Mission District murals – San Francisco 

This blog is from a year old trip in California, but  there is something about these murals and street art in the Mission district that I felt I have to write about. Don’t worry I will not write a lot, because here you have to look and listen to what these paintings are telling you. Most of them are from the 70s, but with the latest political realities around the world it repeats the same old truths.

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The Women’s Building

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Inspired by Diego Riviera and other Mexican muralists

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Pacific 101: San Diego to San Francisco

If you’re planning a road trip through California then the 101 is your route. It takes longer than a faster alternative – Interstate 5, but having tried both, it’s so much worth the time. Every stop you make – it’s a new scenery, from little towns, to beautiful long Californian beaches to walks though the forests and dunes. It’s a constant change of altitude, green and blue shades but … it’s California…sun stays up in the sky wherever you go (well not around San Francisco – but they told us the heavy rain weekend was bad luck… yeah right…).

The 101 is 2222.97 km long and connects US West’s the south and north through four different states.We (mostly me to all fairness) drove from San Diego to San Francisco and this is how it went:

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Orange County – The Palms Avenue
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Laguna Beach
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Palms trees come in every size and shape
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Happy US
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The Squared Motel
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California Coast
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Reflecting on life – part I
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Reflecting on life – part II
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Almost LA
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Santa Barbara!
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US in Santa Barbara
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101 at its best
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Walk to the beach through dunes
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The Eagle is surveying US
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Happy you
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Happy US
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To San Francisco!!!

And if you put it all in about 40 seconds you get something like this:

Palm trees of Los Angeles

Los Angeles – home of Brandon and Brenda, Pretty Woman, Mitch Buchannon and many other people you see on TV. Nr 18 biggest city in the World but hosts the whole word inside itself. China Town, Little Tokyo, Little Armenia, Little Ethiopia, Little Bangladesh, Koreatown, Eastside LA is only a top of an iceberg of the melting pot that is LA.
If you are in LA for a first time choosing a place to stay is like … Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Melrouse Place, Malibu, Santa Monica and all other fancy neighborhood you hear on TV. We were lucky to find cosy The Rose hotel in front of the ocean in the Venice beach and we couldn’t have been more  lucky with the location.

Venice Beach

Once a resort town now a trending LA neighborhood with its crazy freaky (in a good way) Beach Boardwalk.

Venice was founded in 1905 as a seaside resort town. It was an independent city until 1926, when it merged with Los Angeles. Today, Venice is known for its canals, beaches, and the circus-like Ocean Front Walk, a two-and-a-half-mile pedestrian-only promenade that features performers, mystics, artists and vendors.

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Venice beach
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As seen on Baywatch
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Venice glam
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Tattoo, anyone?
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Venice sky
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Ocean Front
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I approve this message
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Let’s recreate
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Just in case of a Tsunami…
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Canals – it is Venice!
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He trades advises for a cup of coffee
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The Orange bus

Downtown LA

Around 20 km up the hills or 40 min Uber ride away from the ocean lies the center of the LA. The famous Olvera street is the birth place of LA (established end of XVIII century by  Spanish settlers).

Once downtown LA was not the safest place to go for a stroll but now it is blooming. China Town and Little Tokyo is just next by and definitely worth a visit.

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downtown through the Uber window
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the famous LA’s skyline monument
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which way?

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Hollywood

Yes yes yes the main attraction for all tourists!  Come here to take a picture with you fav star on the walk of fame, shopping and clubbing at night (haven’t tried it but that was a tip of my Uber driver).

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Summa summarum LA is great and it can be whatever you want it to be. Just go there and enjoy it. It’s better than they show it on TV.

Las Vegas Bling Bling

After spending 3 weeks in Mexico and discovering the country from its Caribbean coast to the deserts in the North, we ended up the trip with a short stop over in … Las Vegas, Nevada!

There is not a lot of places in the world where you find an Egyptian pyramid, an Eiffel Tower, a Statue of Liberty and a perfect setting for the 2015 version of Caligula movie. But Las Vegas has it all and even more! Casinos, day clubs, night clubs, strip clubs, Cirque du Soleil shows, helicopter rides over the Grand Canyon, twin brothers of Elvis and of course OF COURSE the wedding chapels!

Let’s star the tour of the the most popular Strip (as a street) in the world:

Las Vegas at night

August is pretty hot here. Even the stroll on the strip in the dark requires often stops in the hotels and malls to catch back your breath and air conditioning.

 Las Vegas during the day…

… is even hotter! Therefore day clubbing in the pools is taken very serious here! Every hotel on the strip will offer you a rooftop party. Ain’t no cheap! Corona or Bud light will cost you 15$+, while a fancier cabana for a day party will cost you a modest amount of 1000$ on a weekend.

Shows

Cirque du Soleil, stand-up comedies, concerts, cabarets and all other shows is a big deal in Vegas.

We chose to see the Absinthe – a dark comedy with politically incorrect jokes. Great show – great times!

To sum up

Vegas is full of life, bling bling and architectural disasters. It is totally worth to spend here a night or two and then cross it from the to do list. I will be back to the area but next time will spend more time exploring the Grand Canyon rather than trying my luck to hit the jackpot!