University of Southern California

Student Life Blog

Exploring the Outdoors of L.A.

By Mollie Berg Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Me and my friend, Camille, on the beach in Santa Monica. We've been best friends since sixth grade!

Me and my friend, Camille, on the beach in Santa Monica. We’ve been best friends since sixth grade!

This weekend I experienced a weird phenomenon.

It was Saturday morning, and I had nothing I had to do—no homework, no finals to study for, and no Daily Trojan meetings. It was strange, because never before had I been in Los Angeles on a weekend, with my car, with absolutely no engagements. I could do anything I wanted, and for the first time, I feel like I really got to know the greatness of the LA area.

On Saturday, I went to Santa Monica with some friends from high school who are also living in LA for the summer. We did a bit of shopping on 3rd Street Promenade, had a wonderful lunch at Blue Plate Taco, and lay on the beach. Despite the beyond freezing water, I had a fantastic day hanging out by the ocean.

The three-day-old baby goat at the farmer's market in Hollywood

The three-day-old baby goat at the farmer’s market in Hollywood

On Sunday, I got together with one of my friends who I met in the dorms freshman year. We went to a farmer’s market in Hollywood, where we walked around sampling various fruits and vegetables. One stand had crazy mixes of fruits – like the watermelon pluot (I bought plenty to take home, of course). And we even got to snuggle with a three-day old baby goat. This particular farmer’s market reminded me of the one around the corner from my house in Sacramento that my mom and I would go to every Saturday. It was so fun being in a similar environment, but in a different city with its own twist on things—it was like my very own little piece of home away from home (minus the goat—momma berg definitely does not have a pet baby goat).

The beautiful view from my Griffith Park hike

The beautiful view from my Griffith Park hike

After the market, we went to Griffith Park (on a very roundabout route thanks to Google maps) and went on a hike near the amphitheater. During my two years at USC, I have never been on a hike at Griffith Park, which is crazy because it is so close to us and so beautiful. I feel like so often when people think of LA, they don’t think of a place where there are awesome hikes and outdoorsy areas. I have never found myself to be an especially outdoorsy person, but it was so refreshing to spend the day outside, especially when I’m so often sitting in an office, car, or apartment.

Happy in a hole I dug at the beach in Santa Monica

Happy in a hole I dug at the beach in Santa Monica

Looking back at my first two years of college, I realize I did not take advantage of all the cool things to do in LA. Yes, I went to Santa Monica a couple times, and had dinner in Universal City once; however, there is so much to do in LA, and it is very easy for me to get caught up in my immediate surrounding (which is ultimately ridiculous considering you can get so many places with the metro and buses).

I have often said that I would never live in LA when I “grow up” (probably because of the traffic). However, for the first time, after this past weekend, I feel like I could do these things on the weekends continuously. I could do it! I could live in Los Angeles! At least for the next two years…