What's another year? Hello 2018
2018 has started at it seems to continue just as 2017 had ended. I wrote an entry about 3 weeks ago. This post was somewhat never saved, except for the headline.
Trying to figure out what I wanted to write about, I can only come up with the 2nd week of january.
As it contains everything involving travel, fashion and Eurovision :)
Now a month ago I flew to Manchester. But if you now ask me what I think of the city, I cannot say. I did not see anything of Manchester really. How is that possible you might wonder? I arrived rather late on a monday and planned to leave early tuesday. Why was my trip only that short? I went there to help out a friend. He has a chat how about eurovision and in the beginning he had asked me if I would be willing to be a guest on his show. Naturally I would. Firstly because I will always try andhelp friends when I can and secondly we are talking Eurovision. Unfortunatelly the trip did not go as smoothly as anticipated. It was raining cats and dogs, my friend made me feel like I was not really welcome afterall and that I basically invited myself and the recording reveals how my English has made a turnfor the worse. From my Irish accent with a bit of German, living a year in Berlin I now sound like full on German with a bit of Irish influence. I will see if I can link at least one of the audio sets at the end of this post.
The best part of the trip, however, was us having to pass by the BBC Radio city where they have Daleks and a proper Tardis on display and I got to take a picture with both - whoop whoop!
While I left for the airport at 10am, due to Ryanair delay, I did not arrive home before 6pm. The next two days I went to the Ethical Fashion Show, Premium as well as the Panorama here in Berlin. Most beneficial was the Ethical Fashion Show. I attended two presentations, one about alternatives to leather and the other about the care lable in clothing.
Did you know that we overwash our clothing? As it turns out, most of the care lables in todays garments are still on the standard of the 60s and 70s but washing machines and detergent have had huge improvments over the last few years. And most importantly: instead of putting your garments into the washing machine after every use (we are not talking underwear), hang them out into the fresh air. this is just as cleansing as a wash but more friendly not only to the environment but for the garment itself.
And did you know, you can make leather substitutes from plants as well as bacteria? Well, I think the idea of growing a garment out of bacteria is somewhat disgusting, but I have seen and touched it and it is a really nice fabric. Now, I still prefer the vegan options that use the by-product of the Olive Oil and Wine production. At this stage the alternatives are quite expensive but definetely something to consider, especially for embellishment on my garments. Let's wait 2-5 years and see how this develops. Especially waiting on the environmental impact of those alternatives.
My week in dublin
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
City of angels
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
Today for the first time really I regret that I am traveling on my own. Even in Nashville, when being alone held me back from going into a bar in downtown, was not a big deal and I did go to a less crowded place midtown where I stayed.
Today, however, I needed someone there to dare me to actually go down to the beach and get my feed wet by the waves. In ten years time-just before my next big 0, I would have loved to look at a picture of me in die cold water at Carmel-by-the-sea. But as I was alone I chickened when it started to rain again and went back to my car to drive on...
The weather by now was become sooo bad. It is raining cats and dogs. It is pouring down like mad and on top of that it is getting windy. It is so bad that I actually stopped somewhere-not sure where I am. I'm hoping the weather calms down so I can continue... It is really like a cold shower on my dreams of a sunny convertible drive to L.A.... This is really not how I pictured my drive down the coastline.
On top of that I have no mobile connection. If I had I would check the weather forecast for the next hour...
4h later. My trip was basically stop and go for a while. In addition to the heavy rain, fog clouded the view further. I am sure the scenic route is indeed very scenic but I don't see much of it.
So that was my coast ride until the Hearst castle. There the sky finally cleared. Unfortunately I also got wifi at Hearst. Which meant I could check my mails. My Airbnb accommodation for Las Vegas cancelled my stay due to plumbing issues. So instead of enjoying this historic sight I panicked. I did look online but could not find anything on the spot. I reached out to Airbnb and they helped looking for a place. I've now a pending accommodation and I really hope that he accepts it because the other available spaces have rather bad reviews from dirty places to a heavy swell of cigarettes and weed.
