Fall Semester is done! And Christmas is over too, which I spent with my husband cooking some yummy food. I always find it hard to get into the Christmas spirit over here in California because of the missing snow and cold. However, I could take a walk on the beach or decorate a palm tree. Yeah, I know I’m complaining on a very high level right now. Hah!
Anyway to make sure we got a little excited for Christmas we decided to find ourselves a Christmas market over here, since we couldn’t go back to Germany this year. And there’s this place called Old World in Huntington Beach, and the name really doesn’t lie.
When you arrive, it feels like you’ve stepped into a small Bavarian town. And when we got there, the the tiny streets were lined with booths selling all kind of varying things like soap, nutritional supplements and pillows. The Old World has a couple of permanent shops too and we took a stroll through them visiting an art shop and a Turkish book shop.
For catering they had contracted the LA Currywurst truck which has gained fame in Europe through various television shows. However, we opted for the local German restaurant and the food really surprised me. Finding authentic German food in LA is quite difficult. However, this one came the closest so far to actually tasting to the Bavarian food from home.
The Christmas market was full of Germans and you really felt transported there not just because of the atmosphere but also because of the language you could hear being spoken all around you.
This is event is held annually and is organized by Germans here in California. Next year, around Christmas time anyone should come check it out. Or just check out the Old Market during the year, they have a great restaurant and plenty of German shops including two supermarkets and a beer garden. Or stop by the Speakeasy for a drink.
7561 Center Ave. #49
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
Unfortunately, my favorite month is over now and we’re into November. I simply love October because it’s filled with pumpkins, Octoberfests and scary stuff. And – as usual – I forgot to blog about half of them! Oh college, you suck up all my time.
So without further ado, here’s what else happened in my little October recap.
Disneyland Halloween Decorations
Early October, Justin and I put our annual passes to good use and looked at the amazing Halloween decorations at Disneyland. And they really had pumpkins EVERYWHERE! Even the food items were decorated all halloween-ey so I absolutely loved it.
Octoberfest in Los Angeles & Alpine Village
Even though I actually never liked to going to Oktoberfest in Munich while I only lived an hour away, I do enjoy going to the “Octoberfests” in the US. They aren’t really anything like the real one but it’s fun seeing all the Americans celebrate something German. We went to the German restaurant Wirtshaus and the food was great! Justin got dressed up in a Bavarian Lederhose and we had Nutella pudding & potato pancakes.
I absolutely love pumpkins. So going to our annual pumpkin patch is always one of my favorite trips. It was super windy though, so excuse my getup :).
What did you guys do in October? Did you have a fun Halloween? Let me know about all your stories in the comment section.
I’m not sure if I’ve ever told you guys this but Halloween season is my favorite part of the year. Maybe that’s because I didn’t really have it growing up in a medium-sized German town.
Most Germans, at least the older ones, regard Halloween as one of those silly American traditions. And besides the occasional Halloween party and some scary movies, we don’t really do much.
No one does trick or treating. Or at least they didn’t do that when I was young, because it just wasn’t ok to teach kids to beg for candy. (Or so I was told.) Anyway, when I tried doing it some old lady threw a potted plant at me. So yeah.. no good memories of trick or treating.
But now that I’m in America, you better believe I’m trying out all the scary things they got to offer. I’ll lay off the candy though. 🙂
Today, I’m going to tell you about one of my favorite Halloween attractions over here in LA. It’s Universal Studio’s Halloween Horror Nights. Many of you know Universal from the fancy movies they put out and the theme park. But when Halloween rolls around they put their set making skills into making really freaking scary mazes.
This year’s mazes included Alien vs. Predator, Dracula Untold, From Dusk ‘Til Dawn, The Walking Dead, Clowns 3D, A Werewolf in London and Face/Off.
The Alien vs. Predator maze was my absolute favorite because they really used all their knowledge of technology and prop making for this one. I’m not going to go into too much detail because I’m sure some of you are still going to go and see it for yourself. So, I’ll tell you this, the wait was 70 minutes, which to me is really long and that’s why we bought the Front of the Line pass. It’s a lot more money but definitely worth it, because otherwise you’d wait 70 minutes for a maze that’s relatively short.
Another maze that I was impressed by, although I didn’t particularly like it was Clowns 3D. The 3D effect and vibrant neon color make you quite dizzy and the soundtrack by Slash fits perfectly. However, expect to be grossed out. They go all out with the gore and smells accompanying it. I had a hard time walking through it.
For anyone that knows from Dusk ‘Til Dawn: The original bar is called the Titty Twister, but they couldn’t name it that because the sign is visible from the park during regular hours.
Besides the mazes you’ll find a lot of scare zones with performers lurking in the dark to jump out at you. This time they themed them Dark Christmas, Masq-A-Raid (basically a French Revolution theme), The Walking Dead and The Purge 2.
Last year, they shuttled us down to the lower lot for more Walking Dead mazes. This year it’s up to you to walk there, being scared by zombies at the same time. I know Walking Dead fans really appreciate the mazes they do, with the prison theme and all, but for someone like me who has never seen the show, the connection to the story is obviously a bit lost.
If you’re interested in going, there are still two weekends that you can do so. I would, however, suggest to invest in the Front of the Line Pass for $150. The waiting times sometimes can go up to 90 minutes and to me that’s a whole lot of waiting.
Check out their website for more information. And if you can’t make it out to California, you can also go experience it in Orlando. Have you ever been to any of the Halloween Horror Nights? Are you into the scares of Halloween attraction?
