show. Most of the cars were in a good condition and nice to watch at them. I concluded the day with a inline skating ride along the coast line in perfect weather.
Monday, 20.05. – We went surfing after work :-) I caught only one wave and were not able to stand up but somehow it was fun. I fought with the wet suit one more time afterwards.
Tuesday, 21.05. – There is a massive event upcoming on 4th of July. For that we took this evening to plan the route we’d drive and the hotels we’d stay in. After such hard work it was more than welcome to relax in a jacuzzi.
Wednesday, 22.05. – A friend of a colleague who is pilot came over to Los Angeles for one day to celebrate in his birthday. We picked the Standard Hotel in LA downtown to give him a nice start in his next year. It has been a nice evening with loads of chatter.

What will be up in June? The calendar is quite packed. I will start with Disneyland and Downtown LA, then I’ll have a 4 day Hawaii/Honolulu getaway, a roadtrip down the Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco back home and also planned is Six Flags Theme and Water Park. You see it never gets boring :-)

Viva Las Vegas! ! !

Time flies and another week inclusive weekend has passed!
Here is some news about the Las Vegas weekend getaway.

Haha you thought it starts here – It wouldn’t be me if I wouldn’t start writing about the week before Las Vegas.
We didn’t end up in the whirlpool after the beachy day mentioned in the last post. But still the beach hangout was great. We saw a seal and also a whale very close to the beach. The weather was just incredible nice: Sun, no clouds and soft warm sand between the toes. Even the sea seemed to be warm enough for a short swim.
At evening in Oxnard it was almost drizzling. The wednesday BBQ was preponed to conclude this amazing week. There was a Tri-Tip roasted on the grill and also some pork ribs straight from the oven. To repeat myself: again very meaty but yummy.

Monday night was Clippers night. We went to the staples center to witness a Clippers Basketball match. On entry every guest got a red Clippers T-Shirt in XL one size fits all. In the entrance hall was the opportunity for a photo shooting with some cheerleading girls. Unfortunately the girls left when I was almost in front of the queue. The 4 quarters of the match were very exciting. Breaks between the quarters were filled with various spectator entertainment. A woman had to scoop dollar notes from one side to the other of the field in order to win them. A man had to throw baskets from various spots on the field to increase the amount of money to be won. A chinese artist was riding on a really high monocycle, balancing bowls on her foot tip and throwing them high up in the air in order to catch them with her head.
The last 10 seconds of the match were really really thrilling as Clippers and Memphis Grizzles had the same amount of points but Clippers had the ball. In the last 1/10 of a second the Clippers threw a basket and hence had the lead. But then the Grizzles had the ball to become equal with the Clippers within the last 1/10 second. Well they didn’t make it and Clippers won.

I organized a dinner get together at the Bandits Restaurant in Camarillo for the last intern of the previous batch on Tuesday night. She made clear that she enjoyed the time with the new interns. And I had almost tears in my eyes seeing her leaving. It was a nice evening though :-)

Wednesday and Thursday night have been defined as rest days before the big storm on the last weekend. Nevertheless I have been hanging out at the Surfers Point on Thursday to have a stroll along the beach coast. Unfortunately I also caught a cold on Thursday night which is quite a disadvantage if one is planning a pool party at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas.

On Friday afternoon the trip to fabolous Las Vegas started. Our picnic dinner was held on the roadside without a table because we didn’t find a rest area at the Highway. The self made sandwiches were absolutely tasty!
When we reached Las Vegas we checked in our hotel, dressep up for the night and left for a stroll along the Vegas Strip. It was all so Vegas: bad looking guys were advertising escort services with small business cards, flashing lights on and between each corner and extravagance hotels/casinos wherever the eye is watching. Compared to February, the air outside was warm enough to roam in T-Shirt even at night time. The long day was concluded with a stopby at the Hooters Casino. I didn’t gamble but had a close look at the  Black Jack and Roulette Tables.
The Saturday was the day of the big Pool Party at the Hard Rock Hotel. We started the day with a breakfast feast at the Hooters Hotel: quantity instead of quality. It was already incognizable hot outside when we reached the Hard Rock Hotel. First of all we checked in the Pool Party as our Hard Rock Hotel Suite has not been ready for check-in at that time. The pool area was incredibly large. There were several pools and artificial beaches. The main area was a large pool with relax benches and beach chairs around it. Animator girls in bikinis with super soakers were a good alternative to a dip in the pool in order to escape the heat. A small building in the pool area had another small pool on top with glass floor to see the bar area in the ground area. Another small pool held a few black jack tables so that it was possible to sit on those chairs in the water and play a few rounds black jack. The dealers there were really nice and helped to choose the right black jack strategy. Our hotel suite was in the 5th floor of the Casino Tower and facing the pool area – hence it was possible to listen to the party beats when the window was opened. In order to absorb some cheap drinks the party was shifted to the hotel suite a few times. It was a really really good time!
The party beats were fading out at approximately 6:30 PM. So we all met in the hotel suite to order some pizza. After dinner, a colleague and I went again to the strip to watch the Bellagio Fountain. The attempt to go in the Body English Nightclub at the Hard Rock Hotel failed because we missed the time frame for free entrance: until midnight. Instead I was playing a few more rounds black jack. The total win of the day was 80 $ netto – richy!

