June 29, 2023
The end of this trip sure was an adventure in and of itself! After our epic rafting
journey, we made our way to Skjol Campsite, where we were blessed to be able to sleep in one
spot two nights in a row. We awoke in the morning to Sunrise by Norah Jones, which the kids
have come to know as their alarm song and got ready for our hike of the day. We set off on a 5
miler and made our way to the warm Icelandic rivers, where we all were able to take a bath.
After lounging in the river for a while, we were bombarded by cold rain, and Foster and Otis lead
the charge back down the mountain to the warm safety of the van. Josephine was drenched but
sang to the Icelandic heavens on her trek back down the mountain, keeping the energy high.
Brash snapped some epic photos of the waterfalls on the way down, honing in his photography
skills. That night, after showering and drying off, William cheffed us up some Icelandic hotdogs.
They were *chefs kiss*. Wesley and Frances were the Leaders of the Day and lead us in a great
moonup with some extravagant opening games.
The next day we woke up bright and early to – you guessed it – the angelic vocal
melodies of Mrs. Norah Jones. The 6am wakeup call kicked us into gear as we set off to snorkel
between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates! Quint and William led the charge
into the 38-degree water first, shimmying their way through the jagged rocks. Georgia showed us
her snorkel skills as she set off into the chilly water without fear. Mary Mac and Mabel hopped
around in their dry suits keeping the group laughing as they enjoyed their astronaut outfits. We
then headed back to Reykjavik where Preston was finally able to get himself a classic Icelandic
T-shirt as we explored the town. We dove into a thrift shop where we were able to buy our
certainly eclectic outfits for the night. Our next stop was the banquet, where Katherine was able
to try Thai food for the first time! It was a hit! We finished our day off with some ice cream and
a snack run for the kids to enjoy as they spent their final hours together at the bus hostel.
Overall, we had an amazing trip covering a great amount of Iceland. The kids were able
to see so much of the country and we will miss them dearly as they all head out today. We all
shared great laughs and certainly had the trip of a lifetime!
Meg and Connor
June 26, 2023
Hello!! Since our last update, we have been up to loads of activities!
After our long and rewarding trekking section, we began to enjoy all of the water activities that Iceland has to offer. After a nice morning in a warm and cozy hut, where the kids were able to do laundry, we headed off in the trusty van to explore some of Iceland’s beautiful waterfalls. We then headed off to a geothermal pool in Selfloss, with a sauna and multiple hot tubs! Mabel and Josephine both sat in the cold plunge for over 3 minutes, before jumping in the warm water! Otis led the group in pool games while Preston took over the steam room. After a relaxing afternoon, we headed to a local food hall, where the kids enjoyed pizza, fries, Thai food, and a feast of cuisines. Quint and Wesley topped off their meals with lava cakes, and we also enjoyed Icelandic ice cream with cotton candy on top! We then headed to our next overnight stop, the Bjarteysandur Campsite. The site included a farm with an array of animals, and Mabel and Foster especially enjoyed one of the sheepdogs that followed them everywhere! After a warm lasagna dinner, we ventured off to a hidden hot springs near the shore, where Josephine and Otis led us in a scenic moonup.
After a relaxing night at the farm, we were off onto our next adventure- sea kayaking! Our leaders of the Day, William and Katherine, helped round everyone up for the day’s activity, and we were off in the van again. We reached the town of Stykkisholmur, where The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was filmed. We explored the town, finding a yummy coffee shop, a museum, and a local grocery store. We then headed to our sea kayaking destination, eating Icelandic hot dogs fresh off the grill as we waited for the winds to pass. After getting our gear ready, we kayaked to the beautiful Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Much to Preston’s delight, we saw lots of puffins along the way! Upon arriving to the island, we enjoyed hot chocolate and cookies. Mary Mac and Josephine explored a shipwreck on the island, while Preston took an interest in the bird nests all around the island.
