July 7, 2023
Hi Spain + Morocco families!
We started our last day together with a flight back to Madrid! We had lots of time to chill in the airport. Reynolds and Shepherd got some delicious pizza while others enjoyed sandwiches and burgers! After arriving in Madrid, we took the metro to our hotel in the city center. First stop: tacos for dinner! We went to Takos Al Pastor, an authentic Mexican restaurant. Everyone enjoyed many tasty tacos and different Jarritos sodas. Max, Josh, and Boyd tied for eating the most! After dinner, we walked around the beautiful and historic Plaza Major and took some pictures. It was beautiful at sunset. Chris, Reynolds, and Lilli even tried to get a picture with Mickey Mouse in the square. After exploring the area some more and visiting Mercado de San Miguel, we made a pit stop for gelato. Everyone got some scoops and a macaroon on top! It was delicious!!! We then walked around Palacio Real De Madrid and watched the sunset in the surrounding parks. We found a great moonup spot in a quiet corner, away from the chaos of the city. Rushton and Ava started moonup with a quote and then everyone shared nugs from the trip. We all reminisced and laughed at the fun times we shared together. We discussed our favorite parts of the trip, things we’ve learned, and individual nugs and appreciation for each person. Our group sure does love each other! On the walk back to the hotel, Ari, Taite, and Channing started singing Hannah Montana’s “Goodbye.” We had a wonderful last day together in Madrid! We will miss our Spain and Morocco fam!!!
We cannot thank you enough for sharing your wondering kids with us this summer. Thank you for trusting us. Your kids are a delight to be around. They are very kind to each other, smart, respectful, and hilarious. We couldn’t have asked for a better group! We will miss our belly laughs and convos with your kids!!
Anna & Will
July 6, 2023
Hello Spain + Morocco families!
We just wrapped up our awesome time in Morocco! We explored the markets in Marrakesh, hung out by the pool, took a cooking class, and summited Mt. Toubkal. It’s been a busy week!
7/1 After a slow morning in Madrid, we made our way to the airport, and arrived in Marrakesh. We were picked up and transferred to our beautiful new home! Once we settled in, we were welcomed by a delicious traditional Moroccan dinner of salad, veggies, and Tajain, followed by melon for dessert. We then all jumped in the pool and played games before moonup. Boyd led the group with a game of Minos. Our fantastic group made the travel day quite easy!
7/2 We woke up early to have breakfast before visiting the markets. Breakfast
was Moroccan pancakes topped with various homemade jams and honey. They were a hit! We then went to the markets to see what the heart of Marrakesh is all about. After a brief history lesson from our tour guide, we visited a local pharmacy where everyone got to try perfumes, spices, lotions, and Moroccan argan oil. The pitch sold Taite and Rushton, and most left with a few souvenirs! We then made our way to the city center to visit the shops. Everyone tried to bargain for the best prices of bracelets, pottery, and clothing. Channing, Ari, and Lilli mastered their skills and bargained for some cute bracelets! Max purchased a white linen shirt, and all the boys followed. Overall, Taite was the best at bargaining, but everyone left with a few things they were all happy about! Later in the day, we returned to the riad and enjoyed an afternoon by the pool. The boys hung out in the pool while the girls read their books. We then took a cooking class where we learned how to cook Moroccan food. Shepherd showed everyone his cooking skills! We enjoyed dinner and moonup at the riad.
7/3 We drove from Marrakesh to the small village, Imlil, at the bottom of the hiking path to Toubkal. From there we started our beautiful, hot, and challenging day of trekking! Ava led the group in the front, right behind our guide. We stopped for lunch halfway and ate a delicious spread of pasta, salad, and chicken. We then hit the road to our final destination, with many water and candy breaks on the way! During the hike, Josh led by example and always took several moments to appreciate the views. The scenery was amazing! We finally made it to our refugio at Toubkal base camp and went to sleep early, ready for our summit the next day!
7/4 We woke up bright and early to summit Mt. Toubkal. After a 5 am breakfast, our squad watched the sunrise over the mountains. Shephard, Taite, Channing, and Ari kept us energized the entire time by singing a group favorite, Taylor Swift. Three hours later, with many stops on the way, everyone in our group made it to the top of Toubkal!! To celebrate the 4th of July, everyone received red and blue beads and a surprise of candy at the top! We took many photos and enjoyed the joy and satisfaction of summiting Toubkal. What an incredible accomplishment! The crew spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out, reading, and enjoying the views until tea time and dinner. We had a hilarious moonup on the porch at sunset. Reynolds and Chris kept us laughing per usual. They are quite the hilarious duo! There is never a dull moment with our group!
