Category Archives: LifeStyle

California Beaches – No alcohol and, please, don’t go topless!

Andere Länder – andere Sitten 

It’s summer and since we are staying here in California this year instead of visiting Germany, we decided to make it a California vacation. Let’s enjoy what California is known for! Beautiful weather and endless beaches right in front of our doorsteps.

Apparently the Germans’ favorite way to enjoy the sun in the summer is nude or at least topless. While this argument can be wildly disputed, free-body-culture loving Germans beware!

One of the first things I was told as a teenager when visiting our friends in Los Angeles and Orange County was, “Never sunbathe topless on the beach! It’s illegal here in California.”

Surprised, I just took notice of this warning, but I didn’t dwell much on it. I didn’t really care. Besides, I liked all the bright and colorful California bathing suits, so this wasn’t much of an issue for me.

But what if you really enjoyed summer most without clothes! Where to go in California? What to do if you just want to strip off all your clothes and jump into the water the way nature has made you…?

Well, there are actually a few beaches in California that do allow you to enjoy the FKK -Freikörperkultur (Free Body Culture); however none of them are in L.A. County or Orange County!

Click for a list here.

You lose with booze

Now, the other day when we went to the beach, I was surprised to have a police patrol roaming the beach and stop … Gasp!…, almost in front of us. A few people over to our right the police came to a stop, and all eyes were on that family the police started talking to. Confused many beachgoers tried to figure out what was going on as one man of the group had to show his I.D. After the police took hold of a few containers it dawned on us… alcohol. Oh, yes, I remember this now, too! No alcohol at the beach!  Unless you want to be the next attraction…

But you can find some exceptions also here, of course. Check out this link to find some places, where you can sip your prosecco in style and watch the sunset while relaxing in the sand.

Cheers!

Images:  ©CaliforniaGermans

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It’s Father’s Day in the USA – Vatertag in the USA

Today is Father’s Day here in America. This day of honorig all Dads is celebrated in the USA every year on the third Sunday in June, almost a month later than in Germany!

In Germany, Father’s Day – ‘Vatertag’ coincides with the church holiday of ‘Christi Himmelfahrt’ (Ascension of Jesus). It’s a national holiday and it’s always happening on a Thursday since the Ascension of Jesus is celebrated 39 days after Easter Sunday.

Interestingly, not all German speaking countries are celebrating Father’s Day on the same day. Austria for example has its Father’s Day on the second Sunday in June, while Switzerland initially didn’t have a dedicated Father’s Day until 2009. Since then the official Swiss Father’s Day is happening on the first Sunday in June.

How is Father’s Day celebrated in Germany? It used to be or often still is a day, on which fathers/men celebrate themselves and enjoy each other’s company in fact without family and children! In North Germany and East Germany, Father’s Day tellingly is called ‘Herrentag’ (Day of the Men) .

But more and more young families nowadays celebrate Father’s Day pretty much the same like we do here in the United Sates and make it a day with the family. I personally remember Father’s Day being a day for and with my Dad.

While Father’s Day has been an official holiday in Germany since 1934, the United States’ first Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910 in the State of Washington; however it wasn’t until 1972 that Father’s Day became a permanent national holiday in the USA.

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there! 

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Image: Pixabay.com


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Granny Aupair – A Different Take on the Traditional Au Pair Concept

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Invite a German Speaking Granny to Look After Your Children

As expats we often miss that our children won’t be able to grow up with their grandparents. Not only does it make us feel at ease to have someone experienced to help raise our children but it’s absolutely precious to have someone look after them, who will also pass on some German traditions and values we ourselves most likely grew up with. Not to forget the nice benefit of having our kids be exposed to speaking German whilst they grow up far away from Germany.

Following the principles of an au pair service the German company Granny Aupair in Hamburg has been filling that ‘Granny void’ since 2010!

Have a German “Leih-Oma” Stay With You!

If you can’t have your own Oma stay with you, have a ‘Leih-Oma’ share in your family’s life overseas. That way your kids don’t have to miss out completely on the enriching grandparent experience. There is so much to learn from an older generation and Granny Aupairs come ready to share their generational wisdom while nurturing your children.

