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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Cowboys and Canyons – California & the Canyons

Leaving the sandy beaches of San Diego behind us, our trip bid farewell to California and has moved on to the Southwest.  The crowds of people and fun, loud music had everyone ready for our Vegas adventure to begin. As we retreated from the desert heat to the multiple pools at the Monte Carlo Hotel, Sammy, Kiki and Jackie swam around giggling while Jacob E. relaxed and enjoyed a ride down the lazy river pool. We explored the city at night and admired the lights and street acts; we even passed by an adorable young Michael Jackson impersonator!  Justin ranked the young Michael’s dance skills as being “alright” and since he has proved to be the true king of the dance floor on our trip, we took his word for it.

We settled in to have dinner and celebrate Danny’s birthday at Buca di Beppo where Jacob S. lathered some whip cream on Danny’s face to close off the birthday ceremony. Danny almost fell of his chair from laughter with his great laugh that makes everyone smile. Our night ended beautifully at the Bellagio water show.

The next day was about discovering the city and enjoying some thrill rides. The Big Shot at the stratosphere was the coolest ride of Josh’s life and had Jack wide eyed and smiling after he came down.  Shopping around, Brett picked up some new tricks at the Las Vegas magic shop to wow everyone at home. The New York New York rollercoaster was the real thrill that even had Cody, known for his nerves of steel, raving. While walking to dinner, Grant saw someone win $100,000 and couldn’t believe his eyes…that’s Vegas for you!

Our Utah journey began driving through Zion national park, which was absolutely breathtaking. We stopped at The Chuckwagon Cookout where we re-enacted a Western scene and ate a Western meal while looking mighty fine with our cowboy hats on. Jordan, Lexi and Madison were among the saloon girls playing cards while Evan serenaded them as he pretended to play the violoin.  Vivian and Sophia were adorable dressed up as the coyotes and couldn’t contain their laughter when looking at each other and howling. Zach F. was in his element as he played the villainous cowboy riding over to the saloon to cause some trouble. Yeeeehaaa, Zach F. must have been a cowboy in another life! And so the show down began as Jacob E. and Zach F approached each other ready for action. The rest of us rounded out the scene as we were dressed as civilians, soldiers and Native Americans and transformed the old movie set into what almost seemed like real life! We then headed to the campground near Bryce Canyon where we met our last campsite manager Leo. Leo prepared a delicious strawberry shortcake dessert for our Trip Members. The next morning, we woke up and headed out on our first hike to Bryce. The hike was incredible, and our cameras simply couldn’t capture the surreal beauty of the canyons. Zack B even joked about the canyon being a façade, a green screen instead of true landscape. Annie made sure to be in a bunch of photos!

California & the Canyons at Bryce

Later at the campground, we had an incredible Asian-style dinner. We then split the group up into teams and had them compete in hilarious challenges. Each team had 6 members and each member took part in an event. We had a saltine eating competition where the Josh managed consume 15 crackers in the fastest time possible. Josh won! Jess won the following bubblegum blowing contest as she managed to make the biggest bubble. We also played the cookie game, where you have to put a cookie on your head and try to get it into your mouth without it falling into the ground without using your hands! Will put up a great fight but ultimately, our TD, JP, won that challenge in record time! We then had a balloon pop showdown where each player had a balloon tied to their ankle and tried to pop other peoples balloons. Zack B and Danny had a showdown and were the final two. Exhausted and panting, Zack B exclaimed: I’m just so excited! At that exact moment, his balloon popped (without being touched) and Danny won the challenge. It was quite the laugh for them and the spectators! During our Starburst unwrapping competition, Trip Leader Christina got her game face on and was ready to go! She unwrapped the Starburst at an unnatural pace! Guess we all have secret talents! Our final event was a watermelon eating contest. Jacob E and Cody were neck and neck with their watermelon eating, but Jacob eventually took the lead and won!

Vivian, Jordan, Zac F, Jess, Danny and Josh beat out the staff in the tie breaking event of the orange passing game! Seeing as they won that, they were the champions for the entire event as a whole (they got to get dessert first too!) It was really fun to have the staff and TMs competing against each other. We were all crying with laughter and cheering on our teammates. What a great way to end our lastcamping stop!

That’s all for Vegas and Bryce! We cannot wait to see what these last few days will bring!

Speak soon,

The Westcoast Blogger