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Dear Thomson Families,

Summer greetings! It's never too hot to enjoy your family and have some fun; we hope you're having lots of it. Here are some things you might want to know about:

10% off for our 10th Birthday!
August 2008 marks 10 years of fantastic family adventures
Big News
Lonesome George maybe not so lonely anymore!
What's new with Thomson Family
Where we've been and what we're up to
Look ahead
New ideas for 2009
The Story: Two Left Shoes
What you pack is never just about, well... packing
A Fun Riddle
Try this at the dinner table

Read on, and happy adventuring!

10% for Our 10th Birthday!

In 1998 Rick Thomson and Judi Wineland raised their heads from their very successful safari company, looked at their growing girls, and said “HEY, let’s do all this for families…” Thus we were born as Thomson Family Adventures, the first company to offer adventure travel just for families. Adult tour companies have copied us but we are still the only one to do just families. We use our brains 24/7 just thinking of new ways to make family travel more fun, eye opening, safe and satisfying, so busy parents can have fun too, without the work of planning a vacation or figuring out directions. Our every day commitment is to families. Like yours. So help us celebrate - Book your next adventure between now and September 2008 (our birthday) and receive 10% off each child's land cost.

Big News!

Lonesome George of the Galapagos, the conservation icon of the Galapagos Islands, is the rarest living creature and the last surviving tortoise of his kind. He’s close to 100 years old! After many years of disinterest it appears he may have finally found a tortoise partner; a nest of 9 eggs was discovered in April. Some were broken but the surviving eggs are being tended to in an incubator, with scientists eagerly waiting their hatching. Come visit Lonesome George at the Charles Darwin Research Station while traveling on our Ecuador and Galapagos Adventure!

Now think about December

Thinking of traveling in December? Don’t forget to plan ahead. Especially for Ecuador and the Galapagos... We have a very limited time to offer you space for December (Yes! We have some still!). But come early September the space will be gone. So this year don’t wait until after Labor Day to realize you want to travel in December. It makes us sad to have to turn you away!

What's new with Thomson Family

Have you seen our new web site? Our goal was simple - to make it easier for you to find us and easier for you to use. Let us know if we've done that! www.familyadventures.com

Aimee is fresh off the boat from our Alaska adventure and says:

Viewing Alaska's Glacier Bay from a 12 passenger expedition boat was an absolutely amazing experience. Something incredible happened every single day. Watching a massive piece of Margerie Glacier drop into the water 400 yards in front of our kayaks left every single one of us awestuck; the experience of riding out the huge swell caused by the falling ice cannot be described by pictures or words. BUT, you can see some great footage taken by one of our families here.

Jumping ship into the water, cooking dinner over a bonfire, seeing countless bald eagles, cruising next to groups of cooperatively feeding whales, and kayaking alongside seals, sea otters, jellyfish and sea stars are all memories that we'll be talking about for years to come.

I, Moo, just returned from an outstanding family safari in Tanzania and I can promise you: if you have never stopped to watch a pride of lions roll in the grass, or eaten lunch by a lake full of bobbing hippos, or witnessed how gracefully a giraffe can dash … If you have never seen the sunset over the Serengeti, or heard the hum of wildlife in the night… if you haven’t had the good luck to play soccer with a school yard full of Tanzanian kids - you really must go on a Thomson Family Safari!

Jim and family just returned from testing our new Galapagos Multi-Sport Adventure: This is the trip for a family - with children 11 and up – with a more adventuresome spirit, and those who want to see the wildlife while camping, snorkeling and kayaking in the Galapagos. Being right on the islands of San Cristobal and Isabela allows for a deeper exploration of sites like Kicker Rock and the Sierra Negra Volcano (the world’s second largest caldera). This adventure is beyond fantastic!

Nancy is packing her bag for scouting trips to Peru, Spain, and Morocco this fall.

Congratulations to our Costa Rican friend, colleague and favorite mentor Maria Soledad (Sole) who is getting married August 23rd!

Jumping off the Sea Wolf

Kids in Tanzania

Jim and Family at Sierra Negra Volcano

Look Ahead to 2009: New ideas, new activities, new adventures!

Keep your eye on our fabulous new website for upcoming adventures with a theme, an added focus on your creative side. Specially designed for curious families, they feature professional instructors who love kids, and who look forward to helping your children grow their gifts and interests while having a great family adventure.

Come draw and paint your way through Costa Rica where bugs and butterflies, orchids and volcanoes beg for artistic interpretation! Every day is full of new ideas and inspiration along with ziplining, hiking and living in a new culture. Explore new places and new crafts – and have some adventure too!

Bring your camera to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands where sea lions loll on beaches and birds have blue feet! Visit tiny villages and hike rolling highlands, surrounded by the colorful and musical culture of Ecuador. Commune with wildlife that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world! Through it all you'll learn to capture this adventure in photographs as breathtaking as the memories you take home.

If you prefer to explore from the ground rather than from a ship, try our new land based Galapagos Multi-Sport Adventure. In addition to hiking and exploring the beautiful highlands of mainland Ecuador, you'll spend four days kayaking, snorkeling, and climbing in the volcanic world of the Galapagos Islands. With one night camping and three nights in a small lodge, this is for true adventurers ages 11 and up.

Would you like to combine the excitement of a traditional family safari in Tanzania with lots of activity?? You'll want to know about our new safari with lots of action - a trek up Mt Meru, biking, bush walks, and a community service project. You'll even get to camp one night, in a tent, under a sky bursting with stars - softies need not inquire! Only two departures are being offered this year.

To be added to the advance list for one of these distinctive family adventures please call Moo or Keith at 800-262-6255

Art in Costa Rica

Blue-footed Boobie

Galapagos Penguins on Isabela

Wildlife Walk in Tanzania

The Story: Two Left Shoes

Flexibility is key to any good adventure and I can hardly think of a better example than this: our friend Sam, at the tender – but never awkward – age of 14, packed for a family safari in a big rush. She ended up in Tanzania with two left shoes. Since she’s an admirably light packer they also happened to be her only pair of shoes, except for flip flops. We were unable to find anything in her size before leaving town for the remote national parks, so Sam cheerfully donned those two left shoes every time we went out. She wore them without complaint or apology for two weeks, and always with a smile.

Needing some follow up, I wrote to see how things are now she is back home. To which my friend Sam wrote: “Yes... my feet have recovered. I actually had to wear two right shoes for a while because I was at my mom's house and the two left ones were at my dad's house. So maybe that helped, too….”

I know there is something to be learned in this story – something about packing, and humor, and the value of never letting the unexpected interfere with your good time. Maybe we should all wear two left shoes as a reminder.

Two Left Shoes

A Fun Riddle

Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 9 in the circles so that each straight line of three numbers totals 18?