Greetings from Honolulu!
On June 29th a group of staff excitedly awaited the arrival of all the trip members at the LAX airport with Elisa J. from Paris with “Welcome to LA” signs. We had lists and flight details in hand, but no idea how amazing of a group we were going to greet! After grabbing our bags, we headed to UCLA to grab lunch. Nicole R. was so excited to see that her favorite UCLA treat, “tatter tots” were still on the menu since her visit last summer. In the evening we got to know our new family over dinner at the Hard Rock Café and strolled City Walk where an unexpected outdoor concert was taking place.
The next day at the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Alex R. matched his hands prints with Harrison Ford’s! After spotting the Hollywood sign we hit up a theme park with amazing roller coasters, Six Flags, where the trip members enjoyed ice creams, frozen iced lemonade drinks and Churros. Louis L. raved about the rollercoaster called “Tatsu.”
Our last day in LA consisted of visiting the Museum of Tolerance. The trip members were able to meet a Holocaust Survivor and hear a first-hand story of a man who was kicked out of his household at an early age due to his sexuality. Our eyes and hearts were opened from the experience at the museum.
We then shifted gears and headed off to two separate worlds – Venice Beach and Rodeo Drive. At Venice Beach, Arianna D and Sarah W. lunched on the famous “Big Daddy” eats.
Off to Vegas, our one and only drive of the trip. The trip members bonded on the bus by listening to music on their iPods together. We watched a movie that previewed the rides at the Stratosphere and the trip members got all excited discussing which rides they were going to go on! After enjoying an Italian Family Style meal for dinner we headed to the Stratosphere where a few of the trip members conquered their fears by riding the thrilling rides. Sammie L. and Emily J. went on the ride, “The Big Shot” and were able to see an incredible view of all the lights of Vegas!
After a 4th of July celebratory party at the Monte Carlo resort we packed up our bags and headed for the airport where we caught our plane to Hawaii!
Our first night in Honolulu we went for dinner to Jimmy Buffet’s. Lots of laughs and some great entertainment ensued throughout the night.
The following day, we jumped right into Hawaiian sports and took surfing lessons at the beach outside of our hotel. Alex Re. and Taylor amazed the group with their skills on the surf board as they were able to successfully stand up which can be quite the challenge! In the evening, Zoe M. Caroline R. and Olivia S. were having a blast learning how to ice skate.
On our third day in Honolulu, the group watched a movie about the history of Pearl Harbor and toured the memorial. We headed to the Dole Pineapple Pavilion and Emily J. and Sammie L. completed the Dole Pineapple Maze challenge! Sydney R. and Katie S. enjoyed the pineapple frozen yogurt. Our bus driver, cousin Dwight shared his knowledge throughout the entire day about the Hawaiian culture, landscape and history.
The trip members were looking forward to the Segway tours, a new activity which was recently added to the Hawaiian Spirit Trip. We received individual lessons and once we all felt comfortable the tour guide took us to tour the beach and parks in the area. It was great! During our beach time in the afternoon, Drew S. Arianna, D and Elisa J. floated in the kayaks in the lagoon.
The hike on our last day in Honolulu was exhilarating, the views of the city were breathtaking as we climbed to the top of the Diamond Head mountain. This afternoon will be filled with relaxation and beach fun as we look forward to heading to the Big Island tomorrow morning.
Having a blast and will update you soon!
Until next time…
The Westcoast Blogger
Do you want to be part of this experience? Visit Hawaiian islands and Canadian west coast in our 21-day Hawaii Spirit tour.