With my parents residing an hour’s drive from Caltech, I’m able to get home more frequently than most Techers. However, for my parents to pick me up and drop me off from campus, they have to take two two-hour round trips, which makes it a bit of an inconvenience if I’m only going home for the weekend, and gas gets expensive too. As a result, I’ve figured out how to take the LA Metro and Metrolinkfrom Pasadena via Union Station to Irvine, which is a much shorter drive for my parents. This last weekend I needed to get home for two birthday parties, but I also wanted to avoiding missing several days of work, so I used public transit. Figured you guys might be interested in what my experience was like, so here’s the play by play of my trip on Friday.
1:15pm - Left campus with a backpack containing everything I needed for the weekend.
1:50pm - Arrived at the Metro station on Lake. WHY DID I PACK SO MANY THINGS!? It’s a bit of a walk to the closest metro station to campus, so pack light. Bought my one-way metro ticket. ($1.50)
1:54pm - Waited at the station. It happens to be in the middle of the freeway, so you get to watch all the cars whiz by while you wait.
2:02pm - Boarded the train. It’s a nice train with colorful seats.
2:30pm - Arrived at Union Station.
2:35pm - Figured out where they moved the ticket machines to since the last time I was at Union Station and bought my ticket. ($9.25)
2:40 - Now, I was originally planning on taking the 2:25 train to Irvine, but then I took me longer than I anticipated to walk from campus to the metro. The next train going through Orange County was at 3:20, so I had some time to kill. I was starving, so I got a pepperoni twist and a frozen lemonade from Wetzel’s Pretzels. Pepperoni pizza on a pretzel. Genius. The frozen lemonade was meh, but the pizza pretzel! So good! Anyway, then I wandered around the station and took pictures for you all.
If you ever walk into the waiting area of Union Station, you’ll very quickly realize that you’ve seen it in dozens of tv shows and movies, which is pretty cool. The first time I saw it my immediate reaction was something like “Wait. I was told this place was in Washington D.C.?”
3:10pm - Boarded the second train. I found a nice comfy spot on the second floor of the quiet car where I took out my ipod and headphones and found my zen.
3:20pm - The train departed for Oceanside.
4:33pm - The train stopped in Irvine, where my parents picked me up and drove me the rest of the way home.
And so concluded my adventure on Southern California’s public transportation system! Stay tuned for the next exciting installment of my blog!
My favorite part about Caltech is the Houses! The easiest way to describe them is as Hogwarts houses: each has their own personality and group of people and the first thing you do at Caltech is go through a “sorting” process. The people are what makes the Houses at Caltech so great. As a frosh, it’s amazing to be able to come in and immediately have a group of 100+ people to support you. Because the Houses have students from every grade, you make friends with upperclassmen and can ask for help on tons of things like:
It’s crazy to think that it has been four years now since I was applying to college. I remember it vividly. This week we’re spending some time reflecting on our personal admissions processes, and how we ended up at Caltech. There’s one question though that I wanted to spin out into a separate post: “what advice would you give to the admitted class of 2025?” And I think the best way to do this is to tell a more detailed story than I did in my other post.
These past six months have been a whirlwind- from having to move out of Caltech housing in March within a week’s notice due to COVID-19, to starting the first term of my junior year, I’ve definitely experienced a lot of change. When I went home in March, it was to a completely new state-my family moved from Chino, CA to New Jersey in January (great timing, huh?). While I missed seeing my friends from home, it was fun to have the chance to explore a completely new place. The pandemic obviously limited what I could see and do, but I got to experience walks through nature and along rivers normally foreign to a SoCal native and had some time to focus on bioinformatics research for the lab I work with on campus.