Saturday, January 8, 2011

23/12/2010 Universal Studios ... Where dreams come reality

The day before Christmas! Yesterday it was still raining without any hope in LA. We were so happy that we have our car, and so we could cruise around the area. We went to the walk of fame and spent there one hour. Than we were too wet and we decide to go for food, driving slow on the rodeo drive to stalk out some celebrities, and go finally to Santa Monica and Venice Beach. My funny brothers changed our navigation system to Japanese (because this sounds so cute) but after 10 minutes they gave up and ignored the advices from the lady (well, we do not speak Japanese, so we did not understand a word of the cute talk). Smart and creative as they are they developed a great systematic how to get to our goal: To get to the beach, we always have to drive the hills down, never up. Makes sense, as long as you have no riffs, which are quite common in California 
But we arrived and spent a great evening on the Santa Monica pier.

Aja… And THAN! TODAY! We went to the Universal studios! Awesome!!!!!!!!!

21/12/2010 A road trip through the flooded dessert

Today we will drive from Vegas to LA. It is a long and rainy ride and the normally dry dessert is flooded by the masses of rain. Luckily my other brother brought his driving license, so I could sit in the back of the car, relax and sleep during the trip. From time to time, we stopped at some gas stations or dinner places. Lonely shats in the middle of nowhere serving food in the 50’s way. Sweet, good old’ America.
The weather in LA is not really much better. Streets and sinks are flooded, homeless people offer for a buck to bring you from side to side under their umbrella (and yes, they are singing Rihanna songs). We are staying at a Couch surfing place. Our hosts are 2 nice guys who showed us around the nice bars and clubs in LA Down Town. It is a great evening and I sleep very happy in.

20/12/2010 A spectacular Grand Canyon Helicopter Ride!

My graduation gift to my brothers! I am so excited! I booked a Helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon, including the landing on the bottom, where we will eat a bite and have a rafting tour, before the Helicopter brings us back again! I booked it all 2 month ago, and since then, I am speaking almost every day about it. And today is the day, when it will happen. We have to get up at 5 am, to get our pick up on 6 am. Also, I need to make my makeup and hair, because I want to have fabulous pictures! On 5 to 6 there is a bus coming, collecting the people from the different hotels. Then, we find out, that we will go first by bus to the Grand Canyon, where we will enter the Helicopter. Well, not that glamorous, but still ok. Our tour guide is a funny old man, who loves to tell jokes. However, it was not that funny for me, when he told us some hours later, that there will be no Helicopter flight due to the bad weather conditions. And without the Helicopter, we won’t be able to get to the bottom of the canyon, where the boat is waiting. Also no boat tour. But we will enjoy the bus trip and see a bit of the canyon, so we will not be reimbursed. Definitely, he is not responsible for the weather. We shall just sign the copy of our credit card for accounting purposes. Well guys, you know me. And you know, that statements like those might make me…. Let’s say critical. For sure I do not sign my credit card copy. And of course I do not pay a helicopter and rafting deluxe bill that high for a 7 hour bus tour in the rain. Argh!
Well, we were kind of kidnapped in the bus, (The guide offer me first to drop us down at the side of the street when I do not sign the bill, but he changed his mind when I told him how much I would appreciate this, because than I would sue the ass out of him) so we decided to make the best out of it and have a look on the amazing wonder of the nature. The Grand Canyon is really wonderful. I can highly recommend everyone to go there and enjoy the fantastic view and experience. Nevertheless, I was kind of pissed when suddenly a helicopter appeared.

Side note: I am still fighting with the company for the reimbursement. If anyone is booking or planning such a trip, give me a call, I can highly not recommend you one specofic operator.

17/12/2010 Today I become a Millionaire!

Vegas, Baby, we are coming!
First, we went to a great city walk in South Beach. It was a walking tour about the art deco architecture and history of the district. I participated in the same tour 5 years ago with my ex-boss. It was so impressive and interesting; I wanted my brother to join, too. And we were so lucky with the weather, beautiful sunshine, warm and perfect for taking tons of snaps.
Also the guide (a volunteer) seemed very motivated and extended the 1.5h tour until we have had to break up 3 hours later to catch our flight.
The flight was pretty long (5h), but because it was still a domestic flight, there was no service at all. I think it is ok for 1 or 2 hour flights not to serve snacks and pillows, or to charge a suitcase extra, but on a flight of 5 hours? Come on! In 5 hours I fly almost from Miami to London! Here I need some guchi & treats 
When we arrived in Vegas, my other brother was already waiting for us. He researched a bus connection from the airport to our hotel, but I was too tired and lazy to carry my luggage and to change 3 times a bus, if I can reach it in 15 min by Taxi.
I was really curious to see our hotel. I have no ideas of Vegas hotels, and know only the very big names from Maccau. I never heard about the “Flamingo”. I just saw that it is cheap and nearby other big names, so I assumed it to be a good location. But I was not sure about the standard and the age of the hotel. It seemed to be kind of old and low priced, so I really wanted to see what I booked.
My brothers were rather impressed by the hotel. They liked the room with the huge beds, the zoo, and the big pool area. Way more they were excited when they heard about the price of 36$ per night. Thus, staying in one of the most famous hotels in the middle of the strip was cheaper than a hostel.

14/12/2010 brrrrrrrrrrrr

Short site note: As beauty Miami is, as cold it is at the moment. We have less than 10 degrees and no heating. Also, no jacket for me, I mean, who needed that in Florida?

13/12/2010 Going down… Miami Beach

We stand up early this morning to pick up my rental car. Unfortunately, (or by purpose) my brother forgot his driving license, so I drove all the way down to the everglades by myself. Surprisingly, I was not as stressed and tired, as I expected to be after a 7h nonstop drive. And we were also lucky to catch the last air boat leaving in the Everglades. It was a bit cold, so there were not that many alligators; however, we have had the chance to see 3 of them in the free nature. Later in the evening we met up with my old colleague and enjoyed ourselves with drinks and dancing. Sweet.

10/12/2010 Graduation Day

It is my day. Graduation! Finally. I have this black robe, my hood, and my heat on when I am going my very last time (for this year) to my university. The ceremony takes from noon until 5 pm. Pretty long, and to be honest, also pretty boring. It is kind of formal, you go together with you fellow students in the hall. Than you sit and wait until they call your name, you take your degree and go back. Funnily, when you get back to your seat and look in the nice cover of your degree, there is no degree inside. Only a letter, congratulating and telling you will receive the degree somewhat later by mail. Ah, ok.
Some students tried to pimp the ceremony up by customizing and altering their robes. Several girls personalized their heats by putting glitter on it and wrote greetings to their family and friends on it. Sometimes, when a student stepped up, their family starts cheering them. In special the black families were very proud and active in shouting the name of their baby or even blowing air horns, which woke all the others up a bit.

After that, we met with my friends for a really nice steak dinner at Outback’s. Some people might argue that an Outback steakhouse is not an adequate place for a graduation dinner. I think it is humble and honest, and I love their steaks. In addition, I do not care that much about fancy food, and it is my graduation, so I can choose whatever I want, even if it would end up in Häägen Daz. After that, we went for drinks, bars and even more drinks. Great.

Btw… It was the first time that I drove my new, not yet insured car… So I was the sober driver on my own party. And it was not too bad.