June 20, 2023
Hello from the Zagreb airport,
The past two days went by in a flash. Back on Mljet, our second day was filled with hiking. By then, we were all professional hikers with legs of steel. We hiked up to the top of a mountain and arrived at a hut with a pristine view. We decided it was the perfect place to eat a little lunch. We filled up on sammie’s and carried on down the other side of the island. At the bottom, we were greeted with sparkling lake water and cold fresh lemonade. Up next, we parked it at a swimming spot to hang out for a bit. There was a channel that made a natural lazy river. Mason, William, Samuel, and Wells E. snorkeled it and tried to see how fast they could go. At one point, the entire group got in, held on to each other’s arms, and all floated down together. We laughed really hard and tried not to sink each other. The day was super sunny and hot, so it was nice to have a cool splash in the lake! The rest of the hike was pretty easy, and as soon as we went into town we headed to find some much needed ice cream. We headed back to camp and made Quesadillas for dinner. Mason was dubbed “sir quesadilla” by Brooke. We went to spend the rest of the evening at our favorite rocky “beach”. When we all got in, everyone was so proud of Campbell for getting in and cliff jumping with the rest of us! Margaret, Margaux, and Annie faced their fears by swimming out into the water in the evening. Porter performed some little mermaid for us on his little rock island. We had Moonup on the beach as the sun set and headed up to bed for some much-needed rest.
The next day began early with packing and breakfast, and we ferried to Dubrovnik from the island. We hopped off the ferry and headed to old town Dubrovnik. We walked all around the old walls of Dubrovnik, and Lilly took the chance to take GREAT pictures with everyone. After walking the walls, we had a shopping spree in the town where Stockton bought a complete set of Croatian flag patterned clothing. All the boys bought Luca Modrić jerseys, some even bought two! Jack geeked out about the game of thrones merchandise. Brooke, Lilly, Annie, Margaux, Margaret, Ellery, Wells A. and Porter all danced to some live music in the town square and serenaded everyone. Ellery and Annie tried to convince people they were British. We ate a huge fancy dinner for our banquet, all dressed in our tourist gear, and ate some Croatian food to end the trip right. Afterwards, our LOD’s for the day, Wells A. and Annie, had the amazing idea to hold a final Moonup next to the sea in Dubrovnik. It was beautiful. We left the town went to bed and woke up waaaaaay too early to head to the airport. In the van ride we listened to our favorite songs one last time before boarding the plane. Once in Zagreb, we lingered together because we all knew what came next. Slowly everyone began to get their boarding passes and head to security. The goodbye was hard because the trip was over, but sweet because we had become so close, like a little family. We feel so grateful to have started out the summer with a trip that was silly, adventurous, sweaty, hug-filled, challenging, wild, free, and all things wonderful in the world. BIG FAT STANKY NUGS to Croatia 1A. We love you forever!
Brooke and Samuel
June 19, 2023
Hello y’all! We have been having a blast here on the coast of Croatia. River rafting was a killer adventure filled with rapids, 360s, drinking from waterfalls and lots of singing. We arrived at the Cetina River, dawned some waterproof shirts, had a safety briefing and were on our way. This time, we were in two big rafts all together. We started out easily with some smaller rapids and worked our way up to the harder sections. William wore the GoPro on his helmet to get some good footage. Porter sang some songs to keep us all motivated. We took a break to eat a snack and to play tag in the river. Samuel and Brooke were trying to tackle everyone into the water. On our last rapid, everyone got soaked. It was hilarious. All in all, we had lots of fun. After rafting, we loaded into the “Moonbus” to move on to our next campsite. We stopped for lunch, and Margaret, Campbell and Stockton helped pick our lunch and snacks for everyone. Our campsite for that night had a great beach and lots of us went swimming. The ocean water was much warmer than the rivers which was super pleasant. We mooned up by the beach and then the calming sound of the waves put us all to sleep.
The next day, we had to transfer to The Mljet Islands. We drove a very short distance to the ferry and embarked on this next journey. The ferry ride was pretty cool. Ellery, Lilly, and Jack all went out to the front to take pictures and even dance a little. After not too long, we arrived on Mljet. That whole afternoon we got free time to spend at the beach. William, Wells E, Mason, and Stockton all let out their inner adrenaline junkie and did some cliff jumping. Meanwhile, the rest of us swam and relaxed by the water. Brooke. Margaux, Lilly, and Ellery swam out pretty far and floated for a bit. It was very relaxing. After a long time in the sun we hiked back up to the campsite, Margaux, Campbell and Samuel made a little taste of home for dinner (burgers and hot dogs), and we went to bed.