7/5 We are enjoying our last night in Morocco after hiking down the mountain this morning. We are soaking up every last minute together as a group before we head to Madrid tomorrow. We can’t wait for an awesome last day of exploring Madrid. Will and I love your kids!!! Talk soon.
Anna & Will
July 1, 2023
Hello from Picos de Europa National Park!
After waking up in the mountain town of Sotres, we started our trekking section through the beautiful valleys and mountains of Picos de Europa. Our leaders of the day, Boyd and Reynolds, kept everyone’s spirits high on the trail as we started our long journey through the mountains. We passed though many valleys full of cows, horses, goats, and sheep. Ava was always first to lead the group with her cheerful spirit! After a couple hours of hiking, we stopped to eat lunch on the shade of a rock surrounded by beautiful views of the pastures below. Chris kept everyone entertained with his funny jokes, and Shepherd took a bunch of photos with his cool film camera. Shortly after lunch, we reached our Refugio nestled high and overlooking the rocky mountains and green pastures. We then hung outside our awesome Refugio and had moonup at sunset above the clouds.
The next day we woke up early, ready for a big day ahead. After a delicious breakfast at the Refugio, we started off on our most challenging day of hiking yet. Our leaders of the day, Josh and Lilli, kept the vibes high by entertaining everyone on the trail with fun games and riddles. Our goal today was to summit one of the central mastiffs of Picos de Europa. The hike was long, and the uphill was tough but after a couple hours of hiking and some traversing we finally made it to the summit where we ate our lunch. The views made it all worth it! Taite, Ari, and Reynolds even pulled out their blankets and took a quick summit nap. After our mountain top experience, we hiked down to a cable car where Rushton led the charge to the snack bar and Channing and some girls checked out the gift shop. We then all packed into the cable car and took a nice fast ride down the mountain. We transferred to the small mountain town of Cain, known as the gateway to Picos de Europa. We then enjoyed a yummy dinner and dessert at the Refugio and went to sleep fully and happy!
For our final day in Spain, we set out trekking through the famous Los Cares River Valley. Max said it was his favorite hike he’d ever done! This trek featured breathtaking views around every corner. Through the tunnels and caverns, we walked on a trail carved into the side of the mountains itself. It was awesome! We then had lunch in the park and headed back to Madrid in the afternoon. We just ate a delicious dinner near our hotel and can’t wait to go to Marrakesh tomorrow! We will keep you updated on our amazing adventures ahead!
Will & Anna
June 29, 2023
Hola Spain + Morocco families!
We’ve had the best few days together in Spain. Will and I have loved getting to know your kids so far and are excited for the time ahead!
After we met our group in Madrid, we drove to Llanes, a beautiful coastal town in Northern Spain. We arrived at our apartment style Refugio for the next two days in the afternoon and got to know each other. Boyd led the group with games of hacky sack, and Josh and Max started a game of frisbee. After settling in, we drove to town and walked around, admiring both the beautiful coast and mountains! Shepherd impressed all of us with his Spanish skills and photography while walking through town. He is a pro! We then ate a delicious dinner of pasta Bolognese and chicken. We ended the day with moonup outside the Refugio while the sun set.
Our bunch woke up eager to have an awesome first day of adventures! After our breakfast of toast, muffins, cereal, and fruit, we packed up to go canyoneering. Our LODs (leaders of the day), Ava and Chris, got the group energized for our first activity. We then put on wetsuits, helmets, and harnesses and were on our way. Rushton was the first brave one down the canyon! We all swam and slid down the naturally formed rocks and jumped into the small pools. Reynolds and Channing lead the way and always volunteered to slide down first. Their energy was amazing. After our time in the canyon, we ate pizza for lunch followed by ice cream!!! We then made our way to the most beautiful beach outside of Llanes. On our walk from the parking lot we saw many cows and sheep. After putting on new wetsuits, Lilli and Ari were the first to catch waves. It was awesome! The waves were very big and impressed everyone. While it was cloudy, the view from the surf boards was one of the most beautiful beaches some said they have ever seen. We ate a delicious dinner consisting of meat, vegetables, and salad at a Spanish restaurant and enjoyed moonup again at our place.
We had another great breakfast prepared by our guides and then packed up to head to a new beach. The conditions were amazing again, and the kids were eager to surf! Josh and Taite were in the water the entire time. Others took breaks to play in the sand and chill on the beach. Following the waves, we enjoyed a yummy lunch with a traditional Spanish cake for dessert! We then said goodbye to the coast and headed to the mountains. We will explore the small town of Sotres and prepare for our trek through the beautiful Picos de Europa during the next few days. We can’t wait to keep you updated on our adventures!
Anna & Will
June 25, 2023
Hello Spain + Morocco Families!
We heard from our leaders that the group has landed safely in Madrid and is off to their first adventure! 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!