ROAD TRIP USA – Summer ’16


By Jessica Fruehbrodt, Germany

 I’ve travelled a lot around the world and gotten to know many beautiful places in the world, but the place I’m interested in most has always been the USA. For the last six years I’ve spent a lot of time in Florida. I was there almost three months per year, but this summer I decided to visit another state in the United States of America. I wanted to get to visit the beautiful cities, landscapes and people in California. The place where nothing seems to be impossible, people enjoy their lives and take it easy. So I started to plan my big trip in December 2015. First, I created the route which my boyfriend and I were going to take. After that I booked all the hotels, flights and rental cars. I had just graduated from school so I had a lot of free time this summer and this would be the beginning of my gap year.


 On July 10, 2016 I flew from Munich, Germany to Sarasota, Florida. I was really excited because I hadn’t seen my best friend for six months and I was going to meet her in Florida to celebrate her birthday in Miami Beach. She lives in Santa Barbara und works there as a nanny. After I picked her up from the airport we drove down the Interstate 75 South, parallel to the west coast. It was a five hour drive but we enjoyed the ride. We had a lot to talk about so the time went by fast. Her birthday was amazing because we had so much fun that night on Ocean Drive. The next day we went to Key West – the southernmost point of the United States of America. I love the road we took to get there because it seemed like we were driving above the water. We had to pass a lot of islands to reach the southernmost island – Key West. And when we finally got there it seemed like we were in the Caribbean because the color of the sea and the beaches are so different to the rest of Florida. We spent the rest of the week in Sarasota. It is a beautiful little city on the west coast between Tampa and Fort Myers. Siesta Key is one of the closest beaches there and it has been voted to the nation’s best beach because it has sugary white sand which is 99% pure quartz crystal.


 On July 20, 2016, I flew from Orlando, Florida to Los Angeles, California together with my best friend. She had to go back to work again so I met up with my boyfriend at the airport. My plan worked out perfectly because he arrived only 10 minutes after me. We picked up our rental car and spent our first night in Los Angeles. The next morning we went to Santa Barbara. I was so excited to see where I was going to live for the next six months. I fell in love with Santa Barbara the first time I went there. The Spanish architecture and the fact that the sea, the beach and the mountains are so close together make it look so beautiful.


Our next stop was Las Vegas, Nevada. This city is so unbelievably amazing. There is so much to do: a lot of different shows, gambling, music events, etc. Everything seemed so unreal, almost like a plastic world.  We spent the weekend there and on Saturday we went to the Grand Canyon. The changing colors of the canyons during sunset are breathtaking.


After this stunning weekend, we drove northwards and through the Death Valley. We stayed the night in a little town called Beatty which is miles away from civilization. We were at the lowest land surface in the western hemisphere which is called Badwater Basin and also visited a ghost town in the desert. These unforgettable impressions made me think about the good life we’re living compared to people who live in the desert. They have to struggle with their daily lives like where to get enough water to drink and how to survive the heat. I’ve never been to a place with such extreme temperatures. The thermometer was pointing to 127o F.


jessi-f-yosemiteOur next stop was the Yosemite National Park. It took us a long time to get from the entrance of the park down into the valley, but it was worth it. The nature is so beautiful: We saw the famous mountain, called El Capitan. The forest and the waterfalls were breathtaking and we also saw a lot of different wildlife, deer and bears. We stayed that night in Mammoth Lakes, which is a little town at the foot of the mountain. It is very popular for skiing and snowboarding in winter time. At the next day we went to Mono Lake, which is popular for it’s high level of salt.


We also drove to Sacramento that day, the capital city of California. I went to the city’s government office and we could see there how the offices changed during the time. On the next day we finally arrived in another big city – San Francisco. I was really excited to visit all the famous places and Lombard Street was my most favorite place there. This street is known as the steepest road in the city with eight hairpin turns in between there are the beautiful flowers. I also was really fascinated by the fog – it appeared so quickly! Since I became interested in visiting places because of personal reasons I dreamed of visiting the probably most famous prison ever and I was really disappointed when I realized that tickets to visit Alcatraz are sold out months in advance! So we went on a boat tour instead and gained a lot of information about the city itself, its popular places, and also got really close to the island, where Alcatraz is located.


 jessi-f-hearstOn the next day we drove southwards again and made a quick stop at Hearst Castle to have a look at his beautiful home he built for himself. That is definitely one of the most fascinating places I’ve ever seen because of its history. It is incredible that one person could build a mansion like that and also has the money to afford it. William Randolph Hearst and his architect Julia Morgan started to create this incredible castle in 1919 and stopped in 1947 when he got sick. On his deathbed he said that he only finished half of what he planned to build. After this beautiful day which was full of new impressions and ideas we drove back to Santa Barbara and spent another night there.

