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California 2 C • June 24-July 7, 2022

Climbin' California!

July 4, 2022

Hello from Yosemite! Our crew had an awesome first day here, and a perfect introduction to the park. After a wake-up call of eggs, bacon, cinnamon rolls, and fruit (not too bad!), we all piled into the van and ventured to Yosemite valley. Morgan immediately fell asleep in the van, along with Robert who asked to be woken up when approaching good views so that he could snap some pictures! The group got to see El Capitan on the drive in, which was pretty cool, especially for those who have seen the documentary Free Solo. We arrived at our trailhead and enjoyed lunch while first taking in those massive mountains and beautiful views! The hike we got to explore today was called Mirror Lake. The kiddos killed it on our first hike! Morgan and Eliza lead the pack, with all of us enjoying the slight breeze and sunny rays as we made our way to the lake. We finally reached our destination – a stunning lake right off the trail, surrounded by tall trees and perfect rocks for bouldering. Megan, Eliza, and Ava immediately made their way into the water! Parker soon followed them, dunked his whole body into the chilly water, and invited everyone to join him. On our way back, we looped back around and had a fun conversation about our doggies and pets—thanks to Bebe for the questions. We then made it back to the trailhead just in time for the kiddos to grab a couple of souvenirs from the gift shop. Jamming out to Olivia Rodrigo made the trip back fly by, especially with Jacque singing away to every lyric! Dinner tonight was personal pizzas, and Henry, our sous chef, helped tremendously with preparing the ingredients. With full bellies, the crew drifted asleep, ready for a full day of rock climbing tomorrow!

 

It was an early morning as our group headed to Tuolumne Meadows to rock climb! We met our guides at the gift shop where we were all fitted with helmets, harnesses, ropes, and shoes. We looked like a group of pros as we headed to “Pothole Dome,” where we set up ropes and base camp for our big day of climbing. The amount of information we had to learn before climbing was a bit overwhelming at first, but our group took it in stride, and by the end of practicing, everyone had gotten the hang of the knots and belaying. Jacque was tying figure-eight knots in under 30 seconds! Once given the go-ahead, our crew was off. Everyone was challenging themselves to try hard things and it made for a really cool day. Parker learned how to rappel himself while Megan flew up routes. Claudia was the most encouraging voice out there, cheering for everyone as they went up. She also flew up the rock face faster than anyone! We climbed for hours, and the kids got better and better as the day went on. We were all tired after we finished, and once we got back to our campsite, we settled into a chill afternoon. Henry broke out the card games while others took to reading their books. Bebe and Ava Eno chilled for a while in the Eno city. For dinner, we had a delicious meal of homemade Mac and cheese with toppings like chicken, jalapeños, and more! Moonup, which was led by our LODs Robert and Ava, was phenomenal. It was thoughtful at times, and hilarious at others. Today was a great day and we can’t wait to go at it again tomorrow!

 

Another early morning, we woke the kids up for a spread of eggs, grits, and yogurt with fruit for breakfast! We landed at “Puppy Dome” for rock climbing today with our guides Mark and Camden. The group rocked it today, all climbing some harder routes and others making it up to the top in no time. Megan led the pack, picking one of the medium difficulty routes and racing up! Morgan was the second one up the dome, challenging himself and going further than he thought he could originally. Parker was one of the next boys to get in the harness, and Claudia helped to belay everyone, too! We are so proud of the kiddos for getting out of their comfort zones and trying out new ways to push themselves today. The kids were all so supportive of each other, especially the group’s personal hype man, Jacque! After climbing, we grabbed our bathing suits and headed to a nearby lake for a swim! The lake overlooked an amazing view of the mountains! Parker and Robert got into building an awesome sandcastle while others swam and then hung out on the lake’s beach before heading back to camp to eat some yummy pad Thai ramen. The car ride back to camp consisted of singing many Olivia Rodrigo songs on full blast again. As well, Henry was the chef in the kitchen and the dinner didn’t disappoint. Everyone loved it! We had a great moonup thanks to our LODs, Megan and Parker, and the kiddos ended the night with card games in between their tents. Hurray for two awesome days of rock climbing in Yosemite! On to our next adventure starting tomorrow! Can’t wait to celebrate the 4th of July with your kiddos!

 

Talk soon,

Anna, Celeste, and Sam


Taking in the views in Tahoe!

July 1, 2022

Hello from Tahoe!

We absolutely love our campsite here surrounded by Sugar Pine Trees and enjoyed setting up our tents last night in the crisp 75-degree weather. This morning we met our guides to set out onto Lake Tahoe. Well-fed and lathered up in sun screen, the kiddos began the kayaking adventure alongside the shore of the lake while our guides told us some fun trivia facts about our home for the next two nights. The weather on the lake this morning was perfect with just a slight breeze and not a cloud in the sky! Megan started the trend of jumping into the freezing water, with Eliza and Ava not long after her. Once we finished kayaking, the crew spread out on the beach while we chowed on some sandwiches and snacks to refuel. The group piled into the van soon after and we got to surprise everyone with ICE CREAM SANDWICHES!!! Bebe got a combo sandwich with half cookie and half brownie, others got funfetti and chocolate chip cookies. It was a hit, and after piles of ice cream later, the kiddos fell into a food coma and took some power naps in the van on the way to a small hike!