I arrived at tonight's Airbnb and everything turned to the better from then onwards. Again the host is super sweet and I got water and biscuits as a welcome gift. As the weather was now nice, I went to the beach and walked for about 2h until the sunset. As are silt I have now like 50pictures of the sun setting and the surroundings in that specific light. I am going to spam you with these in this blog post.
While this was not a physically exhausting day, it was straining on my nerves and I went to bed extremely early.
And tomorrow everything will be awesome when I am heading down to L.A. You will hear from me before I leave to Vegas on the 3rd.
Until then: happy Halloween!!!
I'm on a highway to hell
No worries it was not that bad at all...
Before I left SFO I quickly wanted to buy some water and some food for on the way. For that purpose I had to withdraw funds from my bank accounts. Imagine the fright I got when both my German and my Irish card were declined! I only had about 30$ left in my pockets. Worried I tried to think of all sorts of possible solutions: getting someone to give me money that I would send to them via PayPal, or send me money via western union, even begging would have been an option. Fortunately, as it turned out, the stupid atom was broken and I could withdraw funds right away. No begging for me.on that note, somewhere between Dallas and today I was lost my green cardigan. :( if it does not get warmer again, I will need to get a new one.
I left at 9.30 on my way to seaside using highway one. The plan was to cruise down the coast line in a cabriolet but with the weather it would not have taken long for me to drive around in a swimming pool. As a result the roof stayed. And because it was raining too much I did not stop as much as I had thought I would. I managed to get my yellow converse and the car pretty muddy regardless. At some stage after the pigeons lighthouse I had no internet connection and therefore no navigation to know what way I was going. Luckily I went the right way.
I arrived in seaside at 1pm. Obviously too early as my newest host were still getting the bed ready. I was glad they were there, because the key lock they had prepared for me to get the key was one like an old safe. I was supposed to turn the wheel 3 times to the right then one full hand to the left and then stop to the right again... I couldn't get that thing open....I probably would have after a while.
As it was early I left again right after dropping my stuff in the room. First I drove to the sea side because about 30min before arriving at the new Airbnb, it had stopped raining. So the roof came off and to the beach I went. I didn't stay too long though. I probably should have, to walk a bit more as it seems I have done no walking today.
Also the moment I am driving around in the sun the car topless i get pooped on by a fecking bird. Grrrrrr.
Well, instead of staying at the coast, I went to a shopping mall. And a Macy's. I know is not THE Macy but a Macy's is doing just fine. I almost bought a Calvin Klein dress in blue. I was thinking about altering it for Eurovision and then I thought: have you lost your mind, you wanna buy a CK dress (on sale for 35$) to stick glitter on it??? So I did not buy it. Instead I saw two beautiful bags by Betsy Johnson. Now a little fashion excursion for those of you who do not known her:
Betsy is one of the designers I love and that inspire me for her crazy, fun style and you gotta love her fashion shows. She is from the US and has been in the business for over 50years. If you have never seen a fashion show, have a look at hers.
Back to shoppers. I needed to decide... Because there was no way I was getting out of this store without a Betsy Johnson.
The first I saw was beige covered in crochet neon pink hearts. It had an extra purse in the same design with it for your cash or whatever you like. The handles were metal with neon yellow. It was 33$
The second was black and white with a pearl smiley on the front. It was 38$
Have a guess for which I went... You'll see a picture below.
I also went to a whole food store.. And without really buying anything I spend 40$...no idea how that happened. Well, the hot food I got was already 10 and the mangos added another 10. Some water and granola bars and 40$ easy gone.
And I'm going to San Francisco
Before I can tell you about San Francisco let me quickly update you my last hours in Dallas.
Everything went smoothly until I was at the gas station... With rentals I am used to have a sticker telling me what to put in the tank... So I actually had to ask the guy at the gas station... He just looked at me funny saying diesel is only for trucks... Then when I went back to fuel, my credit card wasn't accepted to I had to get back in again... I felt the need to apologize, so I said: it's my first time at an American gas station. The cashiers dry response was: I figured. Nothing more... ;)
I just saw the weather forecast for SFO and you gotta be kidding me. It is almost 10C colder and it is set to have showers throughout the day. So basically the moment I get a convertible to drive down the coast the weather takes a turn for the worse? I hope the forecast is wrong...