We all were quite hangover on Sunday. Before breakfast I tried again my luck at one of the black jack tables but not much luck today: neither win nor loss.
I had a french toast with Crunch’n’crust and blackberries for breakfast – quite delicious!
Just on the way out of Las Vegas we stopped for a photo shooting together with the “Fabolous Las Vegas” sign.
In the desert on the way back home the temperature climbed up to 40 degrees in the dessert. The long ride was split up by an ice cream break and food break towards the end. The food was a Protein Style In&Out burger where the bun is replaced by crisp ice berg lettuce – very crisp and fresh!

Again you’ll be awaiting pictures as bonus for all the reading. Enough of the wait, enjoy them:

Home » Viva Las Vegas! ! ! » Viva Las Vegas! ! !

Pic Dump San Francisco

Dear Friends of my Blog, I managed to upload some pictures of the weekend getaway to San Francisco – enjoy the pics!
Some more pictures are waiting along with a blog entry of the Clippers Playoff Match which I was watching in the Staples Center last night.

Home » Pic Dump San Francisco » Sunny San Francisco Weekend Vacation

Sunny San Francisco Weekend Vacation

Well time here in sunny California seems to pass even faster than anywhere else on this planet. To catch up with the time I try to summarize more and write less – already 1.5 weeks behind!

06.04.12 Hiking
Saturday a week and a half ago we had brilliant sunny weather. The perfect day for a hike. We picked the area in the hinterland of Malibu for our hike. Nice trail, nice company! To regain energy we had dinner at Neptnun’s Net: fried seafood sample platter. Awesome taste! Do I have to mention the splash into hot springs to finish off the day?

07.04.12 Santa Barbara Beach
Well we have been a hell lot busy recently. This is why we spent that day in Santa Barbara for a shopping afternoon and beach hangout. Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream is alway an indulgence. I think its not appropriate to complain as this was actually a brilliant day in April but the sandstorm on the beach was definitely something to complain about! Also I had two splinters in the toe after a stroll along the Santa Barbara main pier.

08.04.12 Shopping at Outlets, Panda Dinner
There is not much to say to this day. Again we went for shopping in the outlets. Finished off with actually nice Panda Dinner

09.04.12 Cinema – Olympus has fallen
Tuesday night was one more time movie night. We decided to watch this patriotic movie because it perfectly fit to our schedule. Just before I went to inline skate the oxnard shores – nice workout!

10.04.12 Surfing plus BBQ at a colleagues home
The schedule was already tight. I left work at 4, headed to a colleagues home, hooked up a surfboard and started surfing at Mondos Beach – pardon paddling. I struggled one more time to get in and out of the wet suit but the fun was all on my side in between.
We all met for a BBQ to celebrate this fabolous after work surf fun and lifestyle. Meat, veggies, lettuce – tasty! This summer shall never end!

11.04.12 Beach Volleyball, clip clap hairs are cut
Outa work, into inline skating boots, off to the beach volleyball court in front of Rudderroom bar. Sand in the feet, hands in the air, trying to not let the ball hit the ground. I think I leave this to other ppl, my back wrists were deep red after this work out.
Right after it was time for a summery hair cut! A colleagues room mate was so kind and helped me out – don’t you think 10 mm is so much better than the fringes I had before?
Furthermore a colleague showed us a typical American desert: Rice Crispy Treats. First butter and marshmallows are molten in a pot and stirred together. Once everything is molten Rice Crispy Breakfast cereals are added until it looks like the cereals are slightly coated in marshmallow sauce. Let it cool in the fridge until rigid! One more time: Tasty!

