Let me warn you at the outset, after reading what follows you might feel cheated. You might think that a letter of appreciation to the concerned people would have been more appropriate. With time at such a premium these days,others should be spared the sundry details. I had my doubts too but am posting it anyway. There are few professionals who rise above the call of duty and when you meet them, I feel they should be appreciated wholeheartedly…….effusively
They were a gift from Google. We were looking for an agency who would drive us around on our whirlwind trip to Canada. A sentimental journey in which we wanted to relive five years in five days and travel 2000 km to do it. A strenuous feat by all accounts, more so because our parents were nearing eighty and we siblings were on either side of fifty. It was a long cherished dream and this was all the time we had to live it……before waking up to reality.
Logic told us that since the journey was arduous and we were a motley group of retired ( parents), tired ( us sisters) and tiresome ( brother!) travellers we needed a tireless tour agent to pull it off. That is when my brother stumbled into them on the internet. A new entrant in the field, a couple who make their livelihood from timber and conduct tours as a hobby….for pure passion!
It started as an ordinary business transaction with queries and quotes. But slowly as they got to know us and understand the emotional nature of the trip itineraries and advance payments took a back seat and a friendship blossomed. So much so that we almost knew each other before we met.
Their Mercedes van had enough luggage space for our ten large suitcases. We like to travel light, the lightness of heart which comes with the knowledge that we have everything we might ever need! And ten seats for six meant we could stretch out our limbs …..and eat without worry! They had thought of everything, a small stool for my parents to step on, even some cheesy bhangra rap for our listening pleasure. We got so moved by their kindness that we dared to express our distaste for the high decibel music after suffering its onslaught for over an hour.
From the time they picked us up at Toronto airport to the time they safely deposited us back our wish was their command. Whether it was pancakes for breakfast or last minute shopping, nothing was too much to ask for. More than us they wanted to ensure that we see all the sights, stay in the nicest hotels, have the best meals and carry back fond memories.
During our initial talks they had mentioned photography as part of their service. But we had not expected a professional with all the paraphernalia to accompany us. With untiring zeal they would ask us to pose and we would oblige sometimes reluctantly, sometimes grudgingly. As we now go through the excellent pictures we regret not being more enthusiastic about it.
Thanks Julie and Humberto. We can never thank you enough for your patience, enthusiasm and discretion. You enhanced our journey back into time and we greatly appreciate your efforts. Have to let you in on a small secret though, remember when the light and sound show at the Parliament in Ottawa got cancelled and you were so disappointed. Well, we felt bad too……mostly for you…you had tried so hard to get us there in time…..with those excellent chocolate wraps ( forgot the name but not the taste) in our tummy…..we were just as happy to return to our hotel and sleep!