Apparently I’ve been busy. But here’s the next installment of our travel:

We left Quito and flew to Baltra Island, in the Galapagos. From there we were introduced to our primary mode of transportation in the islands: the Zodiac boat, or panga.


The Zodiacs shuttled us to and from the ship for all our daytime excursions, and we all became quite accomplished at entering and exiting the boats with a minimum of embarrassment.

Our ship, the Celebrity Xpedition, was outstanding. The food was good, the staff were super-helpful and very nice, and the ship itself was just perfect for the adventures we had. And unlike most cruises I’ve been on, everything (e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g) was included – every excursion, all the food, all the drinks, all the snorkeling gear. They even gave us a CD of pictures taken by the crew at the end of the trip. The only thing we paid for was wi-fi access, which we used sparingly because we were too busy.

Bright and early Monday morning, the adventures began. A typical day included a morning excursion, lunch on the ship, and an afternoon excursion, followed by an evening briefing on the next day’s activities and dinner. This was not a relax-refresh-recharge vacation! Instead, we saw some of the most incredible animals, plants, and scenery on Earth.

Galapagos 1

It was a completely fair trade.

Galapagos 2

I couldn’t pick my favorite excursion. I couldn’t pick my favorite animal (although the sea lions and fur seals are definitely in the top three). Every single day, every single activity, was a learning experience in the best sense of the word.  It was like being in a live-action Discovery Channel, but with free drinks.



(My mom, my brother, me, and Jason)

There were 90 passengers on the ship; only 14 continued on to Peru and Machu Picchu. I have to admit, as everyone else was getting on airplanes bound for the US, I got a little homesick. I’d never been away from Tyler for so long, and he managed to get sick right after I left, so I was worried about him.

My homesickness lasted until we pulled up at our hotel in Lima, Peru….. but that’s for the next installment.



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