I know, that in theory I have to still catch you up on my last days in the states. But I'm gonna do that very short.
Uber left me stranded at the airport, but my host picked me up. I slept, I went shopping (new cons for 15$!!! -I only got one pair though), I tried to get a taxi for an hour, but was still in time for the flight because, in contrast to what I expected, the whole check in security check process took 15min.
My flight back was really enjoyable but I actually did not sleep at all.. Why? I had a nice chat with my neighbor and watched about 4 movies-including some Bonds). I had no vegetarian food (I was sure I had ordered some but apparently I didn't) but the lovely crew came up with a solution and I had about 6 side salads (tomato mozzarella) that I actually preferred over the full meal. So nice of them though.
When I arrived in Dublin, there was some miscommunication leading to me taking a taxi and surprising my former housemates with a visit at 5.30am.
On Monday I basically did nothing but sleep really and chat with my Airbnb host- a lovely single mom. Oh and argue with my brother for not coming to my party. Even now I am still upset about that. For me I learned that he just does not care enough :(
Tuesday I went to visit my Dublin team at work and it was wonderful to see so many friendly faces. I enjoyed being at work doing nothing but chatting.
Wednesday I had my first movie day since August and went to see 3movies after going shopping for my party and it was good.
Trolls- don't go to see that in the cinema. It is not really worth the ticket. It is sweet but cannot measure up to expectations or compete with other recent animation/cartoons.
Miss P. Home for peculiar children. It is peculiar but good. Watch it on a discounted day.
Doctor strange. Now this one I had heard bad reviews about so I had low expectations but I liked it. And I am curious to see how this will all be incorporated in the franchise of the avengers. From the teaser we already got a glimpse but I am looking forward to the next movies.
There were still a lot of movies I missed and many trailers that make me want to go 6times a week to the movies again but I have a feeling I will not do that in DE.
Thursday I finally got proper pink again. 4h at the hairdresser and I am happy with the result. I also tried to find a solution for my neon party problem. I had bought lights but the wrong versions. So I had to get lamps to create the neon effect Friday night. But I couldn't find anything.
Friday. Ufff. What a day. I think I went to every possible emotion a person can go through. And the things that went wrong... And the things that just worked! Let me write about this in more detail...
I ordered a taxi to get to the airport to pick up my mom and sister and friends arriving at the same time. The taxi did not show for 20min so I feared I was going to be late-upsetting my mother. Fortunately the pass control took forever so I was in good time.
The pick up went smoothly enough as I could get everyone except for one into their accommodation early. We then went to pick up the cake that had to be picked up by 3pm the latest. And I specially thank a sick Ana for actually getting out of bed to drive us to the cake shop and the venue.
The cake. What a monster. It weight about 15kg. But despite a lot of worries the cake had turned out to be stunning. I'll get to that later.
Before we could meet up with the group for a late lunch (I should have left them starving so that they would actually eat all the finger food that now got to waste.) we had to pick up keys for late arrivers. That however made us be an hour late. But I was the birthday girl so I don't think anyone can say anything about that ;)
Now, throughout the whole time my phones acted up and I had no internet connection. As a result the following happened:
At 5 my scots were suppose to arrive. I had given them their hosts phone number to let him know when they arrive. However, miscommunication seems to be a close friend of mine, the host claims he never knew at what time they would arrive. So the scots had been in the rain knocking doors forever before I got to know of the this. When I contacted the host he only blamed us and said we could pick up the keys from a colleague who was a 15min walk away. But aside from that being unacceptable the guy had switched off his phone and my friends already had new info on top... The neighbor had opened the door. He advised them that the land lord does not allow Airbnb and they could not stay there! So fortunately they found a new place to stay. Unfortunately for double the price. In fairness to Airbnb, they were great in handling this.
At this stage a huge thank you to my decoration fairies who did a great job to decorate the place while I talked to Airbnb. Even if my neon lights were not strong enough to actually fill the room in black light, it looked great. I think this was the moment were I could begin to enjoy the evening. I actually relaxed when my mom and sis arrived at the party.
