One of the greatest pleasures...
One of the greatest pleasures when you visit the United States is to go SHOPPING. Even though their sales tax is over 8% (but below 9%), it's still inexpensive to shop here.
So, remember to bring along an extra bag in cloth material (like what I normally would do). :-)) If you're coming from Europe, Australia or Asia, buy only the American brand products. They are really, really worth it (read: CHEAP!).
Brands like Clinique, Prescriptives, Ralph Lauren, Anne Klein, Donna Karan, Michael Kors, Anna Sui, Estee Lauder etc. are really good buys.
I gave Calvin Klein products a miss because there are just too many imitations right now in the market (to say it's being flooded would be an understatement!). Sorry, Calvin... :-((
I didn't buy MAC products either because it cost the same in Singapore.
And if you're really SERIOUS about coinciding your holiday with a MAJOR sale, I can't think of a better time than the FANTASTIC 4th of July sale - yes, nation-wide.
And for those who absolutely MUST know how cheap American products really cost in the U.S.A., here's a rough guide. Let's take the brand Clinique as an example. Their LARGEST bottle of Clarifying Lotion cost only US$15.50 (excl. sales tax) in U.S.A. That same bottle costs:-
450 French Francs in Paris/ Nice (France).
US$34 (S$58) in Singapore.
O.K., I'm sure you're pretty convinced now. :-)) Happy Shopping then!
Photos Below: Dresses from Donna Karan and Michael Kors 2000 Collection. My favorite designers.
While visiting the Missions,...
While visiting the Missions, please be respectful to the buildings and grounds. Some of the Monks still live or take care of the missions themselves. Don't throw your trash on the grounds. You might want to carry some tissue with you for the restrooms. The buildings take you back in time. You can almost picture what it must of been like on the west coast way back when. It's so peaceful in these places. If you can go really early before the tourists get there.
california has it all. from...
california has it all. from movie stars, to farmers. from the universal studios, to cow farms. there is the golden gate bridge, and planty of amusement parks, great beaches, but also just be there is a cultural thing it self.
If someone walks up to you and...
If someone walks up to you and calls you 'dude' this is a good thing. Being called dude by someone there means that they like you as a person. Don't be surprised if you here it more than once in the same sentence, we just like to hear the word over and over again--LOL! Also when going to the restaurants, don't forget to tip the server at least 15% of the bill. That is just standard tipping anywhere. In Cali, the government automatically records the tip even when people are too cheap to give one. The food server then has to pay taxes on money that was not made. Also, food servers only make minimum wage-- so they LIVE off their tips(and it isn't cheap to live in Cali!). If you don't tip them, they still have to pay the government for those unearned amounts. Be curtious to all in the restaurant industry and leave a few bucks. And if you are too cheap to tip, then go to a fast food joint where tipping is not mandatory.
America's physical fitness...
America's physical fitness obsession started in the 1930s. And because California is California, this state is where you'll find two dozen men sweating and groaning as they lift weights in front of mirrored walls, staring at their muscles for signs of growth and working on their pectorals in T-shirts that proclaim: 'Look Better Naked' on a busy week night in a gym :o)
It's a society that is very appearance-oriented, with Hollywood, movies, and tv shows like Baywatch everybody expects to find the beaches full of babes when they visit Southern California!!!! The idea seems to be: 'If you look perfect, you are perfect.' And worrying about your appearance is not only a woman's thing anymore. Both men and women are never satisfied with the way they look and always want to improve.
It can be a good thing though, to feel that muscle pain after a work out.... at least to me, gets me going and all pumped up about exercising, it's like a painful reminder to go back to the gym, and also a reminder that you worked the muscle, and you hurt it enough that it will now grow as a defense mechanism, and that's when you get all ripped. I loved that about California.... as long as it's not taken to extremes, caring about your appearance can be a good thing. And this gorgeous state's weather makes it easier too.
Dumb California LawsSunshine...
Dumb California Laws
Sunshine is guaranteed to the masses.
Animals are banned from mating publicly within 1,500 feet of a tavern, school, or place of worship.
Bathhouses are against the law.
It is a misdemeanor to shoot at any kind of game from a moving vehicle, unless the target is a whale.
Women may not drive in a house coat.
No vehicle without a driver may exceed 60 miles per hour.
Many animals are illegal to own as pets, including snails, sloths, ferrets, and elephants.
In an animal shelter, lizards and snakes are treated under the same guidelines as cats and dogs.
Peacocks have the right of way to cross any street, including driveways.
You cannot leave your car on the street overnight without the proper permit.
Nobody is allowed to ride a bicycle in a swimming pool.
City Council order reads: 'No dog shall be in a public place without its master on a leash.'
You are not permitted to wear cowboy boots unless you already own at least two cows.
It is illegal to spit, except on baseball diamonds.
Ice cream may not be eaten while standing on the sidewalk. (Repealed when Clint Eastwood was mayor)
Women may not wear high heels while in the city limits.
Detonating a nuclear device within the city limits results in a $500 fine.
