July 8, 2021
Before we get to the sad part (the end), it’s worth sharing how we spent day 11 with our crew. Perhaps one of our most fun days here on Maui (but then again, aren’t they all?!), we began it by surfing in lieu of paddle-boarding due to some big waves coming in that day. Taught by some former pros, we perfected our form and even gave some new tricks a whirl. Caroline mastered the switchback and Reagan and Eva Gray surfed tandem, on their first try no less! Before the lesson even ended, no one could stop saying how it was the best surfing they’d had all trip.
Once that ended, we revisited our favorite farmer’s market where we finally chatted up the sweet man who always gives us free samples. Come to find out— he himself started the farmers market in 1978! Complimentary and wise, he shared his own story and pointed out how lovely of a listener Sara Catherine is (we agree). Once Clarice snagged her favorite macaroons, we were off to the Lahaina Pali trail for an afternoon hike. Still riding the high of our morning surf sesh, the group made the time pass by asking one another stimulating questions. We were able to see some massive windmills up close and Daviss and Trey posed for some memorable pics. Back at camp, our host was kind enough craft a slip ‘n slide for us all and Simon kicked off the fun by going headfirst (safely!).
Our earliest morning yet, day 12’s main attraction was snorkeling in Molokini Crater, saving our group the best event for last. While there, we witnessed fish of every color, and Tereza was lucky enough to even spot an eel! During our tour, our hosts pointed out nearby islands and outlined relevant U.S. military history that took place in the very waters we were snorkeling! After a full morning spent on the boat, we returned to shore and made our way to Goodwill in search of outfits for our upcoming banquet dinner that night. Ridley scored a pair of chic gladiator sandals, while Henslee found a gem of a football jersey that made some of the leaders quite envious.
At long last, we finally took a coveted shower at a nearby beach, which made our beloved van smell all the better. We quickly returned to camp so we could ready ourselves for banquet, and the big reveal of everyone’s outfits was quite the surprise. It’s safe to say that we turned heads as we entered the Mexican restaurant. Josie’s burrito and the delicious salsa were highlights, and our final Moonup felt especially sentimental.
Now, as we write to all of you on travel day, it’s with heavy hearts that we’re seeing off this group of kids at the Maui airport. They made us laugh until our stomachs hurt, and we’re going to miss their eager smiles and can-do attitudes. Thank you, sincerely, for sharing them with us! We will never forget our adventure together.
Best wishes and Mahalo,
Bibs, Trey, and Allison
July 5, 2021
Now fully into our groove, Maui 2B took on day 8 with a morning surfing lesson. Since we’re obviously seasoned vets at this point, it came quite easily but not without the most turtle sightings we’ve had all trip! Trey was lucky enough to capture a good ride of his on the GoPro and Eva Gray caught a record number of waves. Afterwards, we visited our favorite farmer’s market and Clarice came away with some great new jewelry to take home.
A nice town day in Lahaina took up our afternoon and the most noteworthy souvenirs consisted of Daviss’s new hat, Reagan’s Hawaiian Hydroflask, and Tereza’s bright pink visor. On the way home, we grabbed some pizza for dinner and quickly changed before heading to Haleakala crater. Strong winds aside, the sunset at Haleakala was quite moving. Sitting in reverence above the clouds as the sky mimicked a full spectrum of color struck all of us and Henslee was kind enough to snap pics of everyone in the moment! Our sleepy car ride home was spent listening to some slow songs and reflecting on what we’d just been lucky enough to witness.
Due to our big night before, the next morning was a lazy one and after sleeping in a little, we awoke to a pancake breakfast and some time to chill. Canyon rappelling came next on the itinerary and fortunately, that included a little tour of the Road to Hana. Simon took the activity by storm and went first on every rappel, making it look easy! After a fun drive home with no shortage of good music, we arrived back at camp where some journaled, some Eno’d, and some WOWED us with their beautiful singing voice (here’s looking at you, Caroline). Ridley relaxed in the sun and before long, Josie was spearheading our delicious Pad Thai dinner.
Before we say anything else— Happy Fourth! Did we wake up the kids with some Bruce Springsteen? Absolutely. Muffins and cinnamon rolls fueled us up for some sea kayaking this AM. In order to the beat the trade winds, we got out there early and paddled until we found a nice spot to snorkel. Two turtle sightings later, we made our way back to shore and onto a beach park to lunch at and chill. Sara Catherine seized the opportunity to do some reading while Trey played in the waves and explored the rocks on foot.
As we returned to our noble steed (a white Ford 15 passenger van), we surprised the kids with our Fourth of July celebration— a cookout with all of the other Maui groups and a big dance finale! Naturally, we couldn’t arrive underdressed so face paint and patriotic clothing abounded. Ridley modeled some lovely red, white, and blue polka dots while others went with a DIY American flag. After dining on some classic hot dogs and Mac and cheese, the party ended with a dance party and quiet ride home.
