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California : 2B • July 2-July 15, 2016

Surfs Up Half Moon Bay!

July 15, 2016

We loved finishing our trip up at the beach at half moon bay!

We spent our first morning exploring the John Muir Woods and couldn’t believe how enormous the red woods could be! It was so cool to eat lunch with a view of the golden gate. Bella and Dill lead the group as we walked across the bridge to get a better view of San Fransisco. After a great day, Nicole and Reid prepared a delicious meal of burrito bowls!

Everyone was really excited to see what angel island was all about. Bond even gave us a history lesson about the islands immigration history. Julia and Izzy were more excited about the chocolate store at pier 39, and Emmet was pumped to look like a local in his new San Fransisco sweatshirt! After much walking around and sightseeing, our dinner of In-n-Out was well deserved. We even got a picture in our hats in front of the sign to remember our day!

Our first day of surfing was so sunny, and we couldn’t wait to get out in the waves. We learned how to pop up and speak with all of the surf lingo: pearl, nose, rails, and shredding gnar. Taylor was a natural and caught wave after wave. Claudia was determined to ride one in, and she definitely was the hardest paddler! Even though it was sometimes tough to battle the waves, Dill and Ellie never gave up! After some playing in the waves back at camp, everyone geared up for the cook off. It was a close contest between the teams: the southern ballers (Taylor, Julia, Nicole, Reid, Bella, and John) versus the good vibes (Bond, Dill, Ellie, Claudia, Emmet, and Izzy). We couldn’t believe the creativity of each team with calzones, stir fry, and a Nutella wrap for dessert. After much deliberation, the good vibes took home the win.

Everyone was sad to come to our last day but excited that we got another chance at surfing to perfect our skills.

Taylor, Bond, Claudia, and John were the rock stars our second day surfing! Even though they were pelted by the monstrous waves, they persevered to improve their skills.

It was so special to be able to spot whales multiple times throughout our time in half moon bay, and I know a wildlife sighting was especially cool for animal-lovers Emmett and Dill. After dressing up in goofy clothes, we ate enormous amounts of Mexican food and played on the beach before our final moonup. A camp fire and smiles helped to make the best ending to our trip. Hugs and promises of keeping up were shared on airport day, and Sam and I are missing everyone already!!

Climbing, Hiking & Exploring Yosemite

July 11, 2016

There was much to see and do in Yosemite! On our first day we mastered a hike around Saddlebag Lake. We’re thankful for John and Nicole to lead us on the trail and carry or lunch! We had a great lunch break at Odell Lake after Claudia, Bella, and Reid started intense girls versus boys snowball fight. We spent the afternoon cooling off and swimming in June Lake and had a delicious spaghetti dinner.

Our first day of rock climbing in Tuolumne Meadows was very exciting! We learned a lot about face climbing and belaying. Ellie and Izzy were major encouragers to Julia as she mastered the hardest route of the day! Bond even threw out a yeeehaw at the top of his pitch! Everyone enjoyed playing four square until the sun went down.

Crack climbing on our second day proved to be more challenging! Emmett and John were such troopers and fought their way to the top with cheers from bellow. Claudia was determined to complete all four climbs and was successful! Taylor looked like a pro on his second day ever of climbing. Dill and Ellie were so considerate and were constantly willing to belay others throughout the day. After lunch, we explored Lake Mary in the Mammoth area before playing a very heated game of banana grams and a delicious meal of pesto pasta.

On our last day, we enjoyed gorgeous views as we entered the Yosemite Valley. We trekked up the mist trail to get to the top of Vernal Falls. It was a hard hike, but everyone made it to the top for gorgeous views of the valley! We can’t wait to get to the beach tonight!


Julia: hey guys! Moondance is awesome. We are headed to San Francisco right now. Love you!

Izzy: hi! I miss you guys! But I’m having lots of fun at Moondance! We are going to San Francisco for our last campsite. I am finally taking a shower. Can’t wait to see you!

Dill: welcome home, ma! I wish I was there to see you! Happy early birthday mother. Love y’all (ha).

Reid: hi mom and dad, I am still alive and well. I went on a hike today and saw a huge waterfall and it was awesome. Love you

Emmet: hello family! Moondance is going great so far. I’m having fun but I really miss you. See you in a few days!

John: hi

Bond: hey family! How is it going? Tell Lilly happy birthday! Miss you guys so much but Cali is so fun! We are going to half moon today. Love you!

