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What can your story be in the United States?

3 posts categorized "Sandis Babauskis"

12/02/2013

Long time no see...

It’s been a long and busy time for last few months. A lot have happened during this time - new works and great projects, great trips, family visits, amazing get together with BAFF peeps and much more.

So in this blog I will try to get you up to date with everything that you missed during this quite period on my blog. 

By the way it’s now have been seven months here in United States of America - enjoying every moment here!

So first things first.. previously we left off somewhere around June...

As in CA - the weather has always been good - especially living in LA/Santa Monica - ocean, beach, street vendors, attractions, sports, and surfing... Summer is the best time here!

One of my new hobbies here in California - mastering Surfing the waves!

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The best way how to start your Day!

 

During the sumer on 4th of July week I had visitors from San Francisco - Lelde and Maarit. Together we relaxed and enjoyed time off on National Holiday - The Independence Day and my name-day - So that was fun.

But that is not the best part - after that when it was time to go back to SF - spontaneous idea - to go with them and see city of San Francisco! So I joined them for the first visit to San Fran!

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SF is amazing city! Everyone can find something for themselves - downtown finance district, Hight street hippie neighborhood, vintage and hipster places, innovation fulfilled air of Palo Alto, nature and parks, history and architecture - WOW. Love this city!

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Sometime in August I went to see some BAFF people in San Diego. Even thou it’s very close to LA - it’s nothing like it - the live is more relaxed and city itself is smaller and more nature based! A lot of parks and nature.

There I was hosted by Dace, and I met Tija in her hosting family owned district in old town SD.

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Overall a nice weekend trip, if not for my bad experience with Toll Roads - that ended with traffic fine - $120 - for not using the toll roads the right way and missing tollbooths. 

In september my sister Indra and her boy Janis visited me for two weeks. It was great travel time. We rented a car and drove around 2133,9 miles in 10 days - Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon! 

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Pacific Coast Highway up to SF was a great ride, despite the fact that the weather was against us - it was foggy and cloudy - not much of a sight, but it was amazing any way! We got to see PCH in diverse conditions.

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On our way back we took Freeway number 5 - the most straight road I have ever driven on - it was linearly straight like for 400 miles. Just set the cruise control on 75 mph and keep the wheels straight like forever.

One day home and we are off to Las Vegas, NV. On friday evening, around 5pm, we spent like 3h on traffic jams just to get out of LA, and then after 2 more hours - Vegas here we are!

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The Grand Canyon - It’s Just WOW! Just sit down and enjoy the natures great power to make something this amazing! Standing next to it and looking down on ant size helicopters touring inside the canyon - it’s hard to grasp the size of it. 

Totally worth paying $40 to see this one of worlds greatest wonders. 

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 So that brings us in October - The Enrichment trip here in LA. There is a lot to write... so I will make this one next!

 So this was a fast recap of few months here... Stay tuned, as the next episode will be up shortly...  

To be continued...

 

It's December in California. 

05/21/2013

LA Weekend

Hollywood, BH and Griffith observatory.

Hi everyone. It’s been a few weeks, so here is my next blog entry. For this time not only I have been working really hard, I also took some time to see more of LA. 

Last weekend my BAFF colleague from San Diego - Tija - came here to see Los Angeles. As she asked me advice where to go I could only answer that I know nothing about LA, and I have been only in Venice and Santa Monica. So I took the opportunity to spend some time with fellow BAFF members and together explore the City of Angels. 

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View on City of Angels. From Griffith observatory.

First stop Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive and just some sightseeing around. Not much to say here, just that North Rodeo Drive looked pretty expensive and luxury. And as It is in LA, there is always some cameras rolling. This time they were filming some driving scenes for some movie. 

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BH. Fiming. N Rodeo Drive.

Next stop - Hollywood Walk of Fame. To say truth - I did not like this. Mostly there was a lot of tourists and other people who was there because of the tourists. Busy, noise and too much of gift shops - overall - a mess. If you would like to read all the stars on the walk it would probably take you all day, so we were just skip-ing over all of them and time to time just say - hey I have seen his/her work. 

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Hollywood Walk of Fame.

