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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

The Fun Never Ends! – California & The Canyons

When we arrived in San Diego we headed straight to the beach where we spent the day playing in the water and learning how to surf. Everybody absolutely adored this experience. Amanda S was a pro – she got up on her board right away. Brian was also really good at catching the waves. We ate an awesome Boudin lunch on the beach and then headed to the hotel to shower to get ready for dinner. At Seaport Village, we split into groups to eat and explore. Jack and Noah got themselves an adorable cartoon portrait while Jake watched and snacked on a caramel apple. A perfect first evening in San Diego.

The second day in San Diego brought us to the zoo. A number of trip members hopped on the double decker bus tour, including Amanda M and Amanda F, and we got to see so many different animals: giraffes, elephants, zebras, and flamingos. After the zoo we did round 2 of laundry, and this time it went a lot better because everyone had the hang of it. Even the boys really had it going on – Sam and Spencer were laundry pros! In the evening we had the greatest time playing laser tag. Ryan came in 1st place during the 2nd round and Olivia was really proud of her 5th place finish.

They say, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” Lucky for us, I will be revealing all about our time in Vegas in this blog! The first night we headed to a family dinner at Bucca di Beppo. We all feasted on salad, pasta and chicken parmesan. We then walked the strip. We started at the Venetian, where we walked around and explored. Rebecca, Elayna, Jacquline, Travis, and Carlee did something amazing: they started a game of Ninja right in the middle of Saint-Mark’s Square. We then continued on to the Bellagio. However, on the way there we needed to take a short little break because we got caught in the most refreshing rain shower. Rain in Vegas – it really was a special sight. At the Bellagio we saw the dancing fountains – which swayed to “Proud to be an American”. We then headed to the world’s largest chocolate fountain, where our kids feasted on some delicious desert. On our way back to the Monte Carlo we ran into Rudy Gobert, a player for the Utah Jazz. It was an exciting end to our night.

Our second day in Vegas was jam-packed. It started at the Stratosphere where our trip members went on the craziest thrill rides. Dana, Olivia, Ariel and Torrey went on the Big Shot, which shot them straight up into the air, while Jacqueline, Carlyn, and Jeri went on the Intensity ride, which spun riders above the strip. The X-Scream, which shoots riders off the edge of the building, was the ride of choice for Nicole. After that we headed to the Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace to continue exploring. To end the afternoon, we headed back to the hotel for some pool time. Anoushka, Jennifer, and Sarai all lounged around in the lazy river, while Julia and Sabrina sat out in the sun and relaxed. Before dinner we headed to the roller coaster at the New York, New York hotel. There were wild falls, twists, and loops, it was thrilling. After that we went to dinner in the streets of New York (at least the version in Vegas). Many of us ate some long awaited sushi! The rest of the evening was spent in sugar heaven. We went to the Hershey’s store, the M&M store, and the Coca-Cola store. Sam, Ben, Shane, Spencer, and Jared S all opted for the purchase of matching Coca-Cola onesies and rocked them on the strip for the rest of the evening.

Vegas was a thrilling adventure. Next stop, camping in Bryce Canyon!

Las Vegas was amazing, but we were looking forward to some outdoor activities and our final camping trip. Our first hike was at Zion canyon. It was absolutely beautiful. Though only a short hike, the views were breathtaking. A fresh stream was running through the canyon and Spencer, Jared, Shane and Sam decided to cross through it. They had a great time, even though their feet got a little wet! After the hike we headed to Chuckwagon for dinner in Kanab, Utah. Not only did we get to eat a great meal, but we so got to participate in the making of a western film. Noah played the part of the hero, while Ben played the villain. Amanda F was a saloon girl, and Josh and Hallie played a married pioneer couple. Rebecca and Elayna have a convincing portrayal or coyotes as well. On the bus ride to the campsite, our group competition began – Our 2 teams: In-n-Out Burger vs. Chipotle! Hallie and Jack were the captains for the In-n-Out team and Jeri and Ben were chosen for Chipotle! At the campsite, we snacked on strawberry shortcake and played our first game, ‘Make Me Laugh’. Chipotle claimed the first victory.

Day 2 of our last camping trip brought us to Bryce Canyon. We took a great hike that really made us feel like we were on top of the world. The panoramas of the canyon were highlighted by streaks of red and yellow in the rock walls, which made the whole scene a surreal appearance.
We spent the afternoon completing more competitive events, including a trip trivia game, of which Karlyn was the MVP. Team In-n-Out won the trivia game. Next, the teams participated in an apache relay race that included events such as an egg toss, three-legged race, and blindfolded applesauce eating. Jeri and Nicole were particularly impressive in the applesauce eating contest. Team Chipotle won the apache. After stir-fry dinner, we had a songfest that was won by In-n-Out. The tie breaker event for was a relay race, which was eventually won by In-n-Out.

On our third day exploring the canyons, we headed to the grandest of them all… The Grand Canyon! It was one of the most spectacular views any of us has ever seen. We hiked partway down the canyon, then climbed back up to the canyon rim. After that, we drove to flagstaff and had dinner to celebrate our successful hike. We finished off the evening with Coldstone ice cream, then walked back to the hotel to prepare for an amazing last few days of our trip.

The Westcoast Blogger