The party itself I would consider to have been a great success. Firstly, people showed up (possibly because most wanted to see the cake). However, secondly, I actually believe that most enjoyed the party.
The dj was a waste of money though. I had booked him from 10 onwards. The playlist I had used before that however, was honestly really good and also the volume was just right to talk to each other and dance at the same time. The dj then kind of ruined that for multiple reasons
1. The volume was too loud.
2. When I asked him to turn it down a nudge, he played slow songs
3. When he finally understood that the volume was to much, he only kept it low for about 10 min.
4. He asked me what music to play and my instruction was really simple. Everything except for hip hop... (I just don't like it) but guess what he played plenty off?
5. He interrupted the music multiple times to say things nobody cared about and used my name. Well a different version of my name every time. Katrina, katrin, Katherine and so on
Also he did play the two song request that I had: golden boy and most importantly the last song of the nigh the: hold me now by Johnny Logan. I just loooove Johnny
I was so happy that in the end I can actually say that about 60 people were at my party and I did have 2 party crasher (turned out they were friends of my former aupair kid- and I wouldn't have minded them, had they not been all over the place, asking for cigarettes and so on). But thank you all for showing up. I am pretty sure I have talked to almost all of you at least once and got you a free drink... Right?
I only heard at the very end of the evening that there was live music as well in the pub downstairs. Folks coming from outside of Ireland surely would have loved to listen to a bit of that too.
In the end only a hand full (well maybe 20) of guests were left at the party when we got kicked out. Unfortunately a lot of food had gone to waist. Only on third of the finger food I had ordered was eaten (I had ordered for 50) and soooooo much cake was left. I had basically forced people to bring cake home with them. And still I had to take about 5-7kg back home with me-in my hand luggage.
When we got kicked out of the pub, we were told to come and clean the next morning. When we did, everything was already cleaned. What a waste of time. As we were already in town we had breakfast at cornucopia. Delicious.
I spend the day mainly with a friend and my mom and sister until we meet up at 5 for fish n chips (the latter for me) to then go to walking on cars. I will not tell you about the back and forth about the tickets that I had but that it was great. Even with seats in the very back and a long time waiting for them to finally come on stage, it was worth it. I love the singers voice. He was the rough,beautiful voice perfect for songs of pain and love. Amazing.
After the concert it took forever to get a taxi and when we did...omg... I was furious. We told the driver mountjoy square park south. And he said we did not know south. We checked with him on the map and said one we are at the park we can guide you. So we drove off. After a while I was thinking that he was driving a weird way and when he then went on to drive from Dorset street towards the Mater, I asked what he was doing? As this was not the way to the park and he said yes it it. It went back and forth and then he said there are two squares. You should have known and told me. You are responsible to tell me how I should drive! I really lost it and the others were worried that he would kick us out. All I could think was that he should so we would not have to pay a crooked driver. In the end I told him to stop throw the 15 euro at him. In hindsight I should have asked for a receipt to get the drivers details for a formal complaint. In all my time in Dublin, meeting taxi drivers I have never had such a bad person. I really wish for him to have karma give him back what he dished out. I asked the next driver (that I ordered from a trusted company) about the second mountjoy square park and he said there is only one square and one street further west. I'm telling you most drivers are really good, but this one was a scamming artist.
Sunday was all about getting people back home. Though I also had coffee with 7 friends and went to see two movies.
Nocturnal animal - what was I thinking!?!? And the accountant and man that one was really good and Benny- boy really made up for his mediocre performance as batman. I arrived at my Airbnb at midnight, still had to pack and got off to the airport at 4am. Great fun.
So now I am back in Berlin. And already back in the routine of not updating this regularly... Maybe because not too much happens here. But I am planning on changing that.
now, you will see that I have barely any fotos so please, anyone that has taken fotos please share!
It is so strange to write my last entry from the USA. It feels like no time was passed at all. And I'm not sure I wanna leave just yet. I left my L.A. Airbnb at around 9.30 ( I was too engaged in a last conversation to leave earlier ;) ) and drove to the LAPD museum. It was not what I had expected from the website, but interesting for sure. Especially the old police cars were fascinating. To bad one was not allowed to sit in them. I would have liked to get arrested in a beautiful car like these.
