Category Archives: Uncategorized

I Scream, You Scream, Museum of Ice Cream

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I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM, MUSEUM OF ICE CREAM

Remember those museums where it is all about “don’t touch, just look” and “no photography”?  Luckily, since a couple of months now, there is a new fun and interactive place in town, where touching and making Instagram memories are highly encouraged (at least for the most part). Welcome to the Museum of Ice Cream!

Located right in the heart of the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles, this interactive place of discovery totally defies the meaning of a traditional museum. The fun already starts before you even enter the place. Visitors are guided into a cute little garden right next to the facility, which is equipped with fun games like Cornhole and Jenga. The music is blasting, and you can’t help it but get in a happy mood.

The staff at this place is doing a wonderful job at keeping the crowds entertained and forgetting about everyday life at least for one afternoon. Once visitors are called to line up by the entrance, a certain amount of people are encouraged to participate in a Hula Hoop contest.  After all the hoops have touched the ground, it is finally time to enter the holy halls of the actual museum, but not without a quick briefing by one of the employees.

In my friend’s and my case, who had the honor of visiting this trending spot recently, this person had the funky name of Sprinkle Steve, a handsome twenty-something Zach Efron look-alike. After a quick reminder that people are allowed to touch everything except the popsicles and bananas, the really fun part starts: exploring the museum.

While I don’t want to give too much away in case some of you, dear readers, are anticipating visiting the Museum of Ice Cream yourself, I’d like to tell you this:

1) Your sweet tooth will definitely be satisfied. With samples of chocolate, ice cream, and gummy bears in almost every of the exhibit rooms, your taste buds will not be disappointed.

2) If you are a fan of photography and Instagram, this is the place to be.  Every room in the museum offers unique photo opportunities thanks to a ton of fun and interactive props.

3) This museum is very well organized and only lets a manageable amount of group sizes in at once.  Thanks to specific time slots you get when you purchase your ticket, the exhibit never feels too crowded, and you don’t have to wait in line for ever to capture the fun in pictures.

4) Be advised that tickets are currently sold out and, if they are available, sell out quickly.  It took me two tries until I was finally able to purchase tickets after I missed the newsletter announcement once.

If you are like me and like the out of the ordinary, then this is the place for you.  You will experience an afternoon where you are allowed to be a kid again in the colorful world of candy.

Life is short, eat that ice cream!

 

Images: Anne-Kathrin Schulte
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Anne-KathrinAnne-Kathrin Schulte, is a contributor for CaliforniaGermans.com. She writes on her personal experience of the American Dream as well as on working as an au pair in CA. She was born and grew up in Düsseldorf, Germany, where she completed her degree as a state-approved Kindergarten teacher. After her au pair engagement in the US and a quick return to Germany she decided to attend university in California and moved back to the United States. She has been living in Southern California since 2011.

If you would like to contact Anne-Kathrin, please send an email to californiagermans(at)gmail.com and place her name in the subject line.

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GSC Banner 2017 August-OctoberFinal

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The Tale of the Traveling Cake Continues

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THE TALE OF THE TRAVELING CAKE CONTINUES

It was a beautiful Saturday in April of 2017, when one particular wedding cake and I started the journey from Redondo Beach into the deep Malibu Canyon.  My boss and I figured that if I left the bakery with the cake at 9 a.m. it would give me plenty of time to arrive at the venue at the appointed 11 a.m.

As we all know, traveling through the LA area usually consists of sitting in traffic at least at some point, if not more.   But since it was a Saturday, I had high hopes that the traffic Gods were on my side.

Unfortunately, they were not.  In fact, they wanted to test my patience extra hard that day with a three-lane-closure at LAX due to a crash that involved a burned-out vehicle.  My hopes of a punctual arrival diminished from minute to minute, and while the cars in front of me still weren’t moving, I decided to give the wedding planner a heads-up about my delay.

Thankfully, she was not too stressed about it (or she was just good at hiding her real feelings). It felt like an eternity, but eventually cars started moving again, and slowly but surely I was ready to continue my route while the cake was still peacefully sitting in its box.

