The U.S. Explorer checks in from California
Welcome to sunny California!
We have made our way to the last state on our 40-day journey! Although it is sad that we are nearing the end, we still have plenty of fun activities planned for the remaining days.
We rolled into San Diego and instantly got a scent of the pleasant surrounding ocean breeze. Our destination was the Double Tree Resort, and every person that checks in receives a warm chocolate chip cookie. We ended up with over 40 cookies, more than enough to last! After some time to get settled into their rooms, the trip members headed to TGIF’s for dinner. The meal was everything we could have asked for, and the appetizers ranging from flatbreads to pretzel sticks were delicious. Later that evening we returned to the hotel for another one of our amazing pool parties. Alex and Justin taught Allison some of their moves they do while jumping into the pool, impressing every spectator. Some of the trip members spent the majority of their time in the hot tub, while Adam, Scott, Jonah, and Brandon dueled it out playing some intense games of table tennis. Kerri, Britt, Sam, and Madi relaxed and shared stories around a table next to the pool. The first night lead everyone to bed earlier than usual so they could be well rested for a big day of surfing and activities at the San Diego beach!
Everyone woke up dressed in their finest beach attire, and after a quick breakfast at Starbucks/Coffee Bean it was time to soak up the sun and dig our feet into the sand! When we arrived at the beach the trip members had the opportunity to have some time to splash around in the ocean and play in the waves. We then split into two groups, and one group continued to play on the beach while the other followed the instructors down the beach for a tutorial on surfing before diving out into the water. The instructors taught us all the different parts of the board, where to place our hands and feet, and most importantly the ways to get up and catch some ‘gnarr’! When we got into the water, everyone got some help from the instructors on when to paddle, and how to brace yourself for getting up at the appropriate time. It took no time for the trip members to get some good practice and continue trying it on their own! Justin F and Max had no trouble and got up almost every time. Ray, Rachel, and Sam looked like professional surfers and spent as much time as they could conquering the waves.
It was a picture perfect day spent on the beach as the trip members played in and out of the water, and we all ate our lunches sitting on the sand! Everyone didn’t realize how exhausting surfing was until we returned to the hotel for some much needed relaxation. We all went back to our rooms and hugged the beds! Later that evening we experienced an extremely healthy dinner as we made our way to Souplantation for an overwhelming selection of salads, soups, along with many other items. This was the perfect meal we needed to fuel up for some laser tag! We arrived at Ultra Zone and split up into three teams; Red, Blue, and Yellow captained by Adam, Patrick, and Hannah. After two games of fierce competition, Perry, Matt L, Justin F., Jack and Lauren had the more dominant scores. Hannah’s blue team walked away with two victories!
The next morning we woke up ready for an adventure at the San Diego Zoo. All the boys on the trip were curious to find out where they filmed Anchorman. When we arrived at the zoo, we first boarded a double decker bus that took us from end to end of the zoo ensuring we had an opportunity to see every animal village. The trip members got some great photos in, and were provided with some cultural information about each animal. After the bus tour the trip members had the chance to explore the zoo and visit their favorite animal exhibits. Matan was ecstatic when he was able to see the Pandas! As everyone returned to the meeting spot, Rachel surprised us with a complete face painting of spider man. Later that afternoon we returned to the hotel and had ample time to relax and use the facilities. Scott and Adam finally got in a friendly tennis match, while everyone else had time at the gym or to take a dip in the pool. After our time at the hotel, the entire trip was pumped to view the exciting last installment of the Batman Trilogies, as well as the new Spider Man movie in 3D! Words could not do justice to how astounding both movies were. The last night put all the trip members in a great mood, which was a fitting way to end such a relaxing visit to San Diego.
As we move past our first stop in our last state, we are all dreading counting down the days until separation. On the bright side, it is time to embrace the glamor of Los Angeles while we spend 5 nights on the UCLA Campus. We can’t wait to share more of our memories soon!
FEELIN’ FINE ON TRIP 9!
The Westcoast Blogger