June 22, 2021
A final Aloha from Maui 1B!
After reluctantly rising from bed on day 10 (thanks to the residual Olympic-induced exhaustion), we dipped our toes into windsurfing. We were fortunate enough to learn the trade at a quiet, mildly windy beach and from 4 wonderfully experienced guides. Peter took the lesson head on and was up sailing in no time, while some of us (yours truly) perhaps took a fewer more minutes to get the hang of things. Selby Ann and Jane both aced the lesson as well and were not seen without a smile the whole time. Towards the end, they insisted on one student hopping aboard while they sailed for them out into the choppier waves. As Adriana returned to shore, she was brave enough to stand and half surf with them! Following our lesson, we learned that once lunchtime hits, the pros come out to play so we had lunch and a show in the grassy park together. Galen seized the opportunity to catch a quick snooze while Ava basked in the sun. Our final hike took up the afternoon and it treated us well. Caroline had the group laughing with her contributions to the alphabet game and we all finished satisfied with our hard work. Hannah took the reigns for the vegetable and chicken pasta that we ate for dinner and impressed the group with her chopping skills!
Originally, we would’ve spent the morning of the following day sea kayaking but due to the south swell coming in, the waves were much too high to do so. In Hawaiian, “palupalu” means the act of being flexible, which is exactly what the group became as we diverted our plans to a camp clean and surfing watch party. Their hustle as we cleaned was commendable and Ryder led the charge in cleaning the kitchen gear. Next on the itinerary was witnessing some pros firsthand at a nearby beach. With the added spice of some gymnastics from the group, Mason helped form the base of our human pyramid that we were lucky enough to snap a pic of. Onto town we then went to acquire some fits for our banquet dinner that night. Mily walked away with a killer Hawaiian dress and Sam’s straw fedora and lifeguard tank were integral additions to the group’s style. Fittingly, we dined at the Cool Cat Café and enjoyed our last Maui sunset together as a group. Thanks to a plethora of gelato, our van dance party was our longest to date and we all crashed once our final Moonup ended.
Naturally, travel day’s main event was packing but that was quickly rewarded with a lunch at McDonald’s, our first taste of fast food since the trip started. After exploring Paia and its many local boutiques, we made our way to the airport where the onslaught of weepy goodbyes began. Sadly, we’re writing this from the airport waiting on the last flights to take off! It goes without saying that we’re going to miss all of our students and we couldn’t be thankful enough for the time we got to spend with each of them. Wishing y’all a wonderful rest of your summers!
Trey, Allison, and Bibs
June 20, 2021
We finished out the service portion of our trip at Maui Cultural Lands with our generous host Ekolu on day 8. He walked us through much of the property and showed Selby Ann how to apply herbal remedies to bug bites and rash burn firsthand. Weeding was the second component which Ryder took by storm, engaging employees on site in insightful conversation. While stopping at a food truck on the way out, Hannah and Jane took advantage of the fresh fruit smoothies after a hot morning spent working.
For the afternoon, our noble steed (a white Ford 15 passenger van) took us to a beach near the campsite where Mason took the most peaceful of naps in the sand. Sam and Galen walked the quiet beach and even made a few friends along the way.
Day 9 kicked off with everyone sleeping in, which meant a lovely breakfast of English muffin sandwiches of course! A hike that stemmed from our campsite led the group to a pleasant overlook and ended with a chill sesh in the Eno cluster. Milly continued to dive into her newest read while Ava snoozed in the shade. Thanks to our lethargic morning, we had plenty of energy for the snorkeling activity that afternoon.
Our wonderful guides took us to 2 locations where we spotted yellow tangs and sea turtles galore. Galen led the dance initiative on our boat which even the crew ended up participating in!
A major highlight, the Maui Olympics took place at our campsite with every group on the island in attendance dressed as a different country. The featured events consisted of Birdie on a Perch, kickball, capture the flag, and long jump. Both Adriana and Caroline were standouts in kickball and as a result, we had more than just our team cheering for them! Everyone gave it a valiant effort but ultimately, those on team USA brought home the gold.
In terms of costume however, our team (Jamaica) was the undeniable victor. Yes, the inevitable smack talking and heightened emotions were present but so was an overarching sense of teamwork and camaraderie. We are all ending today worn out but invigorated by the event and will be thinking about Peter’s stealthy steal in capture the flag for the rest of the trip.
Before we go however, allow us to share some shoutouts from the stars themselves!
Mily: Hey Mom, Dad, and Winnie! I hope y’all are all having a fantabulous time at home! I love y’all so, so much. Happy Father’s Day to Dad and see y’all soon!
Mason: Hey mom and dad I am having so much fun in Maui and I can’t wait to talk to y’all about it. Hope y’all are doing all good and I miss y’all
Peter: Hey dad happy Father’s Day the trip is fun see you soon
Sam: Hey y’all, feeling great and having a ton of fun. Thank you for sending me on this trip. Happy Father’s Day dad, thanks for being the best.
Ava: Hey mom and dad, I miss you so much. Tell Cocoa I miss him soooooooooooo much. Happy Father’s Day!!!! Love y’all sooooooo much!!!!! Byeeeeeee!!!!!
Adriana: Hey mom and dad, lovey you so much hope Quinn is doing well. Happy Father’s Day dad love you soooo much and can’t wait to see you. 🙂
SA: hey fam, I am so grateful y’all sent me on this trip, I have learned so much. I really miss y’all and I can’t wait to see you soon. Happy Father’s Day dad i love you so much and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.
Galen: Hey mom and dad. HAPPY FATHERS DAY DAD!!! can’t wait to see y’all back in atl. I am making some awesome friends. Love y’all.
Ryder: happy Father’s Day !!
