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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Star Struck – Californian Extravavanza

You’ll never believe who they saw!

The Westcoast Blogger

We’ve just had great days in LA and Ventura Beach!  We arrived on Saturday excited to learn that the campground had karaoke for all of its guests.  Nick R. and our counselor Ryan did a duet to the song “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”.  We sat by the fire and listened to some of our favorite older songs like “Dancing Queen” and “Summer of ‘69”.  “The karaoke was really funny when our bus driver, Smitty, sang some songs.  I had a lot of fun” described Eugenia L. 

Sunday morning we awoke ready to do a quick laundry so we could make our way to the beach ASAP. After spending some time in the Pacific Ocean, we headed back to the campsite for dinner and off to the movie theater.  Some of the group watched the movie “My Sister’s Keeper” while others viewed “Transformers”.  “I cried for most of the movie ‘My Sister’s Keeper’ because I was thinking about how fortunate I am to have a healthy life” said Amanda M.  “When I saw Transformers it made me feel as if a journey to Egypt like the main character experienced was like my journey on this Californian Extravaganza” described Jenna H. 

On Monday we were off to the biggest city on our 28 day Californian Extravaganza trip-LA, and we were ready to take the city by storm.  Universal Studios was the first stop.  We were dropped off at the world famous Globe and we were able to walk the red carpet into the park.  We rode the tram tour and saw sets of our favorite movies and spent the rest of the day on all of the rides.  It was Elizabeth G’s 16th birthday and we sang “Happy Birthday” to her while leaving the park.  A day in Universal Studios – what a great way to spend your birthday!  We had dinner at Hard Rock Café and were joined by a special guest-Nehemiah from MTV’s “The Real World – Austin” show.  All in all, we had an amazing first day in L.A.  We knew there was more fun to come. 

The next day was jam packed.  We started at “The Museum of Tolerance”.  We learned about a story of fate and karma between two men.  We listened to their story in awe – sad that the story had happened.  We learned about being tolerant of everyone’s differences – that it really boils down to the fact that we are all human.  “The Museum of Tolerance was a very inspirational experience and it greatly affected me” said Carly K. We then made our way to Muscle Beach, California (that’s Venice Beach for all you east coasters!).  We saw street performers and ate lunch.  “I really liked Venice Beach because the store owners would let you bargain with them.  It was fun to watch my friends talk them down” said Phil B.  We then filled up the bus and were ready for one thing – shopping – Rodeo Dr. here we come!!   “I had been looking forward to Rodeo Drive ever since day one.  When I got there I was shocked by all of the intriguing stores and the possibility of running into celebrities” described Adam I.   Some of us ran into Brad Garrett, star of the hit show Everybody Loves Raymond!  We then headed to the Hollywood Improv Comedy Theatre for our dinner and a few laughs.  “I’ve never laughed so hard in my entire 16 year life.  I was inspired to become a comedian”, described Brad B.

The next day we were off to the UCLA bookstore and Disneyland!  It was a great day at ‘the happiest place on earth’.  Our last morning in LA we woke up and were eager to help out those less fortunate than us.  “The food bank was a great experience.  It was fun sorting the food and it was great to know that I was helping” stated Kyle J.  We also separated and packaged bread products and vegetable products.  With everyone in a great mood we headed for Hollywood and Highland where we saw the Hollywood sign as well as Mann’s Chinese Theatre.  We were able to see Michael Jackson’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  “I thought it was really cool and interesting to see his star and all of the memorials and gifts around it”, described Tori C.  We are now in San Diego for the next two days, and everyone is looking forward to their first time surfing today. 

We’ll let you know how it goes next time!