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Slovenia 1A • June 14-June 27, 2023

Sweet Farewell from Slovenia!

June 27, 2023

Slovenia families,

Hello for the final time everyone!! We have fallen in love with the Croatian coast over here! After munching on yummy burgers and salads Saturday night, we headed to bed in our tents. We woke up the next morning to the birds chirping and sun rising, the best way to wake up after camping under the stars. We enjoyed eggs, bacon, bread, and cereals for breakfast before gearing up to sea kayak. We split up into pairs, which soon became more like teams, and headed out for our sea kayak. We paddled through the waves and weaved in and out of the Croatian coastline. The sun was shining brightly down, so we enjoyed the sea breeze and cool ocean spray on our kayaking journey. Addie and Harrison, to no one’s surprise, took the lead. When another boat would start to catch up to them, their competitive natures kicked in and they paddled even faster to stay in the lead. Meanwhile, the two of us were coming in last in our boat. Then, we finally approached the awaiting caves! We hopped out of our boats and grabbed snorkel gear to head into the caves. We explored the chilly, dark waters in several different cave rooms, which was super cool. Lydie, now known as the adrenaline junky, was eager to swim with the guide through an underwater ring. We laughed because who other than Lydie would beg to do such a thing! But of course, in no time, the rest of the group followed her lead! After exploring the caves, we had to see what the rocky Croatian coastline was all about, so we went cliff jumping. Jumping off the rocks into the water was so much fun! Tucker climbed up to the highest rock and when she looked out at how high it was, she turned her around looking at us with wide eyes. After everyone cheered her on, she jumped with joy into the crystal-clear water! Next, we laid in the sun to dry off and warm up before beginning our kayak back to the beach.

Once we got back and out of boats, we tricked the group into thinking we were getting back in kayaks. Instead, we went running right down the road to a water park to everyone’s surprise! This wasn’t a typical water park though. It was like a giant bouncy house obstacle course on top of the water! Probably originally intended for little kids, we had the most ridiculously fun time playing on that thing. Will, the most excited of us all, was running all around tackling every part of the course. One minute he’d be on the blob, the next on the monkey bars, the next he would be jumping off the highest point. We had to drag him out of there when it was time to go. We then stopped at a farm to table restaurant for lunch! Bailey, after hearing that the meatballs were made right there on the farm, happily ordered pasta with meatballs. Others were unsure and stuck to what they’d know they’d like, but Bailey adventurously gave the meatballs a try and loved them! After, we obviously left room for dessert, so stopped for gelato on the way back to the campsite. MacLean discovered a souvenir shop nearby the ice cream stand and fell in love with a Croatian soccer jersey. After befriending the shop worker, he ended up leaving with the jersey and a free pair of matching shorts. He sure knows how to charm people with his friendliness! After having dinner and freshening up, we ventured down to the water for Moonup. Mid-moonup Livvy screamed “animal” and grabbed onto Parker’s arm. Turns out it was just a group of wild pigs nearby that Livvy had seen. She was in tears laughing so hard, as she thought it was a couple of bears coming for us! After a good laugh, we settled back down finishing Moonup and heading to bed. The next morning after breakfast, we said goodbye to the beautiful country of Croatia, as we headed back to our homeland of Slovenia.

