Tustin's got talent....

Trip Start Jun 30, 2012
Trip End Aug 22, 2012

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Flag of United States  , California
Monday, August 13, 2012

13th August We arrived at camp once more at 8am in order to set up. I asked could I not do full day which therefore resulted in being assigned the fun in the sun group. This week I will be working from 9-12 with 12 4-6 year olds. The day went by pretty quick, the only problem was one little girl who didn't like listening to instructions (her brother was very good), the mum wasn't too impressed with her when she saw her behaviour towards the end of the session, as the mum was away during the majority of the day. Once 12am came around I then left with Paul a local coach who dropped me off back at my house. During the day there is no one in my house (my host mum leaves the house at 6-7am with the kids (no need for an alarm clock) and doesn't arrive back till 5pm. To pass the time I spoke to Liss on skype, showered and walked the dog (Boxer dog called Coco) as I noticed she was playing up as she was bored and by then I had nothing to do myself. Just before I took the dog out he decided to rip a book apart and also chew anything in site within the garden. The walk with the dog lasted about 30 minutes - if I had walked myself it would have taken me around 10 minutes as Coco decided to sniff literally everything along the way. I don't know who would win a slow walking contest Holly or Coco. About an hour later Priya arrived home and we quickly had tea - meatball sandwich before Priyas brother picked us up to take us to the Angels game. I didn't realise the whole of the family bar Priya's mum were going to the game (same group as yesterday). We managed to score some very good seats which were positioned within the first few rows between first and second base. The game was more interesting than the Dodgers game however the game did drag majorly towards the end (last 30 minutes). In total the game lasted about 3 hours and finished at the 9th innings - when ever I have been to the game it has gone into overtime (10 innings or more). This was also the first game I have ever watched where the home team had lost (6-Cleveland Indians 2- Angels). We arrived back at the house at around 11pm and headed off straight to bed.
14th August Today was a rather hectic day - I was confused when I jumped into the car to find that Keiran one of our coaches was missing. The boys told me that he has a liver infection and had for a few weeks been on antibiotics which had completely wiped him out this morning and he could barely function. Another problem arose when Paul the other coach didn't arrive till 9.15 - camp starts at 9.00 so for the first 15 minutes or more (some kids arrive quite early) I had to coach around 20 4-6 year olds. The camp flew by today and Katie behaved herself. Once camp finished Paul took me back once again. I then grabbed some lunch and spoke to dad before then taking a walk along a trail which runs around the back of our house. I originally planned on running but as soon as I got up as I had been lying on my bed chatting my knee felt a bit funny. I walked for just under an hour - I was surprised at one point when I passed a jogger wearing a hoodie - the weather at this point was 85F - crazy man. I wasn't very impressed when I arrived back and tried to it on the sofa as it was wet at first I feared the worst because of the dog. I later discovered that it was one of my bottles I brought to camp - it was placed on the dining table but the dog supposedly can jump onto the table. I later found he burst one other bottle and ate my uksocca bottle - great. Once Priya got back I went shopping with her at the local shops before heading down to Analiese's soccer practice. I wasn't that impressed with the practice - they have hired a college student to assist with the amateur coach. For the last 15 minutes the children were sitting on the floor whilst their partners dropped the ball onto their feet for them to kick it back - this was supposedly to help them with their shooting. After her practice was over and we dropped off some of the other girls we headed back home where Analiese had a guitar practice with her teacher in preparation for her performance tomorrow. We then sat down for tea - spaghetti with crispy chicken. 
