More beach days in “winter!”

Since the start of winter quarter, there has only been a few “cold” ish days. So as usual, many UCLA students are still taking advantage of this beautiful weather.

One weekend me and my friend decided to take a trip to Malibu and visit Zuma Beach and Point Dume. It’s about a 30- 40 minute drive from campus, but I think it is so worth it! The beach is fairly quiet, there is more wildlife there (like dolphins and seals!), and you can climb up a short distance to the top of “point dume” where you get an amazing view of the beautiful beach.

Here’s a picture of the view from up top!

While I do hope for the weather to get cold sometime soon, these beach trips might be worth the absence of winter in Los Angeles.

Wait is this really winter?

When people talk about Southern California, the issue of weather inevitably is brought up. One of the most appealing factors of living in LA has to be the almost unbelievable weather we experience on a yearly basis. While most of our country is bundling up and turning on the heat, students at UCLA are breaking out the flip-flops and shorts. Temperatures have been consistently in the high 70’s and low 80’s for the past few weeks and students are making the most of this sunny winter.

Never would I have thought I would be sun tanning in January but this quarter that is exactly what we have been doing. It is almost confusing walking to class because it feels so much like summer! While this may seem odd for winter weather, it has major advantages for students. The LA sunniness lets students enjoy the city year round without any obstacles. Westwood is definitely a walking city and the lack of snow or rain keeps students out and about yearlong. I really enjoy being able to enjoy being outside and not having to worry about layering on clothes. In college, a time where you are constantly moving around and rarely in one spot for long, weather and sun can make a big impact. For me, it really makes school more enjoyable seeing the sun nearly everyday.

As this is my last quarter at UCLA and my last few weeks in sunny SOCAL, I definitely want to take full advantage of this amazing weather. I never imagined beach days being an option after class in the middle of winter, but hey CA is known for its climate for a reason ☺.

January beach day

While much of the country is freezing right now with temperatures below 0, UCLA students are wearing shorts and tanks to class in this 80 degree weather. We decided to celebrate this weather at Venice Beach last Saturday after our first week of classes. Just a 20 minute ride from campus, we packed our lunches to go and soaked up the sun in January.

Not so Gloomy Afterall!

In LA we may not get extreme weather, but we do experience a natural phenomenon known as “June Gloom”.  For those of you unfamiliar with this term, June Gloom refers to the spring/summer cloud cover that happens most mornings in June.  This may not sound all that extreme, but the weather in the mornings looks entirely different from weather in the afternoons.  While it rarely stays cloudy for the entire day, the cloud cover reappears every morning, regardless of how clear it was the night before.  Even though it is July, we are experiencing some June Gloom residuals even now.

While June Gloom sounds terrible and…well…gloomy, it’s really not that bad!  I don’t know about you, but I hate waking up in the morning feeling sweaty.  It leaves me feeling lethargic and slow.  When it is cloudy in the mornings (and consequently cooler) I am able to enjoy my cup of coffee better.  June Gloom also makes runs a lot better!  This morning I was able to go running at 7:30am and did not feel like I was sweating buckets.  Cloud cover makes running the hilly perimeter quite enjoyable!  Last week when I talked about hiking, we experienced some June Gloom but our hike was fantastic!

All that being said, June Gloom does not get in the way of all of the fun things to do in LA (even when it persists into July)!  You can still get tan (and burned) when there is a cloud cover…so make sure you wear sun screen!  I have been to the beach four times over this last week and a half.  Each time it was cloudy and each time it cleared up by the afternoon.  This past weekend we even saw dolphins swimming within 50 feet of the shore in Santa Monica!  If I had to pick between June Gloom and swimming with dolphins, I’d pick dolphins.

Conclusion: June (Okay…July) Gloom does make for cooler weather, but that’s what happens when you live so close to the beautiful Pacific Ocean.  It’s such a bummer to have to see dolphins on a cloudy day or enjoy a cool run at a reasonable time in the morning.  I guess you have to make sacrifices wherever you live, right?

Back to the Books- but in the sunniest quarter of the year!

