One of the things I will miss most about southern California is its beaches. The week of commencement is going to be super packed, so I figured the weekend right before that would be a good time to take a solo adventure to Santa Monica.
I started out at 10 am, and after a couple missed trains, made it to Santa Monica. It was pretty cheap ($1.25) for all 3 trains I had to take in order to make it there. My first stop was lunch at Plan Check. I got a fancy chicken and waffles with beer-batter waffles and candied bacon (I think?), butter, and walnuts.
I took a bus that went straight to the Getty Villa, a Roman/Greek estate that houses various historical pieces and gorgeous gardens. Pedestrians need to wait for a shuttle to go up to the hill to the villa. Admission was free, though the website asks for guests to pre-reserve tickets. I got there and they didn’t even mention tickets.
I walked down from the trail head to Sunset Blvd and got to the beach.
I stopped for a gelato popsicle before taking the 1.75 hour Metro ride back to Pasadena.
If I were to visit this area again, I’d take the bus from downtown Santa Monica to Getty Villa all the way out to some better coastal hiking spots like Point Dume. This route didn’t show up when I tried to Google Maps when I tried to look up a public transport route to Tuna Canyon, Point Dume, or other trails in that area. I’d also want to drop by Venice Beach, which I heard was an eclectic area.
Always not quite organized, my desk is a constant, yet subtle reminder of why I ultimately chose Caltech: the people. (sigh… I bet you haven’t heard that one before!). It’s no secret that Caltech has a small undergraduate population but, in my experience, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find your people, it means you’ll be able to find them faster!
With the third term fast approaching and the status of COVID on campus pushing all major events to the spring quarter, students of the houses of Caltech were excited. The reason? Interhouse season had arrived. Interhouses, a longstanding tradition of the California Institute of Technology, are summarized as parties hosted by each respective house, usually with a theme, in which the entire undergraduate population is invited to attend. As every undergraduate house of Caltech has its own personality and characteristics, these interhouses too have their own flair depending on the house who hosts them.
Let’s face it: the US loves being just a little different from everyone else. The obvious example? Units of measurement. As an international student from Canada, even I have no clue what’s going on half the time when my friends talk to me and use these weird nonsensical units. And I’ve literally lived on the border between Canada and the States for all my life. After a year here, I’ve finally got a sense of how the two systems of measurement compare and how you can more easily get your bearings with these weird units.
About a dozen frosh sit and stand in a semicircle around a whiteboard. Various Lloyd-themed interhouse names sit on a list awaiting their fate. One by one, possibilities are discussed and voted on, until four remain.