July 30, 2022
Hello from Venice!!
The past couple days have been bittersweet. Croatia was absolutely incredible, and the perfect way to end our two weeks together. We arrived in Croatia on Wednesday afternoon and immediately threw on our bathing suits and hopped in the ocean. Margaret led the charge in getting the chats going in the ocean amongst the girls, resulting in them staying in the water for hours! After our swim session, we headed to dinner where lots of calamari and hamburgers were eaten! YUMMY! Turner and Bergen then led us to a beautiful sunset Moonup spot looking over the ocean and we ended our evening in the perfect way!
On Thursday, we woke up ready for our day of sea kayaking! Luke and Daniel started off the trip with a nice flip of the kayak, but by the end, they had the comeback story of a century! I think it’s safe to say that the singers (Cora and Apple) had the most fun, though! We paddled to a nearby cave and swam inside to explore. Emery and Ryder were crushing the underwater photos on the GoPro and Charlie was exploring every nook and cranny of the place. It was awesome! After we finished exploring the cave, we went to a nearby cliff for one last jump. This one was certainly the best of the trip, out into the open ocean! We then rewarded ourselves with some much deserved chicken wraps and ice cream for lunch before we enjoyed our afternoon at the beach. Lilly led a group for some tanning and swimming, and the boys ran the ping pong table at our campsite. We then showered and got ready for our final day in Venice while Grill Master Phil made us the best dinner yet! We enjoyed one last Moonup by the ocean and hit the hay fairly early to rest up for our last day.
Yesterday, we woke up to see the sunrise over the ocean before heading to Venice. We rested for part of the ride then our favorite guy on aux, DJ Noah, took over and lifted the mood! Once we made it to Venice, the dreaded moment of saying goodbye to our favorite Adventure Slovenia guides occurred. We then headed to the hostel to do some reflecting on the trip and take care of what we needed before we headed out for our afternoon of exploring! Lunch certainly did not disappoint, with almost every plate scraped clean by the end. We then headed into San Marco square to do some shopping and exploring. Ben led the boys in buying some souvenirs, before we then headed to our gondola ride. No surprise, but Essie’s happy spirit was radiating during this! The gondola wasn’t the only show we saw, though. There was an opera singer in the boat behind us who had the entire canal staring in awe! Unbelievable. After the show, we explored some more of Venice, and Julia led the train on buying some tshirts with the girls. We then began heading back to the hostel to prepare for our final banquet and Moonup. Along the way, Amanda spearheaded a stop for some lemonade icy pops to cool down (you know how we love our sweet treats!), and then we were on our way. We ate delicious bowls of spaghetti for dinner, and wrapped up the trip with an incredible final Moonup. We then enjoyed our last night together and prepared for the day ahead.
Today, we woke up teary eyed and sad to leave our favorite place. The leaders just want to say thank you for sharing your incredible kids with us these past two weeks. We love them all so dearly and so glad they got to change our lives! We’re headed y’all’s way now, and see everyone in America soon!!
Keep in touch,
Phil, Anna, James, and May May
July 27, 2022
Our group has cooled down post trekking splashing all around Soča valley! Our first day was a fun filled one and LUKE’S BIRTHDAY! We gave him a surprise wake-up and kept the celebrating going all day long, starting with canyoning! We got into wet suits and hit the canyon, once there we hit the water, sliding down natural waterfalls and jumping into pools. Ryder was always willing to be first in line and go down a scary slide. Daniel had cool moves with his jumps and sliding down backwards. We went all the way down the canyon before our final slide, a 30ft waterfall! Everyone went down with a smile on their face and lots of energy. After canyoning we headed to lunch in town and had some time to explore and shop for souvenirs. Margaret was most excited about her new favorite Slovenian cookies she found at a market! The afternoon brought more water adventure with rafting! The water level has been low but that didn’t keep this group from having one heck of a time! As we hopped in rafts and headed down the river Ben led water shenanigans and splash wars, keeping the rafts giggling. Halfway down the river, we got out to set up our raft as a slide into the water where we all took turns supermann-ing in. We got back to the campsite and enjoyed all they have to offer with ping pong, beach volleyball and a tightrope. Apple got the group excited about trying (and conquering) the tight rope while some of the boys took over the ping-pong table. We enjoyed a dinner cheffed for us and celebrated Luke with cake and singing. After an eventful day in the water we hit our tents ready for sleep and another day in Soča!
We started our second day in soča off strong with ziplining. We got to see incredible views from towering 200m above with the mountains to flying through some narrow cayons with the clear river flowing below us. Charlie had a blast and was smiling every line. Essie had amazing form making her a pro of the group. We enjoyed a meal, many chose to venture into seafood with local trout or calamari. After spending the morning in the sun it was time to cool down so we headed to a waterfall swimming hole! A lot of us had been anticipating an ice bath in the chilly water with a goal of lasting 10 minutes. Cora and Noah crushed that and more making it to 15 minutes! Cora kept everyone chatting to distract us from the cold water while Noah took the meditation approach. Meanwhile, Bergen led the rest of the group into the water by jumping in first. After cooling down it was time to cook up our dinner with a grill out at our campsite! Turner was the MVP grill master perfecting our hotdogs, chicken and traditional cevapcici (a Slovenian mixed meat stick). Many said this was their favorite meal we have had yet! We had moonup and watched the sky fill with stars before sleeping our final night in Slovenia.
