Trip Updates

California 3A • July 16-July 29, 2019

Final Farewell from California!

July 29, 2019

 

Hello from California!

 

It is with content and saddened hearts that we write our final trip update for this amazing adventure! We are so thankful for the times our group shared, and we will forever remember every single person that made this group as incredible as it was!

 

After our exciting rafting experience, we all made our way to Point Reyes national seashore where we camped for the evening! David was eager to help flip our quesadilla pizzas, and Harrison additionally aided in cutting our fruit and veggies for the evening! They were incredible chefs! We slept outside that evening, underneath the stars. Our LODs, Harrison and Dottie, led a starlit and sentimental MoonUp. As one of our last Moonups, we all felt a mixed bag of gratefulness and sadness for our trip to come to a close!

 

The next day, we ate a scrumptious breakfast of homemade cinnamon rolls! Mack and Elizabeth especially loved this breakfast as they both eagerly watched Chef Kristin knead the dough! The taste definitely lived up to the hype! We left our campsite and drove to the city to hike the Golden Gate Bridge! Amidst the light fog and beautiful sunshine, we trekked across the entire bridge! As a group, we enjoyed laughing, taking pictures, and walking amongst the clouds! Sally Taylor and Wells made sure to get the right angle for some amazing Golden Gate pics, and Chase was incredibly excited to see the view of the water from the middle of the bridge! At the end of the hike we all stopped for a look into the souvenirs shop! Everyone loved seeing all of the cool Golden Gate facts and history! From here, we travelled to our final campsite. Here we decided to make a quick thrift store run and buy fun outfits for the final meals of our trip. Shep’s outfit especially made us laugh, and after all of the thrifting fun, we stopped into a local ice cream shop for one final treat!

 

 

The next day, our final day together, we started the morning with a breakfast favorite, and the Sweet Davis Special! After everyone had their fill, we went to our final activity — one more day or surfing! Shep and Dottie were our all star surfers yet again. But David and Harrison truly showed us all up by riding waves side by side — at the same exact time! Lauren enjoyed catching some waves from the inner line up all be way to the shoreline, and Elizabeth led the charge in body surfing! It was an exciting morning! In the afternoon, we all got ready for banquet, our last evening and dinner together! Everyone dressed up in their silly outfits, and we made our way to eat some delicious local Tex Mex in the heart of Half Moon Bay! Carly, Chase, and Dottie all dressed in matching outfits — which made for great synchronized tik tok dances! And Thomas enjoyed his Mexican food ensuring that he got to try some of the authentic hot sauce with homemade chips and salsa! His Texas roots sure provided an authentic judge of Half Moon’s Mexican cuisine! Our final MoonUp was filled with many mixed emotions; we were all sad to leave and so grateful for all the memories we made.

 

Now, everyone is on their flights, and we are all filled to the brim with memories of joyous adventure. Moondance never fails to fill our hearts to the brim with friendship and exploration. We are so thankful for each and every one of your children on this trip who made all of this fun possible!

 

Bittersweetly,

 

Thomas, Kristin, and May May


American River...FUN!

July 27, 2019

Hello there from the American River!!!

We have had an incredible past two days on the American river, arguably everyone’s favorite activity! We did nothing but hype up rafting, the food, and the guides, and all the kids agree that it lives up to the hype!

We were all eager to get to camp on Wednesday night, while Carly, one of our veteran rafters, leading the charge with excitement for the days to come. Immediately, when we arrived, everyone ran to the long awaited showers! The acoustics in the showers were unmatchable, as we could hear everyone singing in the showers from our campsite! After our showers, we had a delightful ice cream bar with endless ice cream and smiles. Shep didn’t surprise us when he had his classic sugar rush after eating his ice cream! He had everyone on the floor laughing at his energy! After our sugar rushes ended, we decided to cook a yummy dinner of spaghetti with Dottie leading the charge as head chef! Finally, we ended the day with most of us sleeping on a tarp under the stars. There were nothing but laughs as we all closed our eyes anticipating the fun days to come!

