July 25, 2023
Bonjour! Our trip has came to a sentimental close as everyone has safely made it through security at the Paris airport. The past few days have been jam packed leaving Chamonix and exploring Paris. After our hiking day we were able to walk around Chamonix, enjoying some late afternoon window shopping. It was especially fun and exciting to see postcards of the mountain ranges we had just climbed. Max and Margot found an excellent street performer that we all enjoyed watching. We then went to a local trendy burger spot. Fulton was adventurous in his choice of an extra spicy burger and the spice did not disappoint. Lily was also different from the crowd with an order of a delicious crepe. With full stomachs we headed to a Moonup full of laughter and jokes led by Fulton and William.
The next day was a full travel day to Paris. The long train rides provided ample opportunity to reflect and reminisce on highlights of our trip. Caroline impressed us all reading 300 pages of her book in our under 2 hour train ride! As soon as we got to Paris in the afternoon we hit the ground running, picking up some delicious treats and coffee. William got an entire chocolate cake that he kindly shared with the whole group. Then over a hearty dinner we planned our itinerary for a full day in Paris!
The morning of our big Paris day did not disappoint as we enjoyed a feast of croissants, coffee, crepes, eggs, orange juice, AND some of the most delicious hot chocolate we’ve ever had. We then stopped at an authentic Parisian flea market and almost everyone had some quality finds for themselves and also bought some presents for loved ones back home! After a bit of shopping under our belts, we continued onto to the Sainte-Chapelle church. Alexa was our local photographer, making sure to notice every beautiful detail in the stained glass windows. Graham then had the wonderful idea to check out Ladurée and get some macaroons to fuel us for a packed afternoon of continued sightseeing. The boys and girls briefly split up for shopping. Sanders loved the golf cart at the Lacoste store and got some silly pictures while the girls got to see an elaborate set up for the Barbie movie. We ended up avoiding a quick downpour as Chesson suggested to pop into a cute coffee shop right before it started to pour. We sipped our coffee and perused a bookstore as the rain died down. Next up, the Eiffel Tower!! Charlie was thrilled to recreate some hilarious pictures of him doing a headstand from a previous trip to Paris. We all laughed as Charlie repeatedly attempted his headstand in front of the Eiffel Tower. The rain continued but could not get us down as we enjoyed a delicious last dinner together discussing everything we would miss about our group and this trip. Our last Moonup was magical, and lasted so long that we got to see the Eiffel Tower light up and sparkle 3 different times throughout the evening! For Moonup we all went around and discussed what we admired about each individual person. It was so sweet to hear how each person’s personality shined throughout this trip and reflect on how we’ve grown both as a group and as individuals.
The past 23 days have been full of adventure, awe, and laughter exploring mountains, beaches, and cities. It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know everyone on this trip and we hope that through everyone’s pictures and videos from the trip you too get a little taste of how amazing our 23 day journey truly was!
Sydney and Harrison
July 22, 2023
Hello from the Alps! Today is our last day of trekking and we are resting our legs after an intense uphill hike with some of the craziest views yet! Our fearless guide encouraged us to try a steep trek to challenge ourselves for the last day. After seeing the panoramic mountain views we all decided the uphill hike was well worth it. Sanders led the charge, enjoying conversation with our guide at the front of the pack. To celebrate and mark the end of our trekking we splurged on pizza and gelato. Graham won the best order with some delicious homemade pesto pizza. As our food digested and we rested, Alexa and Chesson kept us entertained with enthusiastic dance performances to Baby by Justin Bieber. The entertainment continued as Fulton led a soccer game with some Italian locals and we all cheered them on from the sidelines.
Yesterday, after a long morning of hiking we crossed into the Italy border and enjoyed our last trail lunch. William kept the morale high, enjoying the thrill of the wind and colder weather. We all felt a bit sentimental as we passed around tortillas, peanut butter, honey, Nutella, sausage, and fruit in a tight knit circle. It was an intense day of trekking so we were grateful to arrive to our cozy hostel for an authentic Italian experience of pizza, pasta, and tiramisu. Charlie explored the restaurant a bit and loved watching the chefs expertly cook the pizza and pasta.
