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Dear Thomson Families,

Welcome to July, with Star Spangled Banners and Canada Day too!  Just about everyone is off on vacation this month. Jim is with his family enjoying the great outdoors at the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park. We've had families discover mummies in Egypt, sloths in the trees of Costa Rica, Inca ruins in Peru, white-tipped sharks in the waters of the Galapagos, underground villages in Turkey, and lions hunting in the vast Serengeti of Tanzania. What are you up to? Will you travel? Garden? Work? Play? Let us know your summer plans and traditions. In fact, send us a funny family story and we'll choose the best to be announced next month. If you win, we'll give you a $500 credit towards your next Thomson Family Adventure!

Read on, and happy adventuring!

Photos Galore!

We know, we're way behind but we did not forget! Please head to our FaceBook page and vote on your favorite in our latest photo contest. There are amazing pictures to choose from, taken on trips from June through December 2009. Vote by emailing info@familyadventures.com the numbers of your favorites (choose up to five). Prizes will be a credit towards your next Thomson Family Adventure: $500 for first place, $250 for second place and $125 for third place. Winners will be chosen Friday, August 6. Then we can start on the next contest!

Costa Rica and Peanut Butter

We love when grandparents can take their grandchildren off to explore the world and learn about different cultures. Sometimes it means sharing our culture too! Grandmother Toni Blackwell from Washington writes about her time in Costa Rica, "Our guide Fico was absolutely the best - we had many great discussions. His knowledge of his country, its environment, and the animals made it so interesting. Native Costa Ricans eat little to no peanut butter, and he teased my granddaughter Meg unmercifully about her love of peanut butter. The last evening we found a jar of Jif in a grocery store and Meg made a production fixing up banana and peanut butter for Fico to try. He was a great sport and managed a few bites, to great laughter by the rest of us. I think he didn't like it very much!"

Breaking news: We just added a special holiday departure to Costa Rica, December 26 - January 1. Enjoy the cloud forest of Monteverde and the beautiful beaches of the north Pacific coast. Just one week: be home for Christmas, enjoy New Year's Eve on the beach. Zip line, hike and kayak - and don't forget to bring your peanut butter!

Special Notes From Tanzania

The U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania and his wife just enjoyed a wonderful safari in the Serengeti with Thomson. You can read about it here.

Are you thinking safari? We have many options for families of all ages throughout the year. In particular we're looking for some very special families to join a young and active grandmother and her granddaughter on our unique Active Safari departing August 6, 2011. Ruth has been to Tanzania before and is looking forward to returning with 13 year old Maren for outstanding wild life viewing along with biking, walking, and a partial trek up Mt Meru. Plan now to be in line for the best flight options when they become available in October!

Planning for Fall

Thanksgiving week is rising in popularity as a great time to escape from our usual trappings and enjoy giving thanks with family in a new setting. Consider the pharaohs and pyramids of Egypt on an adventure November 19 - 28. Our guides in Egypt are outstanding, and with a mom and teenaged boy signed up now, good company is already assured! Or, that same week, enjoy Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, with a complimentary upgrade to balcony cabins.

Hands-On Adventure, Local Style

One of our families works and plays at the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland OH. This is how I heard about the new Strange Matter exhibition designed for children (of all ages - yes, including adults!) to "explore the hidden secrets of everyday stuff." If you live in the area or are planning on visiting, don't miss it. On a hot summer day there is nothing like a nicely cooled science museum for entertainment - and what child doesn't want an invitation to "touch it! twist it! smash it!"? For more information visit the website. Live in a different city? Why not try your local science and children's museums for a nearby adventure?

Travel Tips: Handy Websites

We found this useful website that actually holds your hand through any international call to - or from - your home location. For those of you who have to make a call, it's packed with information and tips on how to do just that, no matter where you are.

You may also be interested in a fun online travel store we discovered. I'm particularly enamored of the compressed beach towel, which should be onboard every excursion headed towards water!

Our RIDDLE - and Another Super-Smart Genius Award

A farmer in Costa Rica owns a beautiful mango tree. He supplies the fruit to a nearby grocery store. The store owner has called the farmer to see how much fruit is available for him to purchase. The farmer knows that the main trunk has 24 branches. Each branch has exactly 12 boughs and each bough has exactly 6 twigs. Since each twig bears one piece of fruit, how many guavas will the farmer be able to deliver?

We'll be drawing a name from a TFA hat in five days; if we draw YOUR name and you've answered correctly, you'll win a Super-Smart Genius Award worth $200 off your next Thomson Family Adventure. Please solve this with your brain power, though you are allowed to consult your very clever children. Cheating is not allowed (and I'll know if you do!).

If you haven't taken our Survey before, click here to take it!

And if you haven't found us on Facebook yet, check out our fan page!

Best Regards,

Moo Bishop
Family Travel Advisor- Alumni Services

For reservations contact Thomson Family Adventures at 800-262-6255

© 2008 by Thomson Family Adventures, a Division of Wineland-Thomson Adventures, Inc.