Surfing, Canyoning, Playing, and More! – California and the Canyons

Surfing, Canyoning, Playing, and More! – California and the Canyons

Once we arrived in San Diego from Los Angeles, we went straight to the zoo. As we exited the bus and joined the many exhibits nestled among the zoo’s scenic grounds, we met koalas, elephants and rhinos, among so many others! We left the zoo with one of its wildest creatures (a life-sized giraffe stuffed animal) as our newest trip mascot. After checking into the hotel and spending a few relaxing hours at the pool, we made our way to dinner and had a night of competitive laser tag. With the purple and orange teams taking the lead, we definitely had some laser tag all-stars in our midst.

Moonlight Beach in San Diego is just as beautiful as the name suggests. Cliff coastlines border the shimmering Pacific Ocean, which makes it a surfer’s paradise. At the surf school, we took our athleticism to the next level by learning balancing and paddling Keep Reading »

The Finale of An Amazing Trip! – Costa Rica Community Service

The Finale of An Amazing Trip! – Costa Rica Community Service

Our last day of service was spent playing games and swimming with the kids that we met in La Carpio earlier in the week.  It was so wonderful to see their familiar faces light up with pure joy as we played soccer, among other things! To close off our last community service project, we handed each of them a bag of donations, which they were all so grateful for. They gave us these massive goodbye hugs, and we were all so proud of our hard work and accomplishments throughout our community service projects.  That night, we sang some of our trip’s favorite songs at karaoke!

The next day, we got up early for our final activity.  As we made our way, we reminisced about all the great laughs and moments we’ve shared over the last three weeks. Once strangers, and now family, we remembered all of our experiences, how much fun Keep Reading »

Concluding with Arizona and Canyons! – American Voyageur

Concluding with Arizona and Canyons! – American Voyageur

I can’t believe that the day has come for me to write this final blog. It’s bittersweet knowing that we’ll no longer be one giant trip family. Our goodbyes were hard but we’re excited to go home to our family and friends.

Our final days were filled with adventurous hikes and beautiful views of Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, the Grand Canyon, and Scottsdale! Our hike through Zion led us to beautiful waterfalls that we walked under on our way to the top.

The next stop on our trip was camping at Bryce. We started our day with a hike through the canyon where we had a photo shoot at the bottom of the canyon! When we got back to our campsite we broke out a friendly competition and had 2 teams battle in friendly competition….everyone had a blast!

On our way to Flagstaff, we made a stop at the Coral Pink Sand Keep Reading »

Adventures in Tahoe and Los Angeles – California and the Canyons

Adventures in Tahoe and Los Angeles – California and the Canyons

On our fourth day, we waved goodbye to San Francisco and waved hello to the beautiful Californian wilderness. In the midst of our whitewater rafting excursion, our guide, Scott, showed us some of the first sites of gold discovery in California. In passing through these thrilling rapids, we learned to implement our teamwork skills and paddling techniques.

Our day came to an end at the peaceful Tahoe Valley Campground, nestled among the best of Lake Tahoe’s natural elements. After a series of tetherball and basketball tournaments, we settled in our tents, full of s’mores and ready for the next day.

Waking up at the campground, we readied ourselves for a beach day like no other. Upon our arrival to the Lake Tahoe beach site, we marveled at the glistening water, the surrounding mountains, and the incredible weather. Taking turns tubing and waterskiing on the open lake, some of us were even able Keep Reading »

Service in La Carpio – Costa Rica Community Service

Service in La Carpio – Costa Rica Community Service

Being aware of ourselves and compassionate of others is what we need to overcome all of our obstacles. This was the main message of our work during the past two days with the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation (CRHF).

Our last community service project was in an immigrant community called La Carpio, where people from Nicaragua who fled due to war, oppression, lack of education, and resources reside. They came to Costa Rica looking for a better life. 

The day began with a lesson from Gail, the founder and director of the CRHF.  One of the first (and most important) things that she told us is that La Carpio is a place of uncertainty. On a daily basis, residents are not sure if they will have electricity or water, or if they will see their family members the next day.  During her lesson, she encouraged us to think about our lives and how Keep Reading »

Fun As We Sprint Through Cali! – California Sprint

Fun As We Sprint Through Cali! – California Sprint

With sun-kissed skin, we’re wrapping up our journey. From hotel beds to pitched tents, we sailed across Lake Tahoe and had a blast on the rapids where we became experts with paddles.

