June 21, 2023
Hi Spain + Morocco families!
We began our final day together with a flight back to Madrid. With lots of time in the Marrakesh airport, the kids did some shopping. Lulu and Cate bought funny Moroccan t-shirts and souvenirs. Topher and Miles got into the candy section. After arriving in Madrid, we made our way to the city center. We settled into our hotel and then explored. First stop: tacos for banquet dinner! We ate at the coolest authentic taco shop, and everyone enjoyed a few tacos and Jarritos sodas. Cam said they were the best tacos she’s ever had! After dinner, on our way to Plaza Major, we made a pit stop for churros. They were a hit! Finn even drank the chocolate sauce from the cup. The churros weren’t enough, though. After exploring some more, we made our way to an ice cream place suggested by Henry. It was so delicious! With full bellies, we then walked to a park surrounding the Palacio Real De Madrid and found a sweet Moonup spot. As the sun set, Sarah and Charlotte started our last Moonup with an awesome quote by Nelson Mandela, “There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.” That quote then led us into a conversation about our favorite memories of the trip, things we’ve learned, and individual nugs and appreciation for each other. On the way back to the hotel, Ellie gathered the girls and started singing while walking down the street. It was a beautiful night and a fun day!
As your kids fly back to the US today, we want to thank you for trusting us these past two weeks. Our group had the greatest adventures throughout our time in Spain and Morocco. Your kids are kind, funny, smart, and so so much more. We couldn’t have asked for a better group and feel so lucky to know and love your kids!
All our best,
Anna and Will
June 20, 2023
Hello Spain + Morocco families!
We just finished our amazing time in Morocco! Between exploring the markets in Marrakesh, hanging out by the pool, cooking, and summiting Mt Toubkal, we’ve been busy!
We woke up bright and early on Thursday to travel to Marrakesh. The kids were awesome and made the travel day easy. Once we arrived in Marrakesh, we then arrived at our riad for the next two days. We were welcomed by a big traditional Moroccan lunch on the beautiful patio followed by an afternoon of cooling down and swimming in the pool. Ellie immediately started a game of taps in the pool. For the afternoon everyone switched between hanging out and playing pool games. Charlotte taught all the girls how to make bracelets with her pro friendship bracelet skills. Miles and Lulu enjoyed reading their books by the pool. Later in the day, our host toured us around the property and showed us all types of fruits, herbs, and vegetables. Truly amazing! We then had a hilarious dinner on the patio. Topher made us all laugh with his stories at dinner. We couldn’t keep it together! We ended the day with moonup by the pool and watermelon for dessert.
We woke up early for a breakfast of traditional Moroccan pancakes with toppings of jams, honey, and cheese. They were a hit! We then went to the markets. The kids were super eager to explore and experience the Moroccan culture through the markets. After a brief history lesson from our tour guide, we went to a local pharmacy to learn more about Moroccan beauty products, oils, spices, and teas. All of the girls left with a few items! With our new purchases in hand, we headed into the center and visited the shops. Everyone got very into bargaining for the best prices of various brackets, purses, jerseys, shoes, and other trinkets! Miles and Lulu won the awards for best at bartering. We ended our day with more pool time and a cooking class where we learned to make Moroccan pancakes and cook in Tajines. Sarah’s cooking skills came out during the class and did an amazing job kneading and folding the dough into the perfect shape. Once our meal was complete, we enjoyed every bite of our delicious homemade meatballs, veggies, and salad.
We said goodbye to our awesome riad and traveled to Imlil, a small town near Mt Toubkal. We then started our trek to Toubkal base camp with our guides and mules carried our bags up to our refugio for the night. The hike took most of the day with a stop for lunch on the way, but we finally made it to our refugio surrounded by mountains on all sides. The hike was tough, but Cate kept the vibes high, always encouraging others. We had dinner in the refugio and moonup under the stars. We then all went to sleep excited for the next day!
Our bunch woke up with excitement for our early morning summit. We ate breakfast and then hit the mountain with our head lamps. Henry led the group at the front the whole hike up and down. After three hours of uphill, we made it to the top! Everyone enjoyed a surprise of Twix and Milka chocolate! While the hike was very difficult, it was so incredibly rewarding and beautiful. The crew spent the rest of the afternoon playing cards and hanging out before dinner. Finn, Cam and Ellie got into some intense card games. Uno and ERS are staple card games with our crew!
We are now enjoying our last night in Morocco after hiking down the mountain. We are soaking up all of our time together before we head back to Madrid tomorrow. We look forward to an awesome last adventure tomorrow! Talk soon!
-Anna & Will
June 14, 2023
Hola from Picos de Europa National Park!
We woke up in the beautiful town of Sotres and ate breakfast before hitting the road and heading south through the park. We trekked through massive and beautiful mountains surrounded by many animals including cows, sheep, horses, dogs, goats, and donkey! The views were breathtaking! We were all shocked how small we felt compared to the mountains. Our LODs, Charlotte and Miles, lead the group with our guides and kept everyone together. Our group is filled with lots of very fast hikers! Sarah took lots of pictures and Cate kept everyone’s spirits high with her incredible positivity. We made it to our next refugio after lunchtime because of a storm predicted in the afternoon. After eating some delicious prosciutto and salami sandwiches, we settled in for the afternoon at our remote refugio and played lots of rounds of mafia as the storm rolled in. Topher was the designated story teller and made everyone laugh! The girls went up to the restaurant and enjoyed some candy and good convos during the rain while others showered and chilled. After siesta time, we all hiked to a beautiful viewpoint near the refugio. The fog finally cleared and we were able to see an amazing view. We ate dinner at the refugio and ended the awesome day with a hilarious moonup.
