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Quintessential Tours Clients - The Jenkins Family

About the Jenkins   |  About their Trip   |   Letter from Gary
The girls discover the reclusive hermit crab at Point Lobos State Park
Client Name: Gary and Stella Jenkins
Group Size: 4 adults, 3 children
Group Make-up: Gary and Stella, their three young daughters and Stella's parents
Home: London, England
Interests: Nature, shopping, good food, relaxation, getting a good sampling of California in a fairly short amount of time.

Gary and Stella contacted me looking for a fairly simple family vacation that would be enjoyable for 3 generations, including themselves, Stella's parents and their three adorable daughters. They had a pretty good idea of where they wanted to go, and planned to spend some time on their own at both of the tour bookends (San Francisco and San Diego). Their primary objective was to see as much as they could in a somewhat limited amount of time with us - just 6 days.


Pack as much variety into 6 days as possible, without exhausting Stella's parents, or exceeding the patience of three young children.
Incorporate varied sights, sounds and activities into a single package that had something to appeal to all three generations.
Fit Yosemite National Park, and the two 4-hour drives required to reach it and return from it to the coast, while still leaving time for a reasonably paced trip down California's coast.

The Jenkins only had six days to spend with us, and they wanted to cover a lot of ground, without being rushed. So, being a bit limited on time, we needed to travel with maximum economy.

We began by picking the group up early in the morning for a departure from downtown San Francisco, where they had already been staying for several days. The plan was to get nearly 2 full days in at Yosemite, while only spending one night. Our early departure allowed us to arrive in Yosemite's High Country in the early afternoon for a picnic on Tenaya Lake, and to enjoy that portion of the park at a leisurely pace, while still being able to get to the Valley in time to enjoy it with plenty of sunlight.

The second day, we spent in the Valley, Glacier Point, and at the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. If you know Yosemite, and the distances between each of these places, you'll understand that that's a full day. In order to gain back some time into the itinerary, our recommendation was to use the evening hours to travel the 4 hours it would take to get back to the coast. The Central Valley is mostly agriculture, and not particularly breathtaking, so the reasoning was that those who wanted to sleep could, and those that were awake wouldn't be missing anything anyway. The tactic allowed us to start fresh the next morning, already out on the coast in Monterey.

Here's the trip we put together for the Jenkins

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