Thinking of you all at home and hoping your Fourth was as fun as ours was!
Allison, Trey, and Bibs
July 2, 2021
Aloha families of Maui 2B!
We are happy to report that our adventure is fully underway and that we’ve had no shortage of shave ice, beautiful sunsets, and turtle sightings! Naturally, our first day together began with a flurry of arrivals at the Maui airport and it has been nonstop since then. Our first meal was some local Hawaiian pizza and we made it to camp happy, full, and ready for the next morning.
Thanks to our wonderful instructors, the group dove into life on Maui via their first surfing lesson, which Henslee and Daviss picked up quickly. After her first few tries, Caroline was also well on her way to becoming a pro. We were lucky enough to have awesome conditions and left the beach for a local farmer’s market at lunchtime. Luckily, Josie got to fulfill her açaí bowl desires and Trey sampled some vegan banana bread, which earned rave reviews.
That afternoon, we pulled off onto a roadside beach and Simon showed off his sandcastle making skills. Back to camp we then went for a presentation from our kind host, who educated us on Maui history and why he has a vested belief in permaculture. We also learned that physical contact with soil (sans gloves) releases serotonin, which Ridley experienced firsthand! Our first full night ended with a taco dinner and successful Moonup.
With Trey and Clarice as Leaders of the Day, we kicked off the next with a breakfast of oatmeal and eggs to prep us for a rejuvenating hike in the Iao Valley. Sacred to the Hawaiian culture, the valley provided welcome respite from the busy towns below. Reagan led the pack on the way down, and we rewarded ourselves with a chill lunch in a nearby beach park.
Never a dull moment, we promptly arrived at our zip lining location where Eva Gray shrieked with excitement on the first zip (she wasn’t the only one- looking at you Sara Catherine!). After soaring through some valleys, we returned home for some time to unwind. The girls, ready to wash some of the dirt off, turned our home base into a pseudo-hair salon and used the sink to rinse and lather everyone’s hair. After a full wash and dry, Tereza and Sara Catherine were ready to take on cooking up some Mediterranean rice bowls with the rest of cook crew that ended up being a hit.
Our next day kicked off with a nutritious breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes spearheaded (enthusiastically) by Tereza. We then left camp to take on one of more challenging activities— windsurfing! Our group made it look anything but and before long, Reagan was off and zooming into waves. Towards the end, our instructors were kind enough to let students hop aboard with them for a ride, which Caroline took advantage of. Our afternoon brought us the group’s first taste of authentic Hawaiian shaved ice and Trey was bold enough to try the local Li Hing Mui flavor. Cliff jumping came next at nearby Dragon’s Teeth where we all got into a photo shoot to see who could achieve the coolest midair pic. The group closed out the day with an intense game of spikeball and delicious pasta dinner.
Our service portion began on the following day, and we met up with the Marine Institute of Maui to embark. Picking up litter at a local beach proved exciting, especially while watching the many surfing lessons take place. Sara Catherine led the charge and ended up with the most trash thanks to her hard work. An afternoon spent shopping in a local town came next and fortunately, Henslee was able to score an awesome new ukulele. It would be a crime to omit Daviss’s killer Hawaiian shirt too. The following day, we continued our service component of the trip at a beach where we alternated between listening to an enlightening presentation on sea turtles and snorkeling to see some for ourselves. Jellyfish also made an appearance which Josie braved valiantly. Thanks to Eva Gray, we also spotted a huge puffer fish! To ensure we retained some turtle facts, our instructors challenged us to a round of trivia after lunch. Simon was on fire and carried his team to the finish. A brief stop at a food truck resulted in a bunch of local fruits for Clarice and a whole pineapple for Ridley!
To close out our service section of the trip, we met up with local legend Ekolu from Maui Cultural Lands to clear some terrain for crop growth. We can’t help but brag and say that he named our group as the hardest working and most efficient thus far! As a reward, we went on a walk in the valley we’d worked in afterwards, and Ekolu shared his wide breadth of knowledge about endemic plant and flower species. To say the very least, it was fascinating! We even stumbled upon some wild cherry tomatoes that made for a great pre-lunch snack. The afternoon was spent at the beach where several of us discovered a hidden, crystal blue cove. A beautiful drive back and some coconut flavored treats rounded out our day, and we’re ending it ready for the next.
Bibs, Allison, and Trey
June 26, 2021
Hello Maui 2B Families!
The group arrived safely in Kahului last night, and they are off on their adventure! One more student is arriving late tonight and they are all excited to greet her! 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!