The way to Elmer's bottle farm actually took me to Route 66. So I now officially drove a convertible mustang roof down on Route 66. Just alone for that it was worth the trip! But more than that the drive was so scenic. I highly enjoyed it. The sandy mountains and the contrast to highway 1 are just amazing. The bottle farm was quite a view and can only recommend it to anyone.
Driving all the way from L.A. to Vegas was quite exhausting and I was glad to finally get out of the car. I'm sure I exceeded the speed limit more than once..
Now I am waiting a bit for it to get sunsetish so I can walk down the strip and spend my money. I decided that I will not spend more than 100$ but cheapskate that I am I probably stop at 50. I know- I'm no fun at all. Well watch me...
Everything is sooo big. I was in the Bellagio, the Cesar palace (got lost in there and needed to ask for directions to get out!), the venetian and some unidentified once. I even went to the wedding chapel. At the same time I did not even spend a dime in the casinos. It all felt so surreal and I ended up not stopping anywhere long enough to actually sit down and gamble.
I also noticed that my plan to get married has a few flaws: I don't drink. Crowded places scare me. And the wedding costs a min. Of 65$ but I would want an Elvis making it cost about at least 200$ Darn. Though I also learnt that i can get through the ceremony without actually getting married.... Hmmmmm. Maybe if I actually find the time and win the money to do it.
In Vegas there is a fashion show drive and a Fashion show shopping mall, but unlike the name suggests it is not a fashion show as such but high end stores like neimann Marcus and saxs fifth ave.
Have I mentioned that my place is right at the convention center and there is a big Car show on at the moment (SEMA). Beautiful tuned cars and they will have a parade open to the public tomorrow. But I will be at the Grand Canyon all day. Timing kinda sucks.
My night was a disaster. I know Vegas is the city that never sleeps and on average a tourist sleeps less than 2h in Vegas, but I need sleep. I only had 6h as it was and on top of that I woke up every 30min checking the time. For some reason I was really scared I would sleep in and miss my trip to the Grand Canyon from the stratosphere hotel. So I probably slept 4-5h.
When the bus finally came I had started talking to a nice woman from Vegas who herself had a visitor from Indiana. He asked really terrible questions like: what do they teach you about hitler, are there still military forces from Russia and France and US in Germany or do you have a Muslim problem... I mean really??? The woman was quite sweet though, I think she noticed that these questions were rather inappropriate. She tried to stir the conversation into other directions telling us about hotels and what makes them special, like the Bellagio fountain, the secret garden in the mirage and so on.
When we arrived at our breakfast stop the conversation had stopped. The breakfast itself was great. It was at a breakfast diner and I had an omelette with fresh cut vegetables and potato. Yum yum. Was sitting with a lad from France and to lasses from Ecuador. I realized once more that it is not a normal thing to be as good as fluent in a second language for a lot of people. So I am really grateful that I picked up the language easily.
Back on the bus on the way to Hoover dam bypass we were asked whether we wanted to buy a skywalk on west rim for 22$ or a helicopter ride for 170$. I must be crazy but I am actually doing the helicopter ride. with my fear of heights that it going to be interesting.
In the meantime we stopped at Hoover dam. While we not have the time to actually walk over the dam at least we got a photo opportunity. And then it was already time for the Helicopter ride.
First things first: I did not die! Otherwise this blog would be highly creepy out of the sudden.
It is giving me all the more reason to celebrate life on November 11th. The view was stunning und I filmed most parts of the ride. Including the bit where we tipped over the edge and I screamed something like: "shit!!! I'm so sorry." But afterwards the ride was really not bad as you don't really have real reference to understand how high you are flying and the canyon is really wide. It is interesting when you pass by the skywalk (which looks tiny) and realize how big the canyon really is. Amazing.
Uhhhhh. And then the Highlight of the tour: an American responded to me saying that I am from Germany: but you weren't born in Germany, right? The reason she asked was that my English sounds... Wait for it... Irish! 5years of Dublin have had an impact! Yes!!!! I no longer sound Austrian!!!