The flight is 3.5h but I arrive at 9.40am so another 2h I am getting behind DE time.
We will see how much I will pay this time for the car... I hope it is not much more than estimated...I want to have a bit of money to at least buy one thing as a souvenir from the US and I would like this to be converse. We will see.
I can't believe that I have already spend half of my time in the US... Time just flies like I arrived only this week and not over a week ago.
When I arrive at the car rental station the weather is indeed less sunny but no rain at that stage. This, however, will change later. In the meantime I got my car. The smallest convertible they have: a Ford Mustang. That is not a small car. But again it easy enough to navigate through the streets of SFO. Omg those streets are mad. While the highway from Oakland into SFO was similar to the ones in Dallas, the streets in town are ridiculously steep. My old cars probably would not have had the horse power to get up. It is like a roller coaster.
When I arrived at my newest Airbnb it finally started to rain. It was a sort of constant misty rain that led to some heavier showers until in the evening it was simply pouring. I looked it up online in October on average it is set to rain 4 days in SFO. Looks like the 4days are now.
Anyways, my new host is amazing. She greeted me outside and gave me a tour through the house that I can use as I please. I have my own (pink) bathroom and even the kitchen is only for me to use. She was stocked the fridge and collected vouchers from local restaurants and I have lemons from her own backyard. This woman has thought of everything... She even made a little name tag for my bag! She is just the cutest person you have ever met!
Having settled in I went for my first bit of sightseeing in the rain... And the first thing I noticed... Marijuana is legal. I hate the smell of it as it makes me nauseous and you can smell it in all parts of the city.
My first stop was the Golden Gate Bridge. Which I learned is nor red but international orange und got its name because the channel beneath the bridge was considered to be the golden gate for commerce with the world.
Because I had some time left before my trip to Alcatraz I wanted to go to the cable car museum. Unfortunately I got of the wrong bus stop and walked the wrong direction to I never made it where. Instead I walked for 30min arriving at the piers way too early for the 4pm boarding to Alcatraz. As is was raining I went inside of a fish'n'chips shop and had chips.
Now, on Alcatraz I did the "behind the scenes" tour. It was really interesting and I had some real enthusiasts on the tour who had to ask something on every part of the tour. We were shown various locations that are not open to the public including the led-painted, pitch black catacombs, in the early years it was prohibited to talk for example, so talkers would have been put down into those holes. All in all it is a pretty daunting place when you think about the violence that has happened on that island. The stories the rangers had to report about some inmates (that are not famous like scarface or birdman) are quite dark. But then again, you usually did not end up on the rock if you were a nice fellow.
Back on the mainland I got my first uber ride. 8$ only and I had a free ride up to22$, oh well.
I don't know why but my feet are killing me. Maybe they finally had enough of all the walking. I will see how I get on today.
First I wanted to go to ashbury/haight as my momma said I should go there. ( so mama, the pictures is for you). From there I took a bus into town. The bus dropped me off at the start of the embankment, which made me walk all the way along the piers until the Exploratorium. This is a museum I really wanted to go to. However, when I got in it was too crowded with children. I could hardly do anything. So it was not really enjoyable. But I did find one thing I liked there a lot:the graveyard. They had set up a graveyard for things like Pluto, as he died as a planet. Or the theory that there the is a place on your tongue for each specific taste.
When leaving I used one of those cute streetcars running through SFO (not cable cars) to get on the big bus hop on hop off tour.
After some problems and a wait of 30minutes we finally starting but without a live commentator. Though the weather did not really allow it I did decide to stay on the top deck of the bus to see the most. And it was wet and cold. Worst bit though was the trip over the golden gate... I made a short video and posted that on Twitter (https://mobile.twitter.com/Kate_Eleven/status/792193713405513728). Afterwards I decided not to do the night tour after all. While I am sure that this one would have been awesome I need to think of my health. Had I gone on the trip I would have my cough back in less than a week.
It was still a few hours till the evening and I got off the bus to go to the cable car museum (actually the sun showed its face around that time). I went off at Masons. Unfortunately the wrong end of Masons and I had to walk. Well climb is more accurate. There is a picture of me on top of that bloody hill. The museum was then on the bottom of the hill.
