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Quintessential Tours Clients - The Sopers

About the Sopers   |  About their Trip   |   Photos  |  Letter from the Sopers
CLIENT SNAPSHOT
Bryden takes a break on the Merced River in Yosemite Valley.
Client Name: Rex and Joy Soper
Group Size: 4 adults, 3 children
Group Make-up: Rex and Joy, their son Nick and his wife Julie, and Nick and Julie's 3 children, Bryden, Taila and Madisyn
Home: New Plymouth, New Zealand
Interests: Photography, Christmas, teddy bears, nature, John Wayne, westerns, military history, shopping, the outdoors, great cities, World of Warcraft, Bettie Boop, unicorns...
 WHAT WERE THE SOPERS LOOKING FOR FROM THEIR TRIP?

Rex contacted us in the summer of 2007, getting an early start on planning for a 2008 adventure. With the children getting to an age when it was going to be increasingly difficult to get the entire family to gether for an extended trip, this was to be a family odyssey to end all family odysseys. When I started talking about a Southwestern itinerary, including the likes of Monument Valley, Sedona, the Grand Canyon and Bryce, it was clear I was heading in the right direction.

Our first substantial conversation occurred while I was in Yosemite, on a trip with another client. After dinner with my client, I drove out to what I've dubbed "Soper Point," which is the first point above Yosemite Valley that you can get cell phone service. I called Rex, and spoke to him and Joy for a good 30 minutes or so. We batted a few ideas around and such, and we left with the straightforward mandate to just make this the trip of a lifetime for his family. If it was good, they wanted to see it, and see it right, and if I needed to add time to the itinerary to see it, then that was just fine.

Email and telephone conversations continued over the next several weeks, ultimately resulting in a 31 day trip that would cover the Southwest, as well as the High Sierra and coastal California.

Challenges:

 • 
Keep the itinerary pace reasonable, partiularly so as not to exhaust the kids. To accomplish this, we made sure that at least every other stop had a 2 night stay.
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Facilitate different members of the group not always wanting to do the same things. This is one of the nicer aspects of our service. We will do our best to facilitate whatever the needs of the client are, even if those needs differ with different members of the group. Taking Nick and the kids to Legoland, before setting off with Rex and Joy for a trip to the mountain town of Julian, returning to Legoland later in the day was just one instance where we made something happen that wouldn't be feasible on a group tour.
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Respond to changing needs. A medical emergency with one of the children while we were staying in Monument Valley required a medivac to Flagstaff for Julie and her oldest daughter. As a result, we had to make a substantial change to the itinerary with no warning, cancelling reservations, and making new ones on the fly. We ultimately had to split the group up for a few days, while Taila recovered in Las Vegas, and Rex and Joy and I rejoined the original itinerary a couple days later.

A less dramatic chage happened later in the trip, when the group decided it would like to see the coast before getting to San Francisco. Again, we were able to seemlessly make the changes, and meet the Sopers' needs.

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