July 25, 2022
Our two weeks of fun have officially come to an end, but not without a few more activities and our airport day to round it all out! One of our favorite nights of the entire trip was on Friday. We had our first shore dives, and all the kids did absolutely amazing. Luckily for all of us, the visibility near the pier was impeccable, so we were able to see some pretty awesome underwater creatures- including David our dive instructor who scared the living daylight out of George when he aggressively popped out of the water post-dive. Although most groups would be worn out after a day like this, ours was ready to hit the ground running for our Manta Ray Night snorkel! We gave everyone some time to explore the city and get some souvenirs from the local shops. Carden even got a shirt for himself that I’m sure everyone will be jealous of back home! Afterwards, we went to Oceans for our favorite 3 tacos for $8 deal. Everyone absolutely loved it, however, the dinner ended with a bang when George had a horrible experience with a bird overhead. Thanks to Lilly for washing the nonexistent poop out of his hair!
We had a beautiful boat ride out to our dive site and the manta ray snorkel was absolutely amazing. Some of our group had some up close and personal experiences with the mantas as they lifted them out of the water, but Caroline had some close encounters with the dogs of the people in the tour behind us! Both of our surfboards got some great views of the mantas, and Trammell has even better footage to prove it all. The following morning, we woke up bright and early for our shore dive day! We were so lucky to have some amazing animals chilling underwater during our dive such as the massive manta ray, octopus, and dolphin pod spotting. One of our groups even saw a reef shark! Rumor has it there was a mermaid down there too, her name was Anne Marshall. Never stop rocking the mermaid hair Marsh! We had a quick little beach day after our dives and becoming officially PADI certified. We were so proud of every one of our students for going through this entire process! They did so well, and ultimately it was all worth it for this awesome experience.
We had an impromptu beach day and then headed to Goodwill to find some stellar banquet outfits. Caroline was walking around the store like she was on a runway, and Flora found a fire Hawaiian dress that I’m sure she can sport again when she’s back home in Texas! Once we settled on all of our amazing outfits, we headed back to camp for a delicious chicken and veggie meal. It was an absolute hit! KG made some of the best Brussel sprouts and although we were all beat after such a long day, the meal was well worth the time and effort because it was amazing!
The next morning, we woke up a little later for our Green Sands Beach hike. We had pancakes, which Asa said was his favorite meal of the trip, then we sped off to South Kona. The hike was beautiful even on a hot day, but we were definitely glad to cool off in the ocean at South Point- the Southernmost part of the United States! Everyone jumped off and Asa even did a cool trick! (OH GEEZ). We had a yummy local food stop in a neighboring town and then we headed to Mauna Kea to watch the sunset. It’s always one of the most beautiful parts of this trip, and we’re so glad to share it with the kids every time. After the sun goes down, the stars are immaculate and if you’re lucky, you can see a shooting star every once in a while (or a satellite…or a plane?).
Our long day ended with a dip/ dessert night and a nighttime cruise back to camp blasting Bohemian Rhapsody (misspell is on purpose). Today was our airport day, and although we were sad to say goodbye to everyone, we had plenty of plans for the day. We slept in, did a campsite sweep, had a potluck breakfast (ube breakfast loaf was amazing) and then went on to run all of our errands. We went to South Kona Fruit stand for some of the best smoothies and everyone got some souvenirs too! We were so happy to support a local business on our way out, and we can’t wait to suggest this to the groups that are fortunate enough to come here next year. Next stop: tie dye hobo! A shop of 100% tie dye made by a local. Right next door was an antique store and lots of people found some steals! Next up was our banquet dinner and everyone was all dolled up in their new get up. The locals even commented on our outfits and how fun we looked! The pizza was absolutely amazing and it’s safe to say we were all in a food coma after that meal. Anne Marshall polished off that pizza like a champ. We ended up going BACK to tie dye hobo to see if maybe Hannah had left her wallet there to no avail. Turns out it was in our black hole of a van the entire time, but we’re glad she found it before her travels home!