But anyways, I am glad that all sorts of people pushed we to do the Grand Canyon. Also I am happy I did the west rim tour. Because this is the only rim that is not infact American but belongs to the Hualapai. So technically I had left Arizona and the jurisdiction of the states during my visit. At guano point we were able to walk up to a peak that allowed a full view of the rim again. Quite impressive. And next time any of you is doing a tour to Grand Canyon give the west a chance.
The way back to Vegas was without stops watching last Vegas and arrived back in town around 5.30. It took a bit longer till I reached my destination as the roads were blocked due to the SEMA parade. If only I have had time to just watch that. It was spectacular. The cars are awesome. But unfortunately I had to get ready for the show tonight and was already behind schedule due to the traffic. So I only got a glimpse of those marvelous tuned cars.
But I think it was worth it. The show was about the old Vegas and it was fantastic apart from the lead singer. He was great when he got into the power tunes but had a very strange breathing, vibrato style the rest of the time. I can hardly describe it, but it ruined a few songs for me. The rest however was brilliant. The dancer as well as the singer very really good. Vegas-the show.
I gambled! Finally! I did play on one of those slot machines. And I lost everything. Good. Otherwise I might have liked it.
Now at the airport I was surprised with an extra charge on my car rental... I was not happy at all. I had to pay 212.87$ on top of what I already paid in Oakland. When I am home I will have to check my cc statement how much I actually spent.
In total I can only say... Las Vegas has been my most expensive stay.
I'm a bit early so hopefully I can use this time to upload my last US based blog. I will not report from Newark. I'm not planning on doing anything really. I want to try to get my backpack stored and then use the time tomorrow until my flight at 17.15 to arrive in Dublin terminal 2 on Monday at 4.55am.
as I had uploading issues again I'm uploading this from Newark. See you soon
I'm off to L.A. and it looks like it is going to be a good day. I am starting the day with sunshine and homemade banana bread...
Before I start the 4h drive down to Los Angeles, I stretch my legs on a short walk at the beach.
Now that the sun is shining I have my sunscreen on and wear a warm hat and a scarf I can finally but my convertible into good use and get rid of the top. This part of the highway one was more mountainous than the first part and I would have loved to take pics to show you, but there were no view points like on the first part.
When I got closer to the coast line again I passed a military base and on the coast line there were quite a few military ships lined up, making me wonder if this is just the usual line up due to the military base or if America is preparing for that stupid war that anonymous has just prophesied. I like to believe that there will be no war - at least as long as I am on holiday.
And for me the best way to forget your trouble and get happy, is shopping... So I went to Macy's and I got two new dresses. One I will wear here in l.a. And the other i will wear to my birthday party... I hope it glows in the neon lights;)
I arrived at my Airbnb at 6pm. The host himself from Belgium originally was really friendly and we had a good conversation about really nothing. It somehow name up that I should get a t-shirt saying: yes, I am!!! So that when people ask: are what? I can respond: whatever it is, you think about me... I like that idea!
I did not go out again for a Halloween party as I initially intended. I had looked for a Halloween costume while I was shopping but nothing really caught my attention so, I am having a restful Halloween... Until I we t to have a shower.
This place is rather old (cool fact: they have one of those really old telephones where you have to ring for the operator and they will contact you. Looooove it), but then I opened the shower a big, dark insect came out crawling on the ground. I probably would have stepped on it but I was barefooted,which meant that I ran out of there as fast as I could. Now I am kind of scared to go back in but have to unless I don't want to use the toilet again or brush my teeth or shower.... Baaaaaaaah.
I survived my trip to the bathroom without further insects and am now ready for going to santee fashion district for exploration. Though I really need to get some water. I gave my last bottle to a vet that was standing at a corner in Santa Monica begging.
Now I'm on a bus to get to the fashion district/ santee alley. The ride takes about 35min. When I arrive the shops only start to open. In a grocery store I get my breakfast and realize that I am sick of oatbars and it's kind. I've been living of tortilla chips and some sort of muesli bar for the past days. I know it's not the healthiest way of life. Today I had freshly cut fruit and some carrots ;)
Santee is basically a bazaar where you can probably buy knock offs and cheaply produced dresses. At least by the looks of it. It is funny to then see that renowned designers such as Acne have a studio on the same street. Next stop is the FIDM fashion museum. Maybe I learn something about this area.