Hannah: Hi Mom and Dad! I am having so much fun here and it is so pretty!! I hope you guys had a lot of fun on your trip to Boston and I can’t wait to see you soon!! Ps: HAPPY FATHERS DAY DAD!! And don’t forget to say hi to Tucker and Scout for me! Love you! :))
Jane:! Hi mom and dad I miss y’all so much and Kate and Mary of course! I can’t wait to come back to Kiawah and the flight was so long here! Tell lucky and sissy I said HIIII! I’m so excited to come back! I love it here Love y’all so much and I will see you soon🥺! Happy Fathers Day dad!
Caroline: Hi family! I’m having a blast in Maui and I cannot wait come back and tell u guys all about it. Also, HAPPY FATHERS DAY DAD. I love you guys and miss you! 🥰
June 16, 2021
Here with some updates from (what may as well be) paradise.
For our fourth day, the itinerary consisted of perhaps the most anticipated activity— surfing! During our land lesson, it was clear that this was not Adriana’s first rodeo and that fact held true once we hit the waves. We are proud to say that every single student got up on their first try (!!!) and the many sea turtles we spotted were witnesses. It goes without saying we have an athletic group and watching Jane and Sam surf parallel to one another all the way in was a sight to behold.
At our farmer’s market stop that day, Caroline had the bright idea to take advantage of mango season and with a fresh one in hand, inspired several others to follow suit. Once the trade winds kicked in, it was on to Pono Farms where we met the owner, Evan, who gave us a profound presentation on Maui history and the role we all play in environmental upkeep. While planting tomatoes, Ryder’s determination (sans gloves!) to dig the perfect hole for the seedlings was applauded by Evan himself and the group’s teamwork in finishing the task was commendable.
With an early wake up call to kick off day five, the group took stand-up paddle boarding head on. Milly’s sociable nature sparked a conversation with our instructors about the Hawaiian tattoo tradition, giving everyone valuable insight into the way in which family heritage is physically portrayed. After our relaxing morning, we rode to a nearby beach for lunch and fit some cliff jumping into the schedule as well! Ava’s fearlessness during the jumps was notable and it was clear that everyone experienced something of an adrenaline rush that day.
Our service portion of the trip commenced on day six and began by meeting our generous host, Ekolu, at a nearby valley. Alongside his mother, he led us in traditional Hawaiian ritual for entering sacred land before instructing us how to weed the area properly. Galen’s disciplined work ethic encouraged the group and before long, we’d cleaned two terraces that would later be planted with a native crop.
Later that afternoon, we went into town where Mason and Trey checked out ukuleles and the girls bought some cute totes. Kind enough to welcome us, we spent half the following day in his beachfront backyard hearing about the local fish and coral species before seeing them for ourselves.
As one of our Leaders of the Day, Selby Ann immersed herself in the interesting lesson and made the knots we learned to tie look so easy! Our afternoon consisted of beautiful hike in the Iao Valley where Peter’s consistent positivity made it extra pleasant. Although we broke quite the sweat, Hannah was still able to do some impressive chin ups at the top!
Back at the campsite for a wonderful sunset, the group enjoyed Southwestern mac and cheese for dinner before resting up for day eight!
Thanks for reading!
Trey, Allison, and Elizabeth
June 12, 2021
Good morning all!
We are happy to report that the past few days have been nothing short of a blast. Our adventures began at the Maui Airport, which included a Russell Westbrook sighting (worth the Google if that name doesn’t ring a bell) as all 12 of our crew made their way to Hawaii. Sam was the first to grace us with his presence and kept the energy up as he described his career (thus far) as a varsity soccer player back at home.
Later that night, Milly’s arrival rounded out the group and thanks to her, we have a plethora of diversified playlists and thought-provoking questions during our van rides.
The next day began with a breakfast of bacon and eggs and took us to both Ho’okipa and Baldwin Beach! One of our leaders, Elizabeth, traded her legs for a mermaid tail that Adriana and Ava meticulously sculpted out of sand. After some sun and sea turtle sightings, we took our talents to a zip lining course where we were lucky enough to witness a panoramic view of the island (right before we zipped along an 1,800 foot stretch of course).
Jane’s brave confrontation of her fear of heights did not go unnoticed, nor did her participation in belting Olivia Rodrigo songs on the way home! For dinner, pasta served us well and so did our first full length Moonup. Ryder pointed out the incredible shooting stars right above our heads. We sat in awe of the Maui night sky!
With Selby Ann as sous chef, day 3 was kicked off by a breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes! A big breakfast means a big day ahead which is exactly what we had. Rappelling down a rainforest canyon is no small feat and Mason’s perseverance during the activity was admirable. He made it look easy! A consistent leader for his group, Peter paved the way for everyone as they traversed through a former filming location for the original Jurassic Park.
Once we arrived back at camp, Caroline came out on top in the group games (especially those involving a hacky sack). The excitement surrounding our dinner of hot dogs and mac and cheese was anything but subtle, and Galen’s commitment to ensuring it was all cleaned up by Moonup was very thorough, as was his determination to capture the gorgeous sunset via disposable camera. Thanks to her supportive attitude on the rappel course, we look forward to Hannah wowing us tomorrow as Leader of the Day!
Signing off from Maui,
Allison, Trey, and Elizabeth
June 10, 2021
Hello Maui 1B Families!
The whole group arrived safely in Kahului last night, and they are off on their adventure! We have heard from our leaders that the trip is off to a great start, and we cannot wait to hear more stories from their adventure.
Please remember our leaders and students will be unplugged during their trips but we will be posting up to three trip updates throughout the next couple of weeks! This will allow you to follow along with the trip and the students will also give a special shout out mid-way through! You can also follow us on Instagram, @moondanceadventures, to see more of what we are up to this summer!
– Moondance HQ