Now is probably a good time to tell you a little bit about the “transport box,” just for an overall better understanding of the situation.  This particular box was actually a bigger paper carton with no lid.  The cake was securely fastened onto a round shaped cake board, and then just pushed into the box, the open side facing my dashboard.  To my defense, it was not my idea to position the cake like this on my passenger seat.  You might know now where this story is going.

I was finally able to get out of the whole traffic mess and to speed up to a decent pace; wanting to make sure I hopefully don’t encounter anymore delays. I kept driving on the 405 north for a while before my GPS told me to merge onto the US 101.

I merged onto the outer right lane, slowing down a bit but still holding a steady speed, about to approach the loop towards the 101 freeway.  Unsuspecting, I made my way around it, when suddenly the car in front of me hit the brakes hard, resulting me into doing the same thing.

I knew right away what terrible maneuver I just had done.  While pushing my foot the hardest I could onto my breaks, I heard a swoosh sound.  I looked over to my right side, and in a matter of seconds, I witnessed the precious 12-piece cake slipping out of the box and straight onto the floor.

I will not be able to tell you verbatim what I was exactly yelling out at the moment since it consists of a series of swear words.  What I can tell you is that I started to cry hysterically.

I couldn’t contemplate what was worse: the fact that the cake actually dropped on the floor or that I had to call my boss and tell her about it. Well, since there was no way around it, I picked up my phone and anxiously dialed her number.

When she heard that I was crying, she instantly knew that something really bad must have happened. To my relief, she was very understanding and tried to calm me down, which made me sob even more.

Unfortunately, I still had to deliver the cake, hoping that the florist would be able to cover up the damages. “At least the cake wasn’t supposed to be the one eaten,” is what I kept telling myself to calm me down and to prepare me from having to face a pretty uncomfortable situation, but more on that next time. As for now, feel free to enjoy a graphic image of the described disaster.

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Images: pixabay.com, Anne-Kathrin Schulte
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Anne-KathrinAnne-Kathrin Schulte, is a contributor for CaliforniaGermans.com. She writes on her personal experience of the American Dream as well as on working as an au pair in CA. She was born and grew up in Düsseldorf, Germany, where she completed her degree as a state-approved Kindergarten teacher. After her au pair engagement in the US and a quick return to Germany she decided to attend university in California and moved back to the United States. She has been living in Southern California since 2011.

If you would like to contact Anne-Kathrin, please send an email to californiagermans(at)gmail.com and place her name in the subject line.


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You May Have Your Cake, But You Can’t Always Eat It

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YOU MAY HAVE YOUR CAKE, BUT YOU CAN’T ALWAYS EAT IT

Dear Readers,

I know it’s been a while.  Unfortunately, it’s been way too long, and I do feel bad.  I missed writing and taking the time to be creative.  But, as all of us know, life happens.  My life has been extremely busy these past couple months.  I am not complaining as I love being busy, I just deeply regret that I didn’t have time to sit down, be inspired, and write.

The thing is I probably could have produced somewhat of an article each week- but it would have felt more as a chore than something that I truly enjoy. Busting out an article because you have to instead of because you want to produces (obviously) different results.  But I am finally able to slowly get back into the swing of things.

As I have mentioned in one of my last pieces, I started working with dogs, and I love it!  Being with animals is such a stress reliever, and I met so many wonderful people through it as well.  But besides this opportunity, I also started working as a coordinator for a baker.  One of my friends was doing the job before, but since she started a full time job she was unable to continue the work and recommended me.

The position sounded really great as I was able to work remotely, so it perfectly fit in with my schedule.   But, as this happens a lot in life as well, things came different at some point than discussed.  In theory, my duties consisted of handling e-mail customer inquiries, a fun and easy task.  Of course, it took me a little in the beginning until I got the hang of it, but I eventually was able to spend less than one hour a day working from my computer.