Granny Aupairs are active, adventure loving women aged 50 and above from all over the world but mainly from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. They offer a wealth of life experience and most often have raised families of their own. Child care, cooking and keeping a household in check is nothing new to them. They are experts in it!

An Enriching Cultural Experience For The Entire Family

“Since 2010 more than a thousand ‘Grannies’ have travelled to over 50 countries” with Granny Aupair, which was founded by Michaela Hansen (55) in Hamburg. Over the course of their stay many Grannies have become friends with the children and parents alike and have knit close bonds. Susanne, a mother in the USA mentions: “We had such a great experience that we had several Grannies over the last few years, and two of them have come back for a second stay. The children are really happy when a Granny comes again. We also had a “Granny Reunion” in Frankfurt in July this year with our family, my mother, and four grannies. It was wonderful to see all of them together!“

Many women, who choose to become a Granny Aupair are looking for a new challenge after they have retired or their own children have ‘left the nest’. They still feel adventurous, enjoy traveling and are in search for something granny-brigitte-in-kalifornien-2
meaningful to pursue. Granny Aupair Brigitte Köfler from Bregenz, who cared for a family of six in Los Altos felt very enriched by her Granny experience and puts it this way: “I got to know so many wonderful people during my stay…The family I stayed with was absolutely fantastic and they made me feel like a true part of them. The fun with the children and to feel so warmly appreciated was very fulfilling.“

According to an article in the British Telegraph and a 2014 annual survey by Nannytax there is in fact a trend that many families prefer hiring older, more life experienced women to look after their offspring. Granny Aupair offers just that on an international level.

I Am Ready For My Granny Aupair. How Does It Work?

Families and single parents all over the globe can now easily find their Granny Aupair. To get more detailed information and browse the database of Grannies, who are ready to be part of your family, you just simply have to register free of charge at www.granny- aupair.com . Once you have found a Granny you feel fits your family, you need to become a member to start a conversation…and you are on your way to an enriching adventure!

Granny Aupair – Jetzt oder Nie!Logo GrannyAupairwww.granny-aupair.com

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Granny Aupair – (+49) (40) 87976140 – info@granny-aupair.com – Facebook
DisclaimerGranny Aupair is a pure online matching agency, with the focus on cultural exchange. We are not a job exchange or “regular” Aupair agency.
The Grannies are on a private trip where the Granny lives with a family instead of in
a hotel. Wages or payment are not intended as such. Everything is a matter of negotiation between the Granny and the family.

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Credits:  Images by ©IlonaGehrke ©GrannyAupair
(Sponsored Post)
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Last Days of Summer

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Last Days of Summer – Enjoy them before they’r gone…

Summertime, and the livin’ is easy… Gershwin’s silvery song from his opera Porgy and Bess rings in my ears while my husband and I lounge in pool chairs watching our children having fun in the pool right on the beach. “A pool on the beach?” you might say, “What’s so cool about that?”

Well, it’s a special pool. In fact it’s a historic pool! And it’s not somewhere at a fancy resort or so. No, it’s right here in Los Angeles and open to all!

One of the well guarded insider secrets of L.A. is the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica. We love coming here! Every time we are in Los Angeles either going to the Getty, LACMA, hanging out at the Grand Central Market or just visiting the German Consulate, we make it a point to come here to pay this historic pool by the beach a visit before heading back home.

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Built on 5 acres of beach property the Annenberg Beach House features a pool, a splash pad for the little ones, a fun playground and 6 beach volley ball courts right next to the Beach House. But it is also a community center that offers yoga classes, swim lessons and cultural programs and events like poetry readings and much more. You can rent out paddle boards for the day or book a surfing class. Do I need to say more…?

Even if you just come here for a few hours, it’s totally worth the parking fee of $3/hour or $12/day.  The kids can cool off in the water while you relax with a novel in a beach chair or just kick back after a busy day. If you are getting bored by the pool and crave some real ocean water, no problem! Just cross over the bike path along the beach and dive into the waves.