We started yesterday well rested and ready to attack the sea kayaking in the Adriatic. We made a delicious breakfast and departed for the sea. We hopped into our tandem kayaks and paddled all around Mljet island. The water was crystal clear and very calm. We paddled past many sailboats and coastal towns, taking time to admire them all. Halfway there we stopped for a mid-paddle break where we ate DELICIOUS nectarines and bananas. During our break we spotted a few jellyfish and other marine life while we snorkeled. After some rest we boarded our kayaks for the second half of the paddling. After we were done, our guide continued to wow us with food. We ate a hearty meal of freshly caught fish, homemade bread and locally picked vegetables. It was by far the best meal we have had yet. After our favorite meal we left for our campsite and hung out at the beach all afternoon. Wells A. was sure to catch the rays all day. After some much needed free time, the dinner crew cooked up some pasta with veggies and fresh basil from the garden at our campsite. Annie and Wells E were chopping up the vegetables like pros. Everyone ate our pasta until they couldn’t eat any more and we all went to bed with full tummies.
We love this group so much and soaking up our time together as much as possible. Our last two days are going to be some of the best and the most bittersweet.
Brooke & Samuel
Shout out to my parents. I want to thank you for bringing me on this trip. I love you guys to the moon and back. Love you. Also tell miss d That I said hi to her. Happy Father’s Day dad!! I hope you have a great day.
Shoutout to my family especially my Dad. Sorry I missed your birthday and Father’s Day I hope you had 2 great days. I miss all of y’all a lot hope y’all haven’t been having to much fun without me. Love Jack.
everyone, Croatia has been so amazing and I love my group. I miss u guys so much. Also happy Father’s Day Dad! love u so much! I can’t wait to see y’all soon. Kenya is next and I can’t wait. Love u Mom Dad Jack Cole Whit and all others
With Love , Porter
Shoutout to my parents, thanks for letting me go on this trip it’s cool. Miss you guys and happy Father’s Day.
Shoutout to my family and dogs!! Especially to my dad, happy Father’s Day I love you! I’m so grateful that you guys could bring me on this trip, Croatia is insane and we’re having so much fun! I love and miss you all so so much and I am so excited to see you guys so soon!! Yay! With so much , Wells
Shoutout to my family. Happy happy Father’s Day!! Croatia is so cool. The water is super clear. I am having the best time with everyone. Love you guys lots, and can’t wait to see everyone soon. Love Margaux
Shoutout to my parents, Ben, and Pets! I am having a blast here and I am sad that this experience is ending so soon!! Thanks for this amazing opportunity and I’m so grateful to have met these people in such a beautiful place. Lots of love and happy Father’s Day!
Shoutout to my family. I love Croatia, it is so pretty. Happy Father’s Day dad! I am having so much fun and I am so grateful I could come. See you guys soon! I love you guys soooooo much! Love, Annie
Shoutout to my family. I miss y’all so much and can’t wait to see you in a few days. Clara, I hope you had a great birthday, and I can’t wait to celebrate when I get back. Also happy Father’s Day daddy, I hope it’s a great day and I’m sad I’m missing it but i can’t wait to hang out with you when I get back. I’m having a great time in Croatia and it’s been one of the most fun things I’ve ever done. I’ve seen so many cool things and met so many cool people. Love y’all.
Shoutout to my family! Happy Father’s Day dad! I love you guys so much and I’m having so much fun in croatia. I have met so many cool people and I can’t wait to see you guys!!
Shoutout to my family. I am having so much fun in Croatia! Happy father’s day! I can’t wait to see y’all.
Shoutout to my family miss y’all a lot can’t wait to see everyone in a few days. Happy father’s day dad hope you have the best day and get to hang out with Vin. Also tell Henry I am excited to see him in 3 weeks.
Shoutout to my amazing family, I miss y’all a lot and vantage wait to see y’all. Dad, happy fathers day and I hope you have a great day wherever you are. Love y’all.
June 16, 2023
What’s up city folks!! We have finally descended from the mountains. The past 4 days have been a blast!!
