Good Evening Camp Courageous,
The traveling campers of Camp Courageous are Cruising the Country, for the second weeklong of the year! This time to Los Angeles, California!! We are already off to a great start. We had one traveler check-in at Camp (aka Rolo House), two in Marion, two in Coralville, three in Bettendorf (where we also ate at Pizza Ranch). We then started the bulk of our drive to Chicago. We watched the movie “Rush Hour,” on our way to Chicago. Which was perfect because the movie is taken place in Los Angeles!
We have to get up early, so have a great night and we will talk again tomorrow night, where we will already be in California!!! Whoot Whoot!! Prayers and good thoughts are always appreciated!
Good Evening Camp Courageous,
The Travel group is in HOLLYWOOD!!! Where stars are born!! The travelers are super pumped and ready to tackle this busy but fun city. We started off our trip to California before the sun came up. We made our way to Chicago Midway Airport in good time. We had a little traffic, but not to bad. When we arrived at the airport, there wasn’t any heavy traffic, so we pulled right up to the gate.
I dropped off the travelers, they checked into Southwest Airlines, while I parked the bus.
Going through TSA went pretty smooth. Luckily we weren’t in long lines waiting for security. They even had us keep on our belts and shoes! It was a great and easy. After security we made our way to our gate. We made our selves comfortable before our flight. We then witnessed a group of heavy traffic of people coming to our gate. The weird part of this, a lot of them were wearing Jamaica shirts! So we were pretty confused. It turned out we needed to switch gates. So we made our way to the next gate and as soon as we got there, our gate changed again! So third times a charm! Which it was.
Our flight arrived at the gate ready to take us to Los Angeles, California! We pre-boarded, made ourselves comfortable as best as we could for this 4 1/2 hour flight and we were off. It was a pretty smooth flight, a little turbulence but nothing too bad. The travelers enjoyed listening to music, reading there books, or sleeping! Which some of the staff and travelers took advantage of!
Before we knew it, the time flew by and we were in California!! HOLLYWOOD!!! Once we made it to our gate, we let everyone else off the flight first and made our way to baggage claim. We were pretty hungry, but there is a bunch of construction going on at LAX, that there were not a lot of choices for restaurants, so we decided to just hop on the free hotel shuttle and eat somewhere close to the hotel. Which was the best plan! Because the food that we ate was delicious!! You could either get a pizza, sub, or salad! Some of us got all three! (There was a deal!) Before lunch, we checked into our hotel, dropped off our luggage and made our way to the restaurant.
After lunch, we made our way to Manhattan beach! This beach had some BIG waves and pretty windy, but it was worth the visit. It wasn’t too far from the hotel, so that was a great thing! We walked on the pier, which some of the travelers never seen before, so that was a cool experience. At the end of the pier was a free will donation aquarium. They had many sea life from the pacific ocean. A employee of the aquarium saw our group and showed us some good sea creatures. One that stood out the most was the sea cucumber! Supposedly if you kissed the sea cucumber you would have 7 years of good luck! Travelers Shane Hughes puckered up his lips and was ready to kiss the cucumber! It was pretty funny! After listening to the presentation and exploring just a few more sea creatures, we made our way to Manhattan village, where we explored some shops. They didn’t really have a ton to choose from, regarding souvenirs, but it was nice to walk around, shop at one of the stores and then made our way to dinner.
After dinner, we made our way back to the hotel where the travelers are fast asleep! Even though it seems like 8pm here, it is 10pm in Iowa! So they were ready to crash!!
Tomorrow we venture off to Downtown Los Angeles. Stay tuned to more fun times in L.A!
Good Evening Camp Courageous,
We had a full day of exploring! We did it the right way, hired someone to drive us around. We hoped on the Hop on Hop off tour bus that picked us up outside of our hotel. It was a really easy and convenient location. The bus drove us about an hour to get to Hollywood blvd. There are different tour lines for this particular company. The Red line (hollywood), the yellow line (Santa Monica), the green line (Venice Beach), the blue line (Universal city), and the purple line (Downtown L.A). We took the purple line to Downtown L.A. On this tour, we were all given headphones so we could listen to a pre recording of what was popular on this route. We learned about the history of Los Angeles and of course about the Hollywood life of this star field city.
Did you know that Thomas Edison owed the rights to movie production. Movies originally started in France and the first movie to be made in California was in 1914. We found out that 15 million people live in the greater Los Angeles. We even saw a famous tunnel that famous movies Terminator and Independence Day were filmed and of course many other films. There were so many actors names and movies that were mentioned on this tour. As we toured, we saw many well known tourists sights, like Chinatown, Tokyo town, Korea town, and the world famous Walt Disney Music Hall. This was our first stop on the tour.
When we arrived at the Music Hall we stopped in, greeted the clerk and received our free handheld audio players, where we had a chance to take a free tour of the hall. We learned so much about the Hall, from the history of Disney’s daughter starting the hall from all the wonderful performances that many well known stars had the opportunity to play music. They even had a garden on top of the Music Hall, where we had a chance to see the Children’s Music Auditorium. We even had a great shot of Mount Saint Gabriel.
