July 14, 2022
Our dear Slovenia 2B friends and families,
Our final days of adventures started with river kayaking! We hopped in kayaks, able to spot the mountain hut we had previously stayed in from the lake. Once we paddled a bit, we carried onto the river where we floated and navigated the currents and dams. Sofie was a directional pro whipping around the kayak flawlessly. Gray hit each dam straight on, with lots of paddle power. The afternoon brought us rock climbing! Ava was our pro, eager to make it to the top of both routes. We then hit the road to a nearby mountain to stay at a mountain hut (with debatably the best view of the trip) for the final 2 nights in Slovenia.
The following day we moved quickly up a steep mountain next to our hut. It was no simple task but the group completed our final hike with positive attitudes, silly trail convos and smiles. Once we got to the meadow right before the peak we were greeted by sheep. We become friends with them quickly, Erin especially! Emmie pointed out to the group that you could see 3 countries from the top – Slovenia, Italy and Austria! After our hike, we deserved a big lunch of burgers by the lake before a swim. Wilsie led the group into the chilly water with many jumps and the occasional nudge. We then went souvenir shopping where Kate encouraged many to join her in buying a flag to sign and take home as a keepsake. Back at the mountain hut we headed outside to admire the view for an incredible sunset and moonup. Ryland attempted some handstands and got a cool photo in the process. We stayed up and watched the stars before the cold weather eventually brought us into bed.
VENICE DAY! Everyone excited to hit the city, we packed up and headed on our merry way. While in Venice we explored San Marco piazza, starting with gondola rides. Harrison became quick bffs with their silly gondola driver. We then shopped around for some hats, shirts, honey and more! Clara inspired the girls to get some beautiful Venetian scarfs. We enjoyed a delicious Italian meal for our banquet dinner. We got back to the hostel and showered to get clean for the airport then had our final Moonup by the canal watching the sunset. We shared our highs and lows from the trip and something we learned that we will take back with us.
It was tough goodbyes this morning as we parted ways but we are all so excited to share stories with loved ones. Thanks for sharing your kids with us these past 2 weeks, SLO 2B you rock! Keep trying new things and getting out of that comfort zone. PURR!
Anna and James
July 11, 2022
Hello! We are back on the grid from our amazing Alpine adventure! We woke up for our last awesome breakfast in Soča Valley, anxious to hit the trails for day one of trekking. Wilsie led the way for the group, keeping a steady pace the whole way. Once we made it to our first mountain hut, we met up with the other Moondance Slovenia group for lunch to trade stories and compare notes on where we had been so far. The highlight of the day was the local farm animals coming from the cheese farm down the trail from our hut. Kate quickly made friends with some very friendly cows and a donkey, which let her pet him! We went to bed excited to see what the next days would bring now that we had officially made it into the Julian Alps.
On day two, we ate a quick breakfast and said goodbye to our Slovenia A friends. Along with crazy alpine views, we were treated to history lessons from our guides about the many ruins we were passing from the WW1 era. Harrison found a really cool cave next to one of the ruins we were exploring. Emmie kept everyone laughing by exclaiming that all these views were “purr,” her personal expression for saying how awesome they were! That night, we had a delicious barley stew for dinner. Erin, our Louisiana native, was thrilled to learn that Tabasco is Slovenia’s hot sauce of choice and did not hesitate to improve her stew with Louisiana’s finest. That night we had our best moonup to date, surrounded by massive mountains blanketed in an incredible sunset. An ideal end to an ideal day!
The next day, got out of our hostel bunks bright and early for our day hike to a mountain peak, our trek summit! We packed only what we needed for the day and hit the trail. We passed ruins from a World War 1 hospital along our way! We reached a beautiful meadow nestled in the middle of the alps halfway up. Here, Sofie took a quick grass nap in the flowers, a new group term she coined herself. As we continued switchbacks up, Clara excitingly pointed out a mountain goat to the group. This was something she’d been hoping for since day 1. Proud and smiley at the top we chowed down on our much-deserved sandwiches. Energy high post lunch, we ran up to the highest point where we took many pictures, admired the view and enjoyed some surprise ring pops! Our afternoon consisted of journaling, napping and games outside overlooking the alps! Gray was deemed overall champion as he won the Moondance classic look up look down and our Rock Paper Scissors shoot tournament. We treated ourselves to large bowls of Bolognese and ice cream before resting our heads for a final trekking rest.
Morning 4 everyone was a little sad to say bye to our time in the alps but very ready to shower and put on some fresh clothes! We blew through our final few miles down, Ava keeping the group going with singing songs in trail. Our first meal closer to sea level did not disappoint with pasta and pizza galore and finished off with mousse, soufflé, and crepes! We then hit the lake for a much-needed rinse off before hitting the showers. After dinner told the kids to hop in the van for a short drive to a surprise adventure! We enjoyed gelato and putt-putt. Ryland was crowned our group champ! Once back at the hostel we circled up for Moonup with the mountains we recently left towering right above us.
Well-deserved rest is in order for the group as we prep for our final few days. It’s sad to think goodbyes are close by but we’re not ready yet and have more fun to come! Thanks for sharing your awesome adventure seeking bright eyed kids with us!
