June 8, 2023
“Travel is not about the destination, some say it’s about the journey, we say it’s about the company”.
Family and Friends,
Greetings from across the world!! It is so surreal for us to be back again for another magical Moondance summer in the most beautiful place. These past three days have already been nothing short of amazing and we are just getting started. Having done this a few times, it feels so amazing, so natural, to be back leading. To be back doing what we love. We are in awe of the beauty that the Dolomites have to offer and we haven’t even left town yet. Such a special place is sure to be the vessel of our life changing experience. Thank you for sharing your wonderful kids with us! We love them already and cannot wait for you guys to get a glimpse into what the past three days have been like.
Day one jitters are real. We were bouncing off the walls of the airport eager to meet our group! We could not wait to see all their shining faces and get the ball rolling. When they arrived, the energy was high and the excitement was contagious. We scarfed down some fresh croissants from a local bakery and eagerly headed to our van. Our driver took us on a beautiful drive from the airport, across the flats and eventually into the lower part of the Italian Alps. Eventually the road became windier and windier and the peaks got taller and taller. We had officially entered into the Dolomite Mountain Range. Our destination was a beautiful alpine resort called Cortina D’ampezzo where our fun would begin.
Once we arrived in Cortina we immediately went to explore. On our way in we spotted an old ski jump course, and started to see remnants of older parts of the resort that hosted the Olympic winter games in 1957. After setting up shop in a stunning alpine hotel, we walked around the town. Cortina is completely surrounded by mountains and there is not a single direction that won’t drop your jaw. Our tummies were soon very hungry, so naturally we found ourselves at an absolutely delicious local pizza stop. Cause you know, Italy. Kat, Amber, and Mak could not get enough of the “world famous” spinach ricotta pizza. Although they were all delicious the group decided that the spicy peperoni was the best. Maybe the best of all time. It was our first group dinner together and it was already feeling like family. After getting settled, we all sat down at a park at the end of the street. Surrounded by old mountains and new friends, we had our first moonup. For those of you who don’t know, moonup is a reflection, debrief, briefing, goofy, laughter filled, heck of a time. Because of their wonderful attitude and their love of the Moondance culture, Ella and Charlie were made the leaders of the day (aka LODS you’ll see that again) for tomorrow.
The next day, Ella and Charlie set an amazing tone as the first LOD’s and did an incredible job leading the group on our first real adventure. Our group went mountaineering/traversing on the Via Ferrata Giovanni Barbara. After a quick bus ride and 30-minute hike through a literal magic fairyland Disney forest, we found our trailhead. The overlook we came to was without a doubt the most beautiful view Gracie and I have ever seen. And we’ve both seen a thing or two. Everyone was in awe over its sheer beauty. It was mind-bendingly gorgeous. Our guides taught us how to gear up and get strapped into our harnesses. We put helmets on and set off. Clipping into cables on the side of a mountain we ascended and descended steep cliffs. The guides had told us earlier on that there was a surprise waiting for us. And boyyyy were they right! An absolutely massive waterfall was standing between us and the rest of the path. Each of us charged forward through the massive spray being thrown from the impact zone. William and Charlie couldn’t wipe the smile of their faces even if they tried. We all got soaking wet, but it was a great way too cool off. Amber kept the group laughing all day long and kept asking if we could do it again!! Once our mountaineering adventure was over, we headed back to town to grab some dinner.
Surprise! We had more delicious pizza! Sullivan ordered the best gnocchi and the rest of the group had to get some as well! Alston was the photographer of the dinner and made sure to capture the moment with some some great pictures of all the food. After another delicious dinner, the group still agreed the classic pepperoni pizza was the best. As if the day could not get any better after dinner we went and got some gelato to cap it off. The limone flavor was voted the best by our group and it did not disappoint. After gelato, we had moonup run by Ella and Charlie. After a little music, some goofy games, and some good laughs, they chose Anderson and William to be the LOD’s for the next day because of how willing they were to help the group today. The new LOD’s have a huge day tomorrow, given we begin our first day of trekking. The group is thriving and we so ready for our next adventure together.
These past few days could not have been better. Our hearts are all so full and we all feel so lucky to be in such a beautiful place with such amazing people. We can already tell that these friendships forming will last a lifetime. And it’s only day 3! Something magical is happening, and we can all feel it. Love and miss you all. We will check back in a couple days to catch you up. Until then, be well!
Frankie + Gracie
June 7, 2023
Hello Dolomites Families!
We heard from our leaders this morning that the group has landed safely in Venice! The trip is off to a great start, and we cannot wait to hear more stories from their adventure as they dance around the Dolomites.
Please remember our leaders and students will be unplugged during their trips but we will be posting trip updates throughout the next week! This will allow you to follow along with the trip. You can also follow us on Instagram, @moondanceadventures, to see more of what we are up to!