On my way I met a Dutch woman who is here for a week. I gave her my bus ticket as I had no further use for it and she might want to go on the night tour instead. Funny coincidence: when I met her I had my playlist running and "slow down" (Dutch ESC entry 2016) was playing
The cable car museum was small but interesting. This is the location from where all cables are powered. And I learned a lot about how cable cars work and the difference between cable cars (mechanical) and street cars (electrical).
I then wanted to get back to the pier once more and the best way to to that was to get on a cable car. So I did. It is a weird feeling when they go downhill. Typically me though I had gone the wrong way. This is when I decided to go back to haight where I had seen a vegan restaurant and then to go home.
On the bus to haight I witnessed something interesting too: a cyclist wanted to get on the bus. So he fixed his car to the outside front of the bus and got on the bus :)
At the Vegan Burg I had a Mustang relish burger and seaweed fried with homemade lemonade. Really delicious. So to all my vegan friends who read this: vegan burg on haight is really recommended should you ever be in SFO. (On that note, I have confirmation that the organizer of my birthday party has sourced vegan food from his neighbors and he will serve that separated for you guys)
Finally for the day I have done some vintage shopping and ended up in a store called loved after death -sooo creepy. I think the worst I saw was the cadaver of a real lamb in a glass. Bah. I ended up only buying 3 postcards (initially I wanted to send postcards from every city but as y'all know that did not happen) to send home... We will see who arrives first....
I need to consider souvenirs now. I don't have that much space but I sooo want to bring a few souvenirs... I don't know how yet... Maybe I figure something out.
Now wish me luck that I will have good weather tomorrow when I start my road trip to L.A. I might post something tomorrow evening or only in 3days one I am in L.A. depending on the wifi connections I get.
Peace, out ;)
The flight went smoothly and now I have a car! So no more walking. At least today... The car hire was really expensive. While I was only to pay 100$ online they now asked me to 217$. However this should include full cover but no gas. (With the rate I am spending my money it will take until next year before I can start working in fashion.)
I will try to get to the flight museum before it closes at 5. It will be tight as I will be landing shortly after 3. With baggage claim and transfer to the car hire terminal I might not get there before 4.30 but I am hoping for 4pm.
And I did. It was not as big as the one in Washington but had a lot about the history of southwest which is interesting for the fact that I am only flying southwest intra USA.
Even with a print out map I have already driven the wrong way a plenty. This is more intimidating than walking really.
Now I am doing the most important thing today.... Washing my laundry ;) I hope it turns out clean as I read some good and some nasty reviews online. The place is very Hispanic and without wifi. The area itself looks a bit dodgy so I am happy when I get out of here. The washing circle is 25min and then 30min drying. I know with this weather it would be better to just hang my laundry out to dry. But I don't have the option at the moment.
With clean clothes (yeay!) I continue my journey. Unsure about finding my way, the reunion tower geO deck was next. Without the fortunate invention of the gps and Google map I wouldn't have found the place but when I arrived, guess what happened...
The deck was closed for a private party... Was I annoyed? Yes I was. But as there is nothing I can do about it I drove to my newest accommodation. Again thank you google maps. When I arrived the host wasn't home. But he did leave a key for me. Unfortunately the key did not fit either of the two front doors. After trying 3-4 times I had the glorious idea to try the back door and I got in.
My room is hilarious. My first thought was: oh deer! :) You'll see the picture below. The beds are both very loud with every move but I am able to sleep okay regardless.
Because I could not get into the geO deck, I will try to fit it in again today. But what I am looking forward to most is the fashion show tonight. I hope my outfit qualifies for a black tie event even with bright yellow converse... I have received multiple compliments from them on the trip so far. But we will see.
OH MY GOSH I am sooooooo upset! Today was a lousy day on all accounts. Let me start with the small things.
After my charger cable had already been broken in New Orleans now the headphones broke too. So I still couldn't charge mamas' iPad but I could no longer listen to music.