We worked as a team to pitch our tents and set up camp for four days together in Tahoe and Ventura. After a night at the movies, we returned to the campsite for dessert and were surprised to witness beautiful fireworks in the distance.

We headed down the 101 to Los Angeles where we immersed ourselves in the college residence experience. A sunny day at Universal greeted us with celebrity spottings, including Mario Lopez! In fact, some of us got to be part of the studio audience for the filming of ‘Extra’.

Our dreams were then brought to life in the happiest place on earth! After a day with our friends Mickey and Minnie, our Disney dreams came true Keep Reading »

Concluding with Canyons and Dunes! – American Voyageur

Concluding with Canyons and Dunes! – American Voyageur

I’ve been preparing to write this blog since day one. It’s bittersweet to do so; on one hand, we’re all excited to go back to our homes and tell everyone about our amazing summer, but on the other, it’s a very difficult goodbye that we have to say to each other.

On the first day of the trip, we had a meeting and discussed how we would become like a family by the end of the six weeks. It seemed like a near impossible notion at the time, as we still had names to learn, ice to break, and dozens of strangers packed into a campsite with one another. Regardless, here we are at the end of our trip, and the relationships that have been built are stronger than anyone anticipated.

This week was filled with amazing adventures, which was the best possible way to finish our trip. We started in Utah, Keep Reading »

Fun In The Water and In Vegas! – American Voyageur

Fun In The Water and In Vegas! – American Voyageur

We made it back from our cruise and have since conquered San Diego and Las Vegas! The Carnival Inspiration held nothing back for us; from unlimited food to mini- golf on the top deck, we definitely had a ton of fun! Our first port stop on the cruise was Catalina. We explored the beautiful island and snorkeled through the reefs! Many of us even saw lots of bright-colored fish like the fish in Finding Nemo!

After Catalina, we made our way to Ensenada, Mexico. We explored the local markets and a group of us even got our hair braided! Our last night after a great day at sea came to an end when we danced with our favorite waiter, Marcel! We followed him in a conga line around the dining room and learned a few dance moves from him!

Getting off the cruise, a lot of us still had our sea legs, Keep Reading »

The Highlight Reel – Hawaii Community Service

The Highlight Reel – Hawaii Community Service

Habitat for Humanity ReStore was our last community partner of our time in Hawaii.  We worked with AmeriCorps VISTA to improve the store a few different ways simultaneously.

Our group split out into teams over our two days at the store to build a display area for mattresses (from scratch! We’re talking cutting doors and re-purposing lumber to create it.), prepare the store to get their first forklift (basically the equivalent of baby proofing a warehouse), and building and painting both a chair and corner shelving unit from the ground up.  It was a tough couple of days, but our trip members kept their heads up with some of our go-to games.  When we finished up Friday afternoon, ReStore was more capable of diverting nearly 250,000 pounds of landfill waste this year than it was when we found it!

Tuesday morning, we all gathered for our final meal together.  Hula Grill Keep Reading »

A Fashionably Fantastic First Week! – Seventeen Fashion Experience

A Fashionably Fantastic First Week! – Seventeen Fashion Experience

Our Seventeen Fashion Experience began with a family-style dinner at Guy’s American Kitchen in NYC’s legendary Times Square. The girls spent dinner discussing how excited they were for the next two weeks while eating delicious food.

The next morning we headed to Hearst Tower where we were greeted by the editors of Seventeen Magazine and a spread of bagels, muffins, and pastries. The girls mingled with the editors and asked questions about the fashion industry and college internships. It was such an exciting opportunity to network and get one-on-one time with some of the industry’s brightest stars! The excitement continued when we headed into the Hearst Theatre, where they were welcomed by a panel of Seventeen and Cosmopolitan senior editors and directors who explained what a day in the life looks like for them. They also gave tips on breaking into the fashion and magazine industries.

Next, the girls heard from Keep Reading »