I arrived in LA!
I didn't believe that I would be flying anywhere until the very last moment, as there was a huge storm announced in California, especially on the coast of San Francisco, but luckily the storm didn't touch LA and as the plane landed, there was just a slight rain and enormous clouds but that was it.
When you take the day flight, you can marvel at the enormous amounts of ice while flying over Greenland and Canada. It's unbelievable to see such huge landscapes covered under ice and snow, the chunks of icebergs in the sea and finally, the landscape which changes into the desert and wind-swept mountains before landing in Los Angeles.
I was a bit grumpy when off the plane, because of my annoying neighbour next to my seat, who was complaining just about everything - the plane, the flight attendants, the food. What a great change it was to talk with anybody working in the services here. It always starts with: "Hey honey, how are you doing today?" It makes you smile and lifts up your mood by 100% :)
I was a bit concerned to drive in the traffic, but I survived after the initial few wrong turns. The 6 lane highways and the speedy traffic made me stay concentrated even after the long flight. I rented the Chrysler Grand Caravan, as'll be driving a lot and wanted to keep all my luggage, even packed out, in the car. I also want to sleep in the car occasionally and this is why I need to build it over in a kind of camper. Currently, it's much colder than I anticipated, at night the temperatures fall to 0 degrees Celcius and it could be pretty chilly to sleep outside, but we'll see ;)
And what's on my agenda now?
I'm still fighting jetlag since I arrived, so I feel a bit dizzy every morning and I'm up between 4:00 and 5:00 every morning. First, there's shopping - I need a US sim card with data, and I need a few items for my car (a light mattress, organizers, water canisters, and a gas burner). To purchase these items, I went to Target & REI - which is a chain of outdoor equipment shops in the US.
I'm staying in a place between Malibu and Santa Monica, in the hilly area of Santa Monica mountains and I love it here. I can imagine that the area is pretty dry in summer, but currently, everything is green and it looks like late spring already to me, even though it's the beginning of January.
I went to Malibu, Santa Monica and Venice yesterday. Based on the recommendation of a friend, I rented a bike in Santa Monica and pedalled to Venice Beach, which is 4 km away and a very fun ride along the beach. According to my very basic observation as a surf novice, I would go surfing just right at the shore between Malibu and Santa Monica. The waves look friendly there, they break nicely and you can just park your car along the main road and jump directly in the water.
I was amazed by the muscle beach! :>
OMG, I never saw something like this before, huge grounds and parks for everyone, from beach volley fields to basketball courts, squash courts, then, an open-air fitness area, all kinds of swings and playgrounds for kids, and the best is the skateboarding bowl right at the beach, with another area dedicated for rollerbladers next to it. The rest at the side of the beach walk is "trash for tourists", but if you're on a bike, skateboard or inline skates, you're faster, see more, and are not annoyed by the masses walking there, as the bike track is dedicated only to you.
Today, I'm leaving LA, but still have a few things to organize and see, so long, folks!