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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Oh Canada! – U.S. Explorer

The U.S. Explorer checks in from Canada!

Dear Parents of XR19,

Happy Canada Day! After hopping onto our nicely decorated bus and joining our Canadians in Oh Canada  (in English and French) we proceeded onto the morning mix.  Jamie and Emily were the most spirited when it came to adding the “woo oos” to the chorus of Walking on Sunshine.  Next up was Meet the XR19 Staff. Did you know Amanda was in a beauty queen pageant, Jared “danced” with Ellen Degeneres, Raquel recently volunteered in South Africa, Natalie can wiggle her ears and Jason went on a date with Selena Gomez (that’s not really true… but the trip members all believe it so don’t ruin the secret).

In continuing with the Canada Day festivities, we played Name that Canadian Celebrity, walked a Jim Carey standup sketch, a few How I Met Your Mother clips and smelled the new $100 bill – it smells like maple syrup! Zach G. explained the three levels of the Canadian government to the group as well.

Once we reached the campground, pitching the tents was a piece of cake. Everyone was cooperative and excited to setup their own space. Nikki said “this may sound weird, but I’m actually loving this!”.

Jason initiated a game of jump ball with Jonah F., Rickey, Kyle, Justin, and Aaron. Before we knew it, Alexa started a volleyball circle with Chase, Brandon and Matt. Zack R, Lyndsay, Gary, and Delilah played football while Lee, Zack G., Evan S., and Jonah E. played soccer. The mustang prepared an incredible picnic lunch going as far to arrange the vegetables in the shape of an M.

Back at the campsite, as we were preparing for our first BBQ , Grant showed  Jared and Raquel how to do ab exercises, such as the bicycle, situps, and the cockroach. They are working hard on their 6-packs.

Then it was off to the Falls – seeing them lit up at night was breathtaking as were the fireworks. The highlight of the evening was our group singing Oh Canada in the center of the crowd after the grande finale. On the bus back, Haley shared that the highlight of her day was crossing the Canadian border. Jamie and Emily also shared funny & corny jokes. Before saying goodnight, we devoured delicious s’mores around a campfire.

The following day, Evan S. was in charge of making hash browns  for breakfast to accompany our eggs. On the Maid of the Mist boat ride, we captured a beautiful view of Niagra Falls up close. Sami and Isabel said that they were excited to get close to the Falls to get an incredible view. We also had our first Battle of the Sexes competition – Chuck the Chicken. Although the girls won by 2 points, the boys put up an excellent fight. Man, can a rubber chicken fly!

On the Whirlpool Jet Boat, we did several runs through class 5 rapids and all got soaked head to toe. When the tour guide first explained that we were ready to go, Jason screamed, “oh my G-d.” Justin kept throwing his right finger in the air signaling to the driver that he wanted the boat to do a hammelman turn – it caught on with the whole boat just like someone starting a wave at a baseball game . It was such a beautiful day (and ride) that we could see the CN tower in Toronto from a distance. When Jared asked about everyone’s experience on a scale of 1 to 10, Tyler yelled 14. Matt said it was the best activity of the trip so far.

When we reached the campsite, we had some time for sports, swimming,  shower and R&R. Mabil and Raquel went for a jog around the campsite, while enjoying their music. Lee, Noah, Brandon and Matt played mini golf and then went on an inflatable trampoline.

For dinner, the Mustang presented the Italian meal they prepared (meatballs, spaghetti, gnocci and tortalini, garlic bread, lady fingers, Caesar salad and more)  with Italian music blaring in the background.

We then played Make Me Laugh in the evening. Noah, Zach G,. Lyndsay, Nikki and Chase all went in the hot seat. 30 seconds to make them laugh – if they cracked, they had ketchup, mustard, pickle juice, Alfredo sauce, eggs, or a mixture of all of the above dumped on them! If they kept a straight face, those who were unsuccessful at making them smile were under attack!

Not too bad for an adventure to Canada EH?

Be in touch soon! Cleveland, Cedar Point and the Roller Coaster Capital Of the World… here we come!

The Westcoast Blogger