July 25, 2023
On the final day of our windsurfing adventure, everyone displayed incredible skills and enthusiasm. Mclain, John G, Hedges, and George expertly navigated the cove, showcasing their prowess on the board. John H and Thomas focused on honing their turning techniques, becoming more confident in their abilities.
Aubrey, Katherine, and Annabelle were on fire, achieving impressive speeds as they glided across the water. Meanwhile, Mackenzie and Annie gracefully windsurfed, thoroughly enjoying the spectacle created by their friends’ accomplishments.
As the day progressed, we shifted gears to the Maui Olympics. All the groups converged at Maui prep for a day of laughter and camaraderie, engaging in a variety of fun games and a grill out. We kicked things off with an exciting game of “birdy on a perch,” followed by a thrilling medley race featuring Katherine, John G, George, and Annabelle.
Next up was the eating competition, where Thomas emerged as the victor, impressively devouring his way to the top. The day reached its climax with a water balloon toss, and Annabelle and Mackenzie’s impressive teamwork secured them the win.
In the end, our team emerged triumphant, claiming victory in the Maui Olympics. To celebrate, we headed to the beach for a mesmerizing sunset swim. Aubrey, Annie, and Mackenzie were the first ones to dive into the refreshing water, and soon they were joined by Hedges, Mclain, and John H, creating a joyful and memorable end to an incredible day filled with windsurfing and friendly competition.
We had an eventful day that began with a delightful breakfast. The girls opted for açaí bowls while the guys relished in breakfast sandwiches and smoothies. Fueled up, we ventured into Lahaina, where we indulged in some souvenir shopping, picking up posters and t-shirts to remember our time on the island.
Later in the day, we took part in an exciting cooking class with Maui fresh chef. Together, we mastered the art of creating delectable dishes, including spring rolls, boa buns, and fried rice.
As the day progressed, we decided to have some fun dressing up, heading to a local goodwill store to find funky outfits for the upcoming banquet. Our funny attire set the tone for an enjoyable evening at My Thai Maui, where we savored delicious food and celebrated the incredible memories we had made throughout the trip.
Before bidding farewell to Maui, we couldn’t resist heading to the beach one last time for a memorable sunset swim. The tranquil beauty of the moment allowed us to reflect on the wonderful adventures we had shared together during our stay.
To cap off the night, we gathered for our final Moonup, commemorating the special moments and friendships that blossomed during our time on the island. It was a bittersweet but joyous occasion, filled with laughter and heartfelt reminiscences. Maui had truly left a lasting impression on each one of us, and we ended the night with hearts full of gratitude and unforgettable memories.
As the dreaded airport day arrived, we mustered up the strength to face the bittersweet farewell. We rallied together to clean up our camp, ensuring that we left behind a pristine and organized space.
As we made our way to the airport, a mixture of emotions enveloped us. The air was filled with a blend of joyous laughter, heartfelt conversations, and a tinge of sadness knowing that our time together was drawing to a close. Amidst the hustle and bustle of the airport, we took a moment to share heartfelt goodbyes, expressing our gratitude for the incredible journey we had embarked upon.
Reflecting on the trip as a whole, it was undeniably a remarkable and unforgettable experience. The bonds we formed, the adventures we undertook, and the laughter we shared will forever hold a special place in our hearts. From the exhilaration of windsurfing to the serenity of exploring the rainforest, each moment contributed to a tapestry of cherished memories.
As we parted ways, we carried with us a wealth of experiences, a newfound appreciation for nature and culture, and the knowledge that our time spent together had been truly exceptional. Though we may have bid farewell for now, the connections forged and the impact of this trip will endure, reminding us of the incredible bond we share and the adventures that await in the future.
All the best,
Connor, Sarah, and John
July 22, 2023
On Wednesday, we had a bit of an unexpected itinerary change due to weather, but we made the most of it and decided to visit the Aquarium instead! It turned out to be an amazing experience! We were treated to a diverse array of fish species and had the chance to learn about the intriguing history of Kaho’olawe, which was once used for military practice during WW2 and beyond.
