California and the Canyons checks in from San Francisco
Day 1 – Welcome to Cali and the Canyons!!
Trip members from all across North America (and even China) arrived at the San Francisco airport to be greeted by their enthusiastic trip director and trip leaders. After a snack and meet-n-greet, we headed to the hotel to unpack, unwind and get to know each other.
Our first trip event was heading to Chinatown. We took the cable car to get there and man was it a thrilling ride! Marris, Sierra, Christi, and Bella were having a blast waving to passer-by’s. We toured around Chinatown, window shopping and exploring this unique area of the city. Alex, Brandon, Nathan, and Ethan modeled some hilarious braided hats. They really pulled it off! At dinner, we celebrated Jasmine’s birthday by singing her “Happy Birthday” and later passing around cupcakes! After a great first day, we tucked into bed and got ready for the rest of our San Francisco adventure.
Day 2 – Prisons, Piers and Baseball, Oh My!
Our first full day in San Francisco started off with a trip to Alcatraz, the most infamous prison in the United States! On the ferry ride over, a lone hungry seagull provided us much entertainment as Vanessa bravely stood by and watched ‘the show’.
We learned all about Alcatraz’s history, famous inmates and escape attempts through a guided tour. Some of the trip members even spoke about wanting to learn more about the history of the “Rock”… Something that I’m sure their teachers next year might be interested in hearing! 😉
The sun was shining as we headed to Pier 39 and Fishermen’s Wharf. The trip members explored and filled up on Boudin bread! Ghirardelli Square satisfied our sweet tooth with chocolate treats, milkshakes and ice cream. This included a 5 pound gummie bear that ended up being the 49th member of our group. Unfortunately, it met its yummy yet timely end before we headed to Oakland for a baseball game.
We cheered on the Oakland A’s as they took on the Boston Red Sox. With an exciting 2nd inning, the A’s scored three runs with a final score being 5 – 1 for the A’s! We were in full support of our A’s as AJ and Tommy demonstrated by wearing giant foam cowboy hats – they were a big hit with the rest of the group! Eric S also demonstrated his enthusiasm by getting our entire section of seats to participate in a wave!
On our way home, JP entertained the bus with a very frustrating riddle. Hats off to Jack, Dylan R and Ryan for figuring it out! When we got back to the hotel, it was hard to imagine we had done so much in just one day!
Day 3 – Golden Times in San Fran!
On our last day in San Fran, we began the morning with a stop at the Golden Gate Bridge! We walked on the bridge and took in the breathtaking views of the San Francisco skyline, Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. After the photo ops, the staff taught the trip members “the move”. In honor of Westcoast Connection’s 30th anniversary, every single trip in 2012 will be taught a specific dance move. There will then be a video compilation of the move from various landmarks all across the world! The kids really enjoyed this and are excited to be a part of WCC history!
Our next stop was Sausalito, a small quaint town across the Golden Gate Bridge. We played a game where each group was given a single pen. The object was to trade it for something “bigger and better” from other tourists. When we regrouped, we had collected: A bag of approximately 100 batteries; a borrowed bike; an expensive brand name t-shirt; a borrowed dog; an umbrella; an inspirational banner; a lucky Buddha; a pair of printed leggings; and a brand new bag of twizzlers… What a collection!
Thanks to Corrie’s expert navigation skills, we accomplished something that no other trip did… Walked up BOTH ends of Lombard Street! You can definitely say that Trip 12 will have the most fit calves in all of Westcoast! 🙂 Special shout outs to Richard, Russell and Henry who RAN up the last bit of Lombard Street with Corrie! Way to go, boys!
Our final event of the day was… Bowling!!! We slipped and slid our way to strike and spare glory. Each lane competed against themselves, setting their own goals and in most cases exceeding them! Everyone really enjoyed themselves, especially Jasmine, who hadn’t ever been bowling before!
As we are writing this, we are on our way to our first camping stop – we will catch up with you again in a few days and fill you in on what will surely be a great stay in Lake Tahoe!!
Until next time,
The Westcoast Blogger