Hollywood once more

I wake up just before the sun comes over the mountains and enjoy the peaceful view. When I try to get dressed I notice how my camper car is slowly becoming quite messy and I’m getting a bit annoyed by that I can’t find my socks. After searching for a while, I give up and decide to drive to Walmart to get a few new pairs. Haha, I’m thankful that Walmart is everywhere here. The drive to the nearby city is very beautiful and goes through hills covered by trees. I’m amazed by how green it is here, quite different than the parts of California where I drove yesterday. At Walmart I get new socks and groceries for breakfast. Then I continue to Santa Monica where there is a famous amusement park at the pier. I’m happy to find free parking in a garage next to a shopping mall, just a few minutes walking from the pier. It’s nice here by the ocean, not too hot at all. I decide to take a ride in the rollercoaster which is not too extreme, but still very fun. I also buy myself a bright red ‘Lifeguard’ sweater, which reminds me of the lifeguards in the waterpark where I went the other day with my friends in Idaho.
After walking around a bit more at the pier I continue driving to Hollywood where I drive Mulholland road which gives good views over the city. At the end of the afternoon I start to think about where to stay for the night and I drive to Huntington Beach in search for campgrounds by the ocean. Unfortunately all the campgrounds I visit are fully booked and there is no place for me. After visiting three campgrounds I give up and drive back to Hollywood to sleep in my car in the street where I’ve camped before. I wake up a few times during the night, because there is surprisingly much traffic the whole night through. I wonder where all those people are going and coming from, but fortunately finally fall asleep again. I stay in bed a bit longer in the morning until it gets light and then drive to a viewing point of the Hollywood sign. As I see the sign in the distance, something in me starts to itch to do the hike again. I wasn’t planning on doing it and since I’m still quite tired I’m hesitating, but I simply cannot not do it. So I drive to the start of the hike and climb up the hill. I take it easy, because the sun is already up and it’s starting to get hot outside. As soon as I start hiking, I’m super glad to have made the decision to do this hike again, I love every moment of it. There are a few more people on the trail than usual, but I don’t mind and enjoy the view when I’m at the Wisdom tree. That’s about half way the sign and around 8AM I’m at the big famous white letters. I sit down to enjoy the view and again take several pictures, despite having been here many times now. I’m so glad I’ve come up here once more. I really love this place.
After staying at the top for about an hour, I hike back down and have breakfast at the car. I’m planning on being with my friend in San Diego at the end of the day, but until then I just take it slow. I drive to Beachwood CafĂ© where I’ve been several times before, but it’s really busy today. People are waiting outside for a table. I’m lucky and find a place at the bar and enjoy a black coffee while writing down some thoughts. I then drive to Griffith Observatory which I’d lik to visit, but the place is completely packed. There are no free parking spaces anywhere nearby and so I continue driving. I search on the map for an affordable gas station and text with my friends Liz and Mike and their children Addie and Eden who live just south of Los Angeles if they have time to meet. They reply very excited and I drive to their house. When I arrive, we greet each other with a big hug and Liz has a table filled with delicious sushi, making it a real party.
Liz and Mike are super friendly warm people and it’s a joy to see them again. Mike’s ancestors are from the Netherlands, I think his great great grandfather moved here or so. Because of that, he’s always interested in the Netherlands and we talk about which places they should go to when they come to visit. We talk more about my journey and all kinds of things and time flies by. At the end of the afternoon I say goodbye again, because I don’t want to arrive too late in San Diego. The freeway between Los Angeles and San Diego is probably the busiest route I’ve ever driven on. No matter which time or day you’re there, it’s always four or five lanes packed with cars. I don’t mind it though, because it’s part of this area. I’m also thankful that I don’t have to drive in such traffic every day. In the beginning of the evening I arrive at my friend Brittany’s house and it’s also great to see her again. After I’ve brought some things from my car into the guest room, we go for a long walk along the shore to catch up. Walking along the water in San Diego is fun, because next to the beautiful views there are also several street performers. There is one guy from Kansas who created his own musical installation with which he can play several instruments at the same time. He’s drumming, playing a guitar, singing and playing on a harmonica. It’s quite impressive and we stand to watch him make music for a while. When the sun is setting we slowly walk back to the house. I’m happy to be with a friend and to be able to have some relaxed days here in San Diego at the end of my vacation.

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