15th August The camp dragged quite a bit today as the kids weren't that well behaved. Once camp finished Paul took me to Taco Bell on the way home so I could finish off my gift voucher. I was a bit gutted when $0.02 was still left on my card lol. Once back I decided to go for another walk the weather today had been quite cool but as soon as I decided to go for my walk it warmed up. Once Priya got back we headed on down to her parents house where we had chilli con carne - unfortunately I can't stand this meal...... We all then went down as a big group to this coffee house where Analiese was to perform. First up was this 'comedian' who was so awful he made dad look like Dara O Briain. It was funny as his friends in order to prevent him feeling bad would laugh - but they didn't even have a clue when the punchline was as there wasn't a punchline, so they would wait until he paused. Next up was this Asian girl who I couldn't put an age on and whilst singing some 1950's song she decided to wear a little kids pink dress. Then Analiese came up and sang Drive by by train and some other song whilst playing her guitar. As soon as we finished we left the cafe and then proceeded to talk to one of Priya's colleagues (Irish guy) and his daughter who happened to be Analiese's mate. I couldn't recognise his Irish accent until he said the word Ireland which did sound very Irish. I then decided to have an early night as I was quite tired.
16th August The kids weren't too badly behaved during the start at camp and instead saved all their bad behaviour till the end. Once camp finished I headed back to the house and decided to go to the shops to buy the Phillips and my current family a little gift. It probably took me just over an hour to get there and walk around the shops - I almost reached the location of our camp. I then watched TV and waited till the family got home. Bill my Aliso Viejo host dad said he would nip down to drop off some of a couple of things that I left at his house (I had a forgetful weekend last weekend as I was running about all over the place and stayed in 3 different houses and went to visit a host of these families family and friends) however he never showed up
17th August Again the kids were well behaved in the morning but towards the end of the session they began to play up a little. Priya had told me today that she would drop me off at the Irvine Spectrum (outdoor shopping centre) and pick me up from camp at around 12.30 (camp finishes at 12). I could have gone home with Paul but I told him I was getting picked up soon, then once I checked my phone I got a text and Priya said it would be nearer 1.30. In the end she picked me up at 2 after she went to the wrong park. I arrived at the spectrum at around 2.30 and was told I would be picked up at around 5. I wondered if I would be able to fit a movie in now but when I arrived at the shopping centre I noticed that the movie that I had been wanting to see - Ted wasn't playing. I was happy to see this place had a Hollister so I bought a couple of things and also found a couple of gift stores to buy presents. I then went to TARGET to buy a little tub of ice cream - you can get a host of mini pots for like $1 including Ben and Jerry's. Priya picked me up at around 5 and we headed on back to the house - she mentioned that we may go and watch a movie tonight either Katy Perry or Step up revolution - not what I would have picked but I thought I might as well go. For some reason we didn't go to watch any movie - we supposedly got the wrong times for the Katy Perry movie and I don't know why we didn't see the other one. We then decided to rent some movie but it didn't work in their DVD player as it was broken and it was the wrong region on mine so I didn't dare change it. Luckily tonight I managed to get all my packing done as I think I will be leaving the house after camp tomorrow.
18th August Today was my last day of coaching - I arrived at the camp just before 9am and the weather was very hot by then - I think someone said it was in the 80's. I had to coach both the goalkeepers and strikers this time - the kids to begin with weren't that good tactically but I felt they got a lot better towards the end. Once camp finished Nick picked me up and I headed back home to get ready for the girls beach day. Just before 3pm Nick came to pick me up and I placed all of my luggage in the car as I had planned to stay overnight near Huntington if some of the other girls were up for it like they were last year. I had previously said goodbye to Priya that morning - Grant wasn't there and Analiese made no effort to say bye and headed on down to her soccer game. When I arrived at the beach I struggled to find everyone but after a while I spotted Nikki the girl who arranged the day and she took me towards Debs who has been the assistant regional director for my past two weeks. We then waited for some more girls but people who said they were going to show up didn't. Whilst we waited we watched some performers who were doing back flips and break dancing. This slightly chubby uncoordinated sweaty guy was also dancing right in front of us - he was in his own little world with his iPod on. We then gave up on everyone else and went to sunbathe on the beach and talk about our summer. Luckily Debs is cool for a boss and it wasn't awkward. After about an hour of chatting we started heading back towards the car and grabbed a smoothie and the other girls decided to have their nails done. Nikki then dropped me off back at my house - no one was in again I had let Priya know I was coming back and knew she was round her families and rather than picking me up - the house is a 5 minute drive away she said she would be back later so I was on my own for a good two hours. 