On Thursday, we were lucky enough to get to sleep in and have a leisurely morning. We were nothing but early to rafting, though, as everyone was so excited! The boys took one raft, and the girls another with Sally Taylor taking the charge and sitting in the front of the raft. We started off with some easier rapids in the morning, with lots of swimming and water gun wars. Mack was the king of getting everyone else in the water or soaking all of the girls with the water gun! There was nothing but smiles as everyone went flying into the water or took a face full of splashes! After lunch, the rapids picked up and added some more thrill to our day. Everyone was soaked after our big rapids of the day! After our fun and beautiful day of rafting and being on the river, we all went back to camp lotus to hang out and wait for the delicious dinner made by our beloved raft guides. In the meantime, however, we were nothing short of entertained! Wells made everyone bracelets and necklaces, while Chase taught all of the boys tick tock dances. We were all full of laughter watching the boys nail the dances! Lauren was also teaching everyone gymnastics, with many of them learning front walkovers. It was impressive! We had an incredible dinner of chicken, pasta, and steak. With full bellies, we had an endearing Moonup and were all eager to go to bed, again sleeping under the stars!

Today, sad that it was our last day at camp lotus and with our raft guides, we had another delicious meal made by our guides! We hit the river early, starting off with lots of big rapids. Sally Taylor again was a star and led the front of the girls boat! Thomas, eager to ride the bull and sit on the front of the raft through a rapid, was able to do just this. He held on tight and didn’t even flinch when the wave hit us! After lunch and our big rapids, the river calmed down and Elizabeth was even able to guide for a little bit. She did an awesome job! The boys boat, led by Harrison, didn’t hesitate one bit to constantly be swimming in the water. You could hear them laughing for miles! Unfortunately, our day of rafting had to come to an end, and we sadly said bye to this place and our guides. We thanked them for an incredible few days, and hit the road for our next camp and our last two days to come! Luckily, we are making a special stop at the Crocs store on the way, with David especially excited for his new shoe purchase!!

All is well here in California, with lots of mixed emotions for our final few days together. We are full of laughter and excitement, yet already dreading our soon approaching goodbye. We love you all and will see everyone soon!

Peace and blessings,

May May, Thomas, and Kristin


Fun in the Sun!

July 25, 2019

Hello from Lake Tahoe!

We are having an absolute blast and cannot believe it is well over half way through our trip! The last few days have been especially delightful as we have explored the beautiful Lake Tahoe! The waters are Caribbean-clear blue, and the whole lake is surrounded by towering ski mountains! It is an adventurer’s paradise!

On our way to Tahoe, we stopped at a local Walmart to buy fun outfits for our cookout party! Chase and Wells led the girls in all purchasing silver sequence skirts and goofy leotards. Their outfits were perfect for our cookout party to come! Once we got to our campsite, Mack and Thomas were quick to scope out the best hammock spots. Everyone followed suit, and we all slept soundly in hammocks for our first night in Tahoe!

When we woke up the next morning, everyone felt energized and ready from a full night of sleep. We soon drove to our favorite kayaking location in Lake Tahoe! The rest of the day was consumed with kayaking around the Bay! Mack and Carly led the group in a giant splash war, their biggest competitor being Chase. Chase rallied Sally Taylor and Shep to join the war, and soon, everyone was soaking wet and full of laughter! Thomas and Lauren beat almost everyone else as their speed was unmatched. They paddled so in sync that we all aspired to work as well as they did! Dottie especially enjoyed kayaking to and exploring a historic island in the middle of the bay. She led the group in taking some fantastic photos on the island with the beautiful backdrop of Lake Tahoe! Once we got off the island, we kayaked to a nearby beach where we all ate lunch under the sun. Harrison and Mack led the group in swimming, but many were soon to follow! After our full day of kayaking, we surprised everyone with a local stop at an ice cream parlor! Lauren adored this store and had to try at least three different flavors before making her decision. Elizabeth explored many of the flavors too, as she was especially eager to get her cone! The ice cream was delicious for all! At the end of the day, we returned home for our cookout party. Everyone got in their funny outfits, we turned on our favorite jams, and we grilled our burgers for the group! There were large smiles, new Tick Tock dances, juicy burgers, and lots of laughs! Shep and David led everyone in a game of football before we all retired for a lovey Moonup and a full night of sleep.

