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California : 1B • June 15-June 28, 2016

Final update!

June 28, 2016

Spending time at the beach in Half Moon Bay was the perfect way to end our trip. Our time near the city started at pier 39, where Hunter and chase got some sweets to share with the group. After, we explored Angel Island for great views of the city. Harrison and Andrew went absolutely crazy when they experienced their first In-and-Out burger! On our second day, we walked around majestic John Muir Woods to check out the redwoods. Mack and Sterling then led us on a walk across the Golden Gate Bridge for a picnic lunch. Our last two days were filled with surfing, games on the beach, and swimming in the ocean. Sydney, Sibley, Elizabeth, and Merrill fearlessly swam in the frigid water after dinner! Sterling kept us laughing with dances and songs and Birney with her funny sound effects while we hung out at camp. Everyone loved our banquet dinner in our tacky clothes, and Walker even got an early birthday song from the waitress. Our last night together was ended perfectly with a dolphin sighting. We all had an absolute blast and were sad to see our trip end. Until next year!

Sam & Margaret

Rocks Rock!

June 24, 2016

We loved our time in Yosemite! Our game-masters, Hunter, Chase, and Sydney were always first to start a game of Mafia or Fishbowl before dinner at the campsite each night. On our first day in this iconic region, Birney and Mack took charge and led us on a hike around the beautiful Saddlebag Lake. Walker and Elizabeth didn’t waste any time jumping into freezing cold Hummingbird Lake, our lunch destination. We didn’t just hike in Yosemite Valley, we climbed too! Yosemite Valley, as many of us learned is the birthplace of US rock climbing, and these walls have been visited by some of the greatest climbers in the world! This impressive group of rock climbers had two fantastic days of climbing, and their willingness to push themselves and their peers was incredible!  Andrew started off and showed us his moves, and then Sibley and Sterling started their day on the hardest pitch. After getting their fill of climbing, Merrill and Harrison selflessly belayed all their friends- talk about some great EB! Our last day in Yosemite was one to remember! We all laced up our shoes for an incredible, yet challenging hike up to Nevada Falls. One of the many visions in the park, Nevada falls stands just under 600-feet high and made for a rewarding hike. After a jam-packed few days, we were all able to celebrate with ice cream on our way out of the valley. Until next time!

Shout outs:
Birney: hey guys! I miss you more than anything! I am so excited to hug you at the airport! Bring everyone! Love you!
Sibley: hey! 9 days in. Showered once. Having the time of my life. Love y’all.
Merrill: hey fam jam. I miss y’all and I’ll be back in a few days. Take care of everyone, even Emily and court. Xoxo
Chase: hey guys! We are on a drive to our last location, which is a beach right next to San Fran! I’m having a great time.
Sterling: hey guys. I am 3/4 done. So far I am having so much fun. Can you please bring Star to the airport?
Elizabeth: hey! I miss you. 9 days in and having the time of my life! I have showered once which was the first night. Tell everyone I miss them.
Hunter: hey Guys! I’m having so much fun. Can’t wait to see y’all when I get back.
Mack: I am having so much fun here. Be home soon with tons of great photos of the things I did.
Andrew: I’m having fun. California is an interesting state. I can’t wait to see y’all. I am seeing something new everyday.
Sydney: hey yall! I’m having so much fun, I can’t wait to see y’all when I come home. Love you!
Harrison: hey mom and dad! I miss you and I’m having fun! When you’re reading this I’ll probably be surfing.
Walker: hey family, i am having fun and I miss you all. We just went hiking. See you soon!

