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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Big Canyons and Beautiful Beaches

10 Ways to Experience Ecuador & the Galapagos

Out of Wyoming, and on to Utah! Our first stop was the home of the 2002 Winter Olympics, Park City. We got to watch skiers train for the Olympics, as they flew off of the ski jumps and soared through the air. Then, it was our turn to go down the jumps, except we were in tubes! Each of us got to go tubing, where we flew down the hills. To keep the excitement going afterward, we headed to Lagoon-A-Beach waterpark and amusement park! Our group spent the rest of the afternoon splashing down the water slides, hanging out on the lazy river and getting a thrill out of many of the amusement park’s roller coasters.

The next day, we made our way to Bryce Canyon for the first of our three hiking adventures and were rewarded with some beautiful views. Its red, orange and white shades, as well as it’s unique rock formations make the canyon an absolutely amazing sight to see! Our group enjoyed hiking, sightseeing and taking cool pictures with each other at the canyon and later, got to put on silly western-style costumes at Jake’s Chaparral and even learn how to line dance! The whole group shared laughs as we attempted line dancing, all looking quite funny in our costumes.

The next day had more canyon adventures in store, with hike number two! We headed off to Arizona to see the world-famous Grand Canyon! The immense size and beauty of the canyon provided us with many breathtaking moments, as we hiked to various vantage points for some stunning views and cool pictures with friends. After the canyon, we had the chance to run up and roll down the beautiful coral pink sand dunes! While we were there, we split up into teams and faced off against each other in a trip-trivia contest, a wheelbarrow competition, a human tic-tac-toe game and finally a game of capture the flag. To end off the night, each team wrote cheers and had a cheer-off! Everyone had a blast competing against their friends, and it was an awesome way to end off our thrilling day.

Another day, another hike! On our way to Las Vegas, we stopped in Zion National Park for the final big hike of the trip. We got to enjoy lunch in the park, playing games and enjoying the scenic horizon that Zion had to offer.

Once in Las Vegas, we got to explore the famous Vegas Strip. We had the chance to explore the Venetian hotel and then made our way to the fountain light show in front of the elegant Bellagio and Caesars Palace hotels. 

The next morning, we went to the top of the Stratosphere for some thrills! With a bird’s eye view of all of Las Vegas, we rode the drop tower and went on the swings on the building’s edge! The excitement continued later at the New York-New York hotel where we rode a crazy roller coaster that flew at a speed of 75mph through the replicated skyscrapers of New York. After this, we got to visit the famous Cola and M&M stores for some fun (and tasty) souvenirs!

After 26 days of cruising across the U.S, we finally made it to the West Coast! What better way to begin our time in California than with a trip to the beach? We soaked up our first rays of the Cali sun and took a refreshing dip in the Pacific Ocean. 

We visited the San Diego Zoo, where we got to see all kinds of amazing animals such as hippos, giraffes, gorillas, and elephants. Our tour guide taught us all about the zoo’s conservation efforts as a non-profit organization and about the animals themselves. Did you know that there is actually no such thing as a black panther?

On our final day in San Diego, we headed to the beach for surfing lessons with professional instructors. We started off by learning the basic skills on land and after mastering the art of the ‘pop-up’, we headed down to the water to give surfing a go. We had a blast riding the waves a few Trip Members were even saying that they want to find a place to surf more when they get back home after the trip! 

After riding the waves, we spent some time relaxing on the beach, playing volleyball and cooled off with delicious shaved ice treats. To end our final day in San Diego, we enjoyed some friendly competition at laser tag. 

Los Angeles, here we come!

The Westcoast Blogger

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