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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

The Fun Continues in LA! – Californian Extravaganza

Californian Extravaganza checks in from LA

Well Los Angeles certainly held its fair share of excitement. When we last left off, our trip members were experiencing the magic of Disney, complete with a firework show featuring flying Tinkerbell and Dumbo. The next morning, we switched up the pace and went to the Museum of Tolerance. The museum was done fantastically, allowing the trip members a chance to really engage with the material. The trip members were very receptive to the messages, both in the museum and from a special guest speaker. Some of our members took a very active voice in the question and answer period of the guest speaker’s speech, such as Ainsley and Zach G.

Later in the day we went to Venice Beach to walk the boardwalk, browse the shops, breathe in the ocean air, see some fairly ridiculous buskers, and of course, eat some yummy food. We issued the trip members a challenge known as the pen exchange. The rules are simple. Each group gets a pen. They go around and ask people to trade the pen in for something “cooler”. They then trade that for something even cooler. And so on and so forth. The idea is actually based on a true story in which a man traded a paper clip to eventually (after much exhausting effort) trade up for a brand new house. Cali Extravaganza had fun with this one. Lauren, Abigail, Alexa E, and Amanda G returned with a teal V-neck top (which was by no means desirable/considerable for wear). Ryan, Ainsley, Stephanie, Rachel G, and Nicole came back with marble shaped bendable bouncy balls. Sara, Amanda T, Carole, Leonor, and Ilana managed to get bracelets and stickers for each of them. Might not be a house, but still quite the success by this Westcoast Blogger’s standards.

And onto Rodeo. It was like walking right into the movies. The streets all lined with palm trees, the sun shining, people scurrying about with bags up and down their arms…. Quite the site to see. While we didn’t spot any celebs, many of the girls enjoyed snapping pics on the steps from the 1990’s movie, Clueless, and some of the scenery from the hit TV show 90210.

Afterwards we hit the Improv comedy club for some good laughs. The MC for the night was fantastic and engaged with our trip members time and time again. She felt a little extra comedy love for our trip birthday boy Matt G, as well as Ori, Kate, Abigail, Anna, Carole, and Leonor. Our five other stand up acts for the night all interacted with a few of our other kids such as Sam, and Rachel G.

The next morning we went to the famous UCLA bookstore to browse the comfy college clothing. Decked out in the school’s powder blues, whites, and yellows we strolled down Hollywood boulevard. We did put our hands and feet in the imprints at Mann’s Chinese Theatre, took some photos with fake Spidermen and Michael Jacksons, and ate some pretty delicious pizza.

And onto San Diego for some Baseball fun. A final score of 2-0 to the Astros. Better luck next time Padres. Highlight of the night was Landon catching a ball!

The next morning was complete pandemonium at the San Diego Zoo. Other than soaking up the cute, we witnessed some pretty unusual things. Kate, Dorian, Alison, and Alexa all experienced seeing a monkey hop onto a hippos back and go for a nice little ride.

The nighttime held a pretty intense game of laser tag. Ranking first throughout the games was Noah and Matt B. Different strategies were used. Matt was all about shooting everyone while Noah worked to protect the base and shoot at those that attacked.

Arriving at day 20 we made for the beach and got “everybody surfing, surfing USA” Beach Boys style. Nearly everybody got up on the boards by days end. We had perfect surfing weather. The breeze was just enough to keep us cooled down from the bright sun. The wetsuits were a nice addition to the ocean swim as well. Not to mention how cool everyone looked in jet black wetsuits. Very ninja-esque. Post surfing, there were a few trip members that hung around in the water for quite some time. Matt G, Rachel G, Nicole, David, Alison, and Kate all splashed about body-surfing some waves.

Next stop, Las Vegas, Nevada!

The Westcoast Blogger