Things started to change about a couple weeks into my job.  I knew that my friend handled some of the pastry and cake deliveries in the past as she was living less than five minutes away from the bakery.  I, on the other hand, live about an hour away from Redondo Beach, where the shop is located.  So I became a little skeptical when my boss started asking me to do deliveries as well.

I might not have minded it that much if it wouldn’t have been on a weekend, but to ask me to come out two days in a row to deliver cakes just didn’t sound too appealing to me, especially since one of the locations included Compton, which I thankfully turned down.  As a compromise though and since I didn’t want to seem entitled, I agreed to accomplish the delivery of an ice cake to Marina Del Rey.

The whole way from Redondo Beach to its final destination I felt like I was on my way to Siberia.  Since it was an ice cake, I had to put the air conditioning in my car on full blast. Even though I ended up with a cold I am happy to report that the cake made it to the party without any harm.

From that day on, my boss figured she could sign me up for more deliveries.  Without even asking me, she concluded that I was in charge of spending one precious Saturday in April driving up to the Malibu Canyons to deliver a wedding cake.  If that didn’t already sound bad enough, let me tell you that the notorious cake was only supposed to be used for photography purposes and not to be eaten.  Anyways, since my boss was supposed to go out of town that weekend, she told me that I have to do this delivery.

I wasn’t very happy, to say the least, especially since it was my friend’s birthday and I would be missing half of the celebrations.  But what was I supposed to do when my boss tells me to do it, even though deliveries were not part of my job description in the first place?  I know, I know, I sound like a whiner and unappreciative.  Well, you might feel me a little more after I tell you the whole tale of that one fateful day.

It was a warm and sunny Saturday morning.  I had come to terms with the fact that I was about to drive the 160 miles round trip to deliver a simple twelve piece cake into the middle of nowhere while my boss was basking in the Palm Springs sun.

To my surprise though, she was still working on the masterpiece when I arrived at the bakery in Redondo Beach.  She told me that she had to cancel her girls’ trip since she still had a couple orders to finish.  I instantly felt bad and selfish, and I swore to myself to bury any feelings of irritation about my interrupted weekend plans.

We ended up sharing some bonding conversation while she was finishing up the wedding cake.  Looking at the clock, I got a little nervous considering that the cake was supposed to arrive in Malibu at 11 a.m. and it was already past nine.  Luckily though, she was almost done.

Since I am a pretty clumsy person, I didn’t decline her offer to securely transport the cake to my car.  She put it in a carton box and carried it over to my passenger seat, where she positioned it in a way to make it easy for me to pick it up and switch it onto the cake board once I arrived at the destination.

We then exchanged our goodbyes, not knowing what unanticipated turn the whole day would take.  But more to that story next time.

Image: pixabay.com
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Anne-KathrinAnne-Kathrin Schulte, is a contributor for CaliforniaGermans.com. She writes on her personal experience of the American Dream as well as on working as an au pair in CA. She was born and grew up in Düsseldorf, Germany, where she completed her degree as a state-approved Kindergarten teacher. After her au pair engagement in the US and a quick return to Germany she decided to attend university in California and moved back to the United States. She has been living in Southern California since 2011.

If you would like to contact Anne-Kathrin, please send an email to californiagermans(at)gmail.com and place her name in the subject line.


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The 2017 German Language Summer Camp Guide for California

Summer is approaching faster than we all would like to acknowledge it. And here we are, once again, trying to find the perfect camp and other summer activities that will save our kids from ‘extensive boredom syndrome’ during these hot summer days…

If you were planning on having your son or daughter attend a camp that will provide not only fun but will also stimulate their intellect – A foreign language immersion camp might just be the perfect pick!

In the following find a compilation of some German Language Camps up and down the coast of California. They all offer a great variety of fun activities along with German language immersion.

GERMAN LANGUAGE SUMMER CAMPS 2017

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STEM Summer Day Camp 2017 at GermanSchoolCampus in Newport Beach

Back by popular request is the STEM science camp in Newport Beach at the beautiful location at the Newport Seabase right along the waters of the Newport Bay. Children will enjoy a whole week of fun learning about “Feuer-Wasser-Erde-Luft” (Fire-Water-Earth-Air) while taking full advantage of the beautiful location and undertaking an excursion on a pontoon boat and trying out little motorboats. Fun is the top priority at the GermanSchoolCampus summer camp at the sea!

