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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Recapping An Awesome Trip! – California & The Canyons

The Museum of Tolerance was a humbling experience for all. Staff who volunteer their time at the museum explained any social issues that first world nations face today, including discrimination based on race and gender, and political issues, just to name a few. Everyone had the chance to take a guided tour of the institution. They really enjoyed the interactive displays, like when they watched a diner scene play out regarding social issues, then had the chance to ask questions and make a decision on who’s responsible for the actions that occurred. There was also a neat interactive exhibit which tested the trip members knowledge on world issues and facts. For most, it was an eye-opening experience.

las vegas california canyons blog 2 photo 1After the tour, we headed over to Universal Studios for some real-life movie experiences. Our time at Universal Studios started with a tram tour that took us behind the scenes to where several movies and sets has been filmed, and we toured the studio buildings that create hit TV shows like The Voice and The Mindy Project. Everyone’s favorite part of the tour were the two 3-D displays that immersed us into that world! The first one was King Kong, where he fought against three dinosaurs while trying to protect us. It had scenes where the dinosaurs would yell at us and water would spray in our direction. After the one-hour tour, everyone got a chance to go off exploring the studio grounds with their friends.

San Diego was the next stop on our trip. After a safety briefing and lesson, our members enjoyed the salty waters of the Pacific as they attempted to surf for the first time. It turns out that many of our members were talented and able to actually do it right away! Some tanning and swimming were also part of the agenda for the day, and afterwards we went to Seaport Village for dinner. This area is based out on a harbor front, where we saw some docked Naval ships. In addition, every so often a couple of helicopters from a military base nearby would fly over the village; giving a show to those willing to look up into the sky.

Our second day in San Diego involved going to the zoo to see some exotic animals. We saw pandas, polar bears, giraffes, elephants, and more! A bus drove us around the zoo, informing us of the many attractions they have to offer. The other highlight of the day was laser tag, where three teams faced off to capture as many points as possible. All the members got their workout in, running around shooting targets and capturing bases within the zone.

San Diego was filled with adventure; however, nothing could prepare us for the bright lights of Las Vegas! In a city filled with lights, our trip members eyes shone the brightest. As we walked the Vegas strip, we were all captivated by the street performers, shops, and tourist attractions. We were able to watch the fountain of lights show, where numerous spouts of water shot up high in the air to the tune of classical singers. We also got to see the biggest chocolate fountain and the venetian in Las Vegas.

The Stratosphere in Las Vegas showed us a 360-degree view of what the city had to offer. Many of us also had the chance to try out the rides on the Stratosphere. One of the rides simulates a car going off a cliff, only to be stopped before falling down.

Las Vegas does a wonderful job of recreating famous tourist attractions around the world, like the Venetian in Italy, New York, and the Eiffel Tower. We were able to have lunch in the Venetian, which hosted opera singers, expensive shops, and a canal that ran through the middle of the area. The night activities in Las Vegas included exploring New York-New York and the M&M/Coca-Cola Shop.

las vegas california canyons blog 2 photo 2At Zion National Park, we had the opportunity to bond with each other through games and programs. While at the Zion Lodge, we did yoga with the canyons in the background. Some of us played a game of football, while the rest took the time to lie down and relax in the grass. As the time passed, we found ourselves in the Western world over at Jake’s Chaparral. We were treated to a full-course meal with a western singer for entertainment. Afterwards, we partook in some country line dancing, and some of us showed off our talent on the piano, playing tunes to the likes of A Great Big World. The day was concluded with a trip to Ruby’s campground, where we officially began color war!

Until Next Time,

The Westcoast Blogger

Interested in learning more about Westcoast Connection’s California & the Canyons tour? Check out our 21-day middle school and 21-day high school tours for students!