12.04.12 Drive to San Francisco, Gettogether
We reached our house in San Francisco at approximately 10 PM after 6.5 hours drive. The drive didn’t feel that long because we broke it up with fuel breaks and picnics.
Our house has 4 floors and one loft. Ground floor housed the garage, first floor held a bedroom and bath, second floor is kitchen and dining area with a large pull out couch, third floor is lounge and on top in the roof was another queen size bed in the loft. Interior is very stylish. All that for not much more money than living in a hostel over the weekend.
We sat together around the dining table to fade this day out.

13.04.12 Sightseeing San Francisco
I woke up in the middle of Mission District in our house. The smell of pancakes was in the air and the sun sneeked through the window. Isn’t that a perfect start in the day?!
Sightseeing started at the Market street. We headed towards China Town Gate. There was a lot of cheap chunk to see and nice food, such as chicken claws and dried seafood, on offer. Next part before lunch was the financial district with a very unique triangle shaped building. We made our way through to the Coit Tower but didn’t enter it. The view from above the hill is already pretty cool. Down to the Harbour Front for lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe. Beefed up, the tour continued with a stroll along Pier 39 where we watched sea lions hanging out in the sun. We kept going along the harbor front towards Fishermans Wharf. The whole path was an indulgence for the eye.
We passed the manual cable car turnaround and headed towards Lombard Street which winds down a very steep hill. We were boarding the ancient cable car on top of that hill. Hanging on the outside of the cable car I was riding down to Market street – pretty much fun!
After a few minutes refreshment in our home we drove up the Twin Peaks to get a great view of the city. The view could not have been any better! We took the chance and drove below the Golden Gate Bridge at Fort Point to enjoy the sunset right behind the bridge – stunning!
One more time back home we prepared for a big night out. Self made Margarithas and Strawberry Smoothies to warm up and light up the party mood. Finally we went out and had a really really good time in Valencia street corner 16th. Best activity of the night was probably that all of us squeezed into a photo booth for some crowded pictures. Happy fun!


The second day started again with pancakes. Why would we be satisfied with any less?
We headed towards Golden Gate Bridge and this time we crossed it. Just after we headed left, up some serpentines for an extraposh view towards the red bridge, alcatraz and the skyline of San Francisco. We drove to another spot on the north side of the bridge to have the view from below and just afterwards to Sausalito disctrict. After a short stroll along the harbour with the expensive sailing boats we drove back to the city. The drive across the bridge was captured with a friends GoPro and ended with uncertainty about how to pay the toll. We found out that the toll has to be paid online. The afternoon was filled with lunch at Panera Soups and a short shopping stop at H&M Market Street. I bought to shirts before we started the long drive back home. Nice weekend, nice company, nice weather, nice food, nice sights and nice views!

This week started easy.
Monday I met a colleague to get a preview of the pictures taken on the weekend.
Tuesday was inline skating and whirlpool. I discovered a nice road east of Camaillo!
Wednesday was BBQ at a colleaugues place with TriTip Beef, fries and yummy salads. I have been responsible for the grilled chocolate banana as dessert. So tasty!
Thursday night was Beach Volleyball. This time the ball was much softer and the game play much smoother. I pretty much enjoyed being on the beach and doing some workout!
Friday was when I went to the beach after work to give me some break. We also met to bake cup cakes and chocolate chip cookies. The baking produce was eaten whilst watching Django the movie. Super actors, excellent dialogues! We also booked a suite for the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas for next weekend, lets create some large foot steps.

Yesterday we have been to the Long Beach Grand Prix. It was a long sunny day on a city race course with different racing challenges. Highlight of the day was definitely the drift challenge at the end of the day!
At one race of the day many cars didn’t manage the turn in a 180 degree curve. The problem was probably some liquid on the course. Fun day, Fun pictures, Fun tan!
Food was provided along the course. I myself had some Philly Cheese Steak and  a Turkey Drum Stick. Both could have been tastier and with some cutlery first one could have been eaten easier. Very meaty this day.

Today is beachy day, hopefully we end up in the whirlpool when darkness replaces the sun.

Again you all wait for the pics? Its about 3 weekends of pics. Well for the moment I think its more important to enjoy the beach – sorry!

Sunshine City San Diego – Pictures

One more time picturess of my awesome adventures here in California.

Pay attention to the strawberry cheese, the nice boots of the groom and also the airplane just between the trees of the Balboa Park.
One question: don’t you think the corset dress of the waitresses in the Ultra Lounge Area 51 is too much show? It definitely is!
Look at me focusing with my eye through the viewfinder of my camera – what is wrong?

Enjoy! Laugh hard!

Home » Sunshine City San Diego - Pictures » Sunshine City San Diego