The day before we were able to hike the mountain ridge line with a solid 2 hours of 360 degree views. Margo led the charge on a fun optional summit with no packs after lunch. The higher we went, the more awe-inspiring the views. Once we arrived to our quaint refugio we sunbathed on the roof and played ninja. Lily’s competitive side came out and she proved herself as a strong Ninja player with 2 wins and some impressive kills. The adventure continued with melting our own cheese for fondue over potatoes and meat for dinner.
At the beginning of our Alps adventure, we enjoyed getting to know our new guide and exploring the town of Chamonix. Max found some cool books about hiking in Chamonix and after looking at the epic pictures, we all felt pumped to begin our expedition. Our Moonup location in Chamonix was especially picturesque, surrounded by flowers, mountains, and beautiful fluffy dogs. To match the special location, our leader of the day, Caroline, led a special Moonup full of sincere reflection about our goals for the last leg of the trip.
Next up is Paris! We’re all excited to explore the city but certainly feeling bittersweet that our time together is coming to an end. We’ll sincerely miss every single person on this trip and we’ve truly started to feel like a family. We’ll be soaking up every last moment before airport day!
-Sydney & Harrison
July 17, 2023
Hola and Bonjour!
We are currently traveling by train with scenic views getting some much needed rest, reading and playing games. The past few days in Spain have been full of kayaking, beach days, cookouts, and games. We celebrated our trekking with a fun night of pizza and bowling. The change of scenery from mountains to bowling brought out everyone’s silly side and we all laughed as we got to see who had the best bowling skills (shoutout to Chesson for winning!) We then continued our fun with a full beach day. Sanders enthusiastically led the charge to explore the water and a fun slide. We soaked up the sun, reading books, digging holes, and building sand castles. Charlie made sure to point out the beautiful design of all the Spanish beach houses, making us appreciate the majestic scenery even more. After a beautiful beach day, we stopped by the store to pick up ingredients for an epic bungalow cook off. Fulton’s group stole the show with his homemade pico de gallo and Caroline confidently led her group in creating a salad, 2 different pastas, and a gelato treat. Needless to say, we were impressed with everyone’s cooking skills. The next day we began our kayaking adventure! With too intense winds for the sea, we started off with more relaxed river kayaking. The sun glistening off the water was beautiful as we peacefully paddled with William taking the lead, confidently paddling across some rapids. When we got back, we decided to feast once again with a grill out. We all worked together to create one of the best meals yet: burgers, bacon, salad, and garlic bread. Lily took charge with the salad, mixing up watermelon, strawberries, spinach, and feta. With full bellies, we all reflected on the first half of the trip, thinking about how fast the trip is going by. The next day, the weather was perfect for a full day of sea kayaking. The rapids were quite exciting and the excitement continued as we got a chance to learn how to roll in the kayaks. Graham impressed us all as she successfully rolled her kayak. Max and Margot participated in a silly sibling splashing fight almost capsizing each other with their enthusiasm. We stopped by a beautiful beach and gave our arms a rest for lunch. Alexa encouraged us all to join her in snorkeling, spotting some cool coral and sea urchins. We returned back for a cooking class involving salmon, pesto salad, calamari, and chocolate lava cake! What a treat. We’ve been so impressed with the maturity, kindness, and enthusiasm of everyone on this trip. We feel well rested and are looking forward to exploring the Alps!
Sydney & Harrison
July 12, 2023
Hello from Luz! We completed our 7 day trek in the Pyrenes and are feeling accomplished and excited for our next adventure of sea kayaking! We could tell from the beginning that this group was going to get along as we navigated the Paris metro system together and arrived in Lourdes.
Margot quickly established herself as a strong leader in the group, confidently asking questions to get to know everyone’s names. Fulton was our fearless leader of the day in Lourdes, choosing where to go in all the beautiful churches we visited. We continued to get to know each other over delicious pizza and an intense game of Mafia with Lily as our creative narrator making up fun scenarios for every round. Next up, the Pyrenes! All our jaws dropped as we drove into the mountain range and began our trekking adventure. We were certainly huffing and puffing with the incline, but the views made it all worth it.
