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California : 3B • July 19-August 1, 2016

Final Few Days of Fun

August 1, 2016

We loved sleeping in for our first morning at Half Moon Bay. After eating english muffins, Lawton and Sam led the charge in chasing the sea gulls on the beach. Everyone loaded up in the van for our town day! First, we got on the ferry to Angel Island and had lunch. We explored the island and saw some very cool views of the city before heading back to Pier 39. Everyone in our group was most excited to hit the candy store. Evie and Mary Bowden got lots of taffy and chocolate. At the hot licks store, Finn and Alex were fearless to try the hottest sauce! A highlight of our day was seeing all the sea lions sunbathing on the docks. It was such a great surprise to go to In-n-Out on our way back, and Sam tried his first ever cheeseburger! We had a perfect end to the night with a fire and s’mores.

We woke up Friday morning excited for Lola’s birthday! Everyone put on our party hats and had donuts and sang to her to wake her up. After breaking down camp, we headed to the golden gate to walk across and check out the views. Evie and Lola struck their best poses with the bridge. We then went to check out the enormous redwood trees in John Muir Woods. After eating our sandwiches and chips at the entrance, we headed inside. Preston and Alex loved to run ahead to hide and scare the girls! Finn and Jack lead the singalong on the way to our new campsite. Once we arrived, Preston and Mary Bowden got an enormous card game going while we made our own river nachos. We had a great afternoon hanging at camp, and then Isabella and Lawton made us a delicious burrito bowl meal!

On Saturday we woke up early for surfing. Lola and Alex caught onto the skill super-fast and caught so many waves! Preston and Lawton were super strong paddlers and competed to catch the best wave. Once Elise and Emma fought to get their wet suits off, we all had lunch and took a quick beach snooze. On our way back to camp we stopped at Double Rainbow Diner for some much deserved ice cream! The cook off was definitely the best part of the day. The dawgs faced off against the hoty toddies in a fierce battle to prepare an appetizer, entree, and dessert. The dawgs team started strong with a bean and guacamole dip followed by chicken spaghetti and finished with a chocolate candy tower. Hotty toddies prepared an appetizer of stuffed bell peppers, a dinner of bbq chicken and Mac and cheese, and an incredible dessert of chocolate and peanut butter crepe. After much deliberation, the hotty toddies took the win because of their performance of a Taylor Swift song. What a great competition!

Everyone was really sad to realize our last day had come. We surfed in the afternoon, and Lawton and Isabella definitely got the most improved award. Afterward, we headed to Goodwill to get some cool swag for our banquet. Finn modeled a cute sequined sweater and Jack rocked a long skirt while Lola and Mary Bowden took the pajama route. After a much deserved shower, we headed to Tres Amigos for a Mexican feast. Our favorite waitress even sang a beautiful birthday song for Preston! We returned to camp for a tearful last Moonup, realizing all we had accomplished and the lasting friendships we made.


We love you all and miss you already!!

Valley Views

July 28, 2016

On our first day in Yosemite, we woke up and had some DELICIOUS breakfast sandwiches to energize before our Saddlebag Lake hike. We took in the beautiful views and Preston and Evie even started a snowball fight on one of our water breaks! As leaders of the day, Mary Bowden and Jack were super strong and carried our lunch of salami, cheese, and veggie roll ups. Lola, Elise, and Emma were excited to go out into the island at Shamrock Lake on the back loop of our hike. This group definitely earned bragging rights as they were the only California group to hike the entire loop and see every lake. After an awesome day, we swam to cool off at June Lake back at our Oh Ridge campsite. The event of the night was watching Virginia expertly pop a big blister on Sam’s foot. Lawton, Isabella, and Finn spotted some incredible shooting stars before Moonup, and the whole crew slept outside!

We woke up for moon mash on our second day and got ready for rock climbing. Our group did our first routes at puppy face in Tuolumne meadows. After practicing smearing at the bottom of the routes, we learned how to belay other climbers. Isabella and Sam the experts scooted up the routes with ease! Even though Mary Bowden was frightened at first, she overcame her fear and got to the top! Preston, Finn, Lola, Alex, and Evie were in the “four timers club” because they mastered every pitch offered! Lawton and Lola fixed us a fantastic meal of bbq chicken quesadillas and we all laughed a lot while we played our new favorite game, fishbowl.

Once we had some experience under our belt, we were confident to crack climb at Daffy Dome on our second day. Preston and Alex didn’t waste any time mastering four more pitches. Sam and Lawton challenged themselves to keep going even when they felt stuck. Mary Bowden, Lola, and Elise never hesitated to belay or back up belay throughout the day. Every single member of our group pushed themselves even when they were tired or scared and we were so impressed with their effort! Our view was so awesome and we took some great pictures before climbing back down. We then headed to Tenaya Lake to swim and play some games. Sam and Emma helped fix us pad Thai for dinner and we all slept really great after our hard climbing.

On our final day in Yosemite, we woke up early to drive into the valley for our final hike to Nevada falls. We started off great and were excited to see the first waterfall. Even though it was hot, we trucked up the mountain higher and higher as the crowd got thinner. As we got to the top, Lola and Mary Bowden started freaking out for an unknown reason. There was a tight rope Walker going across the falls! We watched in amazement as he flawlessly walked to the other side and cheered him on when he made it. We ate lunch at the top and watched other daredevils before we headed back down. Finn and Elise were the rock stars of the day for carrying our lunch and never giving up!! We’re excited to see the city tomorrow!