Throughout our visit, we spotted fascinating creatures such as Spineless fish, Moorish idols, Garden eels, frog fish, and Fluorescent coral. The Shark tunnel was an incredible highlight, giving us a unique perspective on these majestic creatures.
Annie and Katherine couldn’t resist capturing the memorable moments, and they snapped lots of photos during our aquarium adventure. Annabelle, Mackenzie, Thomas, and John G even got special coins with seahorses and sharks as souvenirs to remember the day.
Aubrey, John H, and Hedges got hands-on experience by touching the starfish, which was quite an exciting and educational encounter. Meanwhile, Mclain and George made sure to grab some cool Maui swag from the stores in Paia, making it a perfect ending to a fun-filled day at the Aquarium!
While it wasn’t originally how we thought we would be spending our day, this group continues to impress us in their ability to make the most of any and every situation. It sure does make us proud leaders! The aquarium was an unexpected bonus to the trip, and we loved every minute!
Today was filled with even more excitement and adventure! Our day began with a thrilling boating tour organized by Redline rafting to Molokini crater. The tour allowed us to witness a mesmerizing array of fish and experience a unique ride on the elevator at the back of the crater, where the waves swell up, creating the sensation of floating higher.
After the exhilarating boat ride, we decided to try our hand at surfing. Annabelle and Mackenzie displayed their skills by riding the waves like pros, with one foot on each board, almost like skiing on the water. Meanwhile, Annie and Katherine opted for tandem surfing, successfully catching plenty of waves together.
Our adventure didn’t stop there! We made our way to Pono grown farms to learn about farming practices. We participated in seed planting and also helped place mulch around lime trees, contributing to the farm’s efforts. To cap off our hard work, we enjoyed some well-deserved fun on a homemade slip and slide, which turned out to be incredibly fast and thrilling.
After a day of rain, we were definitely rewarded with some outstanding weather that allowed us to have such an awesome time exploring more of the island. We can’t wait to see what the rest of the trip has in store!
Signing off for now,
John, Sarah, and Connor
July 19, 2023
On a beautiful day, we embarked on a meaningful community service activity with Maui Cultural Lands in the Honokowai Valley. As we delved into the valley’s past, we were fascinated by its rich history and the abundance it once offered.
Leading the way with their impressive hardworking skills were George and Aubrey, inspiring us all to contribute our best. During our time there, John G and Thomas even had the chance to try the kakuhi nut, adding a touch of adventure to the experience.
After completing our community service, we decided to celebrate our efforts by heading to the beach. The soothing waves welcomed us, and some of our group members, Thomas and John H, took the opportunity to go snorkeling. Their underwater adventure led them to encounter an eel and various other fascinating fish, making it an unforgettable experience.
Meanwhile, Annie, Katherine, and Annabelle opted to capture the moments with their GoPro, snapping pictures and recording videos of the picturesque scenery and our beach fun. Mackenzie, who had been soaking up the sun on the beach, soon joined in on the water enjoyment.
The beach activities continued with a friendly Spikeball match between Hedges and Mclain, pitted against John G and Thomas. Laughter and cheer filled the air as they competed, creating wonderful memories to cherish.
Overall, it was a day of learning, bonding, and enjoying the beauty of nature together, creating lasting memories that we will treasure for years to come.
We kicked off our late morning by preparing a delightful spread of breakfast burritos, fueling ourselves for the adventure that awaited. Excitement filled the air as we piled into the car and set off for our rappelling escapade. The journey took us through breathtaking landscapes adorned with picturesque waterfalls and lush surroundings, leaving us in awe of nature’s beauty.
Leading the way down the rappelling lines were Mackenzie and Thomas, demonstrating their expertise and guiding everyone with confidence. George, with his determination, perfected his technique, descending down the lines with impressive speed. Aubrey, on the other hand, savored every moment, taking her time to absorb the stunning views surrounding us.