Our final stop was at the forever promised açaí shop which did not disappoint and then our last Moonup at the pier! It was so awesome getting to share our favorite memories from the trip and laugh at all the fun times we had. It was sad to say goodbye at the airport but getting Trammell to finally download a Snapchat made it all worthwhile! We can’t wait to see all this group does in the future, and we’re so fortunate to have spent these past two weeks with them. Thanks for sharing them with us for the summer!
Garrett, Grace, and Mary App
July 22, 2022
Aloha Hawaiian Islands friends and families!
We are officially settled on the Big Island, and time is flying so fast over here! It’s hard to believe we only have the weekend left, but we are definitely making the most of it.
Our adventures on Kauai continued with another lovely surf day and the long-awaited zip-line. KG was shredding it on the waves again. All of the instructors had a hard time believing it was her first time surfing this trip! From there, we went across the island to our zip-line site. We did three different zips and ended with the one that is around a mile long. Our fearless George, who isn’t the biggest fan of heights, crushed every single one of them. We all cheered him on as he finished off the last one!
After a long, tiring day, we headed back to camp. Our LODs cooked up a mean chicken ravioli to get us fueled up for our sea kayak the next day! In the morning, we were up bright and early (around 4:30) to get the kids ready for the kayak. Due to currents, we had to take a different route than usual, but this was certainly not a subpar trip by any means. We were fortunate enough to begin our trip in the middle of a migration of around 300 dolphins out to the deep sea! Caroline Z got some pretty sick footage of the dolphins in formation swimming underneath our kayak. It was a truly awe-inspiring experience, one that I think none of us can ever forget. The dolphins even did some tricks for us! These are Hawaiian spinner dolphins so they’re native to the area, and the 3rd smallest dolphin in the world.
Afterwards, we had a beach picnic off of the cliffs of the Na Pali Coast with some of the most delicious turkey sandwiches. Asa was a lot more excited about the massive bag of chips and cookies they gave us. After a few hours of kayaking, we decided to head into Poipu to do some shopping and get some smoothies and coffee. Lilly stopped at the local Starbucks and got her signature Frappuccino that she said “reminded her of Christmas”…we’d be lying if we said it didn’t feel like Christmas in July after trying it! That night we had some amazing burrito bowls cheffed up by Carden. Although we did have to instruct his cooking off the boxed rice-a-roni, we’re happy to see he’s expanding upon his cooking capabilities!
The next morning, we packed up camp quickly so we could have some extra time in Hanalei Bay for our last day in Kauai. Anne Marshall finally got the poke bowl that she has been begging for, and luckily, she went to one of the best places in Hawaii! Hanalei Poke was even featured on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive Ins and Dives”. We had to try it for ourselves after she raved about it, and I can confidently say it was the best I’ve ever had! So fresh, and the fish were caught right in the bay. Flora got her hat from the local store run by our surfing instructor, Big Sean, and after rounding up the troops, we were off to the airport!
We surprisingly got through check-in and security very quickly, and we had a smooth flight to Kona. Our first local food stop of the island was at Big Kahuna Grill, one of our favorites! Caroline W had thrown back a bag of muddy buddies at the airport, so she wasn’t too hungry at dinner …but she did get one of the most delicious milkshakes on the island! They have the basic flavors, but they also have tropical Hawaiian flavors like lilikoi and mango. All very good! We set up camp afterwards in the dark, and this group was surprisingly quick with putting up their tents. We were impressed!
The next day we woke up and had a hearty breakfast before our first day of scuba. Our kids had an absolutely awesome time, and the instructors had nothing but great things to say about them. Usually after our scuba days, we like to have some free time at camp. But yesterday we went to the Sea Turtle beach where we saw dozens floating by. It was super cool to see them up close again after we had seen a few on our kayak trip. They’re such pretty animals! Trammell was digging around in the sand and found some “crystal”…it was a tough day for all of us when we had to break it to him that it was sea glass! We did love the enthusiasm though.
