So it’s finals week for most schools on the quarter system, and semester schools are also close to winding down with their finals, so a friend and I thought we should visit the various schools and collegiates from church, dropping off a care package made by others in the English Congregation. Admittedly, it seemed a bit daunting to drive all around SoCal, and because I have work in the morning, we’d be limited to the afternoon/night times. But you know what, we managed to hit up most of the local schools in just two days! According to Google, our trip was just over 400 miles in distance. And we really only hit two major pockets of traffic: one going into Riverside at the 215/60 merger and the other on the 101 headed to the 405 at around 6pm (rush hour ish). Yes we had a schedule (a rough draft really), no we didn’t keep well to it (I said it was a rough draft, didn’t I?)
Facebook is weird and rearranges posts according to the most recent activity, so this entry is also an archive of sorts (in chronological order) of our trip and the people we got to visit! Day 1 was Monday, and we left TC at around 3.30pm. We got to Cal Poly Pomona and called our person to ask for more specific directions. He asked us what we saw, and we responded with “trees. bushes. cars. fence! road!” T’was the best answers in the most literal sense. We were able to pick him up eventually, and we took a campus tour via car, and may have gotten a tad bit lost along the way. It worked out great though, because we could always reorient ourselves towards “the pointy building” to get back to campus. We may have overstayed our welcome, and realized we might be a tad bit late enroute to UCR.
As I mentioned, we hit a little bit of traffic just outside the UCR campus on a weird congested merging area, but other than that, it was a smooth trip. It gave me time to try and sort through the numerous packages and figure out whose was were so we could deliver it properly once we got to the respective campuses.
UCR! It was cold! We started on campus first, and while exploring, we saw some cool floor themes, segregated gender floors, lots of open space and greenery, and an interesting “circle k” spot that seemed to echo your voice all around you. It was pretty trippy.
From UCR we headed over to Cal State Fullerton. We were sorta starting to get hungry, and along various points of this leg of the trip, we remembered the good eateries along the way, such as AYCE sushi. It was tough, but we managed to overcome the temptation and kept on the path to our next stop. And apparently got there in record time, and watched the opposite lane of lights pretty much just not move at all. We made great time.
Trekked over to BIOLA next. Probably the slowest in terms of time vs. distance covered because we had to take local. But I think BIOLA wins the most spirited campus award for Christmas decorations. Oh, and this wasn’t a fun stop until we reached the top of the parking lot. Don’t ask me why, I’m just parroting what our tour guides said. Haha.
UCI was next, and we may or may not have taken a slight detour to Disneyland because it was around 9pm and we wanted to see if we could see the fireworks. (In hindsight, we agreed that we probably would have had a better view if we stayed on the freeway instead of wandering into Downtown Disney. Oops.) And then I sorta navigated us to the wrong section of UCI to kidnap our first victim, but it worked out in the end. We collected everyone, and then ended up at Blaze pizza for our dinner (about 10pm now). T’was pretty dang spanking good. And everything’s like just across campus. Jealous.
(And another note about Irvine, or rather the OC: I love love love their carpool transition ramps and their high speed limits. It’s the best.)
We swung out to Newport really quick as a last stop because someone lives like a block away from the beach. Although, at midnight, with 50 degree weather and wind, that wasn’t too good of a thing haha. We dropped off the remaining UCI folks and then went home. Got back at around 1am (9.5 hrs later…), and I completely conked out on the way back (schedule called for us to be back just after 11pm… Welp). I had to get to quickly get to bed because I had work in the morning, and was going to shift my schedule earlier so we could leave earlier the next day.
Next day. Fewer schools, more distance. We found out that packages were shipped out to UCSB (where we planned to visit) but not Cal Poly SLO (which was just a bit too far for us to go to). Welp. The drive up was pretty nice, as there were nice views heading into the Camarillo area and the parts that hugged the coastline. I had been up to Santa Barbara before, but had never actually gone on campus to UCSB. Wow. Driving into it with that arch setup… that’s pretty awesome. I guess being by the coast has it pretty advantages. We were able to walk down to the beach, and this certain area was its own little enclosure, completely walled off from other sections. Unbelievable.
And then we trekked back to UCLA and ran into traffic on the way. But. UCLA! It was my first time back setting foot on campus since I graduated. It actually hasn’t been that long, but wow, so many things have changed. New dorms, new dining halls, new eateries in town; everything’s so familiar yet so different. We got swiped in! Bruin Plate! A completely new dining experience, for which we were all so grateful for our singular current Bruin to use up the rest of her swipes on us.
Yes, we probably spent the most time on this particular part of our visits, but it was a homecoming of sorts. And. Food! Haha. Besides, we had to head to the other school after this, so I guess we were subconsciously delaying it for as along as possible. I’m kidding! USC kids are loved just as much, and we crossed enemy lines to head into Trojan territory.
And we end this night with a home visit to a CSUN student who commutes. Luckily it was on the way back, so everything worked out great.
This time, it was out by 1.30pm and home by just after 11pm, so another 8.5 hours out today. All in all, 18 hours, 8 campuses, 19 collegiates, and 2 tired but happy travelers. I’m glad that we could see so many people, even with some who we kinda asked on short notice during their finals studying, but still made time for us. We didn’t make the packages, but were just the face of delivery with the whole congregation sending their well-wishes. We were once there in finals season; we remember how fun (read: stressful) it was.
All photo creds to Tracy. Except the maps. That goes to Google I guess?