The next day, we woke up to many clouds and some rain, but that didn’t stop our group’s positive energy! Ellie and Cate kept everyone hype on the trail with great questions. Although it rained the entire time, we kept trekking and finally ended up in a town where we got hot chocolate and some snacks. We then got picked up and ate lunch at a cafe. After lunch, everyone took a nap on our car ride to Cain, a very small village at the entrance to Picos de Europa. The kids played hackey sack and cards until dinner. Henry, Miles, and Finn got into an intense game of ERS while Cam taught others how to play solitaire. Ellie and Lulu passed the hackey sack back and forth until a local dog ran off with it. Because of Lulu’s awesome Spanish skills, she got it back after chatting with a local woman. We had moonup surrounded by the sunset behind the mountains.
We woke up to blue skies and sunny day. Wahoo! After breakfast and saying goodbye to Cain, we made our way through a very famous part of the park called the Los Cares Gorge Trail. It was spectacular and picturesque. As we passed groups on the trail, Lulu lead the group with sayings from “hola!” to “buenos” to “que pasa.” Everyone loved the friendly and happy kids on the trail. After hours of trekking, we made our way down the mountain to have lunch and drive back to Madrid. The girls had the car rocking with tunes on the drive. Charlotte and Cam kept the vibes high by singing every lyric.
Will and I are having a blast. Your kids are a delight to be with! Our guides keep noting their kindness and respectful natures. We are having the best time and can’t wait to keep you updated on our adventures in Morocco!
Anna & Will
Cate: Hey fam!!! I miss y’all so much but I’m having so fun! We’re about to go to Morocco I’m pumped! Love you!
Ellie: Hey Mom Dad and my fav AJ!!!! I miss y’all so much but I am having so much fun and eating a lot of bread!!! About to fly to Morocco tomorrow and I will be in my shawl!!! Love you and will see you soon!!
Cam: Hey mama! I miss you so much! Tell dad I miss his cooking. This is really fun tho . LOVE YOU
Sarah: Hey guys I’m having so much fun. Everyone is so nice and funny. We’re flying to Morocco tomorrow. The views from the hikes were so amazing. I miss y’all.
Lulu: Hey fam!! I miss y’all and I am having the best time on this trip. The food is new. Tell Quinn I say hey!!
Charlotte: Hey fam! It’s so pretty here and I miss you guys! Mom- I know you miss me, sorry I left you at home with all the boys! Tell Rebel and Lizzie I say hi!
Topher: Hey McCord fam- sitting in Madrid tonight before Morocco. The trip has been really awesome- been using the Spanish when I can. Really excited to see you soon but taking it all in.
Finn- Hey graber family. I just ate some good curry in a restaurant in Madrid. It was very good. We leave for Morocco tomorrow and I’m so excited. I’m having the best time ever and love y’all so much!
Henry: Hi mom and dad! We are in Madrid having dinner after traveling Spain. We have had so much fun and I can’t wait to tell you about it. We will leave for Morocco tomorrow to hopefully summit the mountain. See you soon!
Miles: Hey mom and dad, we are in Madrid right now and are leaving for Morocco in the morning. Spain was sick and the views were really cool. I’m really excited for Morocco and to summit the mountain. Love you and see you soon!
June 13, 2023
Greetings Spain & Morocco Friends and Families!
We have had the absolute best time so far in Spain! After meeting our kiddos bright and early at the Madrid airport, we met our awesome guides and made our way to Llanes, a beautiful coastal town in Northern Spain. Everyone took a nap at some point during the drive before we arrived at our home for the next two nights in our apartment style refugio. We regrouped and played some games. Cate taught everyone how to play Medic, while Finn and Miles impressed us with their frisbee skills. We then explored the town of Llanes, walked to an amazing view point of the water, and ate a delicious dinner of pasta bolognese and chicken. We ended the day with moonup outside of the refugio and went to sleep happy, full, and very tired from a long travel day.
We woke up the next morning early, eager to get our adventures started! We ate breakfast at the refugio and then packed up to go canyoneering. Our LODs (leaders of the day), Cate and Finn, hyped everyone up! After putting on our wet suits, helmets, and harnesses, we hiked to our canyoneering spot. We swam down the river of the canyon, sliding down the naturally formed rocks and jumping off small cliffs. Henry and Charlotte led the group without hesitation and set a great example, always volunteering to go down the jump or small waterfall first. Everyone had the best time, and Lulu kept the energy high with her constant positivity. After canyoneering, we ate delicious pizza in town followed by a special surprise of ice cream!!! The smile on Cam’s face while eating her lemon ice cream cone was priceless. We then explored the town again and even watched a game of handball on the beach. Feeling full and energized, we went stand up paddle boarding with our awesome surfing guides. The whole group paddled to an awesome cave and two beaches. At the second beach, the waves were big enough to surf! Ellie killed it and surfed every wave on her paddle board. Everyone attempted to catch waves and hung out in the stunning blue water. There is never a dull moment or moment without laughter with our bunch. We ended the day with dinner at a local restaurant and moonup outside our refugio.
On Sunday we woke up and had another great breakfast made by our guides. We then packed up and made our way to a beautiful beach. It was amazing! We got lucky with a sunny and warm day without a cloud in the sky. We were able to surf today, and all of the kids killed it! Topher and Henry were catching waves left and right. After hours of surfing, Sarah and Cam chilled on the beach and buried our guide in the sand! So funny! We then ate lunch halfway to our next location. Most had roast chicken, fries and salad but Topher’s adventurous pallet wanted the beef cheek. Everyone who tried it said it was delish! We ended the day in the beautiful mountain town of Sotres where we will explore the beautiful landscape and prepare for our trek through Picos de Europa National Park.
Adios! Hasta luego!
Anna and Will
June 9, 2023
Hello Spain + Morocco Families!
We heard from our leaders and the group has landed safely in Spain! 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!