July 14, 2017
July 12, 2017
Greetings from Half Moon Bay!
We have had a blast these past two days visiting the sunny Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate Bridge!
Yesterday, we woke up to some delicious chocolate maple syrup crepes made by Zack, Mary Deas, and Kaylee. We then hiked the Coastal Loop at Point Reyes National Seashore. Ward and Chavis led the way on our hike, as we hiked towards the white sands and blue waters where we had a picnic for lunch. Chloe helped Janie make some delicious chicken salad for lunch that was a group favorite. The second half of the hike was spent with great conversation and good exercise. Reily shared heartfelt and adventurous stories from her time in Kenya and Tanzania, inspiring us all to spread some more good around the world. After our hike we all got treated to some delicious In-N-Out burger! Grace was over the moon for her first In-N-Out experience, spreading the smiles and good vibes amongst the group during our family dinner!
Reyn made us some delicious chocolate chip pancakes this morning with his mad flipping skills, and also chopped up some fresh strawberries and blueberries to go with them! Sterling and Hudson led the group across our Golden Gate Bridge walk today, spotting some whales and pretty islands along the way. We then ate a nice lunch at a park in Sausalito with a great view of the colorful harbor. Afterwards, we made our way to Half Moon Bay and spent the afternoon playing on the beach.
We just finished off our day with a calming Moonup on the beach, watching the sunset before heading off to sleep.
We are so grateful to be leading such a kind, dynamic and fun-loving group of kids with such big hearts and adventurous spirits. We are sad the trip is coming to an end, but are so excited to see what these last few days have in store with your kiddos.
Off to get some rest by the beach before our big surfing days!
Jack, Janie, and Mary Hill
July 9, 2017
Greetings from the sunny state of California!
What an awesome last few days we have had in Yosemite National Park. Our first day in Yosemite was spent hiking to the renowned Yosemite Falls, and munching on some yummy sandwiches for lunch along the way. Sterling and Ward made us some delicious red chicken curry for dinner that was a huge favorite after a long day of hiking! The next two days we all went rock climbing on some of the beautiful sites in the park. The kids all learned some bouldering and technical climbing skills from our guides at Yosemite Mountaineering School. Hudson was the master of bouldering, leading the way for the rest of the group. Reily, Reyn and Chloe attempted and conquered every climb with skill and speed on both days of climbing! They also were leaders in encouraging all of the other kids in the group on their climbs, offering their cheers and advice on where to make climbing moves on the tougher sections. Grace conquered her fear of heights by tackling all of the climbs on the first day; we were so proud of her as she pushed past those fears and showed us her mad climbing skills. Zack and Chavis were stellar belayers proving very impressive strength in keeping everyone up on the rock safe and sound.
This morning we hiked the majestic Vernal Falls trail. It was definitely an uphill challenge, but the kids took it on without any reservations. Kaylee and Mary Deas kept the energy high along the trail with positive conversation and fun games.
While in Yosemite, the kids have also cooked us some delicious meals; we have all been treated to Pad Thai, curry, spaghetti, and BBQ chicken quesadillas; so yummy!
We are now en route to the coast where we will be exploring Point Reyes National Seashore and surfing!
Off to some more car games and good tunes!
Janie, Jack, and Mary Hill
July 6, 2017
Hi from Yosemite!
We just pulled into the Summerdale campsite in Yosemite and couldn’t be more excited for our time here.
The past two days at Lake Tahoe were simply amazing! We spent the Fourth of July on the waters kayaking the day away. Ward and Zack were power paddlers, helping lead the group around the lake! Kaylee was our trivia queen answering all of our guides questions on the geography and history of the lake. Reily and Chloe helped lead our afternoon hike to the shores of Lake Tahoe to take a swim! They kept the group energy high with fun riddles and games along the trail. Reyn and Hudson cooked us some good ole’ American food for dinner: hot dogs and macaroni ‘n cheese! Sterling and Mary Deas were our Leaders of the Day yesterday and led the group in a fulfilling Moonup last night; their question: who has most inspired you and why? This morning Grace whipped up some yummy moon mash pancakes for the group. Chavis was a great leader in paddle boarding this morning, leading the group around the pier and lake. This afternoon we made the road trip to Yosemite, and our car ride was full of car games, groovy tunes and yummy snacks.
We can’t wait for our hiking and rock climbing adventures down in Yosemite Valley the rest of the week!
Sending lots of love and thanks from all of yours to each of you!
Jack, Janie, and Mary Hill
July 4, 2017
Greetings from Lake Tahoe!
Whew, what an awesome first few days the Cali trip has been! We are delighted to have your kids with us. Upon arriving to the San Francisco airport we headed south to the American River for our rafting section of the trip.
Our first day was our very own Hudson’s 13th birthday! We celebrated with pizza, cupcakes, and birthday hats on the shore of the American River :).
Hudson and Reyn were our first Leaders of the Day and were wonderful in keeping the energy high among the group and encouraging the rest of the group on our first day of rafting. Mary Deas conquered her fears of rafting for the first time and ended up paddling fiercely and also swimming some rapids. Grace and Reily were so responsible and kind in volunteering to clean the entire camp’s dishes after our outfitter cooked dinner for us last night. Zack has blown us away with his sense of maturity and helping hands; he is always offering to help the leaders pack up the U-Haul and is constantly picking up any trash left behind from wherever we go. Chloe has been a superstar with the braiding of all of the gals hair! Her laugh and smile are contagious and have brought so much joy to the group. And Kaylee was a rockstar tonight in helping our crew set up an eno village at our campsite. Sterling, Chavis, and Ward cooked us some amazing fajitas tonight. Ward’s Mexican rice dish was so flavorful; Chavis cooked some hearty chicken, and Sterling was the head chopper, making us some deliciously fresh vegetables to cook and guacamole to munch on!
We are pumped to celebrate the Fourth of July tomorrow with your kiddos kayaking on the crystal clear waters of Lake Tahoe and hiking the mountains adjacent to it in the afternoon.
Off to catch some zzz’s before our big day celebrating the red, white and blue!
Jack, Janie, and Mary Hill
P.S. Here are some shout outs from your kids!
Sterling: “Hey Mom & Dad! Having so much fun & miss you! Love you!”
Chavis: “Hey Mom, Dad, and Rence! Having so much fun with so many new friends! I’m seeing so many cool places. Love and miss you!”
Mary Deas: “Hey Mom, Dad, James, and Rebecca I am having so much fun, and I have met so many new friends. Love you.”
Hudson: “Hey Mom & Dad! I had a great birthday, and I love my leaders! I love and miss you!”
Grace: “Hey Mom, Dad and Will! I am having so much fun with all my new friends. We recently went rafting and I sat in the front! I miss and love you so much! I will take lots of photos!”
Zack: “Hey dad, rafting is a lot of fun! Love you!”
Kaylee: “Hey Mom and Dad I miss y’all and I am having so much fun!”
Reily: “Hey mom and dad! I miss you sooo much! I am having so much fun and am making lots of new friends! I love you so much :)”
Chloe: “Hey Mom & Dad! The views are great here and I’m having so much fun :). Miss y’all!”
Reyn: “Hey Mom & Dad! Rafting is awesome and I got to be the guide for a rapid! Love you.”
Ward: “Hey Mom &a Dad! I am having a great time! We just went white water rafting and it was extremely fun! I can’t wait until we go surfing. I love you.”