The campus is directly across the street from USC, which provides a nice opportunity for HUC students to benefit from the development and resources built up around the USC campus. For example, when we had a lunch break during our first day of classes at the HUC campus, we walked across the street to USC and then found our way to the student center.
There were several dining options within the student center, including Coffee Bean, Panda Express, California Pizza Kitchen, and a burger joint. We all grabbed food from different places and then ate together outside:
Not having gone to a large university, it was a little overwhelming to be on the USC campus. There are so many people! And children take tours there!!
Besides getting a glimpse of a two new (to me) campuses, a highlight of my time in LA was a trip to the Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Pier. After the last day of classes wrapped up in the evening, a bus brought us to the promenade where we had a chance to walk around and stroll down to the ocean and pier:
I walked with a friend, and we arrived to the ocean walk just as the sun was setting:
The Santa Monica Pier juts out from the ocean walk pathway and has a lot of energy – almost a fair-like feel (note the ferris wheel):
The pier is lined with tourist shops and restaurants, and the view looking out towards the beach and ocean is amazing:
Since it was the last night for the cohort to be together, we had a group dinner at a restaurant called Ristorante al Mare. This was an Italian restaurant right on the pier, and it was a great spot for a big group. They had a fairly extensive wine menu as well as a nice assortment of salads, seafood, pasta dishes, and meat entrees.
I got a dish called Il Petto di Pollo Funghi e Patate – which was basically just a chicken breast topped with a mushroom sauce and served with potatoes.
The next morning, it was time to conclude the program and head home. The official graduation ceremony was very nice (although sad to say goodbye to the cohort!), and I now have a very crisp certificate which I hope to frame some time in the future! After the graduation ceremony, we ate lunch together before adjournment. And, since celebration so often involves cake…
(CAEA stands for Certificate [in Jewish Education] for Adolescents and Emerging Adults). Wahoo!
Overall, this was a great trip – leaving feeling proud to have this certificate and also lucky to have been able to enjoy a few great days in Los Angeles!