19th August I said goodbye to the family again after they got back from church and then waited for Nick to pick me up. We then headed on down to Redlands where both myself and Kieran need to be tomorrow for our debrief. Once checking in I headed on down to my room - usually the company provide rubbish Motel 6's but this hotel/room is very nice. After speaking to dad I then spoke to my Visalia family from this year on skype and let them know what I had been up to. It has been a busy few weeks for them too as Mateo started school on Thursday and they have also been travelling at the weekends since I left. Our hotel has a swimming pool so after finishing speaking to them I sunbathed outside for a bit before jumping into the pool. As I am writing  this it looks as though I wont be sharing a room as I was meant to - some people aren't attending the induction and are instead travelling. At around 6 this girl called Mary Anne arrived she has asked if she could stay there rather than drive down early in the morning. I was just about to head out to get something to eat when she arrived and she said the people she was with - 3 guys were just about to head out so I tagged along with them. We went to a couple of local shops before deciding on heading down to a baseball batting cage - however when we arrived it was closed. We then went to Panda Express for dinner before heading back to the hotel where a host of other coaches had now arrived. We then chilled out by the foyer in this little seating area - there must have been like 20 coaches down there. Not long after Kempy and this other girl Hannah arrived so we talked about our own experiences as I hadn't seen them both since the induction. It was probably about 12 when I went to bed and I was shattered after a long day. I didn't have a great sleep as myself and Mary Anne had to share a bed despite it being king sized she still managed to kick me all night.
20th August In the morning we went down for breakfast - it was meant to be a hot breakfast with cereals on the side but the hot breakfast items looked weird and I didn't really understand what it was they were serving. They however had a machine where you could make your own waffles so that was kinda cool. This morning I came to a brainwave as Kempy and Hannah were travelling to their family in nearby Santa Monica I asked whether they could drop me off on the way to my house near Palos Verdes with one of my families from last year. All morning we wondered how we were going to get picked up and taken down to Redlands so as a back up I took down one of the coaches numbers. In the end no one arrived to pick us up so I phoned one of the coaches and asked could he pick us up as a few people drove down to the hotel rather than being dropped off like myself. The driver then called someone else to pick us up but they got confused how many cars they needed to bring as they didn't realise there was 5 of us as 3 other guys suddenly appeared and phoned themselves. The guys we phoned didn't realise there was one other coach waiting so I stayed behind with him and waited for our next lift, Jim one of the guys in charge of the debrief then picked me and Kieran up. When I arrived I handed back my equipment and headed to the meeting room we were probably 30 minutes late after the kerfuffle (had to use that word). Once the debrief was over I headed down to Enterprise with Becky and Hannah who were renting a car for 5 days in order to travel around - they were given a compact car which we thought would be tiny but in the end it was a regular sized British car a little like Alma. On the way down we were hit with a bit of traffic which in the end didn't take too long to get out of. We drove to the Home Depot Centre where LA Galaxy and Chivas play as the girls wanted to pick up some present for their families from there however we found the shops close on Mondays. The girls had also planned on going to Del Amo shopping centre in order to visit Hollister - I ended up buying quite a few things again. We then grabbed lunch/tea at Chick Fil a - some of the kids in Laguna were going on about it so I decided to go there in the food court and the other girls followed me. I had chicken nuggets and potato waffles - the food was so good and was 10x better than KFC (shame I found this place on the last day). After we had something to eat Kempy wanted to buy an LA Dodgers cap at Lids - we must have spent a good 30 minutes in there and I was dying of boredom, Hannah also decided to buy one but she was quicker in her decision. Then we shopped around for a car iPod connecting table in a few stores but we couldn't find one. We eventually left the mall at 5pmish the mall was in Torrance which I knew was close to my house in Palos Verdes/Rolling Hills estates and found it to be just 13 minutes away from my house which worked out well in the end. We then arrived at my house just before 5.30 which was 2 1/2 to 3 hours later than the estimated time I gave them. I had thought we were heading straight down to the house but all in all it was a really good day - a little less in terms of my bank balance however after visiting Hollister. One of the family friends of the Pope's was down the house so when I arrived I wasn't alone. The family arrived at around 8.30 so we caught up until the family went to bed at around 10ish.
