On Sunday 26th October 50 children aged 7-15 and 25 caregivers involved in the Koru Care Californian Adventure holiday farewelled their families and friends as they embarked on the journey of a lifetime. This year Koru Care doubled the number of children on the trip because this year is their 25th Anniversary.
After a 12 hour flight to Los Angeles, we were all very tired and jetlagged when we arrived on Sunday 26th October. On Monday 27th October we headed first to the California Highway Patrol Office in San Diego. We got to look around the office and sit on the motorbikes they use, we also got to have a look inside the cars and we met one of the patrol dogs. Then we went to Carlsbad Shopping Centre for some serious shopping. For dinner that night, we went to Medieval Times. When you enter the main building you are given a crown, the colour on your crown represents the knight you will be cheering for. You then enter an arena type area and you watch your knight battle it out against other knights while eating dinner with your hands! The next day, Tuesday 28th October, our first stop was the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
There were lots of souvenir stores to buy gifts from as you walked past all the stars on the pavement. Another interesting sight was the Kodak Theatre where the Oscars are held each year. Our next stop was Universal Studios. On a studio tour you got to see things like Wisteria Lane where Desperate Housewives is filmed and you also got to see the cars from The Fast and the Furious practising their special effects.
On Wednesday 29th October we enjoyed our first of three days at Disneyland. Today was all about experiencing as many rides as possible. My favourite rides were Space Mountain, Matterhorn and Big Thunder Mountain. The next day Thursday 30th October we travelled south to San Diego again but this time to experience Sea World. Here, I was lucky enough to be in the Shamu show and touch a killer whale. I had my picture taken a few minutes before the show and the picture that was taken was displayed on a big screen in front of a large audience. This was definitely the highlight of my trip.
On Halloween, October 31st, we went to Knottsberry Farm which has some scary roller coasters including an original wooden one that has been around since the park first opened. But there were also some less scary rides. For dinner that night we had a barbecue with the whole group and most dressed for the occasion.
The next day Saturday 1st November was a free day and Melissa (my caregiver) Poppy and I caught the shuttle to Fullerton shopping centre where we found a few bargains and a good Mexican restaurant for lunch. On Sunday 2nd November we went to the San Diego Zoo where we saw lots of different animals such as a jaguar and 2 panda bears.
The following day, Monday 3rd November, was Poppy’s birthday and it was also a free day. We headed up the road to Buena Park mall to do more shopping. We had another group barbeque that night.
The next day Tuesday 4th November we went to the U.S Coast Guard Air Base where we had a look inside the helicopters they use to rescue people from the water. Then after that we went to the set of the original Baywatch series. We separated into groups and Melissa, Poppy and I were in Shelly’s (David Hasslehoff’s stunt double) group. For dinner that night we went to Pirates, which was kind of like Medieval Times but instead of cheering for knights you are cheering for pirates and you got a knife and fork this time! On Wednesday 5th November, we headed once again for Disneyland. We experienced California Adventure Park which is a separate park from Disneyland but they are almost connected. My favourite rides here were California Screaming, Tower of Terror and the Maliboomer.
The next day Thursday 6th November was our third and final day at Disneyland. We did all the rides that we wanted to do again and some rides we hadn’t done yet.
On Friday 7th November we spent most of the morning packing our bags and in the afternoon we relaxed beside the hotel pool. Then at 5 o’clock we headed for Los Angeles Airport. After a 12 hour plane journey, we said our goodbyes before going our separate ways. The two weeks that I spent with all the other children and caregivers in California was truly the best two weeks of my life. Being on the trip really changed my life for the better and I would like to thank everyone who helped make my dreams come true.
By Hannah Gerrard