When arriving in Dallas downtown I went to the farmers market as planned. They are set to open at 10am, but have a look at the pictures... I will try to label them so you understand what I mean.
So I walked back to the sixth floor museum. But I was not allowed to take pictures on the sixth floor...not sure why. Anyways during the tour I noticed that my allergy has finally caught up with me. Worst part is that usually it only affects my hands but this time my shoulders and neck are impacted too. So that will hurt when I have to carry my backpack again.
The next museum I walked to was the parot. In itself really interesting and I had a film included. I could choose between two and the more interesting one was 90min after my entry. So I pretty much rushed through the floors, thinking I can re-enter afterwards. As you can guess I couldn't. Makes no sense to me but that was that.
So this leads me to my biggest reason to be upset. (I learned about it in the Kennedy exhibit on the 7th floor where we could take picture) I had a missed can and then saw the mail from earlier today:
The fashion show is postponed to December 8th. But to make up for the inconvenience I can now see both shows at 5 and at 7.... Arrrrrrgggggghhhh. I wanted to see the fashion show! What else is going to happen in Dallas?
So far Dallas did not really make it on my "cities, I want to re-visit" list.
Anyways I then walked to the reunion tower and this time I was allowed to enter. I took a few pictures that also show that Dallas is not exactly what you would call a beautiful city. Also you get an idea about the motorways over here.... Not surprised that I drive the wrong way constantly. Just like on my way again to Walmart.
Yes, I was in a Walmart. I bought a new charger and earphones and carrots. Not necessarily something you would drive to Walmart for. Also, funny side fact... Dallas has an Aldi. It showed up on my search for a supermarket in downtown but I did not visit.
Back at the Airbnb when I finally thought this day is over the door bell rang and it knocked on the door. Naturally I did not open as I am here on my own. It turned out it was the neighbors who do not like the fact that I use a legal parking spot on the street in front of their house. To stay on good terms I actually had to move my rental... Unbelievable.
Now, my flight is tomorrow at 8am. I will aim for 5am just to be safe. With my track record probably a good idea.
Big wheels keep on turning
My first intercontinental flight in the US with southwest. Free drinks and peanuts ;) I like that. Just as much as little comments on the flight to make the usually rather dry instructions a bit more interesting.
We departed delayed because the crew was late. When I arrived in New Orleans I was sure I had missed my shuttle but they had kindly waited on me and another guest from Nashville. He however stayed at the Ritz... Something I will probably never be able to afford. Not that I need to.
It was a nice ride and really handy to be dropped off right at the apartment. There I was greeted very warmly with a cold bottle of water ;) the house is very clean incl. the bathroom and my room if perfect. While checking everything for the next day I noticed that I have lost my plan for New Orleans. Fortunately I have good friends that had initially planned to come along and had a copy (thank you Ana). I plugged in my iPad and went to bed.
The next morning I woke up at 6am (I don't think I'll ever learn- though it is 1pm in DE) to realize that my charger wasn't working. That meant my camera and notebook was only charged at 5%. Not much when you have a full days ahead of you.but it is not like I can change this so I got ready and left the house by 8am. I walked by a lot of nice places between the garden district where I am staying and the French district where the tour started. I did not take pictures for obvious reasons.
I arrived in German fashion waaaaaay to early. I took the time to reflect on an activity we had done at work: writing down things I enjoyed and things I did not like. I'm not going to go into detail but I don't like a lot of things... After 20min I decided to check if I can find a supermarket for food. By chance I actually found the same pharmacy that I had been to in New York and where I got these yummy mango/ strawberry slices. Basically it is fruit dried and pressed into a bar shape. They did not have the ones I previously got but I bought some regardless... Good investment ;)
Also I need to ask (to the universe probably): is it torturous for those poor horses in front of a carriage that takes up to 12 people? Is it cruel to spray their hooves in glitter? I believe so and wish I would do something about it. I don't really blame the horse riders but the tourists that actually take those tours.
Now the French quarterback walking tour was really interesting from the history of New Orleans, the swamps, the fires and why everything still looks like a Spanish small town. On the tour there was a couple from near Stuttgart who had been traveling the USA for 9month!!! They were able to take a year unpaid leave from work.. Respect. However they secretly left the tour shortly before it finished-probably to avoid tipping the tour guide.