After arriving in the capital of Ljubljana, we checked into our hostel and hit the town. First, we stopped for burgers and fries, at the request of the boys, alongside the river that runs through Ljubljana. They were delicious! Afterwards, we explored the streets of the city, wandering in and out of shops. Ruthie, on the hunt for matching bracelets for the group, led us through shops and souvenir stores of all shops and sizes. Eventually, she found the perfect store for the group and all the girls got matching necklaces and bracelets to remember the trip! After we secured some more fun finds like dragon stuffed animals (Ljubljana is the city of dragons) we got ready for our final banquet dinner. We dined on coca colas and personal pizzas, everyone’s favorite. It was some of the most divine pizza we have ever had and there wasn’t a slice left on the table. Reminiscing on the incredible 2 weeks we had together, we wrapped up our dinner and headed out to the park for Moonup.But first, gelato! What better way to celebrate the end of a fantastic trip than one last sweet treat! After devouring the gelato, we cozied up in the park for Moonup. During Moonup, we reflected on our experiences and how we would take what we learned back home with us. It was a celebratory, but emotional moonup. Some tears were shed within the group in anticipation of leaving in the morning (we wish they could stay forever)! Afterwards, we headed back to the hostel and got ready for bed. The next morning, we grabbed a chocolate croissant on the way out of the hostel and jumped on the bus to head to Venice. We said a sad farewell to the group, but acknowledged how wonderful it is that we have such special connections with one another that it makes it hard to leave.

Over the course of 2 weeks, 11 strangers became family. We had the absolute best time exploring Slovenia together and wish we could do it all over again. We are so thankful to have had Livvy’s spontaneity, Lydie’s fearlessness, Tucker’s kindheartedness, MacLean’s friendliness, Will’s witty humor, Bailey’s generosity, Ruthie’s joy, Addie’s ambition, and Harrison’s enthusiasm. We feel incredibly lucky to have spent the past 2 weeks with your children and have genuinely never laughed harder than we did during this trip. Thank you to all the Slovenia families for giving your children the opportunity to have a once in a lifetime experience with us! We will cherish it forever!

With love,

Parker and Woods

Greetings From The Croatian Coast!

June 24, 2023

Hello from the Croatian Coast!!!

After 4 full days of trekking, we hopped in the vans and headed to the Soca Valley region, which would be home for the next 3 nights. Here, we settled into our campsite where we stayed in the most adorable hut like tents. We nicknamed this experience “glamping” for glamorous camping, as it was much fancier than your basic camping lifestyle. We were blessed with the most incredible food here by our personal chef, George. Exhausted from trekking, we slept soundly that night in anticipation for white water rafting the next day.

We woke up bright and early and thankfully well rested, eager to finally get into the water we’d been dreaming of. After a safety debrief, we hopped into 2 boats and began our raft down the Soca River. The views here were just as spectacular as they had been high up in the Julian Alps. Tucker, a first time rafter, impressed us all with her bravery going down the rapids and participation in our hilarious guide Marco’s raft tricks. Our raft guides made water slides out of our rafts and of course we all took turns jumping and sliding down them. After chanting and signing our way down the river, we happily conquered every last rapid! Afterwards, we warmed up with some soup and bread before heading back out to hang out by the river in the afternoon. It was an extremely hot day, so we of course kept dipping in and out of the freezing water!

We got back to camp and relaxed before dinner. Every free moment we had while at this campsite, we could count on Addie playing pingpong. Battling anyone who dared to challenge her, she withheld her winning title and was queen of the pingpong table throughout our stay. Later, we enjoyed some yummy barbecue that our group helped Jaka and Alesh cook. Preparing salad, chopping veggies, and sautéing meats, our group amazed us with their cooking skills. Afterwards, Harrison built us a campfire in the ring where we roasted s’mores. Alesh taught Harrison all about fire building skills while he was helping him prepare the barbecue, so we really enjoyed him teaching us his new skills in return! After destroying every last s’more, we winded down with moonup and headed to bed.

