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Dear Thomson Families,

Are you feeling like... your kids are All Grown Up and have no use for you anymore? Whether they are 8, 18 or 28 it seems to happen. I find it a bit chilling, and work on finding things we can still have fun doing together - so I’m not just staring at them wishing they were little again. For instance, we had a raucous evening playing Bananagrams just last week. Best. Game. Ever. And perfect for travel. Are you a game family?

Read on, and happy adventuring!

All Grown Up Adventures: AKA “17 to Infinity”:

Two awesome special opportunities in 2014. Jan 18 – 26 will overlap the Todos Santos Music Festival, organized by REM's guitarist Peter Buck. May 24 – 30 overlaps the GastroVino Baja Food and Wine Festival. In either case, you’ll find loads of excitement surfing, hiking, horseback riding in between bouts of feasting your senses. Space is limited; call us now for more information. (And if you’re thinking about the Galapagos, come join a small group of age 18+ families on a wonderful adventure Feb 15 – 23, 2014).

REALLY the Last Call:

Since our phones are still ringing for December, we’re trying to hang on to hotel space as long as we can. Here’s what is still left, for just a wee bit longer. Costa Rica Multi-Sport Adventure December 22 – 31. Join teens 15 – 18 on this all-time favorite! Or make a private adventure on a similar trip December 25 – Jan 2.

Frantic February:

Did you know it’s really getting late to book your February break? Flights are crazy so we invite you to think about it now…If you’re in the 18+ group, join similar ages on our Ecuador Islands and Inca Ruins Feb 15 – 23. Peru, Costa Rica, Panama – all fabulous places to escape our cruel winter.

Where We Excel:

We can and will work with your family to create your perfect private family adventure or custom date. Almost any of our adventures can be suitable for just about any age group. Babies and toddlers can go along on any private trip, and just a small shift in focus - a longer hike, a deeper conversation, more intricate history – “grownups” will love an adventure once deemed suitable for a 6 year old. We are experts at the simple as well as the sophisticated family adventure – and something for every family in between. Remember to call us first for all of your vacation dreams.

Quick Photo Tip from our professional photographer, Chris Gamel:

“When creating a picture, many photographers place the subject right in the middle of the frame. It’s easy, but it is rarely the best option. Instead, consider using the rule of thirds.” Continue reading here. For more photography tips join any of our special departures that include Chris and his expertise. No experience necessary, just a camera and a keen eye: Costa Rica Multi-Sport March 15 – 23; Costa Rica for Teens Mar 22 – 30; or Peru: Land of the Ancient Inca April 19 – 27. If you just can’t wait until then, take a look now at www.ChrisGamel.com

Get Ready for Brazil:

We’re still working on the specifics and confirming dates, but Brazil is a GO for July 2014. Is the Pantanal really better than the Serengeti? Is Rio really more fun than (insert favorite city name here)? Is Iguassu really more amazing than Niagara? We challenge you to find out for yourselves.

Halloween at TFA:

Oh it was fun and delicious too (things like spicy brains, deviled eyes, and witches fingers…)

With a sad heart...

I want to let you know my beloved dog Jessie died on October 23. So many of you ‘knew’ her! She started life with me 10 years ago as an adult dog, timid and unsure of herself. Here at work she grew into a confident queen; she marched from one meeting to the next, and made many, many friends. She bullied the Thomson Safaris dachshunds (who were happy to join in this play) and learned to use the doggie door. She loved broccoli. She hated the rain and usually made me carry her through it so she wouldn’t get wet. She loved a good walk, followed by a longer nap. She lived for treats, and slept deep under the covers at night. She shed buckets of hair twice a year, tiny blonde hairs permanently imbedded in everything, especially black things. She was little but sturdy, with terrible breath and a quirky personality, and I loved her completely. Jessie, thank you for so many great years.

Our RIDDLE - and another Super-Smart Genius Award

During a recent food festival in Baja, four Chefs entered the baking contest. Each wore a number, either 1, 2, 3 or 4 and their rolling pins were different colors. Chef Joe arrived first, and only one chef wore the same number as the position he finished in. Chef Grace wore number 1. The Chef who wore number 2 had a red rolling pin and Chef Sarah didn't have a yellow rolling pin. The chef who came last had a blue deck rolling pin. Chef Pam beat Chef Grace. The chef who wore number 1 had a green rolling pin and the chef who came second wore number 3. Can you determine who came where, which number they wore and the color of their rolling pin?

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!).  

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Best Regards,

Moo Bishop
Family Travel Advisor- Alumni Services

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