We left Soča valley this morning pumped to spend a couple days in Croatia. We stopped first in a small town with the soca river running through it. We tried Burek, a traditional pastry snack with meat and cheese. Emery was surprised to love the cottage cheese one despite not being a fan of cottage cheese itself. We were then off to our cooking class in the beautiful Tuscany of Slovenia. When we arrived we all
split into groups and got working on our 4 course meal of vegetable soup, pasta with zucchini, turkey with mashed potatoes and veggies in a sage sauce and apple strudel. Some sliced veggies while others peeled and shredded apples. Amanda was our homemade pasta making pro of the afternoon. Lilly spearheaded the Apple strudel (best ever!!) by working on the homemade crust. Julia was a huge help always cleaning up our dishes. After enjoying our meal it was off to cross the border into Croatia. We are now settled in our Croatian campsite thrilled to top off our trip here before heading to Venice. Hard to believe it’s so close to the end with this amazing group! Thanks for sending your awesome kids we’re loving getting to know them and can’t wait to see what fun Croatia holds.
Talk to y’all later,
Phil, May May, James and Anna
July 24, 2022
Greetings from the Julian Alps!!
Things have been AWESOME here the past four days while trekking through the Julian Alps! The trail talks have been impeccable, the views outstanding, and the people… well, the people just rock! On Thursday we embarked on our first hike into the alps and the group absolutely crushed it. It’s safe to say we don’t have a single weak hiker in the group. Right off the bat, Apple and Amanda took the duty of the front of the group and set the pace for the rest of us. We trekked to our first beautiful mountain hut, surrounded by lakes and flowers. The view was indescribable! We filled our bellies with some well deserved macaroni and stew before we did a quick afternoon hike to a nearby lake. The group was raving about how amazing it was. Ryder and Charlie even made the trip more interesting by winning a bet for some cokes at dinner for sprinting so quickly up the grassy hill! With tired legs, we shared another amazing meal and sat by the nearby lakes for Moonup. We then laid our tired heads to sleep and prepared for the next day of trekking to come! On Friday, we woke up early and hit the trail to beat some of the heat. No surprise, but the group killed this day of trekking also. The trail talk was epic, with everyone switching spots in line and talking to someone new. We made the trek to our second beautiful mountain hut, overlooking a giant lake and the alps surrounding. Today was awesome. We rewarded our legs with some down time before our afternoon hike to a nearby World War I hospital. Margaret and Lilly took this time to learn some common Slovenian words and phrases from our spectacular guides. They’ve even got the accents down! Our hike to the hospital was a success and was super fascinating to hear all the history of the area. Berghen especially took an interest in the history, asking the guides and leaders questions to learn more. That’s what we love to see! After the hike, our CPC(clean plate club) leaders really shined (aka Noah and Luke) as we all had empty bowls after dinner. That goulash tastes scrumptious every time! Don’t worry, though, we all obviously saved enough room for a delicious desert after. We then headed to a nearby spot with a view and had our best Moonup yet, by far! The group grew so much closer after this night and we are so so happy for it! We then headed to our comfy beds for the night and hit the hay. Yesterday, we woke up full of excitement for arguably the best day of trekking! The views are the best yet. We even busted out the speaker for some sing-a-longs today. We took our time trekking, snapping lots of pics, talking about the history, and soaking it all in. Julia ensured the group was capturing their best pics, especially when we were at the peak view spot. The pics are sick! We then continued on and stopped at a nearby WWI bunker, where we were able to
explore inside. It was awesome. We then carried on to our our third and final beautiful mountain hut. Some delicious spaghetti was waiting for us as we arrived, which created a whole lot of happy faces from the squad. In the afternoon, we enjoyed some down time at a nearby lake, where Ben led the boys in an extra trek all the way around it just for some extra views! On the way back to our hut, we stopped at a local farm and tried their homemade cheese. We also got to pet their cows and Peppa the pig, Emery’s favorite! We ended the night with another spectacular Moonup and prepared for our last day of trekking. Today, we woke up and hit the trail out of the alps. It was bittersweet for sure! The legs are sore but the views will certainly be missed. Essie ensured the trail talks were still flowing today, as we hiked out. We obviously had to make one last pit stop for some pancakes before we exited the alps! We then headed to a well deserved lunch full of burgers and chicken sandwiches. Clean plate club was surely a thing during this meal! Next, we went to a local swimming hole for some cliff jumping and a natural ice bath for our sore muscles. Turner held a record for the longest to stay in the ice box water! Now, we are at our marvelous new campsite in the beautiful Soča Valley. Daniel showed us all up in a couple games of ping pong, and we could not be more excited for the adventures to come!!!Hear from your lovely kids below.
