Surprise Vacation 2015 / SOLVED

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For those of you who’ve been following along on the surprise vacation adventure - we’re taking off in about 45 minutes and I’m turning the blog over to my dad to give you the run down on all of his crazy clues… so without further ado, here’s Dr. D, back for his annual guest post!


Hello there to all of you who have tirelessly tried to become the: Solver of My Clues. I must admit, I was particularly obtuse this year. That said, when there are tens of thousands or more people trying to sack me - I gotta step up my game!

Most of these clues came to me between the hours of 3 and 6 am, usually in bunches. Those were extra special mornings!! When you read the solutions, I expect there may be some off colored language emitting from your mouth, so look out for the little ones that may be around!

OK, here we go!!!

Clue #1:

Part of: With all its trees, Montana is a forever desirable place to live; though not on an overcast-like day, when it is best to just put up your feet and/or lay down and rest.

The key here is “Part of” - meaning use parts of the words that are written - I know, brutal but wonderfully CLEVER!!!!!

Solution : Monteverde Cloud Forest - note the BOLD letters in the clue, and of course “overcast-like day” = Cloud

Clue #2:

Sister Bertrille - she must be scared.

Solution: Sister Bertrille was the Flying Nun in the TV series in the late 1960’s. Flying + Nun = Nun Bird. Scared - white as a sheet, thus the White faced Nun Bird ( aka Hapaloptila castanet to those of you birders)- found in the Monteverde Could Forest. (This was so easy 🙂 )

Clue #3:

Its “Made in China” so it does not cost much, but you will flip for it even if it is a bit off.

Solution: What is made in China……..RICE!!!!  …does not COST much.

You will flip for it: Instead of RICE then COST, you flip and it is COST and RICE

a bit off” - note the one letter off, an “a” so voila (french)  - COSTA RICA

So, are you totally mad at me yet?? :). Don't worry it only gets WORSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Clue #4:

Part of what my students always ask: Why are we never allowed to volunteer at the cancer center office

Solution: I am a urological oncologist and teach medical students, so this is a very appropriate clue, but again the key is “Part of”. Put the bold letters in the clue together in order and you quite easily come up with:


…..I am feeling pretty good about myself at this point in the process!!

Clue #5:

Everyone in the country loves to leave their car at the heart of this green fruit.


Everyone in the country = NATIONAL

leave their car = PARK

Bit of a stretch for the last part: Green fruit = Avocado and Heart = Core

so Core and Avocado = CORCOVADO


Clue #6:

Like Monika, yet longer, but can only keep half of your automobile.

Solution: Basically this one is unsolvable, which is why I LOVE IT!!!!!

Like Monika, yet longer - Gaby’s mother is Monika, and she loves to swim (She swam for the University of Michigan - GO BLUE!) and she is 5’4” tall

So - what else loves to swim……. FISH

yet longer…… not 5’4”, but SIX FOOT

Now hold your breath… Where do you keep your automobile - in the GARAGE. BUT, if you can only keep half your car then it is only a GAR

So the SIX FOOT GAR FISH - found of course