Taylor: hi! We went on a hike and saw a giant water fall it was amazing. Love you!

Nicole: hi guys I’m still enjoying the trip just as much! I’m sad that we’re heading towards our last campsite, but excited to see you!

Ellie: hi guys! I’m loving Moondance but I miss you. See you soon!

Bella: hey! Today we hiked in Yosemite and it was very pretty. Also I get to shower!

Claudia: hi mom dad Morgan and ruby! Today we hiked a beautiful waterfall! Everything has been super fun! Miss y’all!


Beautiful Lake Tahoe

July 7, 2016

We loved Tahoe and were happy to spend America’s birthday there! After painting our faces and putting on some beads, we ate hot dogs and corn right from the fire. We were lucky enough to see four different fireworks shows from Lester beach, but the best show was John’s splits! Emmett even let us burry him in the cold sand.

Our first day, Dill and Julia made a delicious breakfast of toasted English muffins before our big day of kayaking. Izzy and Bella had a little bit of a tough start to figuring out steering the boats, but they were in the front of the group for the whole afternoon. We explored tea Castle Island in emerald bay and got to eat lunch on the beach!

Reid and Taylor were leaders of the pack for our afternoon hike to Granite Lake. Even though it was hard, everyone got to the top for an awesome view and a snack. Claudia and Nicole headed up a game of mafia before our fajita dinner!

On our second morning, we packed up camp before paddle boarding. Bond and Emmett loved how calm the water was and enjoyed making their own waves. We couldn’t believe Nicole, Ellie, and Sam could do head stands on their boards! After many tries, we got a picture of all the girls doing a synchronized head stand on the beach. After some swimming, we headed to Yosemite! Can’t wait to see half dome!

Claudia: shoutout to mom, dad, and ruby! I’m having the greatest time!

Julia: hey mom, dad, and Emily! California is awesome, so much fun!

Bond: hey mom and dad. I am having the best time in California. It is so fun.

Reid: hi mom and dad, I am having an awesome time. Emmett is having a great time too!

Dill: greetings mom and dad. Thank you for convincing me to go. This is a blast. Pa please bring my watch if you can. also pa try your hand at cooking.

John: everything is cool

Bella: hi parents, I’m having a great time and don’t want to come home. Also, I haven’t got lice yet!

Ellie: mom, dad, George’s Henry, Kate, and Molly. I am having a great time at Moondance and I miss you!

Nicole: hi mom, dad, Jason. I am having so much fun, thank you so much! I miss you guys and please tell everybody I say hi!

Izzy: hi mom, dad, Emmie, and Andrew: I’m having a blast! We have been rafting, kayaking, and SUP! I miss you!

Emmet: hi family, I’m good.

Taylor: hi fam! Camp is awesome and the food is great and I have been sleeping outside in a hammock. Ps I haven’t showered yet.

Our trip was off to an awesome start at camp lotus!

July 5, 2016

Our trip was off to an awesome start at camp lotus! We all enjoyed pepperoni and cheese pizza when we got to camp and played games before our first moonup. Claudia and Bond were our first fearless leaders of the day and cooked delicious bacon and eggs to fill us up before rafting the south fork of the American river. Izzy and Emmett sat in the front of one raft while our team conquered the rock garden and meat grinder Rapids. We were all soaked from water fights as we enjoyed the sandy beach which spread right on the river. Reid and Dill’s favorite rapid was trouble maker, and we were lucky that no one fell out! Our rafting guides made the most delicious dinner of pasta, chicken, steak, and salad, and dessert! We were astounded to see how many brownies Taylor and Bella could eat!

Our second day of rafting was led by Bella and Emmett. We decided it would be fun to have a girl boat vs. a boy boat, and the water fights got even more intense. You could hear Nicole and Ellie’s laughs and screams a mile away as they took the troublemaker rapid head on. Julia even sat in the front of the girl boat as we conquered the last Rapids of the day.

After another delicious lunch of sandwiches, John and Emmet decided to hydrate themselves with a “lemonade shower” and were quick sticky for our last part of rafting.

We climbed into the van and had great sing a longs and snoozes until we reached Tahoe. Bella and Emmett made us a delicious meal of hot dogs, corn, Mac and cheese. Claudia and Ellie definitely had seconds on our s’mores. We all went down to the beach to watch four different firework shows over the water (while John kept us entertained with splits and turns and jumps). We are so excited for Tahoe!