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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

SoCal and Beyond – California & The Canyons

Hello again Family and Friends of California and the Canyons…

As we approached the final days at UCLA, we managed to make it upbeat by celebrating Camryn W.’s birthday. To start off the day the group traveled down to Hollywood again to experience Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. The trip members got some great pictures with famous stars such as Leonardo Dicaprio, Justin Bieber and Carrie Underwood. Daniella had a blast going from room to room taking selfies and pictures with all the wax celebrities! After the Wax Museum we traveled to Disneyland where everyone got to enjoy the amusement park. At Disney the trip members had the opportunity to go on rides such as Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and Buzz Light-year. Ethan and Eve both conquered their fears of roller coasters and we congratulate them both. At nine o’clock when Camryn’s birthday celebrations continued, the whole group singing and other Disneyland guests joining in really surprised her. She then received a huge chocolate chip cookie covered in vanilla and chocolate ice cream with fudge sundae, a yellow Disney birthday hat and a pin as a gift before the fireworks ended our great day.

As the next day rolled around, we packed up our bags and left the wonderful college lifestyle at UCLA and we started our adventure to San Diego. We drove to Moon Light Beach right out side of San Diego for professional surfing lessons. When we got to the beach many of the trip members were very excited to learn how to become the new Mickey Munoz. Leah was a little nervous about surfing before hand but she gave it a try and ended up loving it. Josh who has never surfed before was a natural and Jackie also picked up the skills right away and became the trip’s “surfer chick.” Brant was able to pop up and surf all the way to shore on his first time. Taylor and Jonathon were also surfing in the USA as neither of them fell off their boards. Can’t forget Maya who was an excellent student to our surf instructors and became a pro in no time. While some of the boys were surfing the swells of the Pacific Ocean, Emily, Eve, and Dani B were all getting their tan on. After the beach we headed over to Seaport Village for dinner. They were able to walk around and explore the different options of food and little boutique shops. While driving along the shore, they also got to see the different navy boats that are now docked there for all to see. All of the kids really enjoyed the village, especially Tarek who went on a carousel for the first time. Max and Kyle both enjoyed their Ben and Jerry’s ice cream while Ethan and Jacob devoured their homemade fudge.

The next day in San Diego we had a little bit of a later start so of the group such as Megan, Danielle S, Lizzie and Jared all went down to the hotel pool for some fun before we left for the zoo. As we loaded the bus, Matt was serenaded by the entire trip singing happy birthday to celebrate his birthday with the group! When we got there everyone got to experience the zoo from up above as we sat on the upper level of the tour bus that took us around. Shayna, Yael, and Leah enjoyed the trip so much that they came back looking like animals due to the expertise of a face painter at the zoo. Dani R on the other hand didn’t become an animal but splurged at the gift shop on a life size stuffed panda bear. Later that night we traveled over to Ultra Zone Laser Tag for some fun. First we celebrated Matt’s birthday with surprising him with a cake. It came down to playing laser tag, where the group was broken down into three groups. Overall everyone had a great time, especially Tarek and Zach who came in first place. Kyle on the other hand still had a huge smile on his face even though he came in last place (he forgot to pull the trigger.) After laser tag, everyone everyone was singing on the bus and sharing memories, hugs were shared between new best friends such as Jackie and Eve, and Daniella and Emma.

The next day we headed over to the strip, that’s right Las Vegas Baby! Everyone was super excited to be in Vegas! The Vegas weather made Cameron Y and Natalie very eager to cool off at the Monte Carlo pool. Later that night Kole conquered his fear of roller coasters by going on a ride at the top of the Stratosphere. We than walked over to the Bellagio to watch the water show where Caity, Max and Jacob were all showing off their photography skills by capturing great photos and videos. Day sixteen we started off by going to the Forum Shops where Maya and Carly had the time of their lives shopping and running into the cast of Dance Mom’s. That night everyone was thrilled to be in “New York City,” well at least the New York New York Hotel and go on the roller coaster. Jason and Taylor both had the time of their lives while on this ride. After dinner and the ride, we traveled to the M&M and Coke factories where everyone stocked up on sugar and sweets.

Traveling to Bryce canyon, we stopped off at Zion National Park and had the kids up and excited when color war broke out. Our four color war captains Max and Sam F (red team) and Taylor and Leah (blue team) enjoyed leading their teams through one day of intense activities and games. Will was an outstanding sport by cheering on his teammates and having a great time playing every game of competition. In the end the Red team won by 15 points because of Sam F’s rap to victory.

California & the Canyons San Diego

Until next time….
The Westcoast Blogger