The next morning, we headed out for canyoneering, a new activity for 9 out of 11 of us. After a 30 minute hike to the start of the canyon, we geared up in wetsuits and began the canyoneer course. To no surprise at all, our self proclaimed adrenaline junky, Lydie, eagerly volunteered to go first. Sliding, jumping, rappelling, and climbing our way through the canyons, our group could not have had more fun. Our guides told us we were the craziest group they had ever had and we of course took that as a huge compliment. The course ended with us sliding down a 12 meter water slide, where we were rappelled halfway down via rope and then dropped to slide down the rest. It was a highlight for sure! MacLean had the entire group uncontrollably laughing, as he conquered his fears and was screaming the entire way down! He came up out of the water exclaiming “that was sick,” and we were of course beyond proud of his fearlessness and energy. After canyoneering, we headed back for lunch at the campsite. When the sky turned gray and it began to rain, putting a kink in our afternoon plans, Ruthie led the group in a full on concert in the grass. We were dancing and singing in the rain, straight out of a movie! Thank goodness for Ruthie’s spontaneity! We then ventured on to tour a nearby WW1 museum, where we got to see incredibly neat artifacts and learn about the battles that took place right where we were staying. After dinner, Chef George sat up a crepe making station where we each got to make our own crepe from scratch! A special and quite yummy treat! We had extra supplies, so Will and Livvy, being their generous and thoughtful selves, made crepes for the other families and children staying at the campsite! It was so sweet!

We woke up the next morning and said goodbye to Slovenia for now (we will be back in a couple days) and headed to Croatia!! On the way we stopped for a cooking class where we cooked our own four course lunch consisting of vegetable soup, pasta, vegetables and turkey, and peach pie. Bailey, the vegetable cutting queen, really took initiative in the kitchen by chopping and preparing all of the vegetables (a tedious task) and it’s a good thing she did because our lunch was absolutely amazing! Afterwards, we continued on to the coast of Croatia! We settled into our new campsite here and enjoyed yummy burgers and salads for dinner, while listening to some lovely live music. We are super excited for our last  couple of days of the trip where we will get to explore the Croatian coast and capital city of Slovenia!

Update y’all soon!!!
Parker and Woods

Fueled by Crepes!

June 22, 2023

We just had the most incredible 4 days. Honestly, words cannot explain how wonderful our experience trekking in Triglav National Park was. After fueling up on some delicious breakfast, we began our ascent into the Julian Alps early Sunday morning. We adjusted our hiking poles, fitted our packs to our backs, and of course danced around crazy to our go to hype up song “Pump it Up.” Next thing we knew, our amazing guides, Jaka and Alesh, and L.O.D’s, Addie and MacLean, began leading us up the trail!! The first day of trekking was all uphill, which our group perfected during our previous hike in the Spik Mountain range. Livvy, our own personal outdoor enthusiast, kept our spirits high as we slowly trekked our way up to our first hostel. Switch backs became our new favorite thing on the trail, as you can wave to your friends towards the front and vice versa as they go around the bends. Once again, we could count on Livvy to cheer us on with her smiling face during these switch backs. After a long and tiring trek upwards, we finally made it to our hostel home for the next two nights. This was so rewarding! Nestled between rocks and trees in a clearing, we nicknamed it “our house upon a hill.” Here, we were rewarded with cool mountain breezes and warm soup to fill our bellies. We spent the afternoon exploring small trails nearby and seeing WW1 ruins. We then enjoyed pasta for dinner and settled in our bunks for a night of well-deserved rest.The next morning, we fueled up on breads and cereals and headed out for a hike up the ridge line. Our girl power L.O.D. team, Bailey and Tucker, guided us up the mountains through rolling hills and meadows filled with wildflowers, where we passed banks with snow not yet melted, and we finally made it up to the gorgeous ridge. Bailey and Tucker’s communication with one another and the group is what made our trek on day 2 not only successful but also ridiculously fun. On the top of the ridge overlooking the Slovenian and Italian mountain ranges, Lydie exclaimed “this is one of the happiest days of my life!” Everyone smiled and agreed and it of course made the both of us so happy to see the group finding joy admits physical challenge, headed up by Lydie herself. After enjoying sandwiches and apples, we began our descent back down to our “house upon a hill.” We then facilitated a game regarding the four Nols leadership styles: architect and analysts, drivers, relationship masters, and spontaneous motivators. These four categories help explain our natural tendencies while in leadership positions and it’s a fun way to learn about how you best work with others. Ruthie could not stop laughing about her placement in the relationship master grid, as she feels she aligns closely with its characteristics. She has continued to enjoy seeing ways in which her leadership style reflects those of a relationship master and we have gotten quite a kick out of it too.After a delicious dinner and great night of rest, we were up again the next morning ready to trek to our last mountain hostel for night 3 of our trekking section. We started off the morning with a 30 minute reflective hike, where we hiked in silence to reflect and really take in the beauty around us. These views just didn’t seem real they were so beautiful. That afternoon, Jaka and Alesh took us inside an old bunker that the Slovenian military built between the world wars. It was fascinating! Harrison really loved getting to explore these historical sights throughout our trek and he continued to ask Jaka and Alesh about Slovenian history! Eventually we arrived at our 3rd hut that to our surprise had some farm animals present! After settling in, we ventured to Lake Kern, a gorgeous greenish colored lake that is protected in Slovenia. We rested here for a while, relaxing in the sun surrounded by incredible views. Meanwhile, MacLean joined Jaka on the bank for an intense full body workout. While the rest of us were sweating just from watching, MacLean once again enthusiastically challenged himself to try new things with our guides! Next up, we played a couple news games back at the hostel after devouring bolognese pasta for dinner and crepes for dessert. The group got very competitive during “Big Booty,” a game involving hand clapping, foot stomping, and numbers. Will and Addie were a whole other level of passionate regarding this game. While the others cheered for them, they fought in the tiebreaker. Will was jumping up and down more energized than we’ve ever seen him, while the girls pep talked Addie for battle. In the end the two had the whole group on the ground crying from laughter. It was a wonderful way to end day 3 of trekking.Day 4 of trekking was a long descent backdown to the trailhead guided by our L.O.Ds, Harrison and Lydie. Stopping for chocolate stuffed crepes as fuel for our final push, we eventually made it back to our vans with delight! The group was so proud of their accomplishments and we could not be more proud of them ourselves. Up next, we will be exploring the Slovenian and Croatian coasts. Talk to you soon!!