First off a tiny bit about me! I am a second year history major and education minor. I am originally from Dana Point, CA. My goal is to become a teacher (k-12) and I absolutely love working with kids. Fortunately UCLA has given me the opportunity to get super involved! I also work for Undergraduate Admissions as a Bruin Ambassador and get the opportunity to speak with prospective students about UCLA! I could not be happier being a Bruin and love nothing more than to share my experience with others who may be interested in applying to UCLA. My college philosophy is all about balance and getting the ultimate experience possible. I love UCLA not just for its academic rigor but also the incredible social and professional opportunities available. I just got back from Spring Break and could not be more excited for this quarter!

Spring Break always feels short. I mean in reality one week is not very long at all! While I’m sure almost every college student wishes Spring Break was just a little lengthier Spring quarter is one of the most exciting times at UCLA. Aside from being the quarter leading into summer, Spring Quarter is the peak of that legendary CA weather!

As April arrives, UCLA warms up in spirit and temperature. Some of our most exciting events such as Spring Sing (a giant talent show/concert put on by UCLA students), I ❤ UCLA Week (where students show their love for UCLA and get free shirts in the process), and an endless number of other activities. Spring Sing is one of the most anticipated happenings of the year (Sarah Barreillis performed during her time as an undergrad) and students cannot wait to check out the talent this year.

Aside from organized events at UCLA, students take full advantage of the amazing sunny weather! Beach trips to Santa Monica, tanning at UCLA Sunset Recreation Center, and bathing suit shopping in Westwood all become priorities in these months. Of course Spring Break was amazing, but coming back to UCLA for, in my opinion, the best quarter of the year makes me more than ready to come back. Being home was great, but nothing beats the excitement and atmosphere of UCLA’s spring quarter.

Spring is here!

For the past several months I have been wearing long underwear beneath my jeans. My mom brought me two pairs when she visited in November, and I haven’t taken them off since.  This winter has been the coldest I’ve ever endured, especially coming from California where I am used to trips to the beach in the days following New Year’s. These longjohns have been my savior, staving off hypothermia, always giving my freezing legs a nice, warm, comforting hug. I’ve developed quite a relationship with these guys.

But last week, the strangest thing happened. I went outside, and I was hot. I walked through the streets confused, completely unable to run my errands like I planned. I looked into the reflections of storefront windows to see if I was accidentally wearing many more clothes than I thought. But it wasn’t the clothes, it was the sun. The sun had somehow actually managed to raise the surrounding temperature to a livable 53 degrees. I let out a deep sigh in disbelief (finally, a sigh I couldn’t see).

I immediately walked very quickly back to my house and up to my room where I ripped off all of my clothes, including my long underwear. I stared at their limp, hollow form for a good two minutes before looking into the mirror at my pale, naked legs. I was free. These underwear that had been a miracle for so long were suddenly totally obsolete. I started to put back on my clothes. I opted not to grab the extra jacket, I wore sandals, and my wrists were left exposed.

The walk downstairs out of my apartment building into the open air was full of apprehension. Had I imagined the sun? Were the sandals overly optimistic?

I stepped outside and was overcome with an intense happiness, one that only exists in the company of short sleeves. Without thinking, I skipped over to the bike lock-up station, took out a bike, hopped on and skidded off towards the river. I pulled my bike down the nearest set of stairs to get to the water. I rode north along the bank, passing brightly-dressed families, shirtless French men, kids with ice cream. Every seat along the water was suddenly filled with people, the warm weather having pulled us all out of our houses. Everyone was smiling, and as I biked I let out silly, giggly laughs. Giddiness was splashing about everywhere. It was spilling out of the cold drinks of the people sitting at the riverboat cafes. Romance was falling from the trees.

Suddenly, spring had sprung. Lyon was no longer trapped in the cold, keeping its people holed up in their bedrooms or hiding behind scarves. I made my way to park, my legs sore from biking for the first time in a long while and my cheeks sore from smiling. I had a little glass of sangria. I took a ride on a paddle boat. It was perfect.

