Venice Beach, California

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I thought Portland, Oregon was weird but not until I visited Venice Beach, California.  I was mesmerized by the street mishmash and chaos. My eyes could not stop running from street performers, to CD rap sellers, from dancers, to shops, and would finally stop and stare at bodybuilders. They were definitely there for the girls with cameras like us.

I was like a kid in a candy shop watching the people. There was not a single moment without an exciting, exotic, or exceptional person passing by, performing, selling, dancing, skating, biking, playing basketball, or offering marijuana prescriptions. It seemed like a big melting pot of the most abnormal but at the same time typical people of LA. They were the best of the best.

It definitely is a must place to visit in LA. The atmosphere is there.

Victoria BC

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There we were: smelling like camp fire, tired but excited to visit Victoria BC. A two hour ferry across the cold ocean, burning sun, and chilly wind dropped us off right in-front of the Parliament house. We took a few photos and headed to the Visitors center to see what there was to visit.

There were quiet a few things but most of the botanic gardens required taking a bus or taxi. We decided to simply stroll and have a glass of beer before meeting our CoushSurfing friend Dave at 5pm.

We took a walk along the waterfront, bought cheap “made in China” postcards from Chinatown, had a beer at Local Kitchen, watched sea-lions at the Fisherman Wharf, had soup and salad on Cook St, and took at very long walk through Holland Point Park to Dave’s house. What can I say – we were exhausted!

When we finally met Dave, he had a fantastic idea of making hotdogs and having a fire on the beach. We met all his friends, played guitar, talked about travels, and had a nice fire until we saw a truck flashing lights our way.

– Firefighters! – said Dave and rushed to open his coat and hide the fire behind his back.

It was too late. Three men with buckets and flashlight were heading our way to put our fire down. There were no more hot dogs or warm from fire socks. We stayed just a bit more, listened to Dave playing guitar and headed to a local pub that was playing blues. We managed to show off our salsa skills and the next morning headed back home to the mother land.

PS: A few thoughts about the faith in humanity. The CouchSurfing experience at Dave’s warmed my heart ones again. CouchSurfig is like a rolling snow-bowl of kindness, compassion, and sharing.

“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty” 

Mahatma Gandhi