On our first day of trekking, we packed up all our belongings into our packs and headed out from our campsite. The breakfast buffet was amazing and got the day off to a fantastic start. We drove a while to get to Paklenica National Park, picked up lunch supplies for the next few days, and jammed our tunes on the way. Our LODs, Campbell and Annie, helped the leaders in the grocery store to get all our food. When we arrived at the base of the hike, we had a picnic lunch, and then headed on our way up the mountain. The hike was pretty steep uphill, but everyone conquered it like champions. At one point, we were chatting on the trail about what we would do if we could not fail. Porter responded with “this hike,” which gave us all a big laugh. Throughout the day, and the rest of the trekking section, he impressed all of us with his improvement and can-do attitude. Brooke, Margaret, Ellery, and Margaux played hot seat in the back of the group. We learned some fun new things about each other and realized we had a lot in common. Stockton and William were so confident in their hiking ability that they started running on the trail during an uphill section. Everyone’s jaws were dropped in amazement! Campbell was posing for many pictures so he’ll hopefully make the Moon-gram! Our group was so relieved when we finally made it to our Hut!! We spent the afternoon playing bocce ball (witch Lilly and Wells E dominated), card games, and making friendship bracelets for each other. For dinner, Annie, Campbell and Mason helped make Peka, a traditional Croatian dish that everyone loved.
The next day started out great because we all got to sleep in in our cozy beds at the hut. Our LODs Margaux and Wells E. led us in a motivating morning huddle, and we headed out into the mountains. Our hike was pretty heavy uphill for the first half, but the group gave it their all and conquered it with a smile! We were rewarded with two amazing views, an opportunity for pictures, and a satisfying lunch break. During our hike, we saw lots of different bright and colorful creatures including lizards, beetles, and non-venomous snakes. At our final peak, we could see across the valley to the hut where we were staying. We all called out “Mario” in unison to the owner of the hut. After our hard work up the mountain, the second portion was all downhill. We stopped at a natural swimming pool that was supplied by the mountain streams. It was very cold, but the whole group jumped in for a refreshing dip after our hot and sweaty hike. Again, we got the afternoon to hang out, make bracelets and play games. That night, our moonup was the best yet. We answered a really deep question, and all hugged and remarked at how grateful we are to have such a close group. After, we stayed up until it was completely dark and stargazed for a while. A total of 5 shooting stars were seen, and then we went off to bed to rest up for our next big day!
The next day we woke up early and prepared for a long difficult hike that we had planned. The LODs, Wells A and Stockton, hyped everyone up during our morning huddle. The group was a little nervous about the milage and elevation, but we set out with a pep in our step. The hike was indeed long and steep, but the group powered through, and we were able to take a much needed, very long lunch break with lots of pictures and laughs. As we began to descend, the group decided to try and go the whole way back without taking any breaks. Samuel loved that idea and decided that we would all push ourselves and take zero breaks. Despite some skepticism, we succeeded! Upon arrival to our hut, we sat in the sun and our usual afternoon routine commenced. After dinner, we had a fire and made s’mores. A ukulele was brought out and Wells E. played music for us as we sang along around the fire. With our feet tired and our tummies full, we slept VERY well!
The next morning, we awoke early for the sunrise and had an early departure from the hut. Mario was sad to see us go. Our hike out was much easier than our hike in, and we made great time. As we descended the canyon, we stopped for some rock climbing! We were all stunned at Ellery’s climbing abilities as she flew up the hardest route first with ease. Mason, Lilly, and Stockton were pushing their comfort zones on the wall and killing it! Despite Jack’s initial hesitance, he successfully climbed every route!
Then, some of the kids went to a local store in the park to grab some gear. Lilly and Jack got hats and sunglasses that gave everyone a good laugh. Once everyone had gotten their climbing fix, we continued through the canyon to our minibus and headed to lunch at a local restaurant. Then, we went to our very nice hotel where some went swimming in the Adriatic sea, while others napped, or made even more friendship bracelets. We’re all getting really good at making friendship bracelets haha. I think Wells A currently holds the record for most bracelets made so far. We all FINALLY showered for the first time in days. We ate a tasty pizza dinner and went back to the hotel. The kids spent most of their free time hanging out in one big room and just chatting with each other, it was so cute. It makes us leaders smile so big to see them becoming such good friends. Today, we are heading south to go river rafting, and we know it’s going to be another good day. It is so exciting to be heading towards the coast and the ocean! Can’t wait to tell you all about it.