We went back to camp and had our delicious cookout cooked by Caroline Z and George. Even though Hannah accidentally sat on the hot dog and hamburger buns, we were able to salvage some for the rest of us and have a good laugh because of it. These past two days they have been working so hard in the pool, and today they’ll finally get to do their shore dives! We can’t wait for all of them to become certified open water divers, but we are even more excited for our manta ray snorkel tonight. Definitely one of the most magical parts of the trip! We’ll send another update in a few days. Thanks for tuning in!
-Grace, Mapp, Garrett
PS: Here’s some shoutouts from everyone!!
Caroline Z – Hey mom and dad:) and Livy and Ben! I miss y’all so much and it’s sick here getting lots of gains lol, we did a really long hike with an amazing view and we kayaked the coast and we’ve started scuba which is sick! I 10000% should have brought more clothes lol! Bye bye- CZINNY
Lilly- Hi guys I miss you all so much! Tell everyone I say hi and Cate happy late birthday. We’ve started with scuba diving and are on the new island. We went on a bunch of hikes on Kauai and I finally got better at surfing. It’s so much fun here and I love all of the people with me. I can’t wait to get to get back to Atlanta and see you all again.
Caroline W- Hey! Miss y’all so much but I’m having the best time! We’ve been surfing and diving and it’s been so fun! Can’t wait to see y’all!
George- Miss you guys! We’re having an absolute blast surfing and scuba diving. We got to surf Hanalei Bay and kayak the coast which was amazing. We even got to go to a private beach and eat lunch! I’ve miraculously almost gone through all of my snacks and clothes. Love y’all so much!
Hannah- hey guys! I’m having the most fun ever scuba has been amazing, and I can’t wait to actually be able to surf with eb now. I think the only thing I miss more than hot showers is you guys. Say hi to Bo Bo’s for me, I love you so much – bear
Anne Marshall-hey fam! I’m having so much fun and have met so many good friends! We have been surfing, scuba diving, and hiking. I’m forcing the whole fam to learn to surf and get scuba certified because I want us to all do it together. Miss and love y’all!
KG- hey fam! I’ve done so many cool things while being here like surfing, hiking, sea kayaking, and scuba diving. Either the hiking, which had an amazing view, or the surfing was my favorite. Now I can surf in Wrightsville with Reeves! I really miss y’all and I’m excited to come home and sleep in my bed and have a hot shower. See y’all soon xoxo!
Flora- Hi mom, dad, and Otis (and love, chance, and Sid)! I miss y’all so much but am having an amazing time. We got to the big island a few days ago and have started doing scuba which has been so much fun. On the other island we got to surf which was amazing and hike and kayak which was hard but really fun. Love y’all and see y’all soon!! Love flo:)))))
Trammell- Salutations family, I am having a great time at Moondance. The first island was spectacular. The nature was breathtaking. It also was the place where Jurassic Park was filmed. I am sorry that I have not been running. I can’t find the time to since there has just been so much going on. I have not been thinking too much about running since I have been spending some time with Asa and the other people on the trip. Right now, I am on the bus going back from scuba diving! I can’t wait to show you the videos I got from it.
Asa- Haiiii, or as the locals say, Aloha! On the lowest of keys, I’ve been having a bussen time. I do be missing you guys a tad, but mostly my true homies, Potter, Luna, and Samantha and hot baths. I saw a seal and it was super cool, but not as awesome as the scuba diving. Mostly been chilling, cowboy camping and diving, but let me tell ya, they have some of the best ice cream and shaved ice here. I’ve been living it up with Trammell and getting a nice talk in with the local mongooses. So yeah, a munching time, see ya soon!
Carden- what up mom I’m otw back from snorkeling, its been fun and counselors are cool can’t wait to get back!
