The boys had a forced parting with long-ago organized trips to the East (Ian with Gill to the Galápagos) and West (Garret and Sir Keith Peters to Singapore via San Francisco). The less erudite one (after numerous requests) decided to record his impressions of eight internet-free days in Darwin’s waiting room. A year ago when Pete and Lynne the wonderful couple from Florida asked us (with some prompting from Gill’s brother and sister-in-law – David and Anita Bailey) to join a group of 14 Floridians on a cruise to the Galápagos, we accepted in an unusual moment of clarity. Who would have thought a year could pass so quickly! Gill and I departed for a few days of acclimatization in Jupiter on the golf course (David and I) and spa (Gill and Anita) before heading to the 9,000 feet of Quito. We also had a fabulous dinner with the Swedish artist Marianne Bergengren and her Swedish friend Michael Massalsky as well as dinner at the fabulous Chez L’Épicier Montreal-style restaurant in Palm Beach. The trip to the hotel in Quito included a memorable short-cut up the side of a mountain on a road that at times did not seem to exist. After arriving at the hotel at 2 am the four lunatics after only 12-hours if acclimatization took the Teleferiquo (gondolas) up to 13,400 feet. Great photos taken breathlessly – never again! Up early the next morning back to Quito airport this time on roads that were not so scary, for the flight first to Guayquil then on to San Christobal Island in the Galápagos – 700 miles from Quito. Unused to the concept of a tour group, we found the organization totally incredible. Whisked from airport by bus to Zodiac boat and on to our home for the next eight days on to the “Natural Paradise” (real name!) boat. Fortunately, Gill and I (barely recovered from the altitude) allowed sense to prevail and passed on the deep-sea snorkeling for photographer’s heaven. What a place! The next few days of internet- deprivation passed in blur of swimming, snorkeling, mineralogy, sea-lion watching Booby photography, tortoises, pelicans, penguins, sharks, dolphins, walkers, and amazing food served by Riccardo and Tanya. The company was excellent, and the crew fantastic. Somehow, they even managed to install Gill and I into a sea kayak without me tipping it over. The last hundred yards to Natural Paradise was beyond my feeble efforts and they kindly and expertly towed us in. We both loved the Santa Cruz Island and hope to drag Garret there one day to re-live our experiences. The end turned out to be just a bit too hectic with an NIH U01 proposal to finish. My Einstein-derived approach of not remembering anything that I could look up was sorely tested we no internet to fall back on. Somehow everything got finished by the time we arrived back in Philly and hopefully the creative surge from being in such an amazing place will be reflected in the score. Thanks so much to Anita and David for including us., Lynne and Pete for organizing such a vibrant experience, and Jay & Debra Cannava; Lynne Gibbons; Jeff & Sabra Ingeman; Joe & Ellen Lawless; Jeff & Mimi Vaughan Carl Stearns for making us feel so welcome. Two life-changing trips taken in one year when there was no time for either! There must be a lesson here – hopefully I have learned it. The boys are briefly reunited again for a trip to the Philadelphia Orchestra and Ravel this weekend before one of us heads west again – “every new beginning comes from a new beginnings end.” Japan next?