Every family has some kind of tradition that works its way into every adventure that they go on. One family that just traveled to the Galapagos for a family vacation has shared with us one of their traditions! This alphabet is not only a list that is fun to put together, it helps create a list of memories that you will always be able to look back on. We’ll be incorporating this into our next family vacations! What kind of fun traditions does your family have for when on vacation?
A – AWESOME ADVENTURE! Albatross Hotel, a’a’ lava, ani (invasive black bird), airplanes that were big and very small
B – Blue-footed booby (yes, Eric, their feet are really blue), big bees, brown pelicans, Bartoleme Island, brackish pools on Isabela, Baltra (an island with only an airport), biking twice (Eric thrice), brachycereus (lava) cactus
C – Caipirinha drink (lime, sugar cane and rum), cows, carpenter bees, Cheryl looking for her glasses when they were on her head, Charles Darwin traveled here, candlebra cactus, coffee (the good stuff is exported), cilantro (not for Susan and Cheryl), Cuenca! (Wilson’s hometown)
D – “Daco pull your shade!” diving boobies, “don’t drink the water!”, dolphins jumping, Daphne Major (site of Beak of the Finch book), delicious fish dishes
E- Ecuador, equator nearby, El Nino weather (we had no rain), egrets, endemic (only found in one place), El Garrapatero Bay (we biked there, swam, and rambled among the rocks), EARTHQUAKE (7.8) which we felt during dinner in Quito
F – Fabio our fabulous Santa Cruz guide, frigate birds, finches (13 kinds), ferry to Santa Cruz, fantastically colored flamingos, flying fish, Favian and Maria’s house for dinner, flan frequently for dessert, friendly people
G – GALAPAGOS, geckos, Guayaquil (largest city in Ecuador), Gabe rolling off the boat seat and staying asleep, green sea turtles slowly swimming, ghost crabs
H – Hermit crab, HOT and HOTTER (the two seasons), high humidity, hibiscus flowers, hiking on marked trails, Himalayan blackberry (invasive on Santa Cruz – very sad!)
I – Isabela- our favorite island, Iguana Crossing Hotel, internet access sometimes, iguanas of all sizes, iguana crossing sign where the iguanas really crossed – can they read?
J – Jon eating four large servings of paella, Junior teaching everyone how to surf (lie down, paddle, paddle, paddle, stand up. Easy)
K – Kayaking on Academy Bay (Wilson and Susan, Gabe and Fabio, Tony and Jon, Eric and Cheryl), king angelfish
L – Lighted lava tunnel, lava gull, land iguana (only seen at the Darwin Research Center), lava lizards doing pushups, lichens, the lobster, Lava Java coffee
M – MULTI SPORT ADVENTURE, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, mangroves, magma, moss (hanging from the trees), monarch butterfly, matrimonial rooms in the hotel,
N – Nazca Booby (the black and white one), night sky with tons of stars, noddy (brown), no shadow at noon (since the sun is right overhead)
O – Omelets, opuntia (prickly-pear) cactus, orange Fanta, overweight luggage
P – Perfect Paella, panga with a sleeping sea lion, Puerto Ayora, potato soup (sopa de pata – good for hangovers), puffer fish who didn’t puff, pens of baby tortoises, penguinos at the equator, pahoehoe lava, Pablo (Eric’s snorkel helper)
Q – Quito, questions for our guides, constantly!
R – Reef sharks (white and black tipped which nap during the day and hunt at night – we hope), red-billed tropicbird
S – Stingrays, storm petrols, snorkeling three times! Speedboat, sunburn, Sacajewa one dollar coins, Santa Cruz Island, Susan and Gabe’s ocean walk, stargazing with Wilson, Southern Cross constellation, swimming with sea lions, no seasickness, swallow tailed gull that flies at night, swimming in the hotel pools
T – Tortugas (tortoises)! Texas t-shirt, Tintoreras Island, tiny 10 seater plane with earmuffs, Tortoise Breeding Center
U – Underwater camera, used TP goes in wastebasket, use USA money everywhere
V – Very, very humid! vast ocean views
W – WILSON– our wonderful guide, wahoo (delicious fish), Wall of Tears (built by convicts), Whale Bay walk and snorkel, wading in the ocean
X – eXtra biking by Eric
Y – Yellow warbler, yellow-tailed surgeon fish, yellow-crowned night heron.
Z – Zandoli (word for lizard in Creole)
So there are at least 26 memories that come with going to the Galapagos on a family vacation!