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California, Here She Comes!

Lauren goes on a "safari" at the San Diego Zoo

“ WOW!!! What a great trip! ”

- Lauren

Wish kid Lauren, 17, of Irwin, PA, loves animals, especially cats and tigers. For her wish, Lauren got an up-close experience with these animals at the San Diego Zoo, just one of the stops on her visit to the California city.

Lauren has a VIP beluga whale encounterThis past winter, Lauren, her mom and brother boarded their plane and left behind snowy Pennsylvania for sunny California. The fun started soon after the family arrived at San Diego's Hyatt Mission Bay Hotel, which overlooks the ocean, for their weeklong stay. At SeaWorld, Lauren was able to participate in the Beluga Whale Interaction program, where she put on a wet suit, swam with the whales and even was able to communicate with them through hand signals. "The water was super cold, but I loved it," said Lauren to her wish volunteers upon her return home. Lauren's adventures at SeaWorld also included taking in the whale and sea lion shows.

Another fun attraction that Lauren and her family enjoyed was the Photo Caravan at the San Diego Zoo. The Caravan, a safari truck, took them on a ride through the animal exhibits. Here, Lauren was able to get up close and personal with lots of animals. Lauren was also treated to a VIP behind-the-scenes tour at the zoo. Since Lauren and her family spent New Year's Eve in San Diego, they rang in the new year with a wonderful dinner at World Famous.

Lauren brought home many souvenirs to remember her trip. She and her family had a fantastic time and the only thing they could say after returning from their trip was, "WOW!!! What a great trip! Everything was wonderful!" Lauren definitely has memories to last a lifetime.

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