Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The City That Never Sleeps

Yikes it´s been a long time.  I´m typing on Oscar´s computer which means all the letters are switched up, therefore some grammar could be lacking.  Sorry in advance!

I´m currently posting from my hostel, American Dream Hostel, in Manhattan, NYC.  The hostel is very clean, and has an excellent free breakfast with cereal, fresh fruits, pancakes, toast, jelly... you name it!  After loading up on free grub, we spent the day on a boat taxi that took us all over the city (we did the hop on-hop off option).  We got some great pictures of the statue of liberty, saw the Intrepid, and got spectacular skyline shots.  We´re resting in the hostel for now before Paula and I head out for some shopping!  Later, we´re going to meet my mom´s good friends, Jay and Tim, for dinner at a South African restaurant.

Here we are last night at Socarrat´s Paella Bar.  We drank 2 pitchers of sangria, 2 bottles of txakoli (a type of bubbly white wine from the Basque region in Spain), and split a flat of mariscos y pescado (seafood) and arroz negro (tinted and flavored by squid ink).  It was one of the best meals of my life, and by far the best wine ever.  We had a great time chatting and drinking the night away.  Thanks to Jay for inviting us to this great restaurant!

PS- I´m really hoping to get picked up by the Cash Cab.  So far no luck!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

So much to do. So little time.

Haven't we all felt like this before?  I leave for Costa Rica on August 9.  Seems like I have a good amount of time, right?  WRONG.  This Friday I am leaving to do an almost 3 week road trip to DC, NYC, and upstate NY.  We get back on August 1.  So what that means is that I have today, tomorrow, and a few days in August to get everything together.  I know I'm going to have a blast on this trip, but in the future I will never plan a vacation right before a move!  *stupid stupid*

I have not had time to blog more about California, lo siento mucho!  But I'm just so busy.  Today I went and switched my bank accounts around, then we have to drive back to Greensboro (1 hour away) to finish moving out of the apartment and to give Balmoris (my El Salvadorian janitor friend) my car.  Yes, I'm giving away Dr. Jones.  It's sad, but it's also time to move on.  Tomorrow I go in to the doctor again, pick up my friend from the bus station (she's coming on the trip too), and go to the Harry Potter movie at midnight.  Phew!  So much to do.  And the worst part is how unbearably hot it is outside.  Sheesh.

So let me get moving here.  QUE PERESA!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Underwater huh?

I have plenty of time right now to do some blogging.  I've put together all the stuff I need to get rid of before making the big move and am attempting a moving sale.  We'll see what we get rid of!  So as I sit and wait for prospective purchasers, I will blog!

Saturday (the day after the wedding) Sarah and I headed to downtown LA where a museum sponsored by the school FIDM promised costumes from Star Wars and other movies.  When we arrived, we were disappointed to find that it only had a "Little Black Dress" display which was an homage to Breakfast at Tiffany's.  Well we got to see a couple neat black dresses worn by celebrities in movies, but no storm trooper costume.

After that, we headed to Los Felices, which is a fancy-pants area of LA where celebrities live.  Sarah told me Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have a house in the hills, but was unable to produce any famous faces.  To which I hold her personally accountable for.  But famous people aside, we saw some awesome mansions and got a great, smogy view of the LA skyline.  We snapped a few pictures then headed down to K-town for lunch.

Sarah next to what I assume is Angelina Jolie's house!

Korea town (or K-town as the local LA-ians call it) is one of the more dangerous parts of LA.  But, we went during the day for some Korean grub.  I'd never had Korean before and was quite appreciative that Sarah was there to guide me through the experience.  We ordered kimchi and sundubu jjigae following Sarah's recommendations.  Kimchi is a sort of appetizer, and sundubu is a hot tofu soup.  First came the kimchi.  There was a potato salad, cabbage, a whole fried fish, two raw eggs and some other stuff that I could not name.  Now had I gone by myself and someone had just dropped a raw egg in front of me, I would have been baffled about how to proceed.  Luckily, Sarah informed me that you are supposed to break the raw egg into the extremely hot sundubu (tofu soup).  I got a bean and cheese sundubu, and Sarah got mushroom and onion.  It was one of the more amazing meals I had, though I had a bit of trouble navigating with metal chopsticks.

Sarah and the Korean spread!
Metal chopsticks??  Why did they do this to me?!

