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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Feeling Like Family in California – California & The Canyons

Dear Families of California & The Canyons,

We have already finished our first stop of the trip – what an incredible adventure it has already been! Our trip was off to an exciting start in San Francisco where we took a cable car to get to Chinatown (just like on Full House!). As we traveled up the city’s famous hills, we were able to take in all of the beautiful sights that San Francisco has to offer. After walking around Chinatown, we enjoyed a delicious feast at the Oriental Pearl. At dinner we learned a great deal about each other and discovered that our trip is filled with talent! Matt S. revealed that he is a competitive mogul skier and Courtlyn has been playing softball since kindergarten. We also found out that both Marc and Brian are talented guitar players.
Day 2 was off to an eventful start with our first stop Alcatraz.  We watched a Mythbusters episode on the drive over and everyone was really excited to visit the landmark in person. We took a boat over to the island and learned a lot from the audio tour.  It was really cool to see the cells where the infamous inmates such as Al Capone once stayed. Adam K. entered the prison cells to get a true feel of what it would have been like to be an inmate in Alcatraz.

After jail, we strolled through Fisherman’s Wharf under perfectly blue skies and enjoyed the talented entertainers, shops, delicious treats and famous sea lions. Elisa, Alice and Alisa decided to enter a confusing maze of mirrors while Olivia, Arianna, Niki P. and Sophie enjoyed a relaxing sea salt hand treatment. From there we checked out Ghiradelli Square where many trip members indulged in the famous chocolate and ice cream.  To finish off the day, we went bowling after a fun dinner at Mel’s, a California institution.  Alex M. ended with the highest score of 138 and David R. came in a close second with 115. Nikki B., Julia, and Bobby also impressed us all by getting multiple strikes throughout the game. Carly, Cassidy, Risa, Raina and Katherine showed their team spirit with matching bowling outfits that consisted of knee-high striped socks and of course coordinating bowling balls!

On our third and final day in San Francisco, we began with a visit to the Golden Gate Bridge. As we walked across the famous landmark and took in the breathtaking view, Alex P. shared that this was by far his favorite moment of the trip. The day continued with a visit to the small seaside town Saulsalito. As we walked through town, we divided ourselves into smaller groups and played “trade it up”. Each team was given a pen and was then told to try and exchange it for something of greater value – and then trade that item for something even better! Matt L., Nick, Dan, Zach and Clay were the winning team and managed to finish with a silk tie, bracelet and kaleidoscope.

After a stop at Lombard Street where we climbed the most crooked street in the world, we brought our third day to a close by watching a baseball game where the Oakland A’s played the Minnesota Twins. Jacob was excited and sported a Twins jersey of one of his favorite players.  Chloe and Josh showed their pride as they cheered loudly for the A’s while Jake and Emily H. took pictures with the A’s mascot and were featured on the jumbotron. After watching the Twins beat the A’s 9 to 5, we walked down to the field to watch a fireworks show!  While waiting in line to get onto the field, Austin G. decided to start a rap battle with some surrounding A’s fans. Laughs were shared all around!  Laying down on the field to watch the fireworks was an incredible experience.  It was Broadway night and many of the girls joined the crowd belting out songs from Mamma Mia and Wicked.  Staff members Jesse and Lauren were spotted dancing the Time Warp from Rocky Horror.

We are truly getting to know one another and we cannot wait to see what the rest of our adventure has in store so that we can continue to create more unforgettable memories!

All the best,
Jesse, Lauren, Elliot, Monica, Matt and Kristen

The Westcoast Blogger