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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Nothing Could Have Prevented Every Single One of Us From Getting Completely Drenched – U.S. Explorer

A Trip 9 in ’09 update!

The Westcoast Blogger

Dear Parents of Trip 9,

We’ve only been together for one week and already we have countless adventures, stories, and experiences to share with each and every one of you. After leaving Ithaca for the mystical Niagara Falls, we got to ride the Maid of the Mist, enjoy a fabulous picnic lunch of sandwich wraps, salads, and fruit parfaits, and then take part in jet boating! We started our day on the Maid of the Mist, which definitely prepared us for our afternoon soak and splash on the jet boat. Getting to see the falls so close up was amazing, and it was a good thing we had our blue ponchos on because otherwise we would have been soaked from all the mist that sprayed throughout the boat!

Jet boating was a whole other adventure on its own- all 53 of us sat in one big boat together and rode through the rapids and whirlpools of Niagara on the Lake. Even though we were covered head to toe in ponchos and lifejackets, nothing could have prevented every single one of us from getting completely drenched! It was a fantastic time of cheering and screaming, trying to figure out who got the best seats for soaking on the boat, even though there wasn’t a dry seat in the house! Ilana D., Haylee M., Jodi Z., Austin Z., Madison B., Adam G., Sherilyn G., Becki R., Evan S., Becky T., Suzannah D., Joey S., Jessie B., Lindsay W., Talia G., Evan R., and Jordan S. braved the waves and sat in the first 3 rows of the boat, while Jack M., Steph P., Ali S., Rhianne V., Ross S., and Sarah R. tried to stay dry in the back but didn’t succeed!

After drying off from the boating, we headed back to the campground to put together Italian Night and enjoy delicious pastas and salads for dinner. In the evening we got to enjoy an Imax movie all about the stories and myths behind Niagara Falls.  The next morning we packed up the site and set out for Toronto, and started out at Canada’s Wonderland where we all got to ride the crazy roller coasters like the Behemoth and the Vortex! Ben G., after 2 tries, won a carnival game which won him a huge stuffed lobster that now takes a nice seat on the back of the bus. Everyone had a great time and once we got back to the dorms at the University of Toronto, we all celebrated Amanda S.’s birthday with cake and singing before bed!

Saturday morning we got to experience the best view of Toronto by visiting the CN tower and enjoying everything from the amazing views to the glass floors that make the tower one of the greatest sights to see in Toronto. Then it was off to the Hockey Fall of Fame where fans alike marveled at all the memorabilia there was to be seen. The Habs fans of the group, Jesse F., Noah W., Jake M., and Evan R., all loved seeing their Montreal Canadian hall of fame players who were inducted. In the afternoon we got to tour around Queen Street and visit all of the funky stores, and in the evening we played our way through the Sega Playdium arcade where everyone got to show off their gaming skills, including their dance moves where Dan S. and Stephanie P. were showing off with Dance Dance Revolution. 

Ann Arbor, Michigan was our next stop and once we got settled at the University of Michigan dorms we paid a visit to the campus bookstore to pick up some University of Michigan apparel, and then off we went to play whirlyball, which is a competitive game involving bumper cars, basketball, and lacrosse! We had a great time and got to see everyone’s bumper car steering skills- good thing these kids don’t drive yet! A river canoe ride, trip to the Laundromat, and an evening of ice skating completed our visit in Michigan and as we get ready to hit the Windy City of Chicago, we look forward to a baseball game, as well as tons of other fun activities that we have planned!

Speak to you all soon!

Swami, Frances, Matt, Shaun, Johanna, Christina