Upon waking up on the island, we ate cereal and got ready to head back to the mainland. William, helpful as always, made sure everyone got in their Kayak safely before getting in himself. We kayaked back in beautiful weather, and we immediately headed to a local food stop, Fish and Chips! Once again we enjoyed famous Icelandic ice cream. Stykkisholmur was hosting an Icelandic independence festival, so the kids got to enjoy face paint and festivities! We even found a big trampoline, where Frances showed us her tumbling skills. After a fun filled day, we headed back to the Bjarteysandur campsite to enjoy pasta and a good night of sleep.
The next day, we had an early morning so that we could begin our next adventure- white water rafting! During rafting, the kids got to cliff jump, and Brash made a big splash and got an epic picture out of it! During our fun filled rafting excursion, Georgia took a dip in the icy cold water, still staying warm in the wet suit! After rafting, we took our sweet time enjoying the hot tubs and sauna at the facility, ending the afternoon with burgers and a couple of rounds of pool. We then stopped at another beautiful waterfall, where we explored the gift shop with all things Iceland themed! We then set up at the Skjol campsite, where the kids enjoyed the warmth of the restaurant inside, enjoying margarita pizzas before heading to bed.
We have two more days of excursions, but boy do we never want to leave!!
Meg and Connor
June 22, 2023
Hallo from Holaskogur Hut!
We have just arrived at a nice warm hut after several days trekking across some of the most
beautiful parts of Iceland! We began in Landmannalaugar, where we set up camp and set off on
a warmup hike to get the blood flowing and our legs pumping. The next day, we began the
longest stretch of our trip completing 15 miles in one day – with over a third of the distance
being on snow! Katherine and Brash were our fearless leaders of the day, and guided us
throughout this trek, making sure we were taking the correct route and that spirits were high.
As we made our way through some icy river crossings, Wesley showed us how truly funny he
was as he barged through the freezing water.
The next day, we woke and began our 10 mile trek through the black desert to Emstrur. Preston
got some epic photos in his puffin mask with the beautiful Iceland landscape in the background.
After dinner, we took a short walk up to the canyon, where Foster and Mabel made sure to take
some pictures of the gorgeous view. William and Georgia led us through an amazing moonup
that night, which truly served as a testament to how close the group has gotten in such a short
amount of time. We woke again the next morning and prepared for our final leg of the trekking
portion, with 10 more miles before we reached the campsite at Thorsmurk. This portion of the
trek was filled with Otis predicting the future, as he read everyone’s palms and made elaborate
stories of what was ahead of us. Josephine continued to brighten everyone’s mood with her
positive spirit and passionate singing, which made the hike much more enjoyable.
Today, Quint and Mary Mac were chosen as our leaders of the day, and we set off from our
campsite and went on a nearby hike through a canyon to find a hidden waterfall. Preston and
Otis climbed almost into the fall to get some great pictures. We then headed off to two more
waterfalls, where Frances led the charge to get as close as possible to the water from the back
side of the falls. We then settled in at our warm hut and listened to some great tunes, all had a
shower, and played endless card games. We enjoyed chicken burritos for dinner and our guide
Linas made us a cake with a smiley face drawn in jam on top!
We cannot wait to see what the rest of our trip has in store for us as we begin the rafting and
sea kayaking portion! Below are some shoutouts from each one of the kids!
Otis: Hi Mom and Dad! Happy Father’s Day! I lost half of my stuff….(all of my toiletries) but my
friends have been nice enough to let my borrow theirs. It smells very good. I hope Lovely is
doing well! Good wishes!
Preston: What’s up Mom! I hope you are doing good. I miss you and can’t wait to see you soon. Love you! P.S. I also lost a Chaco…..
Josephine: Hello Mother and family! I miss you all so much and I cannot wait to come home and
give you all very long and detailed stories about my trip. Please take care of Patches when I am
gone – love you all!
Mary Mac: Hello Mom and Dad! I just finished our weeklong trekking and I have only lost my
shampoo and conditioner so you would be proud.
