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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Laughing with Leno and Meeting with Mickey! – California & the Canyons

Our LA journey started with an animated tour of universal studios where we had to fight off the Jurassic Park dinosaurs. Rachel shrieked when the 3D T-Rex came at us and Kyla almost jumped out of the tram when she saw the Mindy Project being filmed at a studio. The rides were awesome and some were pretty scary… You should have seen the look on Justin’s face running out of the haunted house with his hands in the air, let’s just say he was scared! Later that night we had dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe and Zach B and Cody bought and rocked some pretty cool visors around Universal City.

The following day our group was inquisitive and respectful in the Museum of Tolerance where we sat down and heard an incredible story. Marissa and Josh asked some really in depth questions, which made the group think a lot. Later on, We went to the Farmers Market for lunch and Jordan and Nico started a group trend by buying the best Grenada smoothies, which were made from all natural & delicious ingredients!

The next day started with a walk on Venice beach where Vivian, Sophia, Taryn and Sam S bought some cool customized t-shirts. Jacob S. and Will watched the muscle men workout and wondered if they would ever be able to lift like that! After the beach we had some time to hang out and check out the UCLA bookstore, which was more like a mini Target with so many cool things. Cody, Danny and Josh were throwing the football around outside…if you didn’t know you, would’ve thought they were part of the UCLA football team.

The night was filled with surprises at Improv Comedy. Jacob S was shaking in his seat wanting to get up on stage and show the crowd his dance moves and Jack got the best selfie of the trip: featuring special guest Jay Leno!

The following morning we were able to help out with some community service at the food bank sorting food. I have to say… Our group was absolutely incredible! Bobo, Kiki Zach F and Brett got their hands dirty and laughed it off. We didn’t stop moving for 2 hours and afterwards, Maddie B took over with her cleaning skills sweeping up the area. Sydney and Jack shopped like pros for some non-perishable food items to donate to the food bank.

Our morning volunteering was well-rewarded with a full day with Mickey at Disneyland. Jenn and Jake travelled to space on Space Mountain and had a blast! Like Sarah said “who doesn’t like Disneyland?” The night ended with a stunning fireworks show! Brett showed his magic to the crowd and Marissa posed as a Disney celebrity for the night.

California & the Canyons in Disney!

Next stop- San Diego where we threw on our wet suits and surfed the coast! Evan, Sydney and Justin were naturals and impressed the instructors with their gnarly riding skills. Bob and Henry had a blast being pushed around in the big waves for hours. That night we were all exhausted after all that fun in the sun and slept well for a morning at the zoo.

Lions, tigers and bears oh my! Jacob E and Jake got some cool dragon henna art at the zoo and Jess, Sammy, Rachel, Kiki and Maddie B got matching glitter Hennas. We had a special moment on the bus ride to laser tag when the whole group sang our trip song “Young Volcanoes”. Some even got a little teary eyed! At laser quest Grant came in first place with his stealth moves and it got pretty intense in game 2 when we all knew which way to run. The night was filled with laughter and tears as we gave out awards to some of our travelers! That’s all for now, we will let you know how the next chapter of the trip begins.

 The Westcoast Blogger