No rant needed from me this week as I think this letter from one of our guests speaks volumes about why families should travel and in particular with us 🙂
We have been back for a few weeks and we’ve been re-living all the great moments. Unfortunately, we only have 2000 photos so we have to go by memory for some things! Now that life is finally settling back down, I’ve had a chance to get the photos organized and pull this package together for you. Where to start…
First – Thanks for organizing the trip, arranging Ashley to be our guide (and allowing us to become like a volunteer marketing team for ROAM)
Second- Prior to this trip, if we asked our kids for their idea of a perfect vacation the answer would always involve some combination of Mickey Mouse and a Mexican beach (with a swim up bar). Now they want adventures! This is excellent.
Third – You have created a great family-friendly program for us. If you are not marketing this aggressively, I’d say you should be. For sure, you are more than welcome to use any or all of our pictures on your website, in brochures…whatever you like. We had a series of experiences that kept surprising us. The trip truly exceeded all expectations. At the start of each day, we’d say that we didn’t know how we’d be able to top the amazing things we saw and did the day before. Then over dinner each night, we were honestly able to say we had indeed raised the bar again.
Fourth – How are we supposed to improve on swimming with sea lions, hiking in Vulcan Chico, soaking in hotsprings in the Andes, rafting the headwaters of the Amazon, snorkeling with sharks, rays and turtles, watching dolphins dancing on our bow wake in the moonlight, looking for bugs on night hikes, seeing marine iguanas on the beach where we were building sand castles, riding horses amongst volcanoes and glaciers, seeing giant tortoises, watching boobies dive all around the boat, standing on the equator, seeing a baby hammerhead swim circles around the boat, staying in haciendas and jungle lodges, and sleeping on deck so sea lions could wake us up. We’ve been ruined!
Fifth – What a treat to meet your crew, Ashley, Juan Fernando and Arturo as they are all EXCELLENT – great people and great fun. You were right that we would love Ashley. She was perfect in everyway and went way beyond the call of duty to be sure the kids and adults were having a wonderful time.
Sixth – Visiting the Ecuadorian mainland is totally under-rated experience. It should be on the world’s top ten list. The people are spectacular, the scenery is unbelieveable, the food was great, the price was right and its not touristy. We were so focused on the Galapagos that we had not spent much time anticipating the second part of our amazing trip. It was fantastic.
Seventh – It woudln’t have been an adventure if Harry hadn’t fallen off a horse, Catharine hadn’t fallen off a bike, Elizabeth Anne hadn’t been bitten by a dog and I had not broken a toe (I think) as it is not as straight as it used to be. Those were some of the memorable moments. Very cool to say ” I fell off a horse in Ecuador”
Eighth – It was fun to see places that we remembered from the website and your daughter’s photo album. It was not hard to imagine you and the girls chilling out on the beach at Isabela. In fact, it wouldn’t be hard to relocate to Isabela! But Beto’s margaritas (especially the second one) should come with a warning label.
Ninth – we appreciated all your help and intimate knowledge about the areas. It was great to get advice from a parent’s perspective as well as your naturally adventurous side
Tenth – We are looking forward to planning our next ROAM Vacation
The Armstrong Clan
Bob, Elizabeth-Anne, Harry, Alison and Cookie