Parker and Woods

Livvy- hey yall!! I’m having the best time in Slovenia and can’t wait to go to Croatia. We just finished our trek which was amazing can’t wait to raft and do canyoneering. Love yall!!

Tucker- Hi mom and dad!! I’m having an amazing time- Slovenia is incredible! We have the best group and have all gotten super close in the past week! Hope the beach is fun! Love y’all and see y’all soon!

Ruthie- hi mom and dad!! I’m having the best time EVER. Slovenia is absolutely amazing! I miss and love you all – happy late Father’s Day dad!

Lydie- hey mom and dad! I’m having the most amazing time in Slovenia- it’s so beautiful and everything we’ve done has been unforgettable! Miss you all and love you!

Bailey – Hi family and friends, I’m having a great time here and am eating good! I hope fathers days was fun and New York was great, love and miss yall!!

Addie: Hi miss you guys! Having such a good time in Slovenia!!

Will: Havin a jolly old time over in Slovenia!!

Harrison-Hey y’all having the time of my life in Slovenia about to head over to Croatia! Happy belated Father’s Day dad hope Graham gave you my card.

MacLean- Hey mom and dad hope you are all well at home. I am having a great time in Slovenia. Miss you and Peter and Daisy. Love Maclean

Hello Hello Hello from Slovenia!

June 17, 2023

WOW. It is safe to say we had an absolutely amazing start to the session. We picked up the group at the Venice airport bright and early Thursday morning, and to our surprise all 9 of them had already befriended one another throughout their travel day. Harrison and Addie and Livvy and Tucker actually happened to be sitting next to the other on the plane! After grabbing a quick chocolate croissant to tie us over until lunch, we loaded up the vans and headed to Kranjska Gora for lunch. Despite being tired from the red eye, the group laughed, talked, and sang throughout the van ride. It was a great start to the trip! We stopped for lunch in Kranjska Gora which was surrounded by breathtaking scenery. We ate burgers, stews, and chicken sandwiches lake side with the awe-inspiring mountains in the background. It was a pretty unreal view. We then headed to our hostel that would be home for the next 2 nights. After settling in and exploring our surroundings within the beautiful Spik mountain range, the group hung out getting to know one another before feasting on pasta, soups, and dumplings for dinner. The group also met with our AMAZING guides, Jaka and Alesh, who will accompany us the entire trip. (The kids love them!) After dinner, we circled up for our first Moonup of the session, a nightly ritual where we share stories and reflect on the day in a deeper manner. The group answered the question “why are you here” and it’s easy to say everyone is eager to experience once in a lifetime things and push themselves outside their comfort zones.