James + Anna
July 6, 2022
Hello Slovenia 2B friends and families,
Us again! After a super fun few days in Soča Valley we’re ready for our trekking adventure. Our first day in Soča brought two awesome water activities, rafting and canyoning. We awoke and ate a delicious meal of eggs and more prepared by our new favorite campsite chef, George. We rafted down the cool (literally and figuratively) water of the Soča river. Once in the rafts, Kate took it upon herself to get some great GoPro footage. We had a blast in the rafts but were eager for more. We scarfed down some Wiener schnitzel then had a couple of hours to chill and rest up for our next activity. Ryland became comfortable on the slackline during this time, impressing the rest of the group. It was then time for the much anticipated, canyoning. This consisted of jumping into pools of water and sliding down natural slides, aka waterfalls! We geared up head to toe in wet suits for the chilly water and hit it! All agreed that Harrison had the best cannonball as we jumped into many pools of water. Wilsie led the charge every slide of the way, including a 30 ft waterfall that most use a rope. Every single kid went down on their own, making us the first group to ever do that! Having worked up an appetite and tired bodies we ate some food and got to bed early, but not before a few games of Mafia, in which Erin led us as a master storyteller.
Our second day in Soča was met with excitement after such an awesome first day. First up, was a quick hike to a gorgeous waterfall called Slap Virje which had a great swimming hole below it. Despite the frigid temperature of the water (low 40s!), Gray wasted no time getting in, leaving no excuses for everyone else to remain dry. Sofie won the challenge of who could stay in the freezing cold water for the longest. After a delicious lunch to follow the waterfall excursion, the crew headed back to town to gear up for ziplining. After being told that the first zipline was over 600 feet high, Clara was nervous but did not let her aversion to heights get to her, and laughed the whole way down. After ziplining, we decided it was time for something the group had been anticipating for the whole trip… our first gelato stop of the trip, and Emmie’s first gelato ever! Everyone savored their double scoops of deliciousness and went back to camp happy. We prepped for our big trek that begins tomorrow and then headed to the fire pit for one last big cookout before we take off. Ava helped chop firewood for the grill and the rest of the group prepped various meats and veggies for the meal. We finished by roasting marshmallows over a big fire.
We are looking forward to getting into the Alps and can’t wait to tell you all about our adventures in the next few days!
Anna and James
P.S. enjoy some shoutouts from your awesome kids!
Wilsie – Hey fam miss yall. I’m jumping off tons of cliffs and eating good food. Canyoneering was super fun
Erin – Hey guys!! Happy b day dad! Hope y’all are having fun at the lake. Slovenia and Croatia are super fun!
Ava – Hey y’all!! Having fun in Croatia and Slovenia cliff jumping and canyoneering! I miss yall
Sofie – Hey y’all!! Hope everything’s going good, everything is really great here! Miss y’all!!
Gray – Hey guys. Having lots of fun and definitely making my time worth. Hope everything is well.
Harrison – hey y’all, missing you. I’m having sm fun and doing a lot of new things. Hope things are well. I promise I won’t run away in Slovenia.
Emmie – Hey y’all I am having so much fun!!! I miss y’all so much!! I will see y’all soon!
Clara – Hi fam (and Calder if you’re reading this- love u)!!! Croatia and Slovenia are the prettiest places ever and we have done really fun stuff. Miss and love yall & give the dogs a big hug for me!
Kate – Hey everyone!!! I’m having so much fun in Slovenia and Croatia! Miss and love y’all!
Ryland – Hey guys! Having a good time and doing lots of cool activities. Miss y’all!
July 4, 2022
Hey hey and happy 4th of July!! 2B is off on our Slovenian adventure but starting with Croatia! We met up with the jetlagged kiddos in the Venice airport and hit the road. Emmie immediately made it her mission to keep everyone awake during the van ride with her silly and entertaining conversation topics. Our first stop was a pizza place once we crossed over into Slovenia. Everyone grubbed and Ryland found a new liking for pizza with arugula and prosciutto – a group favorite. Once we arrived at our Croatia beach campsite, we threw our bags at our tents before Ava led the group in a much needed swim to cool down. We enjoyed a seaside meal before having our first moonup and getting into our sleeping bags.
Our first full day started off strong with sea kayaking! Once in our kayaks, Kate proved to be an asset being at the front of the pack the entire paddle. The crystal clear water impressed everyone, Clara constantly exclaiming how “beautiful it is!” We paddled along the coast to a spot where we explored caves, snorkeled, and fed fish! The sun was beating down but our LODs (Leaders of the Day), Sofie and Gray made sure everyone reapplied sunscreen all day long. We enjoyed a delicious farm-to-table lunch nearby before heading back to the water for some cliff jumping and more time to explore. Wilsie led the group into a small cave filled with rock stacks, everyone creating one of their own. Once back at the campsite everyone enjoyed rinsing off their salty skin in the outdoor showers before cooking up a Slovenian dinner. Harrison was our grill master cooking up some chicken wings and cevapcici. We rounded out the day with moonup before we took our second and final slumber in Croatia.
That brings us to today, the 4th! Breakfast filled everyone up with eggs, cereal, croissants, and fruit. Feeling festive, Erin helped us pass out some 4th of July goodies before we hopped in the vans to cross back into Slovenia for more fun, starting with our cooking class. In “the Tuscany of Slovenia” we cheffed up a meal of dumpling soup, zucchini pasta, turkey with mashed potatoes, and peach mousse. Everyone sang, tried to solve each other’s riddles and Kate had the group making friendship bracelets as continued along our way into Soča Valley, giving us our first view of the magnificent Julian Alps! Everyone is going to bed very excited to see what adventures the next few days hold!
James, Anna and SLO 2B
July 2, 2022
Hello Slovenia 2B Families!
The whole group arrived safely in Venice early today and are on their way to their way to Slovenia. 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