Trek West #3: Santa Monica Pier, Curry Village, and Yosemite

We hope you all had a relaxing weekend. We geared up for this weekend with another day of service on Friday. We volunteered at the LA Food Bank, helping them prepare food packages for hungry individuals and families in the city. By the afternoon, we had prepared enough packages to feed 1,200 people – a great accomplishment. We took a well-earned break, strolling the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard. From there, we returned to American Jewish University to prepare for Shabbat. We davened Kabbalat Shabbat outside on campus, overlooking the city.

We had a relaxed Saturday, enjoying the sun, resting and playing basketball on the campus. Your kids also partook in the exciting activity of doing laundry! A few of your kids were able to say the shechehianu for this right of passage activity. In the afternoon, we engaged in a program regarding spirituality and each of our unique perceptions of higher power within a Jewish context. We then said goodbye to our restful Shabbat with a Havdallah service, before heading to the Santa Monica Pier. Everyone seemed to enjoy exploring the pier – going on amusement park rides, eating funnel cake and ice cream and perusing through the gift shops.

Today, we embarked north to Yosemite, stopping in Simi Valley for a self guided tour of the Ronald Reagan Library. Everyone seemed to especially enjoy the part of the tour where they were able to walk through and see the cockpit of one of Reagan’s aircrafts. The rest of the day was consumed with many hours of driving through wine country, including brief stops in Tulare and Fresno.

After a few slow-paced days, we are ready to move our bodies again as we have plans to hike through Yosemite National Park. Tonight we will stay in the fixed tents or yurts in Curry Village, a bit of a rustic change from the dorms.

It is incredible to think that we are 2/3 of the way through our adventure, but we are so excited for what is to come and are doing our best to soak up every moment!

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