Sea Kayaking Success

June 20, 2016


After an eventful experience in Tahoe, we are sad to leave beautiful Camp Bliss. After Sibley and Harrison cooked a delicious breakfast of oatmeal, we set off for our sea kayaking on the lake. Birney and Sterling were such a strong pair and worked hard to paddle along the shore. Mack and Andrew were definitely the strongest paddlers in the bunch always taking the lead! Meanwhile, laughs were plentiful in Chase and hunters kayak as they pulled into Emerald Bay Island. After climbing the steps to the “tea castle,” Merrill, Elizabeth, and Sydney posed for a picture at the top. Best part of the day was watching everyone enjoy the warm part of the lake after lunch on the beach. Harrison and Walker kept the bunch alive as we drove to our new campsite at Yosemite!


Father’s Day shout outs:


Birney: I miss you more than you could ever imagine. I may not say it a lot, but you’re an amazing dad! You can sleep with bearie tonight! Love you!

Merrill: hey dad! Don’t worry I am fine and having a great time. I love you and miss you. Tell mom and sisters hey!

Chase: hi dad! I’m having a great time. Right now we are driving to Yosemite! Thanks for being the best dad ever. See you soon!

Sterling: hi dad, happy Father’s Day. I am having a great time. I love you so much. Can’t wait to see you soon!

Walker: hey dad, I am having a great time in California. I miss and I wish you a happy Father’s Day! See you soon!

Sydney: hey dad, having a blast in California. I miss you and can’t wait to see you soon.

Sibley: hey Gus! I love you so much and I am having the greatest 2 weeks of my whole entire life (Costa Rica next year?) I miss you but having too much fun to miss you (jk sort of).

Andrew: hey, California is really fun. I’m driving through Nevada right now. It’s really cold at night. Happy Father’s Day!

Harrison: happy Father’s Day dad! I am having an awesome time and I miss you so much!

Hunter: hey dad, California is awesome. I love you and can’t wait to go fishing when I get back. See you soon abf!

Mack: happy Father’s Day dad! I am having a great time and I got a lot of photos of Lake Tahoe. See you soon.

Elizabeth: happy Father’s Day. Hope you had so much fun with Ritchie and I have a lot of photos of Tahoe. Can’t wait to see you!

American River Ramble

June 18, 2016

We have spent the two most beautiful days at Camp Lotus! After devouring some pizza after a long airport day, we learned how to set up our tents and fell asleep quickly. Merrill and Walker cooked us a delicious meal of bacon and eggs before our first day of rafting. Sterling didn’t waste any time jumping into the river, and Sydney was a great sport when a rock bumped her into the chilly water. Hunter kept us laughing as he kept peanut butter on his head all afternoon after our cookie challenge at lunch. Even though Sibley initially didn’t want to ride shotgun, she finished our rafting trip strong as the leader of the boat. Andrew and Chase didn’t hesitate to even stand up and surf some rapids! After two amazing days on the river, we headed to Camp Bliss. Mack graciously stepped in to help Sydney and Hunter fix fajitas for dinner while Harrison led a game of mafia around the fire. Highlight of the night was hearing Birney’s secret talent of burping her abcs!!!

Sibley: hey! Having the best time! So much fun 🙂
Sterling: hi! I am having so much fun! Love ya (143)
Chase: hello, having a great time! Tell everyone I miss them!
Elizabeth: hey mom, having so much fun and tell everyone I said hi and miss them!
Sydney: hey mom, having a blast! Tell Caroline and Addy hey for me!
Merrill: hey fam I miss yall! Make sure you guys take care of Abe. Xoxo 🙂
Birney: i love and miss y’all so much! Tell the dogs I said hi and tell Mackey I’m working on my Chaco tan!
Walker: hello, I am having a blast. Tell the dogs I miss them.
Hunter aka tucker, Phil, and Lucas: I have a lot of names on this trip, but I’m Phil for now. Bark at whoop for me and bark at Henry. Tell the fam I said hi and tell Hayden thanks for the costas!
Harrison: having a great time! I miss you so much!
Mack: this camp is not as bad as I thought it would be and I’m having a lot of fun. Miss you.
Andrew: I’m having fun in California. I just had my first activity. The food is good. I’ll see y’all June 28.