4th of July 2012

Fantastic 4th of July this year. BBQ at friends followed by traditional fireworks show at El Segundo beach.

Definitely going back there next year.

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New Year

I can’t believe I’m actually typing this out while I should be in bed sleeping off my hangover.

So it was my turn to celebrate New Year, while my relatives in Hong Kong celebrated it 16 hours ago, and my mum and dad in London celebrated it 8 hours ago. Yay!

So, new years celebration was pretty good to start with, but lack of fireworks let us down at the end. I was pretty sure there would be fireworks at Santa Monica pier when the clock struck midnight, I’d even asked the bartender before I set off down there with a friend to make sure, and he confirmed there was fireworks.

How wrong were we, Santa Monica pier has never had fireworks at least for a few years. All that time rushing down there wasted. We heard fireworks, but they were coming from Marina Del Rey, and we sure could not see anything in that dense fog anyway.

My new year’s resolution is to visit more of the US other than Vegas or San Francisco. First stop, probably Seattle.

Still, Happy New Year everyone!

Christmas Day 2011

Traditionally, Christmas Day is spent with family, so I thought I’d hook up with my only family here since I wasn’t going back to London. I ended up spending Christmas Day with my cousin and his family in Torrance.

I thought I’d challenge his kids to some Nintendo Wii games while I was there. I’m a game designer – surely they can’t beat me, I was wrong. They did beat me.

My excuse – I don’t have a Wii, besides, I let them win.

Unlike the UK, the US doesn’t have a public holiday (Boxing Day) straight after, but luckily Christmas Day fell on a weekend this year, so naturally we get the Monday off work which I will be going for a dim sum at a restaurant, then back home later.

4th of July 2011

I knew this day would come in the calendar, it was just a case of what I would be doing on this day. As it turns out, I’m actually back at my apartment drinking fluids to re-hydrate myself after a short sleep in the early evening.

It all started with a trip to San Diego on Sunday morning to visit friends who had recently bought a house. On our way down there, my friend and I made a scheduled pit stop at a Nissan dealer so he could buy a brand new Nissan GT-R, and trade in his Audi RS4. We continued our route to friends in the new car. This car has something called ‘Launch control’ setup that is capable of doing 0 – 60mph in 2.9 seconds flat from a stand still. Sadly, we never got to try that feature out.

When we arrived, we saw what an amazing house it was. There were 6 large bedrooms over 3 floors. It even had a balcony view of the ocean, although not directly next to it. They even had an outdoor hot tub which I spent some part of the evening in. Every house should have one of those.

The day after was a little hazy, not much sleep, and a slight hangover. It was the 4th of July, and apparently the party was just about to begin, but sadly, my friend and I had to head off back home. I guess we both just didn’t want to set off too late because of the traffic.

Due to lack of sleep, I immediately crashed out when I got back despite the apartment being somewhat toasty. I was hoping to get some decent sleep, but think I got about an hour due to the noise level of neighbours who were all celebrating Independence Day. I mean, how to you sleep with 20+ people are shouting ‘Woohoo’, or ‘Yeah’ every 5 seconds.

Well, its a patriotic day for the locals, its nice to have a national day. For me, I just wanted to get some sleep 🙂

First Christmas abroad

This was the first time I’d spent Christmas abroad. Yes, they have Christmas holiday here too, just not Boxing Day. Since Christmas Day was on a weekend over here in 2010, the US tends to have the bank holiday on Friday, unlike the UK, it would always be the following Monday.

The odd thing is, when you wonder about places in LA, it doesn’t feel quite like Christmas since there’s no snow and no too cold. Some city centers have decorations, but residential places have more and people do tend to make a effort on this out here.

Thanksgiving Day 2010

Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November each year in the United States. It’s a public holiday generally celebrated with family. Friday is also a public holiday too, but it’s better known as Black Friday, because it’s the day when people usually go shopping mad to pick up bargains. People will queue overnight at major stores just so they can be the first ones in the store to pick up bargains.

This was my second Thanksgiving dinner I’ve been to, same crowd, this time in Del Mar. There were about 20 guests, so as you can imagine, it took some time to prepare all the food but I wasn’t preparing it. Traditionally, turkey is eaten on this day, but there was duck and chicken too, a selection of stuffing, vegetables, and apple crumble and ice cream to finish it off.

I tend to like days where you can eat, just that I don’t have a big family out in the US to do something on this scale.

I stayed at a hotel this time with friends locally, since we had to leave at 7:30am the next day to get my old flat mate to LAX.

Friend’s Wedding Party

Returned from Del Mar early this afternoon from friend’s wedding party. Del Mar is located in Southern California in San Diego County, about 2 hours drive from Santa Monica and this was the first time I left Los Angeles since moving here.

I should actually mention this was in fact a belated wedding reception party, as the lovely couple got married a few month’s ago, but never had a party to celebrate.

I got a lift with friends, along with the usual brits who flew into LA recently, one of them being my ex-flatmate. We drove down to the hotel on Sunday morning. It was a fantastic day, with probably a hundred people who attended. There were some familiar faces from last year’s Thanksgiving dinner, and I told them I would probably be seeing them again in a few days time at this year’s Thanksgiving.

Towards the end of the night we all went back to the hotel to finish the celebrations, but the night turned sour when one of the guests decided to go a little crazy.

It got so bad later, when she took a taxi but returned when she found out her dog was missing, It was not missing! She simply forgot because she was so drunk. When she found her dog, she attempted to drive back, so security called the police. A friend kindly paid for her to stay a night at the hotel.

We had breakfast next and returned home. When I got back, I slept for a few hours, besides, I had a day off.