Germany is one of the more interesting countries I visited during our last tour of Europe. Once synonymous with its quest for global domination, war, and ultimately defeat, Germany has rebranded itself as a peaceful nation with the largest economy in Europe and forward-thinking policies that leave other nations envious.
During my visit to Germany I got to visit cities like Cologne (or Köln as the locals call it), Hamburg, and Hanover and after meeting several people who have visited other cities like Munich, Stuttgart, Berlin, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt, without the intent of taking away the awesomeness of Germany’s other cities we have decided to compile a list of 10 reasons why Cologne is the Partytrail’s favorite city.
1. It is home to Germany’s most visited Landmark.
The Cologne Cathedral is one of the most incredible feats of architecture we have ever seen. It is the largest Gothic Church in Northern Europe and was built in the 11th century. It is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site and is definitely a must-see for anyone who ventures into this amazing city.
2. Cologne is a waterfront City
Cologne is located on both sides of the Rhine River, which makes it perfect for river cruises, river dinning, and walks or cycling along the river. The fact that the city is built on both sides of the Rhine also makes adds to the aesthetic appeal of the city.
3. Cologne is one of Germany’s major cultural powerhouses
Cologne stands apart from Germany’s other cities for it’s amazing culture. It is home to several museums with the most famous being the Romanic-Germanic Museum. Cologne is also home to several multimedia companies and has a quite ethnically diverse community of expatriates students and locals from the world over.
4. Cologne is host to one of the largest street festivals in Europe
We are sure most of you have heard about Oktoberfest in Munich, while that is an amazing festival in itself, Cologne’s carnival starts in the 11 month of the year at the 11th minute of the 11th hour of the 11th day and the festivities don’t end till ash Wednesday of the next year. If that is not one hell of a party then we don’t know what it.
5. Let us not forget Cologne’s great nightlife
Cologne has the most pubs per capita in Germany, and we got a taste of some of Cologne’s amazing nightlife. With clubs like Nachtflug in the center of the city playing some of the latest dance tunes anyone who is into nightlife will not leave Cologne disappointed.
6. Pastry shops Everywhere
While Germany is known for its Wurst’s, we found Cologne to be awash with pastry shops at every turn we took and the fact that they were in abundance did not take away from how mind-bogglingly delicious they were. If you ever visit Cologne please take it easy on the pastries, over-indulgence could quickly see you spending your holiday funds on Pastries and not sight-seeing.
7. Cologne Is A Romantic City
When we think of Romance in Europe, the mind quickly wanders to Paris but we found Cologne to be a Romantic city, with love locks sprawling across the bridge that takes you over the river Rhine coupled with river Rhine itself and river cruises.
The next time you are in Europe and you want to impress your significant other; a stop over in Cologne might not be a bad idea.
8. Cologne’s Signature Beer is Awesome
Germany has some amazing Beer and the Oktoberfest in Munich gallantly puts that on display every year however if you are looking for a homegrown awesome tasting beer you should try Cologne’s very own “Kölsch” a top-fermented beer that has been brewed in this region of Germany since the early 20th century.
9. Cologne’s Amazing Christmas Market
During the winter months, Christmas markets usually pop up all over Europe and we have been to quite a few of these but as a result of our love of Germany’s Wurst’s, and Gluhwine we developed a special affinity for Cologne’s Christmas markets.
10. Cologne moonshines as a College town
A city with many universities is usually a well-educated city and cologne is no exception. The student population here makes the city young and dynamic and with a fine mix of international students using the Erasmus program as a stepping-stone to live in the city, it is no wonder Cologne is one of Germany’s most culturally astute cities.
“You have to go east!!!!!” was what my bunkmate at my hostel in Budapest hollered in a British accent so proper you would have thought she was straight off the set of Downtown Abbey.
Up until that point my perception of Eastern Europe came mostly from watching Soviet themed movies with my Dad and they did not paint a picture that was in line with the excitement that filled my bunkmate’s voice.
Part of me thought she was crazy or exaggerating but my unending wanderlust got the best of me and I decided to brush off my fears and listen to the adventurous angel on my shoulder.
I purchased a ticket with Eurolot and off to Poland I went, not knowing what to expect or what I was going to encounter.
Arriving In Krakow Poland
On arrival at the airport I was surprised to see a giant billboard of Mike Tyson promoting an energy drink. I thought to myself, Mike Tyson still has star power??? Especially, in Poland.
That and many other things would surprise me about Poland during my stay. I went to my immigration officer, an older Polish lady and without a fuss I was granted entry into the country. A driver I had booked with my Hostel was waiting with a placard with my name on it.
I approached him and he said “Dante?” to which I responded “yes!!!”, he led me to his car and drove me to my hostel, an old soviet style block of apartments that had been remodeled for the sole purpose of serving as accommodation for travelers.