After the tour, we had lunch in the the Music Hall cafe and then hopped back on the tour bus. We then were dropped off in Chinatown, where we did some shopping and took many pictures.
One picture was in front of the statue of famous Karate artist Bruce Lee, traveler Thomas Williams loved this part. Traveler Brandon Clark had been asking about where they filmed Rush Hour, and before he could ask again, we saw the sign that said here is the spot where Rush Hour was filmed!
The campers had the opportunity to see there favorite stars hands, feet and signature. It was pretty cool! After our star experience, we shopped a couple more times and then hopped back on the bus to head back to the hotel.
Good evening Camp Courageous,
The motto of the day was “Party Bus” dubbed by traveler Dusty McArtor. When we loaded the star line bus there was some dancing music playing and Dusty and the other travelers were cheering and loving the moment!
During the tour we listened to an audio recording about these places. We even had a chance to know where the movie stars love to eat and shop! Millions of Milkshakes was where stars come and make there own milkshakes and there is also a GPS that tells you where they are.
So the next stop was the farmers market in West Hollywood. We heard to get some great food, we needed to stop here and it was delicious! Everyone had multiple restaurants to choose from. So no one went away hungry! Afterwords we treated the travelers with some delicious ice cream from a place that had been open for 80 years. They are actually closing their doors, so it was fitting for our group to enjoy this treat.
After lunch we hopped back on the bus and toured the rest of the red line. After we got back we hit up the last and biggest gift shop on Hollywood blvd. Here the travelers had time to indulge and traveler Shane Hughes had a chance to get his name on a STAR!
Outside of the gift shop were some men putting down names on a star and we would have a chance to take a picture with our feet on the star. Just like the movie stars!
After our gift shop we went to two other surprise stops, Ripley’s Believe it or not and Guinness World Record museums. They were right next to each other. The first museum was Ripley’s. We had fun learning about interesting artifacts and people. We even made faces in a mirror where we later found out that a camera was filming us the entire time. We met the tallest and smallest people in the world. We even saw a match stick ship that was made by a man from Iowa. Pretty cool!
We then made our way to the Guinness museum. Here we witnessed records that were made and we even had a chance to make our own records. From stacking ten silly monkeys to flipping cups. We even had a dance party at the end of the museum. You know how Camp Courageous Campers love to dance and party!
Before we knew it, it was time for dinner. So we ate at a Mexican restaurant and then went over to Disney’s chocolate store to have a free sample of caramel milk chocolate! Very delicious! After that it was time to head back to the hotel on the same bus that we partied on this morning, with the same Double Decker DJ! We jammed all the way back to the hotel!!! “HOLLYWOOD!”
Good Afternoon Camp Courageous,
I am sending a two part email, since we will be getting to the hotel around midnight central standard time. So the second email I send, will hopefully report that we made it back safely. Keep those fingers crossed ;)!
Before we had to leave Los Angeles, we made it a point to venture off to the beach! Since the last time we went to the beach, it was quite windy and the waves were HUGE!! This time it was a different story. If you can, please visit the Camp Courageous Facebook page of the live feed of our beach adventure. This morning, we made our way to our last Hop on Hop off boat tour. Our shuttle picked us up at our hotel and drove us around Venice Beach and Santa Monica. Both were great places to visit and we loved driving along the beach. The stop we chose to take was at Venice Beach Boardwalk. Where there were gift shops, restaurants, basketball courts, surfers, weight lifters and just walking on the beach.
We walked on the beach, some of the travelers put there feet in the water, some just stayed on the beach, sat on the sand and dug their toes in the sand. They really enjoyed there last time experiencing the Pacific Ocean and Venice Beach. Before I forget, the basketball courts were part of the movie “White Men Can’t Jump” and as we heard that we noticed that a commercial was being filmed right on the basketball court. It was pretty cool. Also, Arnold Schwarzenegger use to lift weights on this beach and a Golds Gym not to far from the beach. We really wanted to see weight lifters, but there were none weight lifting or we didn’t know where they were located.
After we toured the beach, we visited one gift shop and then hopped back on the bus. We then stopped at a Crepe shop, where the group each had some delicious Crepes and fries and a drink. Afterwords, we made our way back to the hotel to grab our luggage and head to the airport.
We are now at the airport waiting at our gate. We board in about and hour and half. We have a 4 and half hour flight to Chicago. Prayers and positive thoughts are greatly appreciated for a safe flight!
To be continued….
The flight went quick!! We were back in Chicago in no time. We grabbed our luggage and were out the door!
We made it to the hotel and is settled in our beds! Tomorrow we begin our drive back to Iowa and dropping off the travelers along the way!
Thank you for all the thoughts and prayers!
P.S Thank you to all the travelers who went on this trip!! It was great spending time with all of you! A special thanks to my volunteers Carolyn Rundle and Mallory Pettengill! It was an awesome experience!