Now, with a little over a month left here, I plan on participating fully in this French springtime. More ice cream! More walks! More smiles! And no more long underwear.

A Cold Snap

They say that stereotypes were meant to be broken….that may be true.  However, it may also be true that the stereotype of Southern Californians are not capable of handling cold weather.  The high of the past week has not been above 60.  I may be from Northern California, but I have definitely gone soft since being here.

Despite the cold, the weather has been beautiful!  The skies have been clear and the sun has been bright!  On Saturday, I got to spend my day with some middle schoolers and high schoolers.  After going through some writing exercises with them, we got to take a stroll about campus.  We must have looked a bit comical piling on our coats and hats to walk around campus at noon!  It was a beautiful day (even if it was a bit cold!) and I loved sharing my stories on campus with the prospective students.

Naturally, at night it has been quite a bit colder so I’ve had to bundle up more for outdoor events!  Fortunately, however, I’ve got a plethora of hot tea and blankets!

For any out of state readers: please don’t judge us LA folk….57 degrees might as well be 15 to us! We also tend to not have the adequate clothes for this kind of weather.  Hats, gloves, and scarves have made a much larger appearance at UCLA over the last couple days….hopefully it will warm up soon!!

Thunder in Westwood

Just when I thought I had had it with Westwood weather for being strangely chilly all week, it gives us what we’ve all been waiting for… a thunderstorm.  Maybe not all of us, but personally I have always had a strange fascination and obsession over thunderstorms.  Growing up, I was often the only girl in the classroom that didn’t scream when the crackle of thunder ripped across the skies on a gloomy day, and over time I came to embrace the fact that I loved thunder, lightning, and rain.

When I joined the Bruin family and came to UCLA, I hadn’t thought much about the fact that Los Angeles averages 360 days of sunshine per year.  I was prepared for the culture shock that would ensue after my move across the world, but somehow it had slipped my mind that I would no longer be immersed in tropical torrential downpour every afternoon when the rainy season rolled by each year.

I accustomed to the perpetual sunshine quite easily, needless to say.  It’s just so much easier to stay happy and positive about the whole university experience and adjusting to college-level courses when the skies are smiling at you.  But on days like today, the rain and thunder suddenly bring back memories of my life in Asia, and it makes me smile.  It’s also a coincidence (or not?) that across the world, it is the annual Songkran water festival celebrating the Thai new year.  Happy Songkran!

Weather Confusion

It’s been awhile since my last blog about the weather so here we go again. I walked to the gym and it was slightly raining. I left the gym and the rain had stopped. I walked to class and needed to take my sweatshirt off because it was sunny! (note: It was 8:30 am). After finishing my classes at 2, I was a bit bothered by wind, but regardless it was typical LA sunshine. I began driving on the freeway with my sunglasses on. All the sudden it starts raining with the sun still going. I get out of the car a few minutes later and it was completely dry at my new location. In my effort to think positively, my fear of additional rainfall wet kept me inside studying…

On a separate note, I took a weekend trip to Arkansas, yes you read that right, Arkansas, and now have a new found appreciation for the state. It was green and beautiful. I enjoyed wonderful morning jogs with some fellow Bruins, passing by open fields with horses grazing. However, I certainly enjoyed returning to the high speed nature of LA after a few days! Successful trip: Bruins qualified to Nationals.

Happy Bruin Day– Here is to a day of sunshine for all you future Bruins!

Go Bruins!    

Rain and Sunshine

The crazy part about living in LA is the crazy weather patterns that come with it. I love how it is so sunny and warm one day, but a couple of days we get a little rain here and there. Today was a good example of that- it finally rained! Don’t get me wrong though, I love the sunshine. But sometimes I like it to rain during Winter time, hehe.

As I’m writing this blog, I am laying down in my bed, warm, drinking coffee, and enjoying this beautiful weather cuddling up in my blankets while I am efficient with my work.

If you are a sunshine person, then UCLA is the place to be. Even during winter time the weather is high in the 80s. I love it!!!!!