After checking in, I decided it was time to go explore. I planned to stay in Krakow for two days and I had such a great time that I ended up staying for two weeks. Based on my experiences, here are a list of 10 awesome things anyone who travels to Krakow must do:
1. Visit the Wawel Royal Castle
The origins of the Wawel royal castle go back as far as the 11th century and due to war has passed through the hands of a few foreign powers. It was however returned to the poles in 1911 who began a restoration that would last until the later part of 20th century. Apart from the fact that it is very grand, a lot of Polish legends were born here so it is definitely worth the time and money to pay it a visit.
2. Walk along the Vistula River
This is the longest and largest river in Poland and a walk or cycling along the river is quite relaxing. There are also a few bars where you can go to get a drink or socialize along the river.
3. Explore The Jewish Quarter (Kazimierz)
European Jews suffered a great deal during the second world war but the brunt of the persecution was felt by Polish Jews, the Jewish quarter was the epicenter of Jewish life for about five hundred years and taking a walking tour through the Jewish quarter can be quite an eye opening experience.
However it’s not all doom and gloom here, there is actually a great amount of art galleries, nightlife and restaurants in this part of town. So make sure you include it in your Krakow itinerary.
4. Stay In A Party Hostel
If you are in the 18 to 35 age demographic, Krakow is known as Poland’s main party city, there are several party hostels that will properly indulge you in the cities never ending partying. I stayed at the Mosquito hostel when I was in Poland and it was seriously one of the best experiences I ever had.
5. Shop At The Main Square In Krakow
If you want to buy locally manufactured goods, then shopping at the Cloth hall located in the Main square is your best bet. They have everything from paintings to other kinds of arts and crafts that a tourist can purchase.
6. Visit The Wieliczka Salt Mines
This is one of the oldest salt mines in operation and it attracts over 1 million visitors a year. There are tours that lay bare the history of the mines which I personally found to be quite fascinating.
7. Indulge In Krakow’s Amazing Nightlife
I have partied quite a bit and I must dare say Krakow has some of the most amazing nightlife I have ever experienced. Websites like where2b.org can give you insider information on where to party depending on what day of the week. Krakow due to its large student population is awash with college-aged people cooling off at the city’s bars regardless of what day of the week it is.
8. Pay homage At A Concentration Camp
While this portion of your itinerary could be eerie and uncomfortable, I would still encourage visiting the concentration camps as this could a reminder of what could happen when we as humans allow evil to prosper within our midsts. Another place you can visit as a tribute to the bravery of some who stood up to the brutality of the Nazi’s is the Oskar Schindler museum.
9. Hang out In Krakow’s Main Square.
Krakow’s main square is a great place to pass off time. There are tons of great restaurants located here and also a few statues to emulate while taking pictures. Not to mention the local street performers showing off their talents.
10. Whet your Appetite with Polish delicacies
Polish cuisine comprises primarily of meat, starch, vegetables and different varieties of soups. The one dish that stood out to me were pierogies. A heavenly concoction of baked dough with whatever choice of meat you like.
In all Krakow, Poland was an amazing experience. I visited Krakow a couple more times because of the bond I formed with the city, it’s people, the food and culture I hope I get to go back soon. Till then, as they say in Poland “do widzenia”!!!
The Kingdom of Morocco in North Africa has long been a draw for tourists looking to visit Africa while still being able to explore an Islamic country. Morocco which is a constitutional monarchy is a moderate country neighbored by other North African countries that experienced some political turmoil when they deposed their long authoritarian governments and decided to embrace a western-styled democracy.
Morocco on the other hand is much more stable compared to it’s neighbors and is currently enjoying a thriving tourism industry as it has been able to provide a safe environment for tourists to come and explore this beautiful and amazing country.
We recently traveled to Morocco and had an absolutely great time. We have compiled a list of the 11 things you must do in Morocco to make your trip as incredible as ours was. Enjoy!!!
1. Visit the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca
Casablanca is the financial capital of Morocco; it is where most Moroccans go to achieve their own version of the “American Dream”. While the city is mostly suited to business travelers, spending a day or two here is a good idea for your travel itinerary.
The Hassan II mosque however is a must visit in Casablanca, Morocco. It’s elegant structure intricately decorated with Islamic art and symbols makes it a sight to behold. Avoid going on Fridays as most likely it will be closed to the public for “Friday Prayers”.
While In Casablanca, you can do other things like eat at Rick’s Café (Not the same one in “Casablanca” the Movie), La Scalla for Moroccan Tajines, also one can pay a visit to the Medina (Old Town), Bab Marrakech.
2. Go Shopping At The Souks (Markets) In Marrakech
Marrakech with its bustling El fna square is geared more towards tourists and taking a tour of the Souks and Medina are definitely the main highlights of this city. The Souks have everything from artisans to blacksmiths and tailors all clamoring to sell their goods to you.