After packing up our massive leftovers, we headed to Hollywood to visit one of Sarah's friends, Bethany.  We hung out at the apartment for a bit then walked down to Hollywood Blvd.  We had ice cream sundaes at the Disney ice cream shop, I snapped a couple pictures of the stars on the sidewalk, then we returned to the apartment.  The Walk of Fame was nice to see, but wasn't anything real spectacular in my opinion.

Bethany and her ice cream face.

The Walk of Fame.

After chatting for another hour or so, Sarah and I packed up and headed to Theater Asylum for her friend's one-woman show called "Headscarf and the Angry Bitch" which was being featured in LA's Fringe Festival.  The show was fantastic, funny and thoughtful.  I would highly recommend it to anyone, she's still touring, though I believe in Toronto right now.  After a full hour of laughs, we talked with Zehra (the star of Headscarf) and went to find a place to grab some food.  We settled with Magnolia, a great restaurant, but a little pricey.  (Isn't everything in Hollywood?)

Sarah in front of Theater Asylum

Dinner at Magnolia.

The next day, Sunday, my sister's best friend from high school swung by to pick me up and take me to Santa Clarita where my sister was waiting for us.  Oh yeah, have I not explained why I was even in California?  My sister, Britta, went to California for the national underwater hockey tournament.  Underwater what?  I won't go into detail explaining it, just watch the video.  She played with the San Diego team, because her local team from Charleston, SC didn't compete.  They got fourth in the B division.  We had a beer-drinking good time at the reception, decided to catch a ride to San Diego instead of going to Big Sur as originally planned, then headed home for a good night's sleep... (more on San Diego in the next post!  Preview: baskets of wine, koala bears, and tea time)

Britta proves underwater hockey is real, check out the article!

The first time players at Nationals.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The City of Angels and Brides: 24 hours

I guess the best place to start is the beginning.  Oscar and I woke up at 4:00 am on Friday (June 24) and made the dark drive to the airport.  I took US Airways and was so displeased I don't think I'll ever fly with them again.  Not only did they not give out a meal on the 5 hour flight from Charlotte to LAX, they didn't even give out peanuts!  I mean c'mon!  Are airlines so strapped that they can't even through me a pack of pretzels?  I guess this seems small, but I pay so much for tickets and all I get is 1/2 a can of ginger ale.  PLUS they didn't recycle.  I held onto my can until I came across a recycling bin later.  But on to more important details.

My friend, Sarah, was kind enough to pick me up from the airport.  Which, after being in LA for about 4 hours, I realized is a huge deal.  Traffic is terrible in LA.  All the time.  Well I guess between 2am and 4am you're golden.  But any normal human time to travel is bumper-to-bumper traffic.  We chatted as we headed to her friend's house, who happened to be getting married that day.

After much bridal prepping (equal amounts of it went into the bride and the food) and once Sarah had managed to wrap me up in a sari, we headed to the mosque to witness a wedding.  It was a small, short ceremony and many combinations of pictures were taken.  We then headed back to the bride's sister's house where the party had yet to start.  (ps- this is the 5th wedding I've been to since January)

Signe in a sari!!!
The bride and groom are lovely.

By this time (6pm west coast) I had been up for 17 hours and was running out of steam.  I took a quick nap, and then headed out for the Pakistani delicacies that were awaiting me.  And boy was there food.  I shoved my face full of samosas before I was told that the current smorgasbord was only appetizers!

I sipped water in my sari and chatted with some of the guests.  All were extremely inteligent and I got the feeling I was the only one in the bunch without a PhD.  Finally dinner was served, and Sarah took me back to her apartment in Arcadia.  At 1am I fell into a deep sleep after being up for a full 24 hours.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Quick CA Update

Well for those of you who are constant readers of my blog (me), you might be wondering where the posts are at!  Well I've been in California for the past 10 days and boy have I got some juicy stuff to spill.  To just give you an idea, we've been to Los Angeles, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, the Hearst Castle, and Santa Barbara.  I'll attempt to put some posts up in the next couple days once I'm back home.  I can't guarantee anything because Oscar and I also have to move out of the apartment in 1 week.  (JUST ONE MONTH TIL THE MOVE TO COSTA RICA!)

My sister and I had a great time strolling SoCal, but now I'm tired and am excited to get back home.  I'm just hanging out today (HAPPY 4TH!) and have declined all offers to go to bbqs.  It's not that I don't want to go... it's that I'm tired of being constantly social.  I'm quite enjoying the day to myself.  After all, only one and a half more weeks til we head to DC!!!=)