Georgia: Hi Mom and Dad! I miss you a lot! You won’t believe it, but we hiked almost 40 miles
the last three days and we walked through an ice cold river. See you soon!
Katherine: Hi Mom and Dad! I miss you all so much! I cannot wait to see you guys when I get
home! I hope Wisconsin was fun – say hi to Reily and Mavrick for me! Love you!
Brash: Hi Mom and Dad! I miss you guys and hope you had a good Father’s Day. The trekking
was hard, but it was a lot of fun! Can’t wait to see you soon!
William: Hey Mom and Dad! I miss all of you guys so much. You guys better bring the dogs
when I get home. I have met many people from many nationalities on my trek. I am having a lot
of fun, and I love you guys so much! See you soon!
Quint: Hi Mom and Dad! I hope you are doing well; I know I am. I hope Rafe made it home
safely. I will see you guys in a week! Love y’all!
Wesley: Hi dad, tell Walter I said hi!
Frances: Hello parentals! I miss you and tell Arly I love her (and give her lots of treats from me)!
I’m having so much fun and cannot wait to see you soon! (PS could you check my card and
perhaps add some money).
Mabel: Hello Mom and Dad! Tell the dogs that I miss them. I hiked more than you’ve run ever in
your life. I miss you guys a lot; can you please wash my sheets before I get home – and I’m
craving Chipotle. Can you please make sure that you put that money on my card….it got
declined today. Love you guys so much!
Foster: Hey y’all!! Iceland is so fun and it’s not as cold as we thought it would be… mom you
were wrong I should have brought more shorts. You and Mrs. Seck would be happy to know
that me and Mable are really, really close and want to hangout a lot this summer!! Please check
how much money is on my card on mom’s phone- dad it’s on the app, and if there isn’t much
please transfer more!!! Please give Tipsy the biggest hug ever for me I miss her so FREAKING
MUCH!!! Anyway, love y’all! Oh also I hiked 15 miles in one day and I’m not joking… I also
crossed an ice-cold river in the snow barefoot with our friend Linas from Lithuania. Okay bye!
June 21, 2023
Hallo! The kids of Iceland are doing awesome, and we wanted to give y’all some updates on our adventure so far!
After an overnight flight and lots of bonding time in the JFK airport, we met up with our outfitter, Linus with Artic Adventures, and drove to the famous Blue Lagoon, eating a yummy sandwich lunch. Josephine led the group in creating our new obsession, Nutella and Peanut Butter sandwiches. We spent a relaxing afternoon in the Blue Lagoon, where the kids rocked mud masks and enjoyed complimentary slushees. The boys especially enjoyed the sauna, and William and Quint lasted the longest enjoying the heat! Mabel showed us her photography skills on the GoPro, taking some great pictures and videos of the lagoon. The girls began their video blogging so that we could remember all our trip events. After the lagoon, we took a scenic drive to Reykjavik, during which Josephine caught up on some much-needed sleep! We stopped at a beautiful lookout on the way, in which Brash, William, and Preston braved out the sulfur smell and enjoyed the awesome view. Upon arriving at the hostel, we feasted on pizza and cheesy bread. After dinner, we walked into Reykjavik and explored the town! Otis showed us his track skills along the way, winning a race in just his Birkenstocks. Katherine, Georgia, and Frances enjoyed the record store we stopped in, and Mary Mac found a cute Iceland sweatshirt at the souvenir shop. We all got ice cream at our last stop, and then the kids spent some time at a playground in the park on the way back! We had our first Moonup to end our successful first day, where Foster and Wesley were chosen as our first leaders of the day. The group began adjusting to the fact that it does not get dark out during the summer in Iceland, so even at night, we could see the sun and beautiful blue skies. Today, we are off to the Highlands on our hiking journey, where Foster and Wesley will be leading our first day hike. The weather so far has been beautiful, sunny, and not too chilly. Morale is high!!
-Meg and Connor
June 16, 2023
Hello Iceland Families!
We heard from our leaders and the group has landed safely in Iceland! 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!