One must be good at bargaining to buy things from the Souks. A good rule of thumb is to divide whatever price you are presented with by a third and try as much as possible to hold your ground by not going much higher than your originally stated price.
If you really want to see Marrakech, a good idea would be sign up for a walking tour of the city.
3. Spend At Least One Night In A Riad
If you ever want to know what it is like to be treated like Moroccan royalty, then we would advice you spend at least a night in a Riad (A traditional Moroccan guest house). A Riad is a traditional guesthouse or Palace that will leave you wanting to be Moroccan royalty.
Riad’s usually come with a garden or courtyard and a swimming pool or spa. They are usually a great place to book tours to explore the city or go camel trekking in the desert. Several sites like booking.com are great for reserving a stay at one of these Riads.
4. Head Over To Dakhla Western Sahara For Water Sports
If you want to depart from just wandering through the Souks and enjoying Morocco’s amazing hospitality, then head over to the disputed territory of Dakhla in the Western Sahara where you can join mostly French speaking holiday makers for water sports like wind surfing, kite surfing or just plain surfing.
Desert resort companies like Dakhla attitude and Ocean Vagabond have packages that involve surf classes, yoga and tasty meals as part of your package while staying at their resort.
5. Go Camel Trekking In The Sahara Desert In Merzouga
Morocco’s population consists of Arabs, Berbers and Tuaregs and if you want to know what it is like to live like a Berber, or Tuareg, then head over to the Sahara Desert in Merzouga for a Camel Trekking tour of the desert.
There are special tour packages that include a 90 minute trek of the desert to your campsite where you get to disconnect from modern life and spend a night in a tent.
6. Tour The Port City Of Essouria
Essouria is a port city in the southern part of Morocco and is a much better option for shopping than Marrakech, i.e., if you prefer not to be hassled while walking through a Souk.
Also apart from the shopping, there are a ton of Seafood restaurants where you can choose to whet your palate.
7. Go Wine Tasting In Meknes, Morocco
In France, they have the town of Bordeaux for wine, while California has Napa. Most of Morocco’s wine is produced in the city of Meknes, so if you are a wine connoisseur and would like to test your knowledge of wine, heading up to Meknes might not be a bad idea.
8. Tour The Blue City of Chefchaouen
Morocco used to have a rather large Jewish population and to distinguish their city from other Moroccan cities they decided to paint it blue. While we did not get to visit, we gathered it is a sight to behold, and just like other cities, Chefchaouen comes with it’s own Souks and Medina.
9. Visit The Souks and Medina In Fes
Fes is another city just east of Morocco’s capital Rabat and is really becoming a must visit city for anyone traveling to Morocco. With it’s white buildings, grand souks, and Medina, Fes is beginning to give Marrakech a run for it’s money in terms of Morocco’s most popular tourist city.
10. Whet Your Pallete With Moroccan Food
Moroccan food is nothing short of amazing. Most of the dishes we found comprised of lamb, rice, chicken, and Kebabs and were usually served as “Cous Cous” or “Tajine”. Most restaurants, or Riads serve these dishes well into the night so getting your hands on them won’t be a problem. We did gather that “Cous Cous” was the meal of choice for most Moroccans to eat after they have completed their Friday prayers.
11. Indulge In Some Of Agadir’s Amazing Nightlife
Agadir is a city in the south of Morocco renowned for it’s nightlife and from what we gather, it is usually packed with revelers from all over Morocco and Europe trying to relax and blow off some steam at this coastal city.
In a time where so much focus on turmoil from Countries where Islam is a major source of worship, it was great to visit a country that shed so much positive light on the beauty of Africa and it’s Islamic traditions. Morocco’s neighbors continue to experience turmoil as at the time of this writing, we only hope they can look to Morocco for inspiration on how mix it’s islamic traditions with progressive and modern reforms.
1. French Was More Widely Spoken Than I Anticipated
Being from a country where so much emphasis is placed on speaking the English language, I found it interesting that there was a city in North America where French was actually the official language of that city.
I have been to France and another francophone country in Africa but I never expected French would be so widely spoken in a North American city. Speaking French is taken so seriously in Montreal that I gathered from locals that there is the equivalent of a “language police” that enforces businesses conducting all commerce in French.
The good news is that if you are a visitor to the city, the locals are quite accommodating and will switch to English if they find that French is not your mother tongue. It does help if you memorize some dialogue opening words in French. I found phrases like “Comment allez vouz?”, “Mon nom est Dante” and then closing with “Parlez vous anglais” quite helpful.
2. Montreal’s Staple Dish Is Poutine
There are not too many staple dishes down south of the Canadian border that I can think of. Okay, we have Gumbo in Louisiana and the Hamburger is widely eaten in the United States but neither is a dish that any American can thump their chest and claim as their own.
However Montreal locals claim this heavenly mix of fries, cheese, and gravy with an extra serving of whatever kind of sauce you like as their own. I went to one of the best restaurants for poutine in Montreal to give it a try and it did not disappoint.