I’m sorry we’ve been a bit absent. It’s exam time here at my college, so I was pretty preoccupied with that. However, I’ve found a new, totally awesome place for you to check out!
It’s Olvera Street, a Mexican marketplace that has been there for 75 years. You can find anything from Mexican Restaurants, sweets, dresses and other colorful things.
Olvera Street is hidden in a tiny side-street right next to the Mexican consulate, which is across the street from Union Station. I didn’t think anything this nice would be around there but once we stumbled upon it we were quite impressed by the rainbow-colored booths nestled beneath luscious greens.
The hand-made ceramics and embroidered Mexican dresses are a sight of their own. SoCal has a lot of Mexican influence, but nothing really ever felt as authentic to me than this place.
Another thing you should check out when you visit Olvera Street is LA’s oldest house. You can walk through it and check out the inside, including the furniture. It’s an interesting insight into the history of LA, and it’s free.
If you want to check it out, I would recommend getting there by subway because I can’t tell you about parking, but the train takes you right there. Check out some more photos below, and as usual, let me know if you’ve been there and what you think! 🙂
125 Paseo de la Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Hours of Operation:
Mo-Sun 7 am – 10 pm
Mythbusters has always been a favorite TV show of mine. And quite frankly, I’m upset that they’re letting go of Kari and the other two guys. But at the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana, Ca. you can still explore the old Mythbusters’ glory in their summer exhibition.
Once you enter the Mythbusters part of the Discovery Science Center, the first thing you see is the an array of blueprints and gadgets used in their previous shows. Generally, most of the props on display come directly from the show. As you can see above, they have a little fashion-like exhibit where you can see the cast members’ clothes.
But then comes the fun part! Once you walk a little further into the museum, the experiments start. And everything is hands on! Let’s take the 3 little piggy experiment for example, where you get to build a house in the middle of a small wind channel. Try and see what material holds up best against the wind.
You can look at the different kind of explosions in their slow-motion explosion cam or take a closer look at the mechanical shark. Which is super awesome by the way! Or try your hand at card toss to get them to stick to a target. I’ll admit, I wasn’t very good at that but Justin got a couple of them to stick.
If you feel like getting wet, try and answer the following question with your friends: How do you get wetter in the rain? By walking or by running. The water is infused with invisible, edible dye that you can only see under black light. Justin also looks like he’s about to film a commercial for tooth pate.
The exhibition is fun for the whole family and is still going on until this Sunday, if you’re interested in stopping by. Maybe one of you is even courageous enough to try to dodge a paintball that gets shot at you with an automated paintball gun like Justin did.
So if you don’t have anything else to do, and you’re looking for something fun & educational visit the Discovery Science Center. Or you’ll wait until October if you’re not in California. Then the Mythbusters exhibit will move to the Fort Worth Museum of Science & History in Texas.
Discovery Science Center
2500 N. Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92705
What do you think about Mythbusters? Did you go see the exhibit already? Let me know in the comments:
It’s the weekend again! (Well, technically it’s almost over.) But we actually got out of the house quite a bit. I will be recapping that during the week. So first off, I’d like to tell you about the Culver City Fiesta La Ballona which was held at Veteran’s Park in Culver City (duh!). Fiesta La Ballona is essentially a carnival/fair in the middle of the city.
We thought parking was going to be a nightmare but surprisingly it was pretty easy because we were allowed to park on the Sony lot. How cool is that? And they had a shuttle ready that would take you to the event. As soon as we got there, dark clouds started rolling in. But that’s just our luck. Thank goodness it didn’t actually rain.
Coming onto the ground, they had set up a beer & wine garden and across from it was a tent with live entertainment. The high school band was playing and, let me tell you, they were really good!
We were supposed to meet friends there but since we got there early, we decided to go for a snack. And there was plenty of food with food trucks and booths serving anything from weird things like shark on a stick to more normal food like corn on the cob. Since you might have already read a couple of my stories, you know my taste in food is pretty eccentric.
So naturally, I settled for the peking duck fries. They were absolutely delicious. The hoisin sauce and scallions over peking duck on crunchy french fries. Who knew something like this existed? If you’re ever in the mood for the same dish, try finding the Phantom Truck here in LA and let me know what you think about it.
They also offer other kinds of fries (pork belly or shrimp dynamite, anyone?!) or all the same dishes with garlic noodles instead. Which I tried to, but I’ll admit that I’d recommend you to try the fries as a new customer. I can’t comment on what the other items on their menu taste like but I’m sure the peking duck melt will be just as great.
As time went on, our friends arrived and we retreated to the beer & wine garden to chat and relax. Towards the end of the night, Justin decided he wanted to go one some of the rides that they offered.
Let me tell you, as someone who grew up with German carnival rides: What’s scary about the American rides isn’t the ride itself but rather the upkeep. I’m not insinuating anything but some of the rides were missing panels or made some loud noises. But hey, that’s just my scared-self talking and everyone got home safely anyway!
Do you have a favorite carnival ride? I love the ones that spin but I really can’t do ferris wheels. (You know the height!) Let me know about your interesting carnival experiences in the comment section.
And yes, I’m aware that we go to way too many carnivals but this one was a lot of fun. Too bad they shut down really early. If you’re interesting in attending, the Festival La Ballona is going to happen again next year (hopefully!) and then you’ll let me know what you think. 🙂