Two years in the planning, spending money saved, 50 Mackie Academy pupils and six staff set off on the october holidays for a “trip of a lifetime” to the Wild West.
Under the leadership of Mr Iain Macdonald, the group set off to visit three US states, three hotels and a ranch.
Since the inagural Wild West trip in Easter 2006, the asdventure has gone from strength to stregth with new learning experiences being added to what is already a packed itinerary.
A good proportion of the students have older siblings who have previously taken part, bearing testament to the success and quality of the trip. Flying to Los Angeles via London, the party arrived late evening on Friday October 7, tired but excited. Los Angeles was the base for visits to Hollywood Boulevard, Venice Beach, Six Flags Theme Park for Fright Fest and Universal Studios, Hollywood.
Zombies, crazy rollercoasters, Harry Potter Ride, Universal Studios Tour and the Water World Show were only a few of the highlights of their time in LA. Some of the pupils coped better with the zombies than certain members of staff!
On to Las Vegas - via Calico Ghost Town and Peggy Sue’s 50s themed Diner, we arrived in Nevada. Circus Circus on Las Vegas’ famous strip was the accommodation. In this hotel, which was like a small town in itself, the food had to be seen to be believed. It would be tempting to name the pupils who had ice cream for breakfast but they know who they are!
During the Las Vegas stay, the group visited the Fremont Street Experience, Hoover Dam, the famous Las Vegas sign and the Vegas strip where the world famous Bellagio Fountain Show was enjoyed.
Mid-week it was on to the third and final state, Arizona, with a visit to the Grand Canyon West Rim including a helicopter trip down to the canyon floor and a boat trip along the Colorado River - a day they will never forget.
The pupils then paid a visit to a local school where they met pupils and gave a presentation about Stonehaven.
It was then time to head to the final destination, Saguaro Lake Ranch near Phoenix. The group were warmly welcomed by staff and took part in swimming, horse riding and kayaking by day and campfire singalongs, a Halloween party and a ceilidh by evening there was plenty going on.
Arriving home on October 18, all were exhausted. Mackie staff are proud of how the pupils conducted themselves and there will be a DVD celebration evening next week.