Until next time,
Anna, James, Phil, and May May
Bergen Quello-Hi fam! Love and miss u guys so much and can’t wait to tell u all about the handsome mountains and beautiful views!! Amanda Cashman Hi mom and dad! Slovenia is so cool and I’m having so much fun! Love and miss you guys so much!
Emery Bonnecaze- Hey! I’m having so much fun and this trip is awesome!! Love and miss y’all!!
Julia Campbell- Hey Mom and Dad! I’m having the best time ever! The views are amazing, can’t wait to show y’all pictures. Miss and love y’all!!
Essie Corbett- Hey mom and dad! Slovenia is so fun and so pretty, I can’t wait to show you guys pictures! Tell everyone I say hi, I love and miss you all so much!
Apollonia Bingham Bianco- Hey family! I am having a blast here and it’s so incredibly beautiful I can’t wait for you guys to see all of the pictures. I love you guys so much and can’t wait to come home.
Lilly Hensley- Hey everyone. I am having so much fun and have met people from all over (even South Dakota). I miss y’all but this is the best vacation ever and all the water is clear and the mountains are insane!
Margaret Wilson- Hey family! Slovenia is so amazing and it has the most beautiful mountains and clearest (but coldest) water I’ve ever seen. The people and leaders are amazing! Love and miss y’all so much!
Charlie Chase- Hey family I got a mullet it looks fire and I’m having a great time with my friends the water is cold
Ben Lucas- Hey fam. I have a mullet it’s sick. U should be proud of me every day cause I’m awesome. Slovenia is awesome.
Cora Villere- Hey y’all! Slovenia is so awesome and I’d like to stay for like another month. The leaders are so awesome and I love everyone in my group. See y’all soon!
Ryder Watkins- Hey mom , dad, sierra and maverick I miss you guys a little bit, but I am having so so much fun Slovenia is so cool y’all have to come, I gave Charlie and Ben mullets; I’m surprisingly good at cutting hair! I’ve seen so many dogs here which I’m very happy about and got to pet all of them! Love y’all
Noah Fleming- Hey mom and dad I’m having a lot of fun at Moondance. I’ve met a lot of new friends and done a lot of fun activities. I’m very excited to see you and Olive in a week, I hope all is well at home love you!
Turner Holmes- Hey mom and dad, I’m having such a great time in Slovenia! We have a big group and 4 leaders but it’s still working out well. We just finished trekking through the mountains and tomorrow we are rafting and canyoneering. Have fun golfing and can’t wait to see y’all when I get back!
Luke Waters- Hi Mom and Dad, I’m having a lot of fun right now, my group is really big but all the people are nice and the leaders are fun. We have had some really fun activities so far and we have even more to come. See you in a week!
Daniel McIntyre- Hi Mom and Dad! I’m having so much fun in Slovenia. It’s really cool here.
July 20, 2022
Hey hey! Just your Slovenian adventurers having a blast and here to tell you about it. We’ve had an awesome start to the trip from day one. We had Apple as our first arrival on airport day and her willingness to get to know everyone helped us welcome the crew on the group flight. Once we gathered into vans, Amanda and Lilly kept us entertained with conversations, pointing out cool views and animals! When we made it to Slovenia, we stopped at a lunch spot by the lake where Noah warmed up the jet-lagged group quickly with his amazing laugh. When we made it to our first mountain hut, Ben crushed our Moondance classic game of birdie on a perch and Emery played with some cows. We filled our bellies with pasta galore before introducing Moonup, passing out some T-shirts and then resting with heads full of excitement for what lays ahead. Our first full day meant a warmup hike to a nearby waterfall and swimming at the lake. Once at the trailhead, we were on our way! Daniel and Ryder, our first LODs (Leaders of the day), set the tone for the day by leading the pack while we hiked. We owed and awe at the waterfall towering beside us when we got to our destination. Well deserved, our hike landed us at a mountain hut for some lunch, featuring delicious homemade juice. We then headed to the lake to cool off. Luke impressed us with some sweet jumps! For moonup we headed to an amazing overlook and got to watch the sunset. Bergen was snapping some awesome shots! After moonup, we played a game of mafia led by Charlie before heading back to the mountain hut for some much needed sleep.
We sadly said bye to our lovely mountain hut this morning but were all pumped to hit the water in kayaks! First we went across the lake, Turner and Julia proving themselves to be kayak pros speeding across. We then cruised through some currents and paddled our way down the river with giggles and lots of fun. After soaking up the sun in the water, we had some lunch and headed to our hostel to relax. Essie led a group to the lake to enjoy some more views and conversation. Then it was off to rock climbing! The kids were thrilled to get on the rocks and they all crushed the routes. Cora raced up the rock making it to the bell in record time! Margaret had a high five and smile waiting for everyone as they made it off the rock. We’ve spent the evening prepping for trekking and playing card games. We can’t wait to get this mega awesome group in the alps for 4 days of trekking, we’ll update y’all on the other side!
Until next time,
Anna, James, May May & Phil
July 18, 2022
Hello Slovenia Families!
We just heard from our leaders that the group has landed safely in Venice and on their way to Slovenia. 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!