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03.01.2007

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Life in California.
(Because of a small error it wasn't possible to add comments during the last week, but it is FIXED!)

It's about time for a new update! Some news about my life in Santa Barbara. Time flies, and I only have 5~6 weeks left. But I enjoy every minute of it. I'm getting more and more used to this new place, the weather, the people, and school. Although it looks like I didn't do anything here because I didn't wrote anything since more then a month .. but it's the opposite. The 30th of June I went to San Francisco for three days, the 6th of July I went to Los Angeles for one day, and last weekend the destination was Las Vegas.

San Francisco

My first trip in Santa Barbara was to San Francisco. Although I preferred rent a car, go by ourselves and take a hotel or camping .. we went with EF. After we (Eric and me) searched for hotels and campings for 2 days, it turned out that in that weekend (just before Independence day) the whole USA planned a vacation, and all hotels and campings were full.
San Francisco was very nice, although it was clouded and not very warm. But that is normal for this city, people told me. It was a strange view; the Golden Gate bridge disappearing in the clouds. We also visited Alcatraz, the famous island that was used as a prison. Impressive! We also saw Chinatown and Little Italy. Unfortunately the view from Twin Peaks was not that good because of all the clouds. Twin Peaks are two hills from where you can have a great view over San Francisco .. if there are no clouds. The famous cable car, we took at night, was great. I always thought that it was a real way of transportation in SF, but .. well .. it was .. but it's now only for the tourists. Well, it was a nice trip, but .. too short .. so maybe I will go there again when my parents come. (More about this below)

Los Angeles

The 6th of July I went with Eric, my friend from Hong Kong, who by the way already went home (damn!), to Los Angeles. We wanted to rent a convertible, but .. we were too late and all the convertibles were gone. We drove the Highway 1 down to Los Angeles. It's a very nice way, along the coastline. We stopped at Malibu beach .. rented two bodyboards, and changed one bodyboard for a surfboard after a while. We both never surfed before, so .. it was pretty hard, but .. well .. we can say we surfed at Malibu Beach! After staying a little bit too long at that beach, we continued our journey to Venice Beach. Very nice! We left Venice Beach at about 6pm and didn't even see the city Los Angeles at that time. But, that changed when we arrived in Beverly Hills, where all the poor people live. After we took the Rodeo Drive, with lots of cheap shops. Sadly we couldn't get close to the Hollywood sign to take pictures before it was dark, so .. we only saw it from a big distance. After this we went into Hollywood: the walk of fame! At about 11pm we started our way back to Santa Barbara. A great day!

Las Vegas

Last weekend Las Vegas was our destination. We took the trip with EF and left Santa Barbara Friday around 1pm. The view from the bus was amazing. Every 50 miles the landscape changed, with strange kinds of mountains, and trees. Actually I expected a real desert with sand and only sand .. but .. there were also some plants and trees. Although the temperature was good for a desert. I heard it was a record temperature: 50.5 deg. Celsius. This is of course the perfect condition for an air-conditioning to blow up .. NICE!
Las Vegas .. it's crazy! There is so much to see .. everything is big, and nothing is crazy enough. You can find the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building, or a rollercoaster on the top of the Stratosphere (314 meters), a gigantic Sphinx. You can find Venice, including Gondolas, bridges, and romantic streets, and this all was inside! Not just one street but more streets and even a Piazza San Marco with performances are included. Caesars Palace is also impressive! It's like a whole city inside of a building. For example the Trojan Horse, forming the entrance of a shop, is as big as a three floors house. And of course all the casino's like the MGM (including Lions (they were asleep when we were there)). The newest casino Wynn was like a golden building at night, really impressive.
The old part of Las Vegas, Fremont Street, was even more impressive! Most of the famous shots from Las Vegas you see on TV are taken here. The old casinos, an impressive lightshow, and the neon Cowboy; amazing!!
Probably I saw only 25% of the things you have to see in LV.. it was just too much!
Saturday night we ended our day in style, and took a limousine. He drove around for about 30 minutes through Las Vegas and then brought us back to the hotel. Quite an experience too!

Although it is very hot, even at night it was above 30C, Las Vegas is a place you HAVE to visit if you're in this neighbourhood.

Life in Santa Barbara

I'm getting used to Santa Barbara, the people, the school and the weather. School is much more relaxed over here, compared to Boston. Shorter days, nice activities in class, longer brakes. I also chose sports class, where we do some sports every Thursday. So finally I played American Football! We also played softball (like baseball). A problem here is that most people are here just for a couple of weeks. That means that at the time you get to know people, they already have to leave. I have different classmates every week.
The area here is really nice. I have a bicycle over here, so I did a couple of trips on the bike by myself. It's really great with a bike .. you can see much more!

Parents go USA

Yes, my parents will come to California! After I finished my study at EF, I will stay two weeks more to travel around with my parents. They will leave 29th of August, and I will probably leave 2 days later. (If I don't find the perfect rich girl, with nice house and car before that time). And then ..... it's over! Almost 8 month in USA. But .. it's okay for me. I look forward to see all my friends and family in Holland! Eat patatje oorlog, kroketten, pindakaas with hagelslag, real bruinbrood, Dutch cheese, hmmmm! (sorry, can't translate this). I really don't feel homesick, but I look forward to start my 'new life' back in Holland .. of course only if I don't find this rich girl in Santa Barbara...
26.07.2006 09:43 4 comments
Elise
You forgot to mention pancakes and home-made icecream

That's so soon for you to return to the Netherlands again!
Maybe we can share flight-experiences at the end of August then.

Help... allemaal engels... sorry... ik had net allemaal engelse mailtjes verstuurd...
Hey, geniet van elke minuut!
30.07.2006 15:46
Robert-Jan
31.07.2006 19:29
mams
tja, en daar ben ik dan toch weer een keer. Na een hele tijd.
Wat is je Engels geweldig.... Dat wordt flink het woord voeren voor ons, maar daar hadden we je voor ingehuurd. Go, wat verheugen wij ons om je gauw te zien. En dan in je nieuwe Amerikaanse "outfit", en daar bedoel ik niet alleen je kleren mee!!!! Je schrijft nog steeds erg verhalend en leuk, dus daar ben je al hele stappen mee vooruit gegaan. Voorheen was het een kaartje uit Frankrijk (en dan hadden we erg geluk!) met de groeten van Rene....
Dikke knuffel en binnenkort in het echt!
06.08.2006 21:34
Swantje
"School is much more relaxed over here, compared to Boston" ~
Klopt! Haha. Nu weet jij hoe verschrikkelijk het voor me was toen ik naar Boston kwam! ('Wat!? Huiswerk?! Nee, dat ga ik zeker niet doen!') ;oP
En jij hebt nog geen rijk meisje geontmoet? Ik had het gevoel dat er niks anderes als rijke meisjes in SB rondliepen. Alle blond in een kort rok, een vet zonnebril op en een Starbuck's Frappuccino in de hand. lol Moet jij even lekker naar "Isla Vista" gaan.
Geniet er nog van hoor!
Groetje vanuit Duitsland,
Swantje
09.08.2006 18:36
 
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