Once finished I had to walk to the Spanish plaza for the steamboat tour (wasn't really a steamboat as I learnt afterwards- only the Nanchez(?) is a steamboat. The Creole Queen is only a replica) to the historical battlefield there the US defeated the British... There was a pirate on board who apparently is originally from Northern Ireland but I have no clue what his purpose was other than to annoy people (well me at least ;) ) the tour guide however-ex military as he pointed out- was actually a good storyteller but not as good on the facts as Stacey from the walking tour. However, he also later did a tour about Katrina. And while I am a very charming force of nature my similarly named friend Katrina not so much. Charles explained in a very interesting manner how Katrina destroyed New Orleans. Fun fact: the Choctaw (indigenous inhabitants of New Orleans) explained to the first colonies where to build their town so it will never be flooded. While New Orleans has been flooded multiple times, the French quarter (the original colony) itself was never flooded.... Trust the locals!
Also fun fact: New Orleans first settlers were all criminals and prostitutes.. After the French tricked the Germans into moving to New Orleans but they moved onwards to build Germantown...(it is a bit more complicated than that but as you see very interesting)
For the evening I was thinking about doing yet another tour, but at that time the only available tours were ghost and vampire tours. While I bet these tours are fun and really good, I chickened out. I am doing this trip on my own and I get spooked quite easily. I figured it is better not to know about all the stuff that is happening here while I'm in town. Especially as we are talking Anne rice not sparkly Edwards...
Now my low-light of the day: from the moment I arrived- in the shuttle, on the tour and on the boat I was told that I have to eat some creole food. So I tried to find a local shop to try the local cuisine. Now the problem is: New Orleans kitchen is known for fish, seafood and chicken or pork... Not good for a vegetarian. After 30min I actually went into a shop to ask for vegetarian options... I was literally asked to leave: I recommend you try somewhere else! Upset about this I went into a southern fast food restaurant to order only the side option so: Cajun fries and beans &rice...they did not understand what I want. It took 3people to get my order... We all know my English is not that bad!!! The fries were not good. But the beans and rice was delicious even from fast food... I need to look for a recipe for this when I'm back home.
Back at the Airbnb my host has given me his charger. So I am able to write a bit and get ready for tomorrow...
If you are following me through Facebook you might have seen it already, but I posted this video of an amazing young musician Ava Paige Davis, the shared my post and now it shows that I am getting old! She called me lady... Oh lord where art thou? :)
It is 5.30am and guess who is up? I am only writing this bit quickly before getting ready to leave for garden district. I get picked up at 11.30 so that gives me plenty of time to visit one graveyard- not the scary but hopefully beautiful as in New Orleans corpses cannot be buried underground.
It was not as impressive as I had thought but interesting to see regardless. Now it is 9am and I am all packed waiting on the bus to pick me up. This sucks as 2.5h are a long time but not long enough to go anywhere else...
If I had more time I would also visit the WW2 museum as this is supposedly extremely good.
I called the shuttle service to see if they had an earlier option but unfortunately they did not. So I am looking at the garbage across the road (and taken a picture too) and uploading this report.
Oh and I forgot to tell: now that I decided not to look for election campaigning I have seen more trumps than clintons. I took a picture of one house that to me was over the top. I have to tell you that I am astonished that New Orleans is pro trump given their history. They have so many races living together and the code noire is from here. When Katrina hit it was the international teams around that helped first not he US, and still they are promoting a racist idiot? Interesting how people tick.
Nashville- i walk thE line
So I did a greyhound trip. There was not much sleeping and damn was I worried that I was on the right bus every time that bus driver was opening his mouth... The bus said "Dallas" but I am not in Dallas for another3 nights... So I am just hoping that this bus is taking a looong detour to get to Dallas....and fortunately it did. I arrived at Nashville greyhound station at 8.30am.