jessi-f-hollywoodAfter another awesome weekend in Los Angeles we spent the following night in Borrego Springs, which is a really small town in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. There was really nothing to do, but I still enjoyed a relaxed time in the nature and it seemed like I needed a time out because we visited so many cities. It was extremely interesting for me to see all the different types of nature California has to offer. Our last stop in the Golden State was San Diego. It is the closed city right in front of the Mexican border and this is the reason why it has a lot of Mexican influence. We spent our last few days visiting Old Town, La Jolla and the largest zoo of the whole state.

After almost 5000 miles (~ 8000 km) in 15 days, we went back to Florida. My boyfriend and I met up with my mum at the airport of Orlando and spent another few days in Sarasota.

jessi-f-bahamasWhen my boyfriend went back to Germany and my mom and I went to Miami to go on a cruise ship. We spent the first day on the ship cruising towards Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. I was really excited to see how the nature on the Bahamas is compared the Caribbean islands. And when we finally got to the first island I saw the difference. In the Caribbean the beaches are full of palm trees, which I personally prefer, but the sand of the Bahamas is more white and clean – just because there are no plants or trees. I can’t have both, I know, but Half Moon Cay was really amazing. I got to know how it would feel when people are marooned on an island all by themselves, because there were only 21 people living on it.

jessi f key west.jpg Our next stop was the capital city of the Bahamas – Nassau. It pours on the same charm like the Caribbean islands do. We enjoyed our mother-daughter time sitting at a beach bar and sipping fresh coconuts. After our arrival in Miami we headed up to the south and I showed my mom the same locations like I already had done for my best friend a few weeks before. I took her to the southernmost point of the United States of America – Key West.

jessi f everglades.jpg

We also spent another day in the Everglades of Florida. We fed the alligators and I wrestled with a python. That was one of the most breathtaking experiences I’ve ever had. We stayed that night in Miami Beach and on the next day we drove back to Sarasota and spent the rest of our holidays there visiting the cities nearby.

 jessi f coconuts.jpgTo summarize, it was an awesome summer I spent in the USA and I saw so many interesting places and cities, overwhelming and different kinds of nature and I’m so glad, that I was allowed to spend such a wonderful time of my life with my loved ones. I’m looking forward to seeing the whole world and I’m already excited for my next trip to take place. Wish me luck and I’ll let you know about it!


Field hockey

Once upon a time, people played hockey with a horn of a bull. The ball didn’t touch the ground and there were no goals. Field hockey as we know it now was started after the Middle Ages. The first names of hockey were like: Hurling, Kappan and Shinty. Only people from United Kingdom were playing the game at that time.

The rules of the games were really different at that time. The ball was not allowed to touch the ground and you had to try to get the ball in the goal of the other team.  A hundred years later, they played it on a hard sport-ground. Since that moment, the ball is allowed to touch the ground. The hockey sticks were longer and rounder at the end. In the summer period of the year, they played hockey on a ground of grass. In the years after that, hockey became very popular in The Netherlands. They had their own rules. The hockey stick was flat at both sides and the ball was bigger and orange.

Now, I would like to tell you something about the rules of field hockey. The rules are the same internationally. The game is played between two teams of eleven players. There is an unlimited amount of times a team can sub in and out. You can’t sub a player in and out during a penalty corner.  The flat side of the hockey stick is always on the natural side for a right-handend person swinging the stick at the ball from right to left. It is not allowed to touch the ball with the other side of the stick. The goal of hockey is to get the ball in the goal of the other team. When you are in the circle in front of the goal, you can take a shot.

When the ball is not touched in the circle in front of the goal, there is no goal.
When you touch the ball with your feet, the ball is for the other team. When this happens in the circle in front of the goal, it will be a penalty  The players of a hockey game are a goalkeeper who wears a different color shirt and full protective equipment comprising at least headgear, leg guards and kickers; this player is referred to in the rules as a goalkeeper; or a field player  wearing a different color shirt and who may wear protective headgear (but not leg guards and kickers or other goalkeeping protective equipment) when inside their defending 23m area; they must wear protective headgear when defending a penalty corner or stroke; this player is referred to in the rules as a player with goalkeeping privileges. Or field only players; these players don’t have goalkeeping privileges or wears a different color shirt; no player may wear protective headgear except a face mask when defending a penalty corner or stroke.