It is illegal to wash your car in the street. (Passed 1995)
It is illegal to drive more than two thousand sheep down Hollywood Boulevard at one time.
You are forbidden to spit on the ground within 5 feet of another person.
It is illegal to own or sell 'Silly String'.
It is illegal to posses, own or raise roosters. This is considered disturbing the peace.
Cars are the only item allowed in a garage.
It is illegal to curse on a mini-golf course.
It is illegal for a man to beat his wife with a strap wider than 2 inches without her consent.
You cannot bathe two babies in the same tub at the same time.
You may not hunt moths under a street light.
It is illegal to cry on the witness stand.
Toads may not be licked.
It is a crime for dogs to mate within 500 yards of a church.Breaking this law is punishable by a fine of $500 and/or six months in prison.
Zoot suits are prohibited.
Roosters may not crow in the city limits.
Molesting butterflies can result in a $500 fine.
It is illegal to walk a camel down Palm Canyon Drive between the hours of four and six PM.
It is illegal for a secretary to be alone in a room with her boss.
Two bathtubs may not be installed in the same house.
Motor vehicles may not drive on city streets unless a man with a lantern is walking ahead of it.
One may not carry a lunch down the street between 11 and 1 o'clock.
It is illegal to shoot jackrabbits from the back of a streetcar.
The owners of houses with Christmas lights on them past February second may be fined up to $250.
Prohibits elephants from strolling down Market Street unless they are on a leash.
It is illegal to wipe one's car with used underwear.
Persons classified as 'ugly' may not walk down any street.
It is illegal to pile horse manure more than six feet high on a street corner.
It is illegal to have more than two cats or dogs. -Ord. 7.08.595
You may not play percussion instruments on the beach.
Ducks have the right of way to cross Rancho California St. at all times.
Well I haven't been there in a...
Well I haven't been there in a long time. Maybe its not even valid anymore, but I think it is!!:)
Cali is very laid back! Dress comfortably and just enjoy yourself. Northern California is different than Southern California. Remember Hollywood is down south the pace is more frenzied in southern California there are tons of touristy things to do. Amusement parks, movie theaters, restaurants, clubs etc etc.. Northern California is very artistic.. it can be frenzied but just think of sunsets, paint brushes, wineries, biking,bed and breakfasts, farm country, national parks, and quiet time!
Liberal at the coast, conservative inland
With San Francisco, Berkeley, and Hollywood, California gets a reputation for being monolithically liberal. That isn't completely true. Sure, it is plenty liberal along the coast with the notable exceptions of San Diego and Orange County. You go 5 miles (8 km.) inland, you can almost feel it get more conservative. The Central Valley, for example, is culturally closer to small-town Oklahoma or Texas than San Francisco (just beyond the Coast Range).
If you are interested in nude...
If you are interested in nude bathing you may want to check the Directory of Nude Beaches and Nude Bathing Etiquette...and NO, it does not include nude photos ;)
You will notice the multiple...
You will notice the multiple racial and ethnic backgrounds and the diversity of the population. Some see it as a strength and others see it as alarming. It sure makes California a fascinating state. My friend's little girl is the face of a new Californian...a blend of Asian, White, and Mexican backgrounds.
WINE TASTING IN CALIFORNIA IS...
WINE TASTING IN CALIFORNIA IS A RECOMMENDED CULTURAL ACTIVITY. SURE, THEY HAVE WINE TASTING IN OTHER U.S. STATES, BUT CALIFORNIA WINERIES, AND THE TRAVELLING FROM ONE TO THE OTHER, IS AN EXPERIENCE IN ITSELF (WITH WINE TASTING ON LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK, A CLOSE SECOND).
Just be yourself and LET...
Just be yourself and LET OTHERS BE THERE OWN. California, especially Los Angeles, is culturally diverse. The people are friendly, for the most part. Just like anywhere else, if you're abusive don't expect to get your hand or anything else, kissed. Despite the media hype, We have more GOOD people here, they just don't seem to draw attention to themselves. The bad elements are usually from out of town anyway.
Don't be surprised if you take...
Don't be surprised if you take a walk on the paved path by the ocean and are yelled at by bicyclist. They generally don't like to share.
Also, don't be too wierded out by the people who walk by arguing with their hands, wear rags and drive multicolored VW vans, or wear alot of duct tape on their clothes and talk about alien abduction. I've met or seen all of the above and they are virtually harmless. Its just another interesting side to a complex state. Also makes for good people watching!
'True heroism is...
'True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve all others at
whatever cost.' - Arthur Ashe
California is a state of...
California is a state of considerable contrast. Along the highly-populated coastal strip between San Diego and San Francisco, you'll find some of the world's most liberal and hippest people. On the *other* side of the mountains, however, you'll find some of the most conservative, so conservative, in fact, that most would consider them 'rednecks'. This part of California is 'cowboy country' and is culturally similar to the rest of the so-called 'intermountain west', those states between California and the Great Plains.
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