For the fourth of July, I went to Griffith Observatory and Mount Hollywood with my church (Hill Community Church), a large portion of which is Caltech students. During the evening of July 4th, we had a picnic potluck dinner on the grass outside Griffith Observatory, then started on a short hike to Mount Hollywood, a small peak nearby. Before starting on the hike, we had some time to go inside the observatory and enjoy the view; from the back of the observatory, we could see all the way to downtown Los Angeles!
View from Griffith Observatory
The normal trail to Mount Hollywood is very wide and not very steep. However, there's several "shortcuts" that are slightly harder and steeper.
Hollywood sign from the trail
Griffith Observatory from the trail
Several of us decided to take a shortcut up a rather steep hill. (It really didn't look that steep until we started climbing up.) It was steep enough and had enough loose dirt that everyone had to use their hands at some point of the climb. It actually didn't end up being much of a shortcut either; the other group caught up with us as the last of our group finished climbing up.
We took a "shortcut"
After some time, we came to a 3-path fork in the road. The trail branched into three trails - easy, medium, and hard. The hard path was the shortest - we could actually see Mount Hollywood from the fork, and the hard trail went directly up. It turned out to be easier than the first shortcut we took because there was much less loose dirt on the trail. And it turned out to be noticeably faster than the other trails as well, unlike the first shortcut.
From Mount Hollywood, we had a great view of the surrounding area. We could see downtown Los Angeles on one side, Burbank/Glendale from the other side, and most likely Pasadena as well (it was dark and hard to distinguish places). We could also watch lots of fireworks - the largest two shows were one in Glendale or Burbank and the one at the Rose Bowl stadium.
We’ve all heard that the stomach is the fastest way to someone’s heart^. I never fully understood this until I got to college. While Caltech Dining Services (CDS) does its best to diversify the lunch and dinner menus, sometimes nothing can quite fulfill the craving for your mom’s home cooking. Having grown up in between Venezuela and Texas, home cooking for me looks like arepas, tacos, and brisket (among other things). Thankfully, Caltech’s location, just outside vibrant LA, makes attempts to find close seconds (to my mom’s cooking) easy and exciting. Often, I don’t even have to venture more than a mile or two from campus to find reliable favorites. Here are just a few within walking distance:
On May 8, the Washington Nationals came to Los Angeles Angels for a lovely Mother’s Day Game. I, being a D.C. native and avid Nationals fan, of course had to attend– the Nationals play the Angels very rarely because they play in different leagues and on opposite coasts. My dad and I have a goal of going to all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums, and we had to take advantage of our home team being in L.A., so my mom and dad both flew out for the weekend.
On the weekend of April 16th, my friends and I participated in the first ever Southern California College Poker Tournament! The tournament was for college students in the SoCal area with a $0 buy-in that doubled as a recruiting event for quant and finance firms. A senior friend of mine (Vanessa, a fellow blogger) put together a team of five girls who had no interest in being recruited and just wanted to have fun playing poker.