Adventurous spirits like Annabelle, Annie, and John H discovered a cool cove, beckoning them to leap into the inviting waters below. John G, in true form, showcased the best cannonball technique, making a splash and leaving us all in cheers.
While some enjoyed the thrill of rappelling, Hedges, Mclain, and Katherine found joy in the simple pleasure of skipping rocks into the water, creating ripples of happiness throughout the group.
After an exhilarating time rappelling, we made our way to the food trucks to refuel and indulge in delicious treats. The flavors of the local cuisine filled our taste buds with delight, adding to the enjoyment of the day.
Our next stop was the vibrant town of Paia, where we indulged in some shopping and exploration. The guys proudly sported their new t-shirts, while the girls picked out an assortment of bracelets and shirts, each memento serving as a reminder of this remarkable experience.
As the day came to a close, we gathered together to prepare a delectable stir fry for dinner, ending our adventure-filled day with laughter and camaraderie around the table. We are having so much fun during our time in Maui and have tried so many cool and adventurous things with many more to come.
John, Sarah, and Connor
Here are some shoutout’s from your kiddos!!:
Annie- hey mom and dad! Im having soooooo much fun here thank y’all so much for letting me come! miss you and love you lots!
Hedges-hey mom hey dad I’m having the best time tell Adeline I miss her.
Mackenzie – Hey Mom and Dad! Love and miss you! Say hi to Cooper and Happy Birthday to Jake for me
Annabelle- aloha mom and dad! Love and miss you so much! Give Watson a big hug for me love you !!!
Katherine – hey mom and dad! Love and miss you! I’m having so much fun
Aubrey- hi mom and dad! Love and miss you, tell Jake hi for me
George- Love you Moth and Shad missing the fam! This trip has some sick activities. Hoping the Fish are good and the fam is doing well.
John H. – Love you Mom and Dad missing you! Having a great time loving Maui!
John G. – Love you Mom and Dad, thank you so much for sending me on this amazing trip. I am having a great time and meeting lots of new friends.
Thomas. – Hey mom and dad I’m having such a good time in Maui and am meeting lots of new people and i am enjoying all the activities. Thank you so much. –
McLain- Hi mom and Tom I really miss you guys love you and whiskey (my dog). Hi dad and rhea rhea can’t wait to come home and see milo and auggie. I’m having so much fun, and the surf is too good here. So far I’ve been having a blast.
July 17, 2023
On a sunny Saturday, the group woke up filled with anticipation and excitement. We headed to Kanaha Beach Park, eager to embark on a thrilling windsurfing adventure. Aubrey, Katherine, and Annabelle took the lead, effortlessly getting up onto their boards and showing everyone how it was done. Their skill and grace inspired the rest of the group, who were eager to give it a try.
Mclain, Hedges, and John H ventured out past the cove, showcasing their practiced skills and impressive maneuvers. Meanwhile, John G, Thomas, and George focused on perfecting their turns and showcasing their abilities, leaving the guides thoroughly impressed. As we enjoyed windsurfing, Mackenzie had a delightful surprise as she spotted a huge sea turtle gracefully swimming in the water. Annie cruised along, laughing at the wipeouts and enjoying the moment.
Overall, the group crushed it and had a fun and memorable time windsurfing. After building up an appetite, we took a break to have lunch before heading to Kahekili Beach for snorkeling and to enjoy the remainder of the beautiful day. The boys eagerly swam farther out, testing their limits, and were rewarded with the sight of a Manta ray gracefully gliding along the ocean floor. The girls joined them, exploring the colorful reef and its fascinating marine life.After everyone had their fill of underwater adventures, the boys engaged in spirited games of spikeball while the girls relaxed on the beach, soaking up the sun. They laughed, cheered, and enjoyed the friendly competition. As the day progressed, the group returned from the beach and decided to make some taco bowls for dinner. While waiting for the food to be ready, we played games such as presidents, wavelength, hacky sac, and threw the football to pass the time.