Until next time,
Brooke and Samuel
June 10, 2023
Bok(hello) from Croatia! From the first moment that our group came fully together in the Zagreb airport, we knew that this was going to be a great trip. Our vibes have been high ever since. We started by heading out of the airport into our personal minibus. We had an easy ride to our first campsite, where we would stay for the first two nights. All of us were sleepy from a long day and a half of travel, and several plane flights. We ate big bowls of spaghetti, tried to learn some facts about Croatia, had our first Moonup and went straight to bed. It was so early! So early in fact that everyone woke up the next morning at dawn.
With our early wake up, we had plenty of time before breakfast to hang out. Campbell and Jack got to watch the sunrise. Wells E., Mason, and Lilly played some pre-breakfast ping pong. We had eggs and croissants for breakfast. The croissants were a huge hit with the group, especially Porter. After, we packed up the minibus and headed out for our first activity, kayaking! We rode to the river house, and got all suited up. Everyone looked so silly fitted up in our wetsuits, life jackets, booties, and helmets. Samuel was jumping around with a spring in his step, but most of us tried to stay pretty still in all of our gear! After a safety briefing, we paired up to carry our inflatable kayaks (duckies) to the river. We were all in immediately with the first waterfall right after we boarded the kayaks. Our guides, Joseph and Ana, showed us the right paths down the waterfalls as we paddled over a 3 meter drop, Annie and Mason we’re brave enough to go first. After the first waterfall we quickly became accustomed to our duckies and paddled up to our next feature, a 7.5 meter jump. We pulled the kayaks to the side and one by one jumped from the top of the waterfall into the water. Despite Ellery’s fear of heights, she jumped with such ease that we are beginning to wonder if she really is afraid of heights after all! The next few hours were filled with waterfalls and rapids that each boat got to tackle on their own. Stockton was in a raft with one of our guides, so he got to stand up on the side of a waterfall and cheered us all on as we rode down. Despite only paddling in circles at the start, Lilly and Jack ended up being the most proficient paddlers of all of us. Wells A. and Porter provided us all with some much needed entertainment during the ride. As we ate lunch, floating down the calm section of river, the clouds got bigger and closer until it began to rain. It never really rained hard but it sprinkled for the rest of the time. The warm rain created a mist over the water that enhanced our experience and made the scenery very beautiful. Once we finished up on the river, we loaded up in the bus, and headed back to camp. Despite everyone wanting loud party music, Samuel played slow quiet acoustic music and everyone except Mason and William fell asleep within minutes. Back at camp, we lounged in the sun by the pool, played death sack (a hacky sack game, which Margaux won) and ate dinner in the camp restaurant. We had a sweet moonup and then hung out all together in hammock town before heading off to sleep.
The next day began early with our first LODs, Lilly and Mason, waking everyone up, helping everyone pack up their things. We ate a big breakfast, loaded in the bus and drove to Plitvice National park to hike. All of us agreed that it was unlike anything we had ever seen. Lilly was taking lots of pics and videos for the group. The waterfalls made the perfect background for our photo shoots. They also seemed to bring out the conversationalist in all of us. The group was chit chatting on trail all day and getting to know each other better. Margaret and Ellery must have talked to everyone in the group today. Stockton did a great pronunciation of some Croatian words for the lakes and waterfalls. We ate our lunches on a ferry that took us across one of the lakes. Even though we had all prepped for rain, it was sunny for our whole hike! We all felt grateful for the beautiful weather! On the way to our new lodging for the night, we stopped for snacks, and the kids got a surprise ice cream treat, with a little encouragement from Porter. Jack and Brooke debated which chips were better, nacho flavor or hot corn. Then the sky opened up and it started pouring. In order to shelter from the rain back at camp, the whole group huddled in one of the bungalows together. They sat in there and had a blast until the rain stopped. Wells E. brought out our new soccer ball and started a game of scatter. Shortly after, we ate another yummy dinner, and then hurried back to start packing for our trekking section tomorrow. We mooned up and got a little deeper. We all agreed that the day had brought us closer and confirmed why we came here.
We’re confident that these next few days in the mountains will only prove this further. Wish us luck on our trekking!
Signing off for now, Croatia A!
Brooke & Samuel
June 8, 2023
Hello Croatia Families!
We heard from our leaders this morning and the group has landed safely in Zagreb! 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!