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Los Angeles National Forest

FRIDAY, MARCH 18, 2016

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It was officially spring break and NSU had planned a winter retreat in Lake Arrowhead for our first spring break weekend. Unfortunately, it got postponed, so some of my friends and I decided to go hiking around campus instead. Little did I know, there was a whole mountain range, lake, and dam not thirty minutes from where I’d been attending school the past two years. Thanks to my friend, Danielle, we knew exactly where we should explore. At a little past noon, my friend Chris drove my other friends Danielle, Bri, and me to the Los Angeles National Forest.

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The weather was absolutely perfect, and to get to a good hiking spot all we had to do was cruise up a mountain and blast some feel-good music. Once we got up as far as we could (the road was closed off eventually), we parked the car and got out to put some sunscreen on our shoulders. Then, we headed into the forest. We had passed Crystal Lake on our way up and we soon came to a small stream that must have branched off from it. Everything was wonderful and vibrant, and would have been truly amazing if it weren’t for all the bugs…

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After roaming around the stream, taking some pictures, and watching Chris catch a frog, we took another path that led to a big bridge that continued over the stream and onto the other side. It was a perfect photo-op. I pulled out my trusty Polaroid camera from Bri’s backpack to forever document the moment. And I was very happy when the photos came out really well and really cute. Sometimes it can be a hit or miss when it comes to Polaroid cameras. After a short water break, we continued on our journey.

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As we were walking up part of the road, Bri thought it would be a cute idea to take pictures while sitting in the middle of it, so that’s what we did. I guess the picture turned out okay and we didn’t get run over by any cars, so that’s also a plus. Then, we came to another closed off path and decided it would be fun to hike up there next and see what we would find.

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It was very gorgeous and green once we got up there, and would’ve even been a nice place to have a picnic if the bugs weren’t so annoying. Still, it was such a quiet, luscious, and peaceful place to be. Although, there were some random flip flops tossed around which was kind of weird… Once we got to the end of that trail, we walked back down and found a cool and quiet place by the stream to relax and hang out. We ended the day with some grub before heading back home. It was a really lovely place to hike and an even lovelier day spent with lovely people.

SATURDAY, MARCH 19, 2016

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Yay for the weekend! With nothing better to do, Chris and I decided to explore more of LA before heading back to Torrance for the week. Also, not wanting to spend a lot of money, we figured that going to the La Brea Tar Pits would be a cool and free thing to do on a nice Saturday afternoon. After finding some metered parking close by, we entered the large park where the tar pits are located. Nowadays, the tar pits are mostly covered with water, but you can still see the shimmering oil rainbows and methane ripples. Not sure why, but Chris was pretty fascinated with this stuff. I was more into taking cute pictures of my outfit…

Outfit:
Sunglasses: Tag Envy // Top: Urban Outfitters // Bralette: Urban Outfitters // Cardigan: Pac Sun // Shorts: Brandy Melville // Bracelets: Pura Vida, Lokai // Purse: Forever 21

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Luckily for us, the tar pits are located in the same park as LACMA’s Levitated Mass, aka giant boulder exhibit, so there was another free thing for us to do. Unlike the tar pits, it was something we’d never seen before. I’d like to say it was pretty cool, but honestly it was just a big tunnel with an extremely large boulder on top. While it’s interesting to think about what a struggle it would’ve been to get it up there, I think it’s kind of weird to go through the hassle of making an entire outdoor exhibit out of it… I guess that’s modern art for you.

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After a few attempts of trying to take a picture with me and the boulder in the same frame, we eventually gave up as we could really only get pictures with one or the other. Thus, we decided to go to the tar pits museum next. It was located in the same park, just across from the biggest featured tar pit, and we snuck in about a half hour before closing time. Inside was mostly the hundreds of fossils that had been found within the tar pits over the last thousands of years, as well as some stuffed re-creations of what those animals might have looked like back then. It’s a pretty small museum, but it was interesting to see what used to be living in LA around twenty thousand years ago… Mammoths, saber tooth tigers, and sloths, oh my.

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I then Yelped some burgers places that weren’t too far, and discovered a little place in Beverly Hills called Burger Lounge. It was a little pricey, but pretty yummy, too. Anyways, if you’re looking for something free to do in LA, that’s also fun and interesting, I would definitely suggest the La Brea Tar Pits and the Levitated Mass exhibit. We didn’t have to spend any money, except for on food, and we still had a fun day anyway.

xo, Rachel

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