Goodbye to the West Coast [US trip part2: 28.08.-06.09.2018]

Wait, haven’t I been here before?

Yes, it’s undeniable. I like to see places again. It seems if I like a place I have to return at least once more and not too long after to preserve the image and feeling. So San Francisco and LA were again on the list for a short Hello Goodbye. Although it was quite difficult to get to and along the west coast this time. That’s why these lines tell more about the way to get there.

New York to San Francisco to Los Angeles

I had to board three times on two different planes until I made my way to the San Francisco. Or better San José because my flight had been rerouted.

First boarding on time. Problem with the software. De-plane. Wait for an hour. Flight cancelled. Wait, make calls and wait again to be rebooked. Run to the new flight. Board. Wait. De-plane because of a malfunction. Wait again. Board for the third time. Arrive in San Jose – de-routed there – super hungry. Ask my way to the promised shuttle to San Francisco. Misunderstanding, just a shuttle to SFO with Alaskan. Find people to share an Uber from SFO to San Francisco City – a guy from Israel here for the boys, boys, boys and one from Poland to surf the west coast. Arrive in Berk’s apartment about 8 hours delayed. But welcomed with beer, quinoa and kale after too many hotdogs and pizza in New York. What a ride.

Thanks to Berk and Cenk and all our talks who made me question myself after the 3 days why I was leaving at all.

San Francisco. The first time I was here for my grandma. The second time it was for myself.

My highlights?

  • Walking through the Presidio and the Castro
  • Seeing the SF Giants – great ballpark – and my first American Football game
  • Seeing the Fog – named Karl – over the bay. Karl has his own Twitter: @KarlTheFog

***

The way to Los Angeles I had planned as a scenic 12h train ride along the coast. And maybe I had the relaxed and beautiful days on Canadian trains in mind when I booked this way of transportation which brought me nothing than confused looks from my US friends. “I like being on trains. And even if we are an hour late, that’s not a problem.” Little did I know…

An accident with a pedestrian and the train in front of us caused a complete downtime of the system. So instead of having a smooth scenic ride my train just stood outside Oakland for 4 hours. Completely still.

After it took me 8 hours longer to get from New York to San Francisco this seemed to be my inner American transportation fate. I only wanted to make it to LA before midnight.

Here’s the short summary in motion picture – including the way to LA:

***

I’m sitting in the lounge car watching the nature pass by. A lot of little hills rise out of the valley. My eyes try to find a castle here and there until I remind myself that there are no castles on top of these. “Although these make perfect spots,” I think to myself. The sun sets fast. So many colors we see. But it gets dark. People are having dinner. I wait in the lounge car until the last rays of light end the day.  I haven’t seen the ocean so far. My main reason for taking the train. It will be dark once we reach the coastal part.

Finally Los Angeles

With 6 hours delay around 3 am in the morning I arrive at Van Nuys station and decide to get off and grab an Uber from here. This will get me into bed 30 min earlier than from union station. Carl, my Uber driver, takes care of me, gives me water and drives me fast and efficiently to Brentwood. Over completely empty freeways. It feels weird to be on this 7 lanes freeway in LA basically alone. I know this roads only packed. So you can actually get from A to B in LA in a normal time – at 3 am in the morning.

After a short rest I get up to grab a coffee and a bagel. The dry heat hits me once I step out of the door. I’m in LA again. And I’m happy.

My highlights:

  • Wine tasting in the hills of Malibu
  • Full house at the Dodger’s ballpark
  • Playing corn hole at the brewery
  • Jumping into the Pacific
  • A goodbye cocktail at a rooftop bar in Santa Monica
  • The bar where Bridget has been kicked out – twice.

I sadly missed many of my new LA friends. But I got to see Miranda and others again. So there’ll be always a reason to come back to LA.

Our last week – for now – in LA before we left the city onto our 3 days road trip to Nebraska:

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