Classes are open to all children 6-17 years of age. Children can be pure beginners of the German language since all parts of the camp will be conducted bilingually and the German language is introduced throughout in a playful way.

Camp Dates : One week ONLY – Monday July 3 – Saturday July 8, 2017 from 8:30-4:30 (with no class on 4th of July)

No prior knowledge of the German language is necessary!

Contact: 949-285-0829 – Frau Schoeneich- School Director

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Camera, Lights, Action – Summer Camps for kids at GPSSD in San Diego

GPSSD San Diego offers four fun weeks of German language summer camps with themes like Zeitreisen (Time Travel), Camera, Lights, Action…, Trolls and Tournaments. The camps are open to all children 4-14 years of age.

Camp Dates: June 26 -July 21, 2017 from 9am-3pm (extended care possible)

Contact: (858) 461-9118 or germanpacificschool@gmail.com

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SUMMER IMMERSION CAMP 2017 at GISSV MOUNTAIN VIEW (NorCal)

German language classes + art, music, science, sports, cooking and more!

The GISSV Saturday School is excited to once again offer a German Immersion Summer Camp. Our combination of morning language classes and engaging afternoon activities offers a unique opportunity for kids to learn and play in German!

The German Immersion Summer Camp is for children ages 6-16. Prior knowledge of German is not required. Langauge classes are offered each day of camp from 9am-noon. Afternoons are packed with interesting, fun and physical activities ranging from art to soccer to science, cooking, yoga and music. Responding to popular request, we will also offer a KinderCamp for ages 4-5. KinderCamp will follow its own curriculum in our Kindergarten classrooms. Prior knowledge of German is not required.

Camp Dates: June 19 – July 14, 2017 , from 9am-4pm (Extended care is available for a maximum day from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm)

Contact: office@gissv.org or (650) 254-0748

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“Stein, Schere, Papier” – German Summer Camp 2017 at Bay Area Kinderstube in Berkeley (NorCal)

Bay Area Kinderstube offers four weeks of a full-immersion German summer camp at Berkwood Hedge campus, 1809 Bancroft Way, Berkeley (one block west of Berkeley High). Beautiful Berkwood Hedge campus in Berkeley has spacious classrooms and a great outdoor space. The camp is for children ages 3-13.

The curriculum is hands-on and includes singing, playing, acting, history, music, cooking, arts and crafts, field trips and many outdoor activities. Each age group is led by a native German teacher with experience in instructing various levels. The teachers will be supported by assistants, many of whom are former campers themselves. Because our camp is full immersion, it is best-suited for children with at least basic understanding skills in German. Counselor-in-Training program for 8th grade and up.

Camp Dates: July 17–August 11, Mon-Fri 9am-3pm (Extended care available form 3pm-6pm)

Contact: Heike Feltes at sommerschule@kinderstube.org or at (510)525-1310

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Nature, Creativity, Language – Summer Camp at WAnderKindSchool in Glendale 

Two amazing summer camps are scheduled for this summer. In June we will do two weeks of FORREST SCHOOL CAMP packed with outdoor fun and adventure. In July you can sign up for GERMAN LANGUAGE IMMERSION CAMP to playfully learn and improve a second language. Preschoolers join us in the mornings and Elementary Student (up to age 9) come in the afternoon.

Camp Dates:  June 19-23 & 26-30 “Forrest School Camp”,  and July 10-14 & July 17-21 “German Langauge Immersion Camp” (extended care is available upon request) Different Times for Preschoolers & elementary students.

Contact: wanderkindschool@gmail.com or 415-812-6675

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Summer Camp with GASA (SOCAL)

GASA will host their yearly overnight camp at the
beautiful Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center.
Swimming, hiking, zip-lining. A 136 ft. water slide, ‘smores by
the campfire, singing and dancing as well as fishing, baking, sports,
games and crafts, plus a special visit to a nearby zoo will be part of the fun! All activities will be conducted in German.

