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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

California Cruising! – Adventurer

California Cruising! - Adventurer

Hello again from the Adventurer!

After an amazing time at Lake Tahoe, where trip members were able to go waterskiing, tubing and wakeboarding while enjoying the breathtaking view of the snowcapped mountains in the distance, we hit the road for our Pacific Coast campsite. We enjoyed an afternoon by the beach and marveled at the waves crashing onto the shore.  We also had some welcome town time and played a fun game of mini golf! Matt was truly looking like a professional while hitting countless holes in one.

The next morning while heading to the City of Angels we enjoyed a beautiful stroll down the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica! Then onto the UCLA Student Bookstore, where trip members had the chance to pick out some great UCLA paraphernalia. That night we were off to Mann’s Chinese Theater where we took pictures with the “stars.” Austin and Jonathan were having a great time matching hand prints with Arnold Schwarzenegger and George Clooney! We then went to Hollywood & Highlands to eat dinner. Austin, Jake, and Lawrence were spotted eating a delicious dinner at the famous California Pizza Kitchen.

Our next stop was a blast as the world famous Venice Beach was our first stop! We walked around and marveled at the big muscular men hanging out at Muscle Beach, and were able to enjoy the neat attractions along the boardwalk. Jonas and Noah L. enjoyed a nice beach lunch while Samantha was snapping some beautiful pictures! As a treat we then visited the Los Angeles hot spot, Diddy Riese, for an amazing snack of freshly made ice cream sandwiches which Emily F. really enjoyed by the look on her face! After a quick afternoon snack we were off to Rodeo Drive to check out some of the most exclusive stores in Los Angeles, hoping to spot a celebrity along the way! That night we had a very special evening as we went to L.A. Improv where the comedians were hilarious. We even had an impersonator from America’s Got Talent, Melissa Villasenor!! Ryan, Max and Noah H. couldn’t stop laughing!

The next day started off on a different note as we all received a lesson about tolerance as we visited the Museum of Tolerance. This museum is the first of its kind in the world, and is essentially a human rights laboratory and educational center dedicated to challenging visitors to understand the Holocaust in both historic and contemporary contexts and confront all forms of prejudice and discrimination in our world today. The museum places a particular focus on political, racial and ideological tolerance. As we toured the museum, we learned about bullying, hate crimes from around the world and the problem of child labor that still exists today. The experience was truly eye opening and one that will surely not be forgotten.

After the Museum, we were off to the happiest place on earth, Disneyland! Wow, did we have an amazing time! Dustin, Michael Z., Gilly and Michael S. enjoyed every ride while Alexa pranced around in her new Minnie Mouse ears! We had so much fun watching the parade during the day! After exploring the park’s attraction, we all watched Disney’s unforgettable fireworks show that featured our favorite Disney tunes and characters – it was truly the perfect way to bring our magical day at Disneyland to a close.

Next up, we took part in a day of community service at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. The Food Bank provides food for nearly 900 member agency sites including abused and abandoned children homes, battered women shelters, senior centers, local food pantries, and soup kitchens. Ben, Emily R. And Matthew were really dedicated as they were seen sorting through food for the less fortunate.

We were then off to Universal Studios where the fun never stopped! We started with a studio back lot tour where we saw a behind-the-scenes look where they filmed several blockbuster hits. After the tour, we were given free time to go on as many rides as possible. Lewis, Morgan and Adam did almost all the rides, more than once! After a fun filled day at the park, we ate at the Hard Rock Café, a restaurant notorious for the Rock & Roll memorabilia that decorate the establishment’s walls. Not only did we enjoy a delicious dinner but we also celebrated Ryan, Talia, and Noah L.’s birthday! After dinner, we had the opportunity to explore Universal’s CityWalk, where the fun never ends! With acres of Los Angeles’ coolest entertainment, live music, mouth-watering food, and great shops – what’s not to love?

Off we went from Los Angeles to San Diego! We enjoyed a picnic lunch on the beautiful La Jolla beach and had tons of fun in the sun! Lounging around at La Jolla really made us feel like real Californian beach bums. The next morning we were off to the San Diego Zoo. Our group was taken on a guided tour all through the park and we were able to see tons of incredible animals like polar bears, monkeys, and flamingos! Dahlia and Aly marveled at the pandas, as Philippe and Paley were captivated by the gorillas. After the zoo, we went to a mall where believe it or not, we went ice skating! Harley, Allec, Jonah, and Renee were zooming around the ice showing off their talents and great skill!

Surf’s up next! We had the chance to surf the ocean blue after we received a lesson by some true surfer dudes! It was many of our trip member’s first time surfing the waves but after a couple of tries we all looked like pros! Kelsey, Maggie, Vanessa, and Ethan became professional surfers in no time and could be seen riding the waves – almost as if they were born to surf!

Next stop is Las Vegas and we can’t wait to share more stories and adventures with all of you back home!

Signing off for now,

Brandon, Eric, Nathan, Maggy, Allie and Jackie

The Westcoast Blogger