This was no ordinary vacation; instead our Cosmos (around the world) journey with our kids was a lifestyle change that lasted over four months, from September 2003 to January 2004.
At the end of June 2008, we took a two week trip to Uganda, via London, to visit the endangered Mountain Gorillas in the southern part of the country. We visited three national parks in all.
Our first stop in Uganda was Entebbe. We spent two days there acclimating to Africa before beginning our safari. While there, we visited a chimp sanctuary and a botanical garden.
Two days were spent exploring different portions of Uganda’s most popular savanna national park, Queen Elizabeth. We were able to view a variety of animals by the water and in classic African grassland settings.
The highlight of our journey to Uganda was viewing the endangered mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. We had two opportunities to see them and had different experiences both times.
Our final stop and national park experience in Uganda was at Lake Mburo. Here we took a late afternoon walking safari to see the animals in a more intimate setting.
Tikal is one of the major sites of Mayan civilization, inhabited from the 6th century B.C. to the 10th century A.D. It was the ceremonial center and contains superb temples and palaces, and public squares accessed by means of ramps. We spent three days view this and other ruins in the vicinity.
We had some delays in reaching Costa Rica, but once we arrived there we enjoyed our time at Drake Bay, on the Pacific Ocean coast. We spent time relaxing in our cabin on the beach as well as taking a day trip to Cano Island, where we hiked and snorkeled.
Our first stop in New York City was Ground Zero, which was a sobering experience for all of us. We spent three days seeing the major attractions, including Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Staten Island Ferry, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Times Square and the Empire State Building.
One of the big splurges on our trip was a transatlantic cruise on the Queen Elizabeth II. The ship made its last regularly scheduled crossings across the Atlantic Ocean in 2003, which made the cruise even more special.