After a great night of rest, we fueled up on meat, cheese, eggs, bread, and of course everyone’s favorite, chocolate stuffed croissants. Our first Leaders of the Day (L.O.D.s), Ruthie and Harrison, met with Jaka and Alesh to go over the day’s plans. The group started off day 2 with a steep uphill hike aiming to reach the top of the Spik mountain range, where you can see Austria, Italy, and Slovenia all at once! Every step of the hike, we were surrounded by unreal views. We were astounded, as just when we thought it couldn’t get any prettier it would! Addie was whipping out her GoPro camera every chance she got to capture action shots of the group in these unbelievably beautiful places. Ruthie was keeping up the group morale on the hike, and continuously checking in on everyone, despite also being challenged on the trail. A great example of a fearless L.O.D! After our hike we grubbed on some much deserved lunch at the hostel. Will, being his usual adventurous self, impressed the whole group by trying a classic Slovenian dish, bograc. He enjoyed it so much he ordered it again at dinner! Next, we ventured out to visit the local lakeside park in Kranjska Gora. The views here were once again incredible! We relaxed, played frisbee, explored, and obviously satisfied our sweet tooth’s with some frozen yogurt. After devouring the frozen yogurt, the group debated jumping in the lake. Jaka and Alesh said the water was quite chilly, but this didn’t stop Livvy. With bravery, Livvy went sprinting into the crystal-clear water in her hiking clothes. Parker jumped in behind her following her lead. It is safe to say, the guides were right, and the water was freezing! However, before we knew it the others joined us in the water! We wrapped up and headed back to the hostel to enjoy dinner together.

Before we knew it, we were starting day 3! We headed out for a short hike to a ridiculously beautiful waterfall, guided by our L.O.Ds, Lydie and Will. After taking in the views, we stopped by Lake Bled to sightsee some more. The lake is gorgeous with the bluest water and both a castle in the middle and a castle on the bank. The group was amazed by this place’s beauty! Tucker started eagerly planning a reunion for our group at this castle, and we now have a 10-year plan to reunite in the middle of Lake Bled at the castle! Meanwhile, Lydie knew more than Jaka and Alesh about the history of Lake Bled and was practically quizzing them. Next, we ventured on to a local pizzeria where we obviously enjoyed a pizza lunch! After settling into our hostel for night 3, we headed back out to rock climb in the lake Bohinj area. Bailey confidently volunteered to go first, and our jaws dropped as she scaled the rock face with ease. She could have placed first in a race she was so fast! Meanwhile, Harrison, with determination and bravery, overcame his fear of heights as we cheered him on to go up the rock face a second time! It was exciting for us to watch this. Next, we grabbed some much-needed ice cream and hung out in the park. The group was impressed by MacLean as he once again spoke some Slovenian to a local. This has been a common theme for him, as he befriends everyone around him and is eager to learn as much Slovenian as possible! We read by the lake before enjoying potatoes, soup, salad, chicken, and sausage for dinner! We are all eager for our four-day trekking section to begin tomorrow!!!!

Talk to y’all soon!

Parker + Woods

Arrived Safely in Slovenia!

June 15, 2023

Hello Slovenia Families!

We heard from our leaders overnight and the group has landed safely in Slovenia with all of their luggage! 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!

-Moondance HQ


  • Lydie
  • Will
  • Ruthie
  • MacLean
  • Addie
  • Livvy
  • Harrison
  • Tucker
  • Bailey