The first day we rewarded ourselves with some delicious gelato and William enthusiastically led us in an intense game of cops and robbers. The next few days we continued a delightful routine of yummy bread and jam in the morning, intense up-hill hikes, long leisurely lunches often jumping in ponds and lakes, more relaxed hiking, and then arriving at the next beautiful town or hostel. During the uphill hikes we often would watch in amazement as Max would quickly trek up the incline with no sweat nor complaint. Sanders would often keep the mood positive with his jokes and tenaciously positive attitude. Noteworthy sceneries of waterfalls or mountain ranges were often marked by Charlie pulling out his sketchbook, amazing us all with his drawing skills.
Once we passed briefly into Spain, Chesson impressed us all with her Spanish skills, confidently communicating with the locals. All pit stops were impeccable but one truly stood out where we swam for hours and met some of the cutest dogs. Caroline enjoyed looking out into the water and cheering everyone on as we played silly games. Alexa in particular held onto a tiny brown and white puppy that seemed to adore her.
Our last Moonup in the Pyrenes was sentimental as Graham was the leader of the day and led us in a sweet discussion about the characteristics, we admire in each other. This trip has already been noteworthy for how kind and caring each of the students is and we can’t wait to continue to grow closer and adventure together for the next 2 weeks!
-Sydney and Harrison
The trip so far has been amazing! We just finished the Pyrenees hiking section of the trip, and we’re about to go to Costa Brava. The backpacking was difficult but insanely beautiful. I miss you, and I can’t wait to hear about everything that has been going on!
P.S. I’m seriously craving the Stockwell salad- I think that and a Badass coffee might be my first meal when I get back
Dear Mom, Dad, and William,
I hope your guys’ summer is going splendidly. We just finished hiking the Pyrenees and I saw the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen; I took lots of photos to show you guys when I get back. Miss all of you and I look forward to seeing you soon!
hi everyone! We just now finished our 7 day hike in the Pyrenees and are headed to Costa Brava! I am having so much fun and seeing so many amazing views. Hope Oma and Opa are doing good! Mom I hope your trips with friends are fun! Miss you and see you soon!
Dear Mom and Dad,
I am having the best time of my life in the Pyrenees. The views are insane and the food is so good! I even tried calamari for the first time! Missing you both a lot, but I am loving it here and could stay in Europe the rest of the summer!
P.s: give bear more treats for me
I just finished the Pyrenees mountains. It was extremely difficult but fun. There are a lot of stories for me to tell you when I get home. Love Sander’s
Dear Mom, Dad, and the May Fam
The Pyrenees are the most beautiful mountains I’ve ever seen! I have been keeping up with journaling and sketching. I can’t wait to tell you all the stories when I get home. We’ve passed roaming goats and cows, hiked up snow, and seen the incredible terrain changes from both sides of the border. My shoulders are all healed up, and I’m excited for Costa Brava.
Lots of Love, C4
Hi Family! We just finished our 7 day hike in the Pyrenees. Now we are going to Costa Brava, Spain. I’m so excited for a beach break before we start hiking the tour de Mont Blanc. I miss everyone so much and I can’t wait to show u all the cool photos I have. Love u guys
P.S Can u please bring me a Diet Coke and Chick-fil-A minis to the airport thanks.
Hi family!! We just finished a 7 day trek through the Pyrenees! It was so beautiful, and now I’m excited to relax at the beach before we start hiking the alps. I am having the best time! Love and miss y’all so much!
Hi Mom, Dad, & I think Andrew!! I miss you guys so so much but I am having the BEST time; my leaders and group are so fun and nice!!! All of the views are INSANE- we went to the Pyrenees first for seven days and hiked the coolest (but also hardest) mountains I ever have. I hope y’all are having the best summers LOVE YOU!!
Max: I am having so much fun and doing lots of stuff see you in 2 weeks.
Fulton: Hey mom and dad and hazel and Marley and Daniel! Miss y’all so much and having so much fun but always thinking about y’all. We just finished our 7 day hike of the Pyrenees and we are now in the town of Luz, France. Can’t wait to see y’all! Love you!
July 4, 2023
Hello Chamonix Families!
We heard from our leaders last night and the group has landed safely in France! 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!