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Quintessential Tours Clients - The Ridgard Family

About the Jenkins   |  About their Trip   |   Letter from Gary  |  Photos
The Ridgards pose in front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle at Disneyland after we dropped them off.
Client Name: Paul and Gina Ridgard
Group Size: 2 adults, 2 children
Group Make-up: Paul and Gina and their son (13) and daughter (8)
Home: Ireland
Interests: For Paul: nature, the outdoors, classic cars, bargain shopping, fishing

For Gina: the beach, fashion shopping, seeing the major sights

For the kids: fishing, the beach, Disneyland,

Paul and Gina were looking for something different. Having done the requisite trips to Spain and the Canary Islands for many summers, they wanted to see something totally new, and expose their 2 kids to something beyond the beach resort experience before they became too old to be interested in family holidays. They had a couple of weeks to spend, of which they wanted to spend the last few days at Disneyland. They wanted to see natural beauty, and visit places that were well off the beaten track, as well as some of the requisite highlights.

Paul also wanted to do a little fishing with Simon; neither had fished before, and the whole group wanted to get some serious shopping in, to take advantage of the bargain prices to be found in the States (particularly given the strength of the Euro at the time of their trip).


Create an itinerary that had something of interest for everyone in the group.
Cover some of the more remote areas of California without exhausting the group.
Help out a bit with some of the nuanced differences between Irish and American culture.

Probably the biggest challenge for the Ridgards' trip was to make sure that there was something for everyone. Paul and Simon were very excited to get out into the wilderness and see the outdoors. On the other hand, Gina and Chloe were a bit nervous about the whole wilderness thing, and had their desires set on more "civilised" pursuits, with shopping being a primary motivator.

So, we created a diverse itinerary that sought to include a bit of everything for the group. The Trinity Alps and the volcanos of Northern California were specifically included to appeal to the boys' interests, with specific activities like fishing on Trinity Lake incorporated for maximum experience. Lake Tahoe and Monterey were of particular enjoyment to the girls, for whom a stop at the Gilroy Outlets near Monterey was a highlight.

Ultimately, there was a bit of something for everyone in the group, and a few surprises as well. The one that stands out the most is the universal approval for the Bodie Ghost Town, which is well off the beaten track, and is neither an "outdoorsy" adventure, nor a taste of modern civilization. Nevertheless, the group loved the experience of one of the "Wild West's" most notorious mining towns.

Here's the trip we put together for the Ridgards

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