3. Montreal Has A Young And Hip Population
Montreal is a city I wish I had discovered earlier, we would have had some good times. The city is young and bustling with vibrance as a result of the numerous universities within it’s borders.
Montreal is home to a number of universities with the most renowned being McGill University. I paid a visit to it’s campus grounds and it was a sight to behold. A lot of the universities building’s were definitely built with the intention of conveying power and prestige.
Montreal’s university population also allows for a city that is quite diverse and international as a result of foreign students taking advantage of the numerous study abroad programs offered by Montreal’s universities.
4. Montreal’s Nightlife Might Just Be Unrivaled On The North American Continent.
Okay maybe I just had too much fun in the city and it’s clouding my judgment (no disrespect New York) but while I was in Montreal, there was a party literarily every night of the week and I hear it is even better in the summer.
From the amazing bar at the W Hotel to the bars on Crescent Street, Old Port, Mont Royal, Saint Laurent, Saint Catherine’s and Downtown, a traveler to the city will find there is something for everyone.
Drinks were also surprisingly affordable with special happy hour and early to arrive specials at the bars and nightclubs. All these just make Montreal a must visit city for anyone who loves nightlife.
5. Montreal Has A Laissez Faire Attitude.
Other than the “French language police” which I had no reason to encounter, Montreal seemed to have a live and let live attitude. Whereas south of Canada’s border in the good ol “US of A”, there is usually a heavy police presence whenever crowds gather to socialize, there seemed to be little to light police presence on the nightlife strips.
Austin, Texas for instance has horse back police herding people back to their cars the minute it hits 2am and in L.A. or New York the police force is pretty much everywhere watching out for any misbehaving partygoers.
Montreal seemed to have a calm vibe to it and if you were not being extraordinarily rude or obnoxious it seemed to take a lot more for you to run afoul of the law than if it were back in the states.
6. The Queen Of England Graces The 20 Canadian Dollar Bill.
If you are familiar with American history, we take great pride in the fact that we stuck it to the red coats (The British) and then went on to build the most awesome democracy the world has ever seen. F**k Yeah!!! (some would disagree cough! cough!).
However the Canadians seemed to embrace their European heritage and the fact that Canada is part of the English common wealth of nations. I found this rather interesting because back home most Americans seem to revel in the fact that their country was founded as a result of patriots who were sick and tired of the far reaching tentacles of the British Monarchy and did everything in their power to distance themselves from British Rule.
Los Angeles loves it’s Lakers, Barcelona has die-hard soccer fans rooting for FC Barcelona, and in Montreal it’s their hockey team the Canadiens that has the locals in a frenzy.
The Canadiens are members of the Atlantic division in the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League. At the time of this writing, “The Canadiens” have won 15 games and lost four. Hopefully they get to hoist the Stanley cup like they did nine times since 1965 with the last time being in 1993.
8. Montreal Has An Old Town
In most European cities I have traveled to, there is usually a part of town that is steeped in antiquity. This part of town is usually preserved as a reminder of the historic origins of that town.
While we have some of these old towns’ in the United States, in places like Virginia or cities that made up the initial thirteen colonies, the major cities like Los Angeles and New York city do not have an old town of any sort.
It made Montreal stand apart even more from other cities I had the fortune to visit in North America. It would have been kind amazing if there was a part of New York or Massachusetts where one could be transported back to a time before time.
9. Anyone Traveling To Montreal Does Not Need To Rent A Car
Montreal is similar to New York and many Asian and European cities in that a visitor to the city does not need to rent a vehicle. In Los Angeles, for instance, while we have a transportation system, it is pretty sub par for a city of it’s size and influence.
Everyone basically has to own their own vehicle which leads to a lot of gridlock in the city. I remember my Dad once referring to Los Angeles as the “city on wheels”. Montreal has a pretty efficient metro system that gets passengers to any part of the city they need to get to. I also found the railway map easy to read as it was printed in both French and English.
10. Montreal Is A Great City For Culturephiles.
If you love culture, architecture, a diverse pallete, and art, Montreal should be at the top of your list for “must visit cities”. The amazing blend of cultures from every corner of the globe with French culture being the bedrock on which other cultures thrive is an amazing sight to behold and experience.
At this point I think there is little more one can say to sell this city. Go grab a plane ticket and have fun in the closest thing you can get to a Parisian holiday in North America.
The Partytrail decided to head out to beautiful South Beach, Miami for the sole purpose of celebrating Halloween. Miami seemed like the right choice because of it’s unrivaled nightlife, warm weather and the equally warm people that inhabit the city.
If you are ever lucky enough to celebrate Halloween in Miami you can as well follow the itinerary of how we spent 36 hours in Miami during Halloween.