July 17, 2022
Aloha from Hawaii! As we head into our last few days in Kauai, it’s amazing to look back and remember all that we’ve seen and accomplished in just a few short days. Starting off at the airport, this was quite the lively bunch. No first day airport awkwardness whatsoever! They were all so outgoing and excited to get to know one another which was awesome for us to see as leaders. We headed back to camp after our impromptu pizza party and had our first Moonup. The following day, we had our first day of activities: surfing, hiking, and swimming in a waterfall! Although the waves were small in Hanalei Bay, this group went above and beyond for their opening day in Hawaii. Lilly and Caroline Z even surfed on the same board at one point! They looked like pros out there. Carden was taking some surfboard naps in between sets of waves too! We had a beachside lunch, and then we headed into Kapaa for the Sleeping Giant hike. Flora was leading the pack as we soared up the mountain, and the views were impeccable! We could see the entire South side of the island. The coolest part of the hike was at the end when we went through a forest that looked very similar to the Star Wars Ewok Forest. Our unsuspecting Star Wars fan, Anne Marshall, was pretty pumped about this!
Once we got picked up from the trailhead, we went to Ho’opi’i Falls. This was our first time doing this as leaders and it was spectacular! Our surfing instructor suggested we go, and we’re so glad he did. Although the hike was a little longer than we thought, it was well worth it at the end. There was a rope swing, and everyone loved it. Thanks to Asa for bringing back the rope for people to swing on every…single…time! That’s why he was chosen as our LOD for the next day for sure. That and the fact that he held everyone’s water bottles during the hike out of the kindness of his heart. Such a sweet dude! We had stuffed bell peppers for dinner, which is always a group favorite, then we headed to bed after a long day. Our next day we had our hike up the Nualolo trail. It was about 8 miles in and out but standing atop the Na Pali shoreline was an awe-inspiring experience! You can see the Pacific for as far as the eye can see and the reefs down below, too. Our guide, Sarah, was amazing, giving us so much information about everything we saw along our hike! It was a very, very long day, but spirits were high the entire time. This is an extremely positive group, and we are so grateful for that! A much-needed reward after hiking was shaved ice! Our favorite! The kids got some souvenir shopping in and then we headed to Walmart for a quick fun run in and out. George walked out carrying a Costco sized pack of ramen noodles, and although we were confused at first with what he was going to do with it, I think we’re all grateful now that we have a huge supply of ramen when we feel like snacking on it. When we got back to camp, the kids jumped right back into the ocean and were shredding it on the boogie boards. Chicken fried rice for dinner and Moonup to finish off the night! Yesterday was our service day at the National Tropical Botanical Gardens. We were shoveling mulch around the various palms, and the kids did so well. We even had a competition to see who could shovel mulch the fastest. Katie Grace and Caroline Z came second to the workers, so I’d say that’s pretty impressive.
Afterwards we got a tour of the beautiful gardens. We went to the Allerton family garden as well and saw the sets of movies such as Jurassic Park and Pirates of the Caribbean. Our group filmmaker, Trammell, was immediately interested when he heard Jurassic Park was filmed there! Hannah was asking so many awesome questions, and our amazing guide Amanda was so happy to answer all of them. We even got to see and take pictures with the trees with the massive roots that are backdrops for several scenes. We gave the kids some free time in Kapaa to shop, try some local foods, get some shaved ice, and walk around. That area has the cutest boutiques and surf shops on the island! To finish off the day at camp, we went to the palm tree jump near our campsite and hung out there for a bit. Everyone was cheering each other on and taking in the sick views. It was a really cool moment for our group for sure! Our chili Mac dinner was made by our lovely LOD, Caroline W! Always a crowd favorite. We finished with Moonup and a few games of UNO before hitting the hay. We have a big day tomorrow with surfing and zip lining! Updates to come on those soon. Thanks for tuning in!
-Grace, Mapp, Garrett
July 13, 2022
Hello Hawaiian Island 3B Families!
We heard from our leaders late last night that the group has landed safely in Lihue. The trip is off to a great start, and we cannot wait to hear more stories from their adventures.
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!