Walking to the apartment (as I do) I was surprised at all the people on the street greeting me. "How you're doing?" one dude wanted to walk with me even :) I like the friendliness but where does it stop? This morning it was freezing (10C) and I actually had to get out my yellow coat... Only 30min to tonights accommodation and my first impression was :oh my god, I don't wanna stay here. Reason for that was that the host looked (really sorry about this as he is really nice) creepy and he had to shove the mess out of the way to let me into the apartment. I then was greeted by Halloween decorations and the hosts' partner- yes in that order. Afterwards I was introduced to a big fluffy dog (like from the never ending story) a kitten and a small dog. The big one I am already friends with ;)
Walking to the parthenon I really want to then take bus- yes a bus, to the Johnny cash museum. However at the Parthenon there is a little market with live music and some mid twenties playing football (American). As is has become warmer again, I am staying a bit longer enjoying music and view before moving onwards
I'm in downtown. I walked... And I don't like downtown. Like temple bar in Dublin really, It is so crowded and you cannot really enjoy the music as you can hear almost everywhere 2 playing at the same time. And then all those tourists - like me but talking. The fact that I am overly tiered and not really in the mood to go to an overcrowded bar to drink some water isn't helping.
By now I've been in the museum. Some cool stuff, some weird stuff and Johnny cash was a terrible actor. Glad his main profession was to be a singer. I have seen the Nashville Capitol and a few great graffiti. It is now 3pm (another hour back) that means I have been walking around way to much again. I am back in the park on a swinging bench surrounded by squirrels listening to some live music again. Those little fellows have lost all sense of danger and come humans awfully close.
While I am writing this I am worrying again about tomorrow. It will be my first flight between states. I'm not sure how early I need to arrive and I haven't checked in yet. Check out at my Airbnb is at 12pm I believe. My country hall of fame tour starts at 9 and the RCA Tour starts at 11.30 my flight is at 19.45. I'm hoping I can leave my luggage until 3pm and then walk to the bus station to the airport. Otherwise I would have to take my luggage with me at 8.15am to the tour.... That would suck...
When I was arriving home thinking that I would not see any live music I heard this girl outside my window and spontaneously went outside to drink a homemade lemonade while listening to the music. (Video posted on Facebook)
While I was sitting there I noticed that I did not use sunscreen this morning and might have the results to live with now... :( but I was asked today if I am from England! So the first country that comes to mind when hearing me talk in not a German speaking one! After 5 years of sounding Austrian I am at least English! Happy days.
Boy, this was a good night. I don't think I have moved even once during the night. The bed was so comfortable. If I would not have to leave at 8.15 I would sleep even longer. Best Night in the trip so far.
Also a small note on the site: they have a "European" toilet seat. That different countries have different toilet seats was no news to me but the American remind me of train/plane toilets rather than a proper toilet you would have at home...
I did not need to worry about my luggage- that is how great my hosts are. And music City Country Hall of Fame is Great. I came here by 9am and am only on the middle floor. I have to stop now to get to the RCA studio b tour at 11.30. But I will come back afterwards.
The RCA tour was only one hour but the tour guide knew everything about the Nashville music industry. Regardless of what question was asked. The group was all American but me which was not the case in other tours by a long shot. Did you know that music or tourism is not Nashville's biggest industry? Apparently it is mainly healthcare followed by some banking or insurance stuff...
Back at the museum there was a whole exhibit of Blake Shelton... His X factor appearance makes him way too popular.
Fun feeling when you pass by a gallery of 2015 biggest artist and you notice that you have seen them all live: Luke Bryan, Sam hunt, Chris Stapleton (one of my current favorite singers), little big town, Zac brown band... So missing for me to see are only lee Brice and Kenny Chesney and Shania twain... Though I am a bit surprised that all of these are considered to be the top country acts 2015... But if it's in a museum it must be true ;)
I picked up my stuff at 3 and walked downtown to catch the bus to the airport. Unfortunately I missed in by a minute. Now I had to wait 90 minutes on the next one. I thought about walking around but decided against it. Imagine missing that one too. Than I would actually get into trouble from a time point of view...
At the airport I will upload this, so I see you in New Orleans...
I won't continue with the campaign thingy... Way too boring ;) so unless I find something interesting to report about election I will not bring it up again.
pennyless fashion designer working towards London