Pre Halloween Party At The Fontainebleau Miami
We got a room at the famous South Beach hotel called the Fontainebleau in Miami and got settled in our hotel after a speedy check in process at the reception. Once we dropped off all of our luggage, we headed for the pool where we had reserved a cabana.
The staff at the Fontaineblue were great and kept the alcohol flowing, as an extra bonus they had one of the best DJ’s we had ever heard mixing some amazing tunes right by the pool side.
Halloween On Lincoln Road In Maimi
After hanging out poolside all day, we decided to get some dinner and then go back upstairs to prepare for the festivities of the night. We donned our costumes and hit Lincoln road based on the advice of the concierge at the hotel.
Lincoln road is famous in Miami for where all the Halloween revelers go to show off their costumes. There was a DJ Booth Set Up On Lincoln Road where residents of the city danced to great music while they paraded the streets showing off every permutation of costume you could possibly imagine.
Once we wrapped up on Lincoln Road which was an event in itself, we headed to one of the best parties on all of South Beach. The Lighthouse Foundation, a charity organization based in Miami puts together a Halloween bash every year of which all the proceeds from the event are disbursed to different charities for altruistic endeavors.
The Lighthouse Foundation was able to get together a “who is who” of South Beach and guests included models from some of Miami’s leading modeling agencies. Some of the agencies that took part in this amazing event include:
MP Mega Miami
Elite Model Management
Next Model Management
MC2 Model Management
As one can see, the roll call of some of the best modeling agencies in Miami made for a very good looking crowd of people at the Halloween Party. Below is a clip of the festivities from the previous year, Halloween of 2014.
It was just the best party ever, we have provided more pictures below for you to get an idea of how well put together a Halloween party it was.
Sunday Funday At Bagatelle In Miami
After partying into the wee hours of the morning, our legs decided they had enough and could barely hold up the rest of our body. It was time to head home, we got an Uber ride (which apparently is illegal in Miami) and headed back to the Fontainbleu.
The next day, with barely 8 hours left in Miami, we headed to Bagatelle, a trendy restaurant in South Beach Miami for brunch. From our research, Bagatelle has one of the best brunch parties in all of Miami and just in case you can’t make it out to South Beach, they have locations in Los Angeles, St. Barth, St. Tropez, Sao Paolo and Miami.
It is a little on the pricey side, but with a live DJ, great drinks and a very involved clientele, the expense was sure worth it.
Los Angeles,(L.A.) California is one of most name-worthy cities on the planet, you have seen it on television, heard about the city in songs, it’s been romanticized in movies as a place where money and fame are manufactured on a daily basis.
It’s beaches, the beautiful people, and the spiritual lifestyle of endless yoga classes, the exotic cars and mansions.
All these things about Los Angeles can make it an extremely attractive place to want to relocate to.
The Partytrail has decided to compile a list of 12 things to you need to know before you make the decision to move to Los Angeles.
I once watched a movie where L.A. was called a city on wheels. In my mind, there is no better way to describe L.A. than an actual city on wheels because most Los Angelenos own one or more vehicles, which makes traffic on the highways and side streets (especially during the hours of 4pm and 7pm) brutal and this includes the weekends.
People here just don’t use public transportation as much as other world-class cities. This is not entirely the fault of Los Angelenos, as the public transportation infrastructure is yet to catch up with the revolving door of the millions of people moving in and out of the city every year.
If you move to L.A., you will definitely need a car and if you decide not to get one, you should set aside some money for a peer-to-peer transportation service like Uber, or Lyft.
2. The Beaches In Los Angeles Are Amazing
Los Angeles is bordered by the Pacific Ocean, so you will have access to some of the best beaches in the United States, coupled with a summer that starts more or less in January and extends all the way to mid-october or even November.
You will have to get some great beach gear and enlist in some beach activities like surfing or beach volley-ball to make the best of the endless summers L.A. has to offer. Some of L.A’s best beaches include: Venice beach, Santa Monica Beach, Manhattan Beach, Beaches in Malibu, and Redondo Beach just to name a few.
3. Los Angeles Can Be Pricey
L.A. has a great lifestyle to offer but you will surely be forking over some dinero to be able to live here. Los Angeles and California in general have some of the highest sales tax in the country, a whopping 9% compared to a state like New Mexico where it is just slightly above 5% (or Oregon, Montana and Delaware which have 0% sales tax).
To top that off, rent in some of the areas where a new comer would like to live can be quite pricey, so is eating out, groceries, nightlife and pretty much anything else you need to make a life out of living in L.A.
Los Angeles County, as of the time of this writing, has about 10 million people, while the city of Los Angeles has a population of about 3 million people. That means you will encounter people from every background you can think of with varying agendas.
Some of these aforementioned agendas range from pleasant to downright sinister. So my advice would be to take it slow and ease yourself into getting to know people.
Most people who relocate to L.A.(transplants as they are referred to) tend to be in the entertainment industry and sometimes project themselves as being celebrities even before they have signed a single record deal, acting, or modeling gig.