The next morning, we slept in later than usual and made our way to a relaxed morning of paddle boarding on the lake! Naturally, Mack began flipping everyone into the water, and while Wells gave him a run for his money, he eventually was able to get everyone wet! Thomas showcased much of his technical talent as he was able to paddleboard with great speed and balance. Elizabeth, Dottie, and Carly also managed to paddle out fairly quickly; we were all impressed! Pretty soon, the weather turned and we retired to the quaint town of South Lake Tahoe for some rainy day fun. Many spent money on goofy, ridiculous socks that they found in an adorable sock store! Sally Taylor especially made us laugh with her choice of socks, and Harrison and David got matching Coke-a-Cola socks, which made us all smile! We ended this full day by returning to our campsite and having a bonfire. Thomas roasted the most S’mores out of everyone, but Harrison patiently waited for all of his to get golden brown before making the perfect S’more! We watched the sunset over Lake Tahoe from a beautiful rock overlook, and everyone went to sleep soundly. We were all sad knowing it was our last night in Tahoe!

Today, we woke up and traveled to a nearby cove, a beautiful spot on the lake. Everyone swam in the rocky cove. Sally Taylor and Shep impressed us all by their willingness to jump off of a tall rock into the water! Chase and Wells also boldly jumped off the rock together, and Mack managed to catch a football in the air by jumping too! The morning was full of fun, and we are currently driving to the American River. We are very excited for rafting tomorrow, and we even have a surprise In-N-Out stop planned for this car ride! What fun!!

We cannot express how much appreciation we have for each of the young adults on this trip! They make us laugh and smile often, and we are having the trip of a lifetime!

With full bellies and happy hearts,

Thomas, May May, and Kristin


Rocks Rock!

July 21, 2019

Hello there from California!!!

We have had an incredible past few days in Yosemite. We started our time here with an early morning before rock climbing, but began our day off right with some yummy eggs, bacon, and bagels. Shep and Dottie, our LODs for the day, got us all excited with a meaningful quote and enthusiasm! We met our guides in the beautiful Tuolumne Meadows, and with smiles and eager faces, everybody was ready to tackle rock climbing. Elizabeth immediately took the role as the star belayer, belaying anyone she could! Thomas also quickly became our day 1 MVP of rock climbing, quickly completing all of the routes without any trouble. Everyone climbed incredibly, many conquering their fears while doing it! There was an unbelievable view of Yosemite at the top of the rock that every climber was astounded to see! After our long day of climbing that was filled with excitement, pride, and laughter, we treated ourselves to milkshakes before we returned back to camp. The milkshakes were nothing short of delicious and hit the spot after climbing! After our milkshakes, we had a chill early evening and dinner. Harrison led the charge in the boys going to the beach for a much needed workout based off of a deck of cards! Meanwhile, the girls stayed at the campsite to chat and some joined Lauren’s lead in doing an ab and squat workout! We ended our day full of smiles with a delicious chicken pesto pasta dinner and a heartfelt Moonup.

The next day, we had another early morning before rock climbing. Our car ride to rock climbing was nothing short of exciting, with lots of sing alongs! Chase was making the entire van laugh with her dance moves to all of the songs. We were fortunate enough to get to climb next to a beautiful meadow and view, for our second day! Sally Taylor was the star climber today, never hesitating to climb or belay anyone. Major props to Sally T for even belaying the leaders when we wanted to climb!! After our second full day of climbing, we went to the amazing Tenaya lake where we swam, tanned, and played games. Shep led the charge in getting people to play spike ball, as Shep beat almost everyone when playing! Mack and David immediately started playing baseball, hitting home runs into the lake and having to swim after the ball each time. Carly, with many of the girls, laid on the beach to relax and often jumped in the water to cool off. Everyone in the group managed to jump in the water a time or two, despite the freezing temperature! On the way home, Wells and the girls were belting every word to every song. We even decided that our group theme song will be Breaking Free from the movie, High School Musical!! We had another leisurely dinner and laughed as Dottie made new friends with anyone and everyone in sight. We had another loving and meaningful Moonup, making everyone go to bed with hearts full of love!

Now, we are on the way to Lake Tahoe for kayaking and paddle boarding. Talk to y’all soon, all is well here in California!!

Peace and blessings,

May May, Thomas, and Kristin

Shoutouts:

Thomas – Hi Mom and Dad! I have had a great time!

Harrison – Hi Mom and Dad, I am having an amazing time learning to do new things!