As the sun began to set, we savored their delicious taco bowl dinner, engaging in conversation and laughter. We recounted the incredible day they had spent together, cherishing the bonds we have formed and the unforgettable memories we had created.SundayWe kicked off the day bright and early, filled with anticipation, as we joined Aloha Kayaks Maui for an exciting kayaking and snorkeling adventure. Grif, the owner and a former Moondance Trip leader, along with his knowledgeable co-worker John, greeted us warmly and shared fascinating stories about the history of Maui and its vibrant marine life.After a thorough safety briefing, we hopped into our kayaks, ready to explore the sparkling waters. As we paddled towards our snorkeling spot, Hedges had a keen eye and spotted the head of an eel peeking out from a crevice. Excitedly, Hedges and McLain snapped a quick photo with the intriguing creature. However, amidst the excitement, Annie and Aubrey made an incredible discovery-a sea turtle gracefully swimming right beneath the group, captivating everyone’s attention.Arriving at the snorkeling spot, John G and Thomas wasted no time and eagerly plunged into the water, eager to witness the wonders of the vibrant reefs. Their enthusiasm was contagious, and soon others followed suit, exploring the underwater paradise. John H and George had a remarkable encounter with a box pufferfish, while Katherine, Mackenzie, and Annabelle captured the beauty of the underwater world with their underwater photos, immortalizing the unique experience.
After a thrilling kayaking and snorkeling adventure, our appetites kicked in, and we made our way to the campsite to prepare delicious chicken quesadillas. We cooked and indulged in the flavorsome meal, satisfying our hunger for the rest of the day.With renewed energy, we embarked on our next adventure-an exhilarating cliff jumping experience. Arriving at a cool and safe jumping spot, each of us had the chance to showcase our bravest jumps, filling the afternoon with endless laughter, cheers, and the exchange of thrilling stories.As the sun started to set, we gathered around the campsite once again, this time for a mouthwatering dinner of cheeseburgers prepared by Mclain. The tantalizing scent of grilled patties and melted cheese filled the air, whetting our appetites. The rest of the guys joined Mclain in the cooking process, ensuring a delectable feast. Meanwhile, the girls enjoyed some lighthearted moments, playing card games, and sharing hearty laughs as they reminisced about the unforgettable experiences of the day.
Reflecting on the events, we couldn’t help but appreciate the fun and special day we had shared. From kayaking and snorkeling to cliff jumping and enjoying a delicious meal together, the day was filled with laughter, adventure, and lasting memories.
Connor, John, and Sarah
July 15, 2023
After a safe and smooth arrival in Maui, our group’s excitement reached its peak. The prospect of meeting new people and embarking on thrilling adventures during our stay on the island filled us with anticipation and a sense of wonder. It was a moment of shared joy and camaraderie as we celebrated our collective arrival by indulging in a delicious feast from Flatbread Pizza Company.
The day began with an exhilarating adventure as we embarked on our surfing experience with Aloha Surf Lessons. Eager to ride the waves, our spirits were high as we gathered near the shore, surfboards in hand. The perfect waves awaited us, and after a brief overview of surfing techniques, we were ready to hit the water.
Mclain, with his skill and confidence, led the way, effortlessly gliding across the waves and showcasing his expertise. Meanwhile, John G and Thomas engaged in a friendly competition, racing each other to see who could catch the farthest wave. John H displayed his boldness and creativity by executing impressive 360-degree turns, while George, despite a few wipeouts, showed great determination and quickly improved his surfing skills.
Annie and Katherine, already accomplished surfers, effortlessly rode the waves with grace and precision. Annabelle and Mackenzie, embracing the spirit of fun, even played rock-paper-scissors while riding the mid-sized waves, adding an element of joy to the experience. Aubrey, with her infectious enthusiasm, managed to catch numerous waves, thoroughly enjoying the thrill of surfing!