After we all woke back up, we got out of the van and walked to a super cool lookout spot over Emerald Bay! Everyone went exploring, with Morgan venturing far out to another point over the hill. We all enjoyed hanging out on the rocks and taking in the beautiful view. After learning about water purification, we all filled our bottles up at a waterfall and purified them with Aqua Mira. Back at camp, some showered while others hung out in their Eno hammock city. The best BBQ chicken quesadillas were devoured thanks to Henry and Robert as our certified cook crew. Then, Parker impressed us with how much Sriracha he can handle! After dinner, we all played games, and Eliza and Ava led us in an awesome Moonup. Many many laughs later, we fell to sleep with full bellies after a great day!

 

The next day we arose in lake Tahoe! It was quite the exciting morning for our group! Our breakfast plans of yogurt, granola, bagels, etc. changed a bit after a black bear and her cub showed up to the breakfast table even before the kids! Because of this, we packed up camp and ventured to get donuts for breakfast before paddle boarding for the day. The kids were super awesome at packing up quickly, and they safely observed the bear from a distance as we loaded the uhaul! Super cool! Once we got to the lake, Claudia, Morgan, Jaque, and Henry ventured pretty far out with Sam, our guide, enjoying the amazing views of the summer-time Tahoe ski slopes in front of us. Others hung out in the water closer to shore and played games, relaxed, and tried to figure out our riddle. After almost a week of trying to decipher to pineapple riddle, Ava was the first to solve it! The weather on the lake was amazing, with just a slight breeze and the sun shining through. Our bunch then enjoyed lunch by the beach for a bit before piling into the van to trek on to Yosemite!! Stay tuned!

 

Best,

Anna, Sam and Celeste

 

 

Morgan – hey guys! Miss y’all! I’m having a blast out here. Can’t wait to see y’all soon. I’m excited to tell you all the stories and experiences I’ve had out here!

Robert – hey! I’m having a great time out here. California is beautiful and I’ve been getting out of my comfort zone a lot. The people I’m getting to know out here are amazing! Excited to explore San Fran with dad and I hope AB is going well.

Parker – Hey guys! I’m having a ton of fun out here in California. It’s really beautiful. I miss y’all and also our dogs. Super fun out here and I’m excited to come back and see all of y’all!

Henry – I’m having a lot of fun in California! All the new gear I got is working super well so thank y’all for that. Today we’re going on a hike in Yosemite. I miss y’all a lot!

Ava – Hey y’all! I’m having a lot of fun with all the new people. Say hi to Brodie, Millie, and Ivey for me. See ya soon!

Eliza – Hey! I’ve met a ton of cool people out here and am loving it. I miss you guys, see y’all soon!

Jacque – Hey! I miss y’all so much but I’m having a great time out here! Say hey to Lucy for me! See y’all when I get home.

Claudia – Hey guys, miss you all a lot! I can’t wait to see you when we get home. PS – we went surfing at Taco Bell beach!

BeBe – Hey! I miss you guys! Give Zeus and Roman a hug for me! Keep hunter off my bed please.

Megan – Hey guys! Can’t wait to see you soon! I’ve met a ton of really cool people out here and I miss you guys!


Rafting and Rapids and Rivers, Oh My!

June 29, 2022

We had an awesome slow morning at Camp Lotus. We let the crew sleep in a bit, and they needed it! Jacque, Bebe, and Claudia were the first ones up, and they were eager to attack the day ahead of us! Breakfast was pancakes with bacon and fruit. Everyone ate their fill… the chocolate chip ones were quite the hit! After breakfast we had a quick drive to the rafting headquarters. Life jackets and paddles were handed out and we were off! Morgan was a lead paddler on the boys boat setting the tone, and when we got to our first swimming spot, nearly everybody jumped in. It was nearly 100 degrees! Robert started off some haiku battles, but Ava may have made the best one claiming victory for the girls raft. Our guides even got into it! Who knows, we all may come back as poets.

After a great lunch of wraps and sandwiches from our guides on the river, we all got back in the rafts and headed for our first class 3 rapids! As a whole, we were excited, but definitely a little nervous. Parker and Henry were in the front this time, and when the waves started crashing over they handled it great! Both of them were yelling and smiling and took leading our group through the big rapids in stride! After our last rapid, “Hospital Bar”, everyone again jumped in the water, enjoying the cool and refreshing water.

