April 11, 2011

California, the Golden State

The last part of my journey is in full swing!

Los Angeles has been different from what I expected. My image was of a spread-out dry city on flat terrain with a cloak of smog that only sometimes allows you to see the Hollywood letters in the distance. Nevertheless after a night on the train my friend and I arrived in a green bustling city of hills and completely different neighborhoods. In a couple of days I discovered the green variety of the Huntington Gardens and Schabarum Park (in West Covina, where our couchsurfer lived), the great architecture and art of the Getty Center high above the city, and the beachside beauty of Santa Monica and a sunset at Venice Beach.

One day was spent at the Universal Studios theme park, which is expensive but also great fun, from highspeed roller-coasters to brilliantly staged scenes straight from the movie Waterworld. We sat in the "soak zone" and left afterwards still dripping and laughing, happy about the warm sun quickly drying our clothes before the next ride.

Since parting ways with my trusty travel friend (Go Robeth!) I have been driving up the coast in my rental car and adventures lined up there as well. In San Luis Obispo I camped out in my car next to the beach and had a surf class with an ex-pro-surfer on Pismo Beach. Surfing is loads of fun and I look at the ocean differently now (tempted to jump in and always looking for the perfect wave)! If I am ever to live near a beach, one of the first things I would buy is a board and a wetsuit!

And now I have finally reached the Bay Area of San Francisco, the final destination of this trip. So far I have already found great friends (like Mary who is contagiously happy and generous in spite of having little herself), I have helped set up a volunteer fair, and gone on a daylong retreat at Insight Meditation Center with Gil Fronsdal. Now I have checked in at a hostel in downtown San Francisco and am ready to discover this beautiful place for the remaining two weeks.

While enjoying all the awesomeness of the last two weeks I have started to look forward to seeing my friends and family again! I hope all of you are well and happy!


Cari Laythorpe said...

Hey Robert

I just stumbled across your blog and I see you are a fellow CouchSurfer. There are some amazing couch people in SF so be sure to have a good time.

Take care,
(Southampton, England)

Robert said...

Thanks for leaving a trace, Cari :) San Francisco people were really kind, I am looking forward to visiting again, hopefully soon!

Take care,
(Munich, Germany)