After our invigorating surfing session, we returned to our campsite to refuel and replenish our energy. The tantalizing aroma of sizzling pork quesadillas filled the air as we prepared a satisfying meal to satiate our appetites. With our hunger satisfied, we set our sights on exploring the renowned Slaughterhouse beach.
Contrary to its ominous name, Slaughterhouse beach surprised us with its serene beauty. Nestled in a secluded cove with calm waters, it provided an ideal location for snorkeling. Eager to immerse ourselves in the crystal-clear water and witness the marine life beneath the surface, we eagerly donned our snorkeling gear. As we explored the underwater world, we were enthralled by its vibrant colors and enchanting marine creatures. One lucky member of our group, John H, even had the privilege of encountering a sea turtle during our snorkeling adventure.
Once we had our fill of snorkeling, our competitive spirits ignited as we engaged in spirited rounds of spikeball. Divided into teams, Hedges and Mclain, Thomas and John G, and George and John H battled it out in a tournament-style competition. After intense matches and fierce rivalries, Thomas and John G emerged as the victors. Inspired by their success, the girls, Mackenzie and Annabelle, teamed up to face off against Annie and Katherine in a closely contested game, ultimately triumphing in a thrilling finish. Aubrey, opting for a more relaxed approach, enjoyed sunbathing and spectating during the spikeball games.
Returning to our campsite, we sought some relaxation and downtime before dinner. Card games provided the perfect opportunity to unwind and reset. As laughter and friendly banter filled the air, we engaged in a variety of card games, enjoying the camaraderie and lighthearted competition. With our spirits rejuvenated, we eagerly anticipated the delectable tomato tortellini dish that awaited us for dinner, savoring the flavors and reflecting on the day’s remarkable adventures.
The day kicked off with a hearty breakfast of fluffy pancakes and sizzling bacon, providing us with the fuel needed to power through an exciting day ahead. Our first adventure was zip-lining, a thrilling activity that promised both breathtaking views and an adrenaline rush.
Upon arriving at the zip-lining location, we split into two groups, each led by our trio leaders. Connor took charge of the first group, which included Thomas, Mclain, John H, Aubrey, Annie, and Annabelle. Meanwhile, John and Sarah led the second group, consisting of John G, Hedges, George, Katherine, and Mackenzie. As we soared through the lush treetops, we couldn’t help but marvel at the stunning vistas of the surrounding trees and the ocean in the background. The exhilaration of gliding through the air at high speeds added an extra thrill to the experience, creating lasting memories for everyone.
After our adventurous zip-lining excursion, we made our way to the vibrant town of Lahaina. Exploring the charming streets lined with unique shops and boutiques, we were enticed by the variety of offerings. The girls excitedly picked out retro shirts, while some of the guys opted for new GoPro accessories to capture their future escapades. Others couldn’t resist the allure of posters that would serve as mementos of our unforgettable journey.
As the day drew to a close, we returned to our campsite, eager to savor a delicious meal. Teriyaki chicken and rice filled the air, satisfying our appetites. We gathered around the canopy, exchanging stories and laughter while indulging in the flavorsome meal that awaited us.
With satisfied stomachs, we engaged in a lively game of presidents, a card game that had captured everyone’s interest. The friendly competition and unpredictable twists and turns of the game led to eventful matches and boisterous laughter. The camaraderie and shared joy that accompanied each round further strengthened the bonds within our group.
As the night sky enveloped us, we reflected on the day’s experiences, grateful for the thrilling adventures, the camaraderie shared, and the memories forged. Resting beneath the starlit sky, we looked forward to the next chapter of our Maui journey, knowing that more exciting moments awaited us in the days to come.
Connor, Sarah, John
July 13, 2023
Hello Maui Families!
We heard from our leaders and the group has landed safely in Maui! 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!