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Dear Thomson Families,

It seems like it has been a long time since we've sent out a real newsletter.  Spring slipped by and now it's summer. Congratulations to all elementary, middle, high school, and college graduates! We are fascinated that families have not stopped calling about traveling in summer 2011, but now finally our 2012 dates and prices are posted on our website, for those of you looking ahead. Fire up the grill, mix up some lemonade, and talk with your friends and family about what adventure you want to try next.

Read on, and happy adventuring!

Investing Wisely:

Many of us are in graduation mode, looking ahead to the next school phase, which sometimes means a new phase in life; you can read my story here. In this celebratory mood I am reminded of a cool story the Brown family shared with me. They've been on several Thomson Family Adventures including a safari in 2007 when their daughter Shelby was 17. Shelby turned that experience into an essay which won her a nice scholarship towards college. A great illustration of how an investment in your family's life experiences can really pay off! Anyone else have a story like this?

Speaking of Graduation...Our Office Is in the Mood!

We caught Jim muttering about how back in his day, when the Earth's crust was still cooling, we only paid attention to high school and college graduations, and what is all this fuss about? In spite of this he and his wife Kim are proud of their boys: Joshua graduated from 5th grade and is moving onto middle school while Christian graduated from 8th grade and is on to high school. Then we have Proud Papa Gregg whose son Lucas graduated from Kindergarten! They sang the Star Spangled Banner and Take Me Out to the Ballgame, recited the Pledge of Allegiance, and received certificates. Pam's son Ian finished high school and is off in Europe traipsing the world. My Leo... well you already heard me whine about that in the link above.

Travel in the Next Season:

Whether that means Thanksgiving or December, we have ideas for you, and other families already on board. Take advantage of our Egypt special (10 year old at Thanksgiving, and teens December 23!), or enjoy awesome activities in Baja (two 8 year olds December 26!) or choose from a couple of dates to Peru (teens and youngsters). And don't forget February, when you can catch the most amazing whale migration ever in Baja.

Aunts and Uncles, Nieces and Nephews!

Every year we see this more and more — aunts or uncles taking nieces or nephews traveling, one at a time. It makes for some unique bonding in an extended family. One of our favorite clients (we have many, believe me!) has carried on a tradition of taking each niece or nephew when they turn 14. This rite of passage with Aunt Nancy began in 2000, and the 6th will travel with her in 2012. See the photos here.

Thailand Thrills:

We're sending our first official group to Thailand in just 10 days. Assuming I survive the world's longest zip line {shudder} I'll be blogging from road. We'll be bringing back the final touches to perfect Thailand for the future (including December 2011). Elephants, here we come!

Camille and the Baby Iguanas:

LOVE these photos we get! Belize is dynamite. Don't you want to be covered in iguanas, just like Camille? December is sold out, but there is plenty of room next year! You'll find our new 2012 dates and prices here. Catch it before the Mayan calendar ends December 12, 2012.

Haiku For You:

Haiku offers such an easy creative outlet - just 17 syllables, three short lines, and you're done. We asked you to submit your own haiku relating to climbing Mt Kilimanjaro (yes, if you are 12 and up you can do it!). Our own safari specialist Bryan came up with: Going back to school? // Need one more adventure first? //Kilimanjaro. We were thrilled with your 5/7/5 responses! See them here.

Our RIDDLE — and Another Super-Smart Genius Award

I know you've all missed these, so here's a real tough one for you.

A group of kids are stranded on an island, and they need to get to shore. Their canoe can only hold 90 lbs. and they can't swim.
* Bryan weighs 85 lbs.
* Pam weighs 65 lbs.
* Evan weighs 45 lbs.
* Sarah weighs 40 lbs.
* Conrad the dog weighs 8 lbs.

Question: How do they get to shore?

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!

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Best Regards,

Moo Bishop
Family Travel Advisor - Alumni Services

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