Camp Dates: June 25 – June 30, 2017

Contact: 562-693-0223 or office@gasaschool.org

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Summer Camp at GASPA (NorCal)

GASPA will offer a 4-week German summer camp for children at the location of Alto International School Campus (formerly GAIS) at 475 Pope Street, Menlo Park 94025. The camp is open to all children from ages 3-12 & 12-14. There is no prior German language knowledge required.

Camp Dates: June 19th – July14th 2017  from 9am-2pm (extended care is available) No Camp on Tuesday, July 4th

Contact: 650.520.3646 or contact@gaspa-ca.org

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Image: Courtesy of GermanSchoolCampus.com


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Helau and Alaaf – Carnival Tradition in Germany

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HELAU AND ALAAF – CARNIVAL TRADITION IN GERMANY

This upcoming Thursday, certain cities in Germany, including my hometown Dusseldorf, are going to be crowded with thousands of people – adults as well as children – dressed up in costumes. Welcome to the yearly tradition of Carnival.  For those of you who have never heard of this festivity before, I would describe it as a mixture of Halloween (minus the scary costumes) plus Mardi Gras.

Due to the fact that I grew up in a so-called Carnival central city, I basically was born into the tradition.  Today I can gladly say that I don’t miss it one bit, but back when I was living in Europe I did feel obligated to participate.  So what does Carnival consist of?

This time of the year, which is also named the 5th season, actually starts in November on 11-11 at 11:11 a.m., but the peak of the tradition happens around late February/ beginning of March on a Thursday.  That day called “Altweiber” (old women), it is common at work for women to cut off the men’s ties with scissors and then celebrate on the streets and at bars till late at night.

The highlight of the Carnival celebration is held on Monday with the Rose Monday parades, which are very popular in the cities of Dusseldorf, Cologne, and Mainz.  The 5th season usually ends that following Wednesday, called Ash Wednesday.

To sum it up, Carnival is one of the biggest events celebrated in Germany with parades, costume balls, and street parties.  There are two popular cries that you would be hearing a lot during this time: Helau in Dusseldorf and Mainz, and Alaaf in Cologne, Bonn, and Aachen.

I personally enjoyed this celebration more when I was a little kid in kindergarten and elementary school.  I mean, what kid doesn’t like to dress up.  My favorite costume of all time used to be a cat.  Cats were my favorite animal back then, so luckily for my parents they could recycle my costume every year and didn’t have to get a new one.

Being an adult, I never found it too appealing to put on a costume and get drunk on the streets, even though I participated a couple times.

What changed my perception a little bit was when I actually joined a show dance group that performed during masquerade balls.  I received this opportunity when I was living with my sister in a very small town in the mountains.

A friend of a friend happened to be one of the dancers, and since I loved dancing and had been doing it throughout my entire life, I saw the chance to become part of the group through that connection since they were in need of an additional performer.

For two years I was a member of this group.  And what can I say, I loved it.  I loved rehearsing for the show, performing on stage, and participating in tournaments.  But I still wasn’t too fond about everything else that included Carnival.

Once it was clear that I would be moving to the United Stands, I obviously had to end my time with this group.  It was a fun two years, but I am not missing it much nowadays.  But for everyone else who is a great fan of Carnival, have fun out there these next couple of days!

Image: pixabay.com
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Anne-KathrinAnne-Kathrin Schulte, is a contributor for CaliforniaGermans.com. She writes on her personal experience of the American Dream as well as on working as an au pair in CA. She was born and grew up in Düsseldorf, Germany, where she completed her degree as a state-approved Kindergarten teacher. After her au pair engagement in the US and a quick return to Germany she decided to attend university in California and moved back to the United States. She has been living in Southern California since 2011.

If you would like to contact Anne-Kathrin, please send an email to californiagermans(at)gmail.com and place her name in the subject line.

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