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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Sun & Fun from San Diego to Scottsdale! – California & the Canyons

Hello again family and friends!

Since you last heard from us, we’ve been surfing in San Diego, hanging out at the famous Zoo, and riding the Stratosphere above the heads of hundreds of people in Las Vegas!

We started off the weekend at the gorgeous Moonlight State Beach on the outskirts of San Diego. KC and Erin learned how to surf, while Gus and Olivia showed many of us how it’s done! Julia A and Julia B caught some of their very first waves, while Noah tossed around a football with some of the other guys.  After a day at the beach, we went back to the beautiful Marriot and head out to the Seaport Village area at the San Diego docks. Dan bought a harmonica to display his musical talents, and Julie and Nicole got ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s.

The next day was our last in California, and it started out at the world-famous San Diego Zoo! Many of us were incredibly excited to see the panda bears, elephants, and giraffes. We began with a tour of the zoo, and Jessie was quite enamored by the monkeys, whereas Mike was more interested in the lions. The gang wandered over the zoo grounds for the afternoon, and Reid and Matt could be seen relaxing near the reptiles while Koryn and Haley got their faces painted!

That evening we had a delicious dinner at Souplantation, and an intense game of laser tag with fierce competition. After laser tag, the crew went to In N’ Out Burger to celebrate our last night in California. In N’ Out Burger is famous for their secret menu and paper hats – Trip Members were each given a commemorative “graduation” hat to sign each other’s names and nice notes.

The next day we headed for the bright lights of Las Vegas! After driving through the Mojave desert, we checked into the Monte Carlo and went straight to the pool where a DJ was hosting a dance party, just for us  That evening, we took in the sights and sounds of this amazing city – from the impressive extravagant Venetian shops to the Bellagio fountain show.

Our first full day in Vegas started off with a ride up the tower of the Stratosphere hotel, the tallest observation tower in the US! Kyle, Ryan G., Julie & Nicole helped Matt W. conquer his fear of rides on the Xscream – Matt’s first ride ever! Haley, Koryn, Emily & Dasha rode the Big Shot up to the tippy top of the tower while screaming at the top of their lungs – a ride to remember. Jessie, Julia F., and Kara drank Shirley Temples while looking out on the strip from above and giving moral support to all those riding.

Under the moon & neon lights, we head over to NY NY to ride the infamous roller coaster. Lindsay & Matt conquered their fears while Victoria was eager to get in the front row of the coaster. At the Coca-Cola store and M&M world, KC & Olivia bought comfy festive boxer shorts and loaded up on delicious treats. The boys were brave and tried the “taste around the world” which included sampling different types of Coca-Cola; some were better than others. After a fun and entertaining couple of days, Noa & Kyle announced that Vegas was their favorite stop on the trip!

While camping at Bryce Canyon, Trip Members participated in a Westcoast Connection classic event:  The theme of the event was Snapchat vs. Instagram. For those of you who don’t know, those are popular photo sharing apps. Team Instagram, led by KC and Ryan A, started off the competition strong by earning a victory in a hard-fought battle of Capture the Flag. Emily was instrumental in rallying her team together through her enthusiastic spirit. We then had a tense silent lunch in which both teams lost significant points for laughter.

Following the spectacle that was the silent lunch, team Snapchat, led by Jack and Stephanie, came through with an exhilarating victory in the Apache Relay. The relay consisted of 23 stations incorporating a variety of skills and teamwork including the writing of a 150 word essay about the trip (props to Noah for the killer essay!), a three-legged race, and a frantic egg toss. Some of the more memorable stations were as follows: Reid and Noah racing to see who could paint their toenails the fastest, Jessie and Mike teaming up to win a blind-folded yogurt eating contest, and Julie and Ilan spelling the alphabet backwards in a remarkably short amount of time. For the final event of the relay, Trip Members partook in a nerve-racking, full-team, fast-paced, orange passing assembly line that involved the Trip Members passing an orange using only their necks.

California & the Canyons

We have now experienced three of the most beautiful canyons in the US – Zion, Bryce & the Grand Canyon. The general consensus was that Bryce was the best. Emily & Brynn thought the colors were the most vibrant and beautiful. Julia R. agreed that Bryce was her favorite as well. Sadie was most impressed by Zion canyon – the hike was right up her alley and the french fries hit the spot. Having concluded our time camping, we are all happy trip members and looking forward to the Pink Jeep tour in Sedona and our final time together in Scottsdale – but not looking forward to saying goodbye.

Peace & Love

The Westcoast Blogger