Mack – Hi Mom and Dad. I am having fun!

Wells – Hi Mom and Dad, I am having so much fun! Miss y’all lots!

Shep – Hi Mom and Dad! Camp is fun, and I’m doing a lot!

Sally Taylor – Hi guys! I am so grateful for being able to come on this trip! I am having an amazing time!

David – Hi family! I am having fun! Can I come next year?

Elizabeth – Hi Mom and Dad! I love you both!

Dottie – Hey Mom and Dad! I am having lots of fun, and my group is awesome! Love y’all!

Lauren – Hey y’all, thanks for letting me go on this trip! I am having so much fun! Love y’all!

Carly – Hey Mom and Dad! Love y’all! And having a great time!

Chase – Hey Mom and Dad! Cali is so fun; I love my group and my leaders! I want to stay! Love and miss y’all lots!


Surf and Sun in California!

July 19, 2019

Hi there from California!!

We are off to a phenomenal, busy start here in this beautiful state! We are in shock that it is only our third day together as time has flown by thus far and we have done so much. We were so glad to have arrived at our campsite in Half Moon Bay after a long day at the airport. We set up our tents, ate some yummy pizza, and walked just a few steps onto the beach for our first Moonup. Afterwards, Mack led the charge in getting some of the group together for a game of frisbee in the dark! We all felt comforted and peaceful as we watched and listened to the big waves crash onto the sandy beach. It was a wonderful first night altogether!

We awoke early for a big day ahead. Our Leaders of the Day, Carly and Harrison, led a great morning huddle, followed by a filling breakfast of breakfast burritos. We packed up camp and headed to our first surf lesson! Before getting in the water, we all looked like pros as we practiced our pop-ups on the beach, channeling our inner-seals as we slid onto our surfboards. Sally Taylor and Shepherd were naturals and went after every wave they could! We all followed their lead as everyone was catching their own waves, having a blast. We then ended our lesson with some body surfing and playing in the ocean, which was invigorating and fun!

We ate lunch and then piled into the van for a long, but absolutely stunning, drive into Yosemite! We jammed out to many many songs, while Wells thoughtfully made colorful bracelets and anklets for a few of us! Although, we arrived to our campsite in the evening, we had plenty of energy! We cooked a stir fry dinner, which wouldn’t have been as good as it was if it weren’t for Harrison’s cook crew skills chopping peppers and onions. We then had a quick cleanup thanks to Lauren and Carly, who were eager to help! Afterwards, we had a fantastic Moonup with almost constant laughter as we discussed our favorite things to do for fun at home. After many more giggles, we went to our tents for a good night of rest.

The next morning, we got to sleep in and take our time with a scrumptious breakfast of our favorite, the Davis Special! We then left for our hike to a sparkling, blue lake. Elizabeth was so speedy we all had to keep up with her! When we arrived at the lake, David made moves into the chilly water and got some others to go in, as well! After drying off and hanging out, we headed back to the van for some lunch and good conversation.

We left the trailhead and headed back to our gorgeous campsite where there is the most beautiful beach and lake with giant snow covered mountains in the background. We changed into our swimsuits and went to the beach, where Dottie and Chase got everyone pumped up to get in the water. We then all lined up on the shore and ran in altogether! After playing in the water, we all soaked up some sun on our towels and asked fun questions. Spikeball was also a huge hit with Thomas absolutely crushing the game!

Back at our campsite, we made an early dinner, which left some time for some fun games of frisbee and our first go of Sally Ups (squats to the tune of Flower by Moby). Everyone joined in, with many turning it into an opportunity to do Tick Tock dances. We soon made our way into a circle for Moonup led by our LODs, Lauren and Mack, who asked us all about our goals in life, leading to some thoughtful and wonderful answers. After a fun and active day, we were all ready to get cozy in our sleeping bags for a night of much needed rest for our first day of rock climbing tomorrow!

Peace & love,

Kristin, Thomas & May May


All Aboard the California Train!

July 16, 2019

All students have arrived in California!

We can’t wait to hear about their adventures!

-Moondance HQ


Students

  • Carly
  • Chase
  • David
  • Dottie
  • Elizabeth
  • Harrison
  • Lauren
  • Mack
  • Sally Taylor
  • Shep
  • Thomas
  • Wells

Staff