And of course - we did took a look on Hollywood sign.  Unfortunately, you can't see it see from any place in Los Angeles - you have to find a spot. Clearly, it’s just what Hollywood movies shows us. 

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Hollywood.

After seeing North Hollywood, we went for a diner to Grove Shopping district and afterwards went to hookah lounge just to talk, relax and wait before we go to see sunset at Griffith Observatory.

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Griffith Observatory.

From our trip around LA - the Griffith Observatory was the place I enjoy the most. Even we did not went to planetarium and other shows, it was interesting place. With all the exhibitions about our solar system - sun, moon, earth, stars and many more. 

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Griffith Observatory. Tija enjoying sunset. Tower. Ahmed likes LA.

At the top of Griffith Observatory you can experience how big is Los Angeles city. Mind blowing and scenic view of city as far as you can see - and still you don’t see a half of it. As we were waiting for sun to set we chilled out in evening sun and enjoyed our day with great sunset over the hills. 
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Almost sunset.

Special thanks for this great LA trip to Tija, Ahmed, Bashkoo. It was a great weekend!
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Tija. Ahmed. Sandis. Bashkoo.

Stay Tuned - Next episode coming soon...

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05/09/2013

Here It goes!

Hi everyone, and welcome to my blog!

This is going to the place, where I will share my experience living in United States of America. Hopefully, I will make a post every few weeks or whenever I will have something new and exciting to say. You are more than welcome to followup and keep tabs how I am doing in the US with this blog.

Today is the day that marks one month in the US, and the reason why my blog is up only now - I can say that it’s just too much to do, see and experience - as I was getting around the city, housing, work and everyday life. But better sooner than never, so here it goes!

The way from Riga to Los Angeles, via Helsinki and JFK (New York), was a real challenge as it took almost a 23 hours spend on planes and in the airports - and in general - this is not the best way how to spend a day. But at the end I safely arrived in Los Angeles International Airport aka LAX. As it was a late night already, I took a shuttle bus - which is a great way how to save some buck, but that also could mean that you will have to spend some time circling around airport terminals - in my case it took me almost 40 minutes to leave airport terminals.

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JFK Airport, New York, USA.

Eventually I got to my first-few-day accommodation place - Venice Beach Hostel. Tired and exhausted from my long trip here, I didn't looked around too much, but the small street seemed not that welcoming in night time, compering to my hometown - a bit dirty and suspicious quite at first, as it all changed….

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First photo taken in LA.

After the night, comes the morning, sun, and whole NEW world… As I had some sort of JetLag, I woke up at 6AM and I was surprised about my surroundings - I was staying at the ‘Hart of Venice Beach’ and it was a beutiful morning. The sun was up, and slowly the street vendors was opening their shops, young and old with the skateboards, longboards and surfboards was all over the place. And as I left home it was still winter outside - here it was warm ‘summer’ day!

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Windward Avenue/Venice Beach main entrance.

First few days went by fast and in this time I was looking for my temporary apartment in budget, and that is not the easiest thing to do, I you want to balance location, distance from work and costs. As I needed place where to stay for just 17 day I used airbnb.com services and found great place where to stay in really quite neighborhood. 

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Venice Beach, Venice, CA.
In this apartment I made my first LA living friends - one guy from Germany, one from Japan, one from India, China, Saudi Arabia, and one from New Jersy - in general there was pretty international community, so that was fun - but that is a totally different story. 
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My trusty travel companion.

As my first weeks of internship was pretty intense, I didn’t had a lot of time to travel around and so far I’ve been just around my home. As I bought my primary transportation vehicle - bicycle - I’ve done some pedalin’ around. So far Santa Monica, Venice. 

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Santa Monica Pier.

Now I’m living in great place in Venice - close to everything - beach, downtown Venice and near from work - so I can take a nice, ten minute, bike ride there. And It’s almost right next to famous ‘Venice Canals’ - the reason why Venice is called ‘Venice of America’. I’have a great roommate - Charles, and now I am learning how to surf - all thanks to Uldis!

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Famous Venice Canals.

As the first month here and the first weeks of work have been really intense, I hope that in future I will post more frequently, so the next post could be up in a week or two! 

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Sunset From 22nd Street.

Looking forward for this amazing experience in US, as it has been so far fantastic! 

This is just a start!

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