When we got back to our campsite, we leaders were expecting some worn out kids, but Megan, Eliza, Ava, and Jacque immediately ran to the river to jump back in and swim some more! There was some solid splashing going on. Eventually, everybody made their way to some nice showers. Our guides made a delicious dinner of steak and pasta and gave us a few games to try out before bed. Some of the games included tug of war and a big game of cards. We have an athletic and competitive crew! After a lot of laughs, we had a great Moonup led by our LOD’s Henry and Bebe. Nugs were given out in waves tonight, with some highlights being Ava’s Outer Banks song, Jacque’s sense of humor, and Bebe’s poker face in cards. After some more games of cards, we made our way to bed and to get ready for another day of rafting tomorrow!

It was an awesome morning today! Breakfast was again made by our guides, and again, it was delicious. Plates were full of sausages, croissants, fruit, and coffee cake. Some of us enjoyed the hot chocolate as well! The group is getting much better at packing up their tents, and after we packed up, we were off!

Because we did the lower half yesterday, our group bussed up to the top of the river before putting in. The girl’s boat kept our energy up with some beautiful singing as we attacked our first rapids of the day, more class 3s. Claudia kept us on our toes with riddles and jokes while we went down the river, and when we could swim, Parker was always the first one in the water. Our group wasn’t hesitant today, paddling hard and going through the rapids like pros! We leaders are super proud of the effort we saw today and are excited for how well our students are coming together.

We’re off to our next adventure now in Tahoe!

Big hugs,

Sam, Anna, + Celeste

 


Welcome to California!

June 28, 2022

Welcome to California!!

 

Sam, Anna, and I were so excited to grab all the kiddos from the airport this morning. With most everyone dropped off, and just two rolling in from the airplane, our group quickly meshed when meeting in Delta baggage claim. Once everyone had arrived, we loaded up the van and headed off to our first campsite right next to the Pacific Ocean! This location is killer and the whole crew immediately headed to the beach after setting up our tents for the first time. Morgan and Sam started tossing the football, while Eliza and Ava started up a lesson in Spike Ball! The ocean was pretty chilly, but we loved getting to know each other on the sand this afternoon. We continued playing games up at the campsite, with Robert suggesting Mafia and making us all double over laughing with his additional Mafia characters. Dinner tonight was pizza, with plenty left over for everyone to enjoy! To finish off the night, our group had an awesome first Moonup, complete with our Leaders of the Day for the next day – Morgan and Claudia!

 

This morning we headed to Pacifica Beach to shred some waves and hang ten! After a bountiful breakfast of bagels with cream cheese, bacon, eggs, and fruit, the crew was fueled up for a full day of surfing and exploring California. We drove to the beach to meet our instructors and chat about some safety skills that would prepare us for the waves. By the time we had practiced our strokes and standing up on the board on the sand, the kids were pros heading out into the ocean! Henry was full of stoke on those waves, and Robert was not far behind! Our whole group had such a great time surfing, and we are so proud of them for persevering in that cold water too! After surfing and a yummy lunch of sandwiches and snacks, we drove to Lands’ End overlook to explore and walk around. This outlook is absolutely beautiful! The boys, especially, loved naming the waves after members in our group and seeing which one would make the biggest splash against the rocks. Dinner was started right as we got back to camp and big thanks to our awesome cook crew: Henry, Parker, and Robert for boiling the water for pasta and for cooking the broccoli and chicken! It was a delicious pasta dinner enjoyed right next to the beach. We then had Moonup on the beach to end the night. The “nugs” or shoutouts from the day went out to surfing, dinner, the cool waves at Lands’ End, and our new Moondance family!

 

Our second day of surfing was awesome!! Breakfast was egg and Canadian bacon sandwiches and fruit! We ate a few to fuel up for our big day of surfing. Despite the calm water, our bunch still had a blast in the water! Robert and Sam stayed out the whole time, catching the few waves that came by. A few others joined them, but some decided to chill on the beach and whale watch as well. After we wrapped up surfing, we said goodbye to Pacifica and headed towards our new campsite by the American River! We stopped at an awesome ice cream place on the way to keep the moral high, but thanks to Ava and Jacque energy was already high due to a great singing session in the car. We arrived at Lotus and made burrito bowls for dinner. What a hit!! Morgan and Henry led cook crew and learned how to chop peppers and onions— neither even got bothered by the onion! Henry made guacamole and it was delicious. Megan and Barbara enjoyed it the most! Moonup, led by Jacque and Robert was a blast as we talked about our favorite childhood things. A great end to a great day!

 

Best,

Sam, Anna, + Celeste


Arrived in San Francisco!

June 24, 2022

Hello California Families,

We just heard from our leaders that the group has landed safely in San Francisco. 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


Students

  • Megan
  • Barbara
  • Parker
  • Ava
  • Claudia
  • Jacque
  • Henry
  • Morgan
  • Robert
  • Eliza

Staff