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!