The ladies team of The Netherlands is really popular is in the world of hockey. They won a lot of competitions: They won the Olympic gold medal three times. They were almost in the top three for three times. They are seven times the champions of the world cup competition.

Annabelle Hoogakker, The Netherlands


By Lily Pham, Vietnam

Halloween is celebrated throughout the world, with different cultures celebrating in a variety of ways. On the other hand, in my country, Vietnam, Halloween is quite a brand new holiday which has been imported from U.S culture in recent years. There are just a very few tedious activities taking place on Halloween’s Eve just for kids and teenagers. Parents dress up for their kids in a limited number of Halloween costumes and wander around town.


The way Americans celebrate was really surprising to me and it was an eye-opener. Irrespective of sex and age, everyone from old to young eagerly rush to the streets with a variety of costumes full of colors and characters, such as Zombies, Cinderellas, the tape faces, and Spidermen. What impressed me was the kids dressed up in adorable costumes, carrying pumpkin bags, being watched over by their parents as they went trick or treating door to door.


By Willemijn Vos, The Netherlands

Every year, there is one day that everybody gets dressed-up really scary or weird. That is Halloween. The activities you do with Halloween are trick-or-treating, bonfires, costume parties, visiting ‘’haunted houses’’ and carving pumpkins. Halloween is celebrated on the night of October 31.

Halloween has it orgins in the Samhain. The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture. Samhain was a time used to take stock of supplies and prepare for the winter. They believed that on October 31, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life and cause havoc.



Sonja Kappler, Germany

Halloween today is all about scary costumes, crazy parties and candies. All around the world people go out and children walk around the streets asking for a “trick or treat”.  But most people don´t know why we even celebrate Halloween on October 31.

Over 2000 years ago people, who are called the Celts, lived in today´s Ireland and parts of Northern France. November first was their New Year’s Day and they believed that on that day the living and death came together.

More than 1000 years ago the Christian named November the first “All Saints Day” also which later changed to “Allhallows”. They celebrated the day to honor saints and other people who died for their religion.

The night before Allhallows was called “Hallows Eve” which is today´s “Halloween”.

People also believed that the spirits of the death visit the earth on Halloween and that also evil spirits would hurt them or cause problems.

As a result they dressed up as ghost or other evil creatures so that the spirits think they are also dead and that they won´t hurt them.

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The tradition of Halloween was carried to America by the European immigrants and America is now known for celebrating Halloween the most.

Today Halloween is not a religious holiday anymore, but it´s a great day on which all generations come together to celebrate and to have fun. It is also a great family holiday because parents visit pumpkin patches with their kids and crave the pumpkins they picked.

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So go out, dress up and have fun on Halloween to scare and ban all the bad spirits!


Happy Halloween!

By Jessica Fruehbrodt, Germany

My Halloween experience here in the United States of America was amazing. We celebrated a big party at school on Friday with a lot of candies and games. We also had a costume contest ! On Saturday night I went out in Santa Monica. People were dressed up really pretty and we danced all night long. On Monday, the actual Halloween night, I stayed at home to wait for the kids. TRICK OR TREAT !!



Halloween is a celebration on the night of October 31st. This is the time for children to wear costumes and go to people’s home to get candy. They have to say the famous sentence « Trick or treat ! ».



This event is not recent. In fact, over two thousand years ago, people believed that the night before All Hallows, was a time when the living and the dead came together. The Europ
eans and Celts thought the dead people’s spirits returned to the earth on the October 31st. They thought if they were dressed like spirits, they would don’t harm them granted that they would think they are dead too.That’s why people wear costumes nowadays.



The night before All Hallows was called Hallows Eve but later the name changed to be Halloween. This event was considered like a religious holiday.

Nowadays, there are countries like USA who continue to celebrate it a lot. Houses are decorated and people wear costumes. To represented Halloween on the decoration, in America pumpkins cut out with candle inside are popular. There is also other decorations like ghost, spiders…




But there are countries, like France, who don’t celebrate Halloween a lot. People don’t decorate their house. Sometimes you can see children on streets to get some candies.


Laurie RUYET, France



Edvin Ottenvall, sweden

Halloween (hallows eve) is mostly celebrated in North America. It’s an holiday when you dress up as a character, go out to trick or treat, which is when you go random people’s households and ask them for candy. Halloween is mostly celebrated in the USA as well as Canada, but is now days more common in other countries since there is a lot of promotion of Halloween in social media and movies. For instance, in Sweden we usually throw Halloween parties. And there is also some trick or treat sometimes but we’re still not participating as much as the north american countries.