I didn't. The museum was more like a small gallery and half of the gallery was closed for renovations. The exhibition on male fashion was interesting though.
On the metro I was told I was so pretty that I checked if I still had my money and phone. I got off a stop to early no less. But Hollywood and vine is a nice underground station. Now I am waiting on the metro to Noho to get to the right stop for the Hollywood museum.
The Hollywood museum that is f***ing closed. Yep that's right, I bought a 15$ ticket online for today and they are only open Wednesday to Sunday. That sucks massively. But that will not minor my mood. I just went to the next museum. This one was open. So I went to ripley's believe it or not, the Guinness record museum and the wax museum.
Ripley's is a bit disgusting at times but quite enjoyable. The Guinness thought me mainly one thing: There are always people more extreme than I am. So I am am good. The wax museum was good, but there is a reason why Madame Tussaud is world renowned and this one isn't. Some of the characters I barely recognized. You will get a lot of selfies today.
Walk of fame. It is a walk. Yes. It has names and prints on stars of famous people. Yes. But seriously it is like trampling on the stars. It is not that big of a deal and I was bored. I might be the only person in the world thinking it but I write it as it is.
I then walked to sunset boulevard and sang the Broadway classic with the same name. And then I had a salad. And it was good. Like really good. With hummus dressing and kale and falafel and feta... Delicious.
As the Hollywood museum was closed, it is still earlier than I wanted to go home and I was considering to see if there is any show on tonight, but tomorrow is Warner day. I want to be rested!
Well, so much for being rested. My host was at home and invited me to have my dinner with him. And not having had too many social interactions as such I did. We talked a bit about politics and then watched the global warming movie by Leonardo dicaprio. Afterwards we continued talking until 11pm. That for me is extremely late. But it was fun and I somehow misused the situation to talk about my goals with designing (the is a designer/painter/artist) and if this is really what I want to do. It was a good evening.
This morning, however, I can feel that I did not get enough sleep and I really hope it won't impact the tour. Also my back really hurts- probably from the one shoulder bag that I am carrying around.
Hollywood sign done. And I think I have my favorite picture of the trip taken so far. I did not walk up to the closest, closest point but like 100m away from it. To me, that is close enough.
And then it was Warner time!! 6h of pure film history. I loved it. We were a group of 15and our guide Thom showed us around in an open kind of shuttle bus. It was really cool to see how movies can trick you. Just add a different paint and it is another house. Add a H on the parking lot and it becomes the rooftop of the hospital in E.R. and so on. One of my favorite parts of the tour was probably going into the 4 level storage facility. We only got to walk around the first floor but it was highly entertaining. I found that even more entertaining than seeing the real-used in the movies- batmobiles. However number one on that list is most likely seeing the actual costumes on display of suicide squad. It is amazing how much detail goes into an outfit and how different costumes for film are to costumes for theatre. It must be really enjoyable to design costumes like that.
Around midday we had lunch at the fine dining area on the lot. That meant we were not allowed to take pictures because cast and crews eat there too.
There were a few more locations where we were not allowed to take pictures. That included all sets that we visited: the Conan show, the Big Bang theory and a set of a tv show that will air soon, but I don't know the name of it.
At the end of the day at Warners we were let go to the interactive area. That meant hearing live audition tapes of various actors, playing batman or Harry Potter on the green screen, Sitting on the cafe set of friends, doing some animation motions and holding a real live Oscar.
When leaving Warners I wanted to stop at disneys, but there was no option to park so at least I drove by. I also learned that Disney actually does a tour- however, it is 7 days long and very expensive! Why is it 7 days long? It includes a trip to Disneyland in Florida.
Before going to bed I watched the 50th CMA (country music awards) live on abc. Chris so deserved that best vocalist second time in a row. And the lifetime award for dolly was deserved just as much.
Now I am off to Vegas... Will I really get married? You will know in my next post
pennyless fashion designer working towards London