Welcome to part 2 of “Chandrew has a friend in town and is procrastinating his schoolwork by hanging out with him”! Also known as “It’s a Sunday so we went to the beach”. We specifically went to my old favorite beach – the place I went the first time I came to Los Angeles: Santa Monica! After a quick lunch in the morning of In-N-Out (gotta get that 3x3 and animal style fries every day), we took the trek out to the beach for some fun in the sun.
The Santa Monica pier is a Los Angeles classic. Everyone goes there. From the beach to the roller coaster and the Ferris wheel, to the seagulls flying over the head of the unsuspecting passerby, the Santa Monica pier is everything that truly represents Los Angeles. Dave and I went for exactly that reason, and, he’d never been to the beach! He seemed, well, thoroughly unamused by the beach, I think there were just a few too many people there on that particular day, but he still ended up enjoying his time on the pier and so it was a great time. I’ve still never been to the aquarium out there, but beyond that I really enjoy just being on the pier. I can’t exactly explain why. Also, we saw wild Sea Lions! L.A. is truly a “wild” place.
One of the weirdest things about this particular trip is that I came across the restaurant I ate at the first night I went to the Santa Monica pier: Cha Cha Chicken. It came out of nowhere; Dave and I were just meandering, and I had a strange moment of familiarity. The restaurant changed: they built an awning over the top of what used to be an open-air patio. That was an odd feeling going back there. The memories flow back like waves some time.
I try to make it out to Santa Monica at least once a year. It was one of the first places that I fell in love with L.A. and something about the loud tourists, the smell of the hotdog on a stick stand over to the left, and the sight of waves cresting over sand is just more relaxing than anything else in the world to me. I love Santa Monica, and I love Los Angeles.
It is currently 1:21 in the morning and I am thrilled to be writing the first post of our new admissions blog, Caltech Fission. For those of you who didn’t follow the old blog, it’s nice to meet you. My name is Andrew and I’m a senior at Caltech studying geophysics and English literature.
After a week being back, I think it’s about time for some reflections on what it meant to be abroad, and what I’ve taken away from it. I’m really happy to be back, but it’s just been almost a culture shock of sorts being back in California, and back at my true home (for now, at least).
There’s nothing more festive than beautiful holiday decor. Something that has gotten quite popular in recent years is light displays. Around Pasadena, the LA Zoo, LA Arboretum are a few venues that have elaborate holiday light displays. This past weekend, I went to check out the LA Zoo Lights. The general admission is $15 on weekdays and $20 on weekends, which is certainly not cheap, so if you do go, be sure to take a ton of photos.