21st August I woke up at around 8am and grabbed breakfast before watching tv with the kids. Lisa had to quickly pop into work before taking me down to the airport at 9.30 in order for us to get there for 10 which was just over 3 hours away from my departure (1.15pm). Once I arrived at the airport I went to a self check in booth as they don't check you in personally anymore instead I had to drop my bag off to the stewardesses. I managed to gt through security fairly quickly - I decided to head straight to the gate. I noticed a few people on their laptops so I decided to check and see if internet was free which it was so I spent a bit of time on it. I was confused when I heard someone shout my name and when I turned around it was Michael one of the coaches. He then asked did I want to sit with him and this other coach Lewis - I had met both of these guys the previous night as they were staying in the Redlands hotel. I noticed Lewis in the bag drop off queue but didn't realise he was going to be on the same flight. I then chatted to Michael quite a bit, Lewis was a bit quiet so didn't say too much. Michael is a little older than most of the coaches - he is probably in his late 30's/early 40's but fits in as he doesn't act old. The entertainment on the plane wasn't great as you had to pay between $2-6 to watch a tv episode or a movie so I spent the majority of the time listening to some music albums as they were free.  Delta was a little stingy food wise - they gave us a few biscuits on the four hour flight despite flying at lunch time so once we got off the plane we all headed to McDonalds to grab a quick and very late lunch. Luckily we didn't have to go through security again and our bags were sent straight to London so we could just jump straight off the plane. Our next gate happened to be next to McDonalds and one down from the gate we departed our LA flight from which was pretty handy.  We were treated a lot better on the next flight (6h30 min flight) so as soon as I got on I decided to watch The Hunger Games which I would have had to pay for on our last flight - halfway through the movie we were provided with tea, the meal wasn't great so I was glad I had previously grabbed something to eat. The plane wasn't that full so as soon as I got on the flight I jumped over an unoccupied row of seats so after the movie finished I stretched out and tried to sleep - I think I managed around 90 minutes which wasn't a lot but I always struggle to sleep on flights.
22nd August Not long after I woke up the stewardesses came round and provided us with breakfast which consisted of one muffin and a biscuit - it didn't really fill me. Once off the flight we went through customs and then went to collect our bags. Our bags must have been one of the last off - I think they messed up Michael's bags as as we left his bags hadn't arrived and the tv monitor displayed that all bags were delivered. It is handy when they send your bags all the way through but it also makes me a bit nervous at the same time - Michael did say he was staying at his brothers in London before he flies back to Spain where he has been living the past 9 years so hopefully it will arrive soon. I then went to the coach section with Lewis as I had to get on a bus from Heathrow to Gatwick as Heathrow doesn't provide planes which fly to the island. The fare was a little steep at 25 but I was happy that it was so easy to transfer as the train system wasn't very good to Gatwick - the journey took just under 90 minutes. I arrived at Gatwick around 4 hours before my flight where I was able to check in straight away - I was glad of this as my bag was quite heavy to drag around. As soon as I checked in I went through security and waited in the waiting lounge. I was hungry from the mini breakfast I received on my last flight so I went to Boots and grabbed a meal deal - this would have loved it I had sweet chilli chicken wrap, kettle crisps and a bottle of Lucozade. Later I was starstruck (not quite) when Marvin from JLS walked past, a few teenage girls went over and got a photo with him, but he didn't appear to be bothered by people too much.  I then listened to my iPod whilst waiting to be called to my gate. When my gate number was called I headed down there - I didn't recognise anyone at first until Jennie Davies walked in. I tried to sleep on this flight again but with no avail. When I arrived back I was greeted by mum and dad as Liss was off at Leeds fest, we then chatted with Graham before heading back home. We then had a chinese for dinner and visited both sets of grans before I went to sleep/ hibernation for a good 13 hours.

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