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Beautiful Sunsets for Dinner

Oh, and lets not forget about the Back On The Beach Cafe with the most beautiful sunsets ‘for’ dinner! My suggestion is, make it a day at the Annenberg and stay for dinner. You will not regret it!

We love ending a day in L.A. here at this Beach House Cafe. Looking out onto the ocean, the pristine white beach in front us we dig our toes into the warm sand and unwind with a glass of wine. While we are waiting for our dinner to arrive, the kids hang out on the playground next to us, … and the most spectacular sunset is just happening right in front of our eyes!

A perfect day turned into a beautiful memory!

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From Private Hollywood Estate to a Community Beach House for All

This beautiful site along Pacific Coast Highway was originally developed during the Gold Coast era of the 1920s by William Hearst, the publishing magnate who also built California’s Hearst Castle. The big estate was a gift to his mistress, actress Marion Davies, and hosted many of Hollywood’s celebrities like “Charlie Chaplin, Louis B. Mayer, Samuel Goldwyn, Greta Garbo, Clark Gable and other stars of the day”. After 1947 the property was converted into “America’s Most Beautiful Hotel” and housed the Sand & Sea Club before it was sold to the State of California in 1959.

A $27.5 million grant by the Annenberg Foundation paved the way for the transformation into today’s Annenberg Community Beach House a year-round public beach facility open to all. It opened to the public in 2009.

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Today parts of the original historic Marion Davies Estate have been restored and are part of the new Beach House: the original Marion Davies Guest House, which serves as a museum telling the rich history of the Beach House and the historic Beach House Pool, which “features marble around the deck and beautiful tiles that were restored by hand.”

The Annenberg Community Beach House is usually open daily from 8:30am. Summer hours differ from fall hours so check before planning a visit. The pool schedule is seasonal and from October to May special Pop Up Pool Days are offered.

Address:
Annenberg Community Beach House
415 Pacific Coast Highway *
Santa Monica, CA, 90402

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Images: ©CaliforniaGermans

Resource: annenbergbeachhouse.com


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17th Annual Newport Beach Film Fest – German Spotlight

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17th ANNUAL NEWPORT BEACH FILM FESTIVAL TO SHOWCASE AN EXCLUSIVE SCREENING OF GERMAN CINEMA

In a couple of weeks it’s time for the annual Newport Beach Film Festival (NBFF). A Festival that brings to Orange County the best of classic and contemporary filmmaking from around the world. This year the Festival will run from April 21st – April 28th and will spotlight over 350 films from around the world.

On Tuesday, April 26th, 2016 the NBFF will present its German Spotlight, an evening celebration of German cinema and culture. The event will feature the Regional Premiere of the highly anticipated German film, One Breath (Ein Atem) followed by a festive post-screening reception. The film centers on a greek nanny and a career-driven mother in Frankfurt who collide in this thrilling drama from German director Christian Zübert. When a child disappears the two women are forced to confront their fears and responsibilities. One Breath (Ein Atem) (In German with English subtitles.) is directed by Christian Zübert and stars Chara Mata Giannatou, Jördis Triebel, Benjamin Sadler, Apostolis Totsikas and Nike Maria Vassil.

The German Spotlight film will screen on Tuesday, April 26th 2016 at 8:15 p.m. at Starlight Triangle Cinemas (1870 Harbor Boulevard in Costa Mesa, CA 92627). The post-screening celebration will take place at 10:00 p.m. at Design Within Reach – SOCO (3303 Hyland Ave, Costa Mesa, CA 92626). The evening will include several of Orange County’s top restaurants serving signature tastings, multiple DJs, live entertainment, a special performance by Orange County Aerial Arts, hosted bar by Stella Artois Beer, and Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

Admission to the German Spotlight film One Breath and the post-screening party is $45.00. Post-screening party only is $25.00/ Film screening only is $20.00.   CaliforniaGermans readers enjoy a $5 discount with a special promo code:  GERMAN2016

For ticket information and updates visit www.NewportBeachFilmFest.com 

 

 

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