Evie: we saw a whale and two sea lions! Yosemite Valley was cool.

Isabella: Yosemite was really cool and had a bunch of cool views. Climbing was really fun!

Preston: Can’t wait to see you! Having a great time! San Francisco is really cool.

Elise: we went to Yosemite and we did a really hard hike but we all powered through it! It was beautiful!

Sam: Yosemite was really nice. I hope you guys are doing well. Can’t wait to see you!

Lola: we just hiked in the Yosemite Valley and it was really pretty. I miss you and love you and can’t wait to see you!

Finn: back in San Francisco and excited to see the redwoods! Loving life!

Jack: I’m so excited for surfing!

Mary Bowden: California has been amazing! Love you and miss you!

Lawton: having fun at camp and can’t wait to see you guys! Excited to surf!

Emma: I am excited to see you and was so excited to surf! Alex and I bought spinach at the store the other day.

Alex: I miss you and I can’t wait to surf and can’t wait to see you. We did an awesome hike yesterday and it was so fun!


Rafting Adventures!

July 24, 2016

We can already tell rafting is going to be one of the highlights of our trip. Lola, Evie, Mary Bowden, Finn, Alex, Jack, and Preston started camp lotus out right by sleeping outside under the stars. After sleeping in a bit, Jack and Elise made us some delicious chocolate chip moon mash for breakfast. As soon as we arrived at rafting, a dance party broke out in the parking lot to get us pumped up. We spent the day on the south fork, battling the rapids named things like Meat Grinder, Satans Cesspool, and Hospital Bar. Isabella and Emma were some of the first to jump in the water when we swam the last rapid of the day. Lol, Elise, and Lawton played banana grams and Isabella and Preston played cards after everyone got a hot shower. A delicious meal of pasta, salad, chicken, steak, and even brownies finished our day off perfectly. Sam and Isabella joined the outside sleepers for our second and final night at camp lotus.

The battle was on for our second day with boy raft versus girl raft. Preston was an all star as a pterodactyl always jumping and knocking Evie and Lola out of the boat. Lawton and Sam were always trying to start up water wars and were splashilist of the day. Although the girl boat bravely rode troublemaker backwards, we all made it out alive! Since we all go crazy for the salsa, Evie outsmarted us by putting tortilla chips in her soggy pockets. After a yummy sandwich spread lunch, everyone competed in the cookie challenge where we had to get a cookie with peanut butter from our forehead to our mouth without using our hands. Afterwards, we headed to Yosemite! Can’t wait to get into the park tomorrow!

Emma: we were so brave on troublemaker! also you should try putting cream cheese in the bottom of your salsa.

Isabella: rafting was really fun! I can’t wait for rock climbing!

Finn: had lots of fun rafting today!

Mary Bowden: we finished rafting and it was super fun! Love and miss y’all! Got a Chaco tan!!!

Jack: had a great time rafting. I got splashed a lot and pushed in. I miss y’all!

Lola: we went rafting and I was a little scared at first but I tried the front seat. It rocked! Miss you.

Elise: rafting was by far my favorite activity. Miss y’all (yes y’all).

Alex: I love you a lot and rafting was so fun! There was some big waves!

Preston: I love y’all. I’m having a great time! The wind hammock is a hit.

Sam: having a blast, hope y’all are having fun at well. Rafting rocks, sit ready!

Lawton: had a fun time rafting, just got to a new campsite. Miss you guys a lot!

Evie: I was leader of the day today! I’m helping make spaghetti!


Paddle boarding & Kayaking in the Beautiful Lake Tahoe

July 22, 2016

Our trip was off to an awesome start at Lake Tahoe! After singing on our drive, we learned how to set up our tents at William Kent Campground. Lola was awarded the first piece of pizza for knowing everyone’s name. Evie and Preston then started to whip out their dance moves as Jack and Finn taught Elise how to skip rocks.


On our first day we kayaked Emerald Bay. Preston and Sam started a splash fight with Lola and Evie on our way to the tea castle island. Emma was the first one in the water to swim while we had lunch on the beach. After a great morning kayaking, we hiked along the bay on the Rubicon Trail, taking in the beautiful views. Alex and Isabella made us a delicious meal of fajitas, and we all had to get second and third helpings.


We woke up early the next morning to break down camp before paddle boarding. With Alex in the lead, we boarded along Timber Cove. Isabella did a head stand and Emma showed us her wheel on the board. In a competitive paddle board race, Lawton and Emma put up a hard fight but Finn came out with a win! Elise, Lola, Mary Bowden, and Evie got their tan on the beach after lunch. We played around on the beach, even making a human pyramid, before our drive to Camp Lotus on the American river. We can’t wait to raft tomorrow!


Evie: I’m having so much fun! I love you.

Sam: I’m having a lot of fun and made a lot of new friends. Love you!

Mary Bowden: having a blast, miss y’all!

Lola: miss you so much and having a great time. Say hi to holly for me. Love you!

Preston: paddle boarding was fun! Miss you.

Jack: I had a great time at Lake Tahoe and I miss the dogs!

Finn: had fun stand up paddle boarding. I miss the boys!

Elise: I’m having a good time! miss you guys!

Isabella: I’m having a great time!

Emma: we’re having lots of fun! This is fantastic!

Lawton: see you soon! Having fun at camp!

Alex: I enjoyed Lake Tahoe a lot.