In april I traveled to the USA (Los Angeles and area) for 10 days to visit some friends. Busy weeks have past since I came back but today I finally want to share some of the highlights with you…
I have to admit that I have some kind of love-hate relationship with L.A. On one hand I think it is dirty, packed with traffic and has way too many fast food chains but on the other hand there are so many great things to do/see/eat… On this trip I found that you just have to go by the mantra “Look and you will find” and I was suprised how much “green” you can find in the city! And we didn’t even get to do a third of the things that we planed on doing.
When it comes to food for example, I was blown away by all the vegan and vegetarian choices everywhere (and I thought Germany allready has a lot to offer). Shopping at Whole Foods is the dream come true for a foodie like me and finding restaurants that serve veggie-friendly food is as easy as pie! And while we were basically eating all the time, I wish I could have tried more food! ; )
Since we were on a low budget and our Hotel didn‘t offer breakfast (only plastic wrapped muffins and coffee) we bought everything we needed for sandwiches and cereals, which was a great way to discover foods. I especially liked the vegan cream cheese, vegan cheese slices, vegan turkey, almond milk and the freshly ground (!) peanut butter from Whole Foods. They, by the way, also have a great vegan carrot cake! Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the cookies from Alternative Baking Company – I’ve been in love with those for a while already ;-)
On the picture you can also see a pink water bottle. It‘s from Lifefactory and I was so much looking forward to buy it in America. I love that it‘s made of glas!
When it comes to nature, I was also suprised that L.A. has a lot of parks and gardens. I never noticed any of them before. Out of the many, we only had the chance to visit two of them but it was well worth it. One botanical garden we went to is called the Huntington Gardens and it had so many different varieties of plants to showcase (more than 14 000!). It was fascinating!
The other garden we visited was the Japanese Garden. Another beautiful garden that was great to relax from the city beat.
Another place I like to go to when in L.A. is Venice Beach. I love the calm beach in the morning hours and taking a stroll through the Venice Canals, a bit away from the crowded tourist area.
Though L.A. has a lot to offer, we also left the city and drove along the coast, as far as Santa Barbara and Los Olivos. The landscape and area there is just beautiful, almost magical.
One great place we found was a camping place at Lake Cachuma. It was allready late and we decided to just follow the sign that led off the main road. A huge lake opened up in front of us and with the light of the sunset it was a fantastic view.
In Santa Barbara we did a whale watching tour (with a sailing boat, so that we wouldn’t disturb the wildlife), which was also beautiful. Unfortunately we didn‘t see whales on that day but instead a lot of seals. Here is one great snapshot that my brother took!
So, these were some of the impressions from the trip. As I said, I was happily suprised that a vacation in L.A. doesn’t necessarily only have to mean concrete and traffic jams. You can find a lot of green oasis in and around the city and you can definitely feel an environmental movement in the city. It starts with the many vegan/vegetarian food choices but also politically there are things happening. For example, the city might soon ban plastic bags. And you might remember that West Hollywood baned the sale of puppies and fur last year. These are great news and only make me like L.A. more and more!