It is not uncommon for you to meet people who are waiters or waitresses listing their professions as being paid actors, actresses or models.
5. The USC VS UCLA Rivalry
The University of Southern California (U.S.C.) and the University of California, Los Angeles (U.C.L.A.) have been battling each other to see who has better pedigree and supremacy in the city of Los Angeles for some time now and the rivalry is not about to die down anytime soon.
These battles usually take place on the football field or any other sporting arena where both teams fight each other tooth and nail for who will have bragging rights over the other until the next time they get to duel.
If you move to L.A., you will definitely hear some jibes thrown from students and alumni of either school about who has the better team, education, or job prospects post graduation.
6. The Weather Is Pretty Much Great Most Of The Time
People in L.A. are incredibly spoiled by the weather and will moan and groan if even the tiniest droplets of rain ruin the fun that comes with the perpetual sunshine they’ve grown accustomed to.
Whereas on the East Coast and other tundras around the world the winter months get very cold, L.A’s winter sees a drop in temperatures to the mid 60’s (15 degrees Celsius for our foreign friends) or 50’s with some rain scattered in here and there, but for the most part, L.A. has great weather which makes for a city that thrives on a lot of outdoor activities.
7. The Los Angeles Lakers Are L.A’s Marquee Team
Basketball greats like Kareem Abdul Jabar, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant have helped solidify the Los Angeles Lakers as the team Los Angelenos “Like to Love”.
There are other teams in L.A. like the Los Angeles Clippers, the Los Angeles Kings, and the Los Angeles Dodgers but fans love the Lakers with a different kind of fervor, so be careful if you come to L.A. and bad mouth the Lakers or are hesitant to adopt the Lakers as a team you love.
Laker hate will surely not win you any love from the locals. Unfortunately, as of the time of this writing, the Lakers have fallen on hard times and fans seem to have temporarily adopted the Los Angeles Clippers as they favorite team but if you dig deep enough you will find that most Los Angelenos are die-hard Laker fans and forever bleed “Purple and Gold”.
8. L.A. is Culturally Diverse
Los Angeles is a very dynamic and culturally diverse city with every culture you can think of occupying some real estate here.
You have the Persians in Beverly Hills, Swedes in Santa Monica, the Armenians in Glendale, and Koreatown in Los Angeles has the largest concentration of South Koreans outside South Korea.
Coupled with those ethnic enclaves you have Chinatown, Little Ethiopia, Little Thailand and so on. So if you are one who likes to indulge in cultures other than your own, L.A. is an absolutely fantastic place to do just that.
9. Los Angeles Is Spread Out
Unlike a lot of other cities where most of the activity is concentrated in a small area but has tons of high rise buildings and skyscrapers, like New York for example.
L.A. has a massive urban sprawl, the city is so spread out that unless you are truly committed to seeing the city, you might just end up being isolated to the part of town you live in.
Your isolation to your own neighborhood will be made even more likely due to the fact that driving from one part of town to another can be a massive headache as a result of the fore-mentioned traffic.
10. Los Angeles Has Earthquakes
There have been rumors that Los Angeles or the whole of California in general is overdue for a large earthquake. Most Los Angelenos just shrug this off and continue with their daily lives.
My advice would be for you to catch up on some crisis preparedness videos to see how you can deal with an earthquake in the event that you are caught up in one after your move to L.A.
At some point or another, you will run into someone famous in L.A., its not news that L.A. is the world’s epicenter of the movie and entertainment industry. My advice is to try not to give yourself away as a newcomer by getting overly excited if you do spot a celebrity.
Most locals just glance over and keep on with their business because they are used to seeing celebs as they carry on with their everyday lives.
12. There Is A Lot To Do In Los Angeles
And we mean a lot… Los Angeles has a ton of things to do, from awesome nightlife, to restaurants, arts, and culture, sports, theme parks, museums, parks, festivals and so on.
Even though things in L.A. are quite pricey, there are happy hour deals, and coupon sites like Groupon that offer discounts on activities to make them more affordable. Take your time to look for these deals and when they are being offered and you might just be able to save yourself a ton of money.
Need To Know More About L.A.?
Here are some resources to help you get more familiar with the city.
It’s Halloween season again, and if you have taken any notice, people are beginning to carve their pumpkins, spook up their houses and do anything else they can think of, in preparation for another hopefully awesome Halloween event come October 31.
The only question is what Halloween costume will you be wearing this season? Well, the partytrail is here to the rescue. We have compiled a list of Halloween costume ideas that will make you stand out at whatever event you decide to spend Halloween this year.
1. Zombie Halloween Costumes
Nothing embodies the spirit of Halloween more than dressing up as a Zombie or a Vampire. A certain aspect of Halloween is supposed to depict gore and the macabre, so dressing up, as a zombie would definitely capture the spirit of the season.
As an added bonus, since zombies are supposed to be gross and decaying, putting together a costume should require little cost or effort.
2. Halloween Costumes Of 80’s Icons
The 1980’s, if you were not old enough to be a functioning human during this period was a time of outlandish and weird hairstyles, short shorts, and oddball fashion. If your parents kept some of their 80’s gear then you will have no problem assembling a costume, because the entire decade was just one giant costume party.
3. Halloween Costumes Of Societal Heroes
We are talking policemen, teachers, firemen, doctors and nurses. Forgive us if we left your noble profession out. The fore-mentioned seldom get their due in today’s society; why not give them a personal shout out by dressing up as one of these heroes. Do add a tinge of sexiness to your costume for extra points.
4. Comic Character Costumes
If you decide you don’t want to be a real hero, then why not settle for being a fictional hero or villain. With every comic book hero/villain and their mother gracing the silver screen these days, you should have no problem selecting from the endless array of super heroes or villains out there.
5. Pirate Costumes
Why not venture into some terrified waters this Halloween season, gear up and don a pirate costume. There has always had a deep fascination of pirates in popular culture, from Captain Hook in Peter Pan to Jack Sparrow in “The Pirates of the Caribbean”. You can do no wrong by dressing up as a pirate this season.
6. Vintage Halloween costumes
If you are a classy guy or girl, or simply an old soul, then the 1920’s flapper Halloween costume idea should be perfect for you. If you also like to blend themes, how about you try a vintage Halloween costume with some zombie or vampire make up for a truly amazing and memorable costume.
7. Pop Culture Icons
Celebrities, you may have heard of one or two, whatever your taste is, we won’t judge you, how about a good ol’ shout out to your favorite celebrity, this Halloween season. To stand out a zombied up celebrity will earn extra points amongst fellow revelers.
8. Sports Halloween costumes
If we haven’t convinced you yet with our previous options, you can dress up as your favorite sports man, or cheerleader. This genre of Halloween costume is also a great candidate for a blend with the vampire or zombie Halloween theme.
9. Fairy Tale Halloween costumes
If you remotely had any form of a childhood, these characters should be very well familiar to you. You can have your pick of the prince who brought snow white back to life or dress up as Cinderella , the characters in Beauty and The Beast. Again the options are almost infinite.
10. Vampire Halloween Costumes
We saved the best for last, buy some fangs, a vial of red ink and some white facial mask, throw on an elegant outfit (cause those vampires dress smart) and you just turned yourself into one of the most prominent antagonists of pop culture.
Nothing describes gore, feverish passion, rage and the macabre like a vampire. Dressing up as one for Halloween this season if done well should definitely win you some prizes for best costume at whatever Halloween party you decide to attend this season.
Melrose Avenue is one of the most interesting strips in all of Los Angeles (L.A.), with its edgy clothing boutiques, unique coffee shops, restaurants, and pubs, it is no wonder most Angelenos refer to the Melrose Avenue Shopping District as “where all the cool kids go to hang out”.
There are tons of things to do on Melrose Avenue, which makes visiting L.A. without going to Melrose Avenue a cardinal sin.
Things To Do On Melrose Avenue.
Smoke Some Hookah At Glass Hookah Lounge
Glass Hookah lounge is one of the most original hookah bars we have been to. This Hookah lounge has plush and sophisticated interior design, several Hookah flavors to choose from and great customer service.
We can’t think of a more perfect way to spend a Saturday evening than stopping by to check this place out.
Go Shopping At One Of Melrose Avenue’s Edgy Boutiques
If you like fashion accessories that make you stand out in a crowd, then Melrose Avenue is the place where you want to go shopping.
Spanning both sides of the strip, you will find boutiques ranging from high-end brand names to more unique brands that you didn’t even know existed.
One thing all the brands on this strip have in common is how amazing the merchandise on the shelves are.
We do advise you exercise caution with your wallet or else you will leave Melrose Avenue with your wallet a lot lighter.
Stop By A Coffee Shop
If you like to people watch, while you get your daily dose of caffeine, then look no further than Melrose Avenue. The weather in Los Angeles is great all year round, which makes sidewalk café culture quite prevalent in the city.
It also helps that most of America’s beautiful people move to L.A. to work in the entertainment industry so there will be plenty to feast your eyes on while you sip on your cup of coffee.
Indulge In Your Appetite
There are tons of restaurants on Melrose where you can grab some food. The strip has everything from Indian restaurants to Italian restaurants and local food chains.
Grab A Drink At A Melrose Avenue Pub:
There are lots of pubs and bars on Melrose Avenue, with a local favorite being the Snake Pit Ale House.
Make sure you stop by for some of their wide selection of beers and alcoholic beverages. Other pubs of note on the strip include The Darkroom, Melrose Umbrella Co, and he Village Idiot.
It’s College football season again over here in North America and while most of the action takes place in the arena, where opposing gladiators jostle to become their divisions’ “overlords”, another kind of jostle takes place outside the arena, one that is as important as the game itself — the tailgate party.
To aid any plans you might have for throwing a tailgate party this season, we have compiled a list of 10 fun things every football fan can do to make their tailgate party one to remember.
This has to be the most annoying aspect of travel. It is obvious security officials at airports have a tough job to do. They are supposed to be the first line of defense against a possible attack on an airplane.
However, with the way one gets treated when going through airport security, some paranoia starts to set in, because one is left to wonder if these security officials secretly despise you for having enough discretionary income to go on a vacation.
With burly airport officials barking orders at you like; “Take off your shoes!!”, “Put your bags through the screener again!!”, “Sorry you have to dispose of your water bottle!!!” you are left with a bad taste in your mouth by the time you begin your adventures.
It only adds insult to injury to find out later that during random audits of the efficiency of the airport security process, 95% of banned items make it past the screeners. You begin to feel justified in your paranoia and wish you are able to afford a private jet sooner rather than later.
2. Meeting Someone Awesome On The Last Day Of Your Vacation
You are sitting down in the common area of your hostel or the lobby of your hotel, a stranger comes over and you guys strike up a conversation, you find out this person is actually kinda cool.
They find out you are at the end of your vacation and invite you out to explore the city one more time. You guys have a blast and they just went from kinda cool to “brother from another mother or sister from another mister”.
The problem is that the person is from Canada and you are from…. say Thailand, If this person lived in the same city as you maybe this would have been your new best friend.
Unfortunately, they live 6,000 miles away and apart from adding them on Facebook and creeping on their photos afterwards you will most likely never have much contact with them again.
3. Not Understanding The Local Language
It is usually a gesture of goodwill and some cultural sensitivity to learn a few phrases of the local language of your destination of choice, but if you are on a multi-country tour you start mixing up phrases from different languages and then you sound even more silly than you would have if you did not bother trying at all.
4. Justifying Your Visit To Curious Locals
This happens to me a lot when I visit the more traditionally isolated parts of the planet. During my last trip to Lithuania, the locals seemed genuinely surprised that anyone would travel so far to visit their country.
I was queried relentlessly by the locals trying to see if there were any ulterior motives for me wanting to visit their country. Give a brother a break! I am just curious.
5. Getting Scammed.
There is nothing that ruins travel plans like getting scammed while you are on vacation. The Eastern European states are notorious for attractive girls waiting outside bars for young testosterone riddled men, and then getting them to buy drinks for these women.
This usually leads to the men getting charged a ton of money and then getting threatened for payment.
The scenario usually takes a dark turn where the men find themselves at the mercy of bulky bouncers staring them down angrily while they withdraw hefty sums from their ATM accounts.
Another scam that is tiring comes from taxi drivers in foreign countries charging hapless tourists exorbitant rates for rides.
6. Overcrowded Hostel Dorms.
Anyone who is an avid budget traveler has probably experienced this. You walk into your hostel dorm and it is like the United Nations of “sweat, smelly feet and bad odors”.
To top it all off, the cute British girl that seemed interested in you when you first arrived has found a more interesting guy from France and now they are having sex on your top bunk.
Ouch!! After two weeks of this, you decide maybe it is a good idea to cut the trip short and airbnb it from this point on.
7. Getting Lost.
Even with the advent of mobile apps like Here or Google Maps it is still possible to get ridiculously lost while overseas.
The street signs could be in a language you don’t understand or the city could just be constructed in a way that leaves anyone new to it confused.
Getting lost is never any fun and could leave even the most worldly traveler in a pool of tears.
8. Delayed Flights, Trains, Or Buses
We need not say more, but still, this has to be the most frustrating part of travel, well apart from not having infinite cash to travel permanently.
There is nothing fun at all about having to wait around in the airport for a flight that is delayed or canceled.
9. Not Being Able To Travel On A Permanent Basis.
There are tons of people still trying to figure this one out. You go overseas and you just don’t want your trip to end so you start trying to figure out a way to make it permanent.
You start a travel blog and hope you get enough traffic to sustain your lifestyle on the road only to see a balance of $7.48 in your adsense account.
You finally come to terms with the fact that gallivanting around the globe on a permanent basis is a privilege only a few will ever get to enjoy.
Resigned to your fate, you return home and settle for 14 paid days of vacation a year like everyone else.
10. And Lastly……..Dreading A Vacation Coming To An End.
You had a blast while you were traveling, you got to find out that despite what the news and maybe your parents have to say, the world is actually full of awesome people, great cultures, food, and an almost infinite amount of things to see.
Then you realize you have to go back to your mundane life back home, in a panic, you start counting the hours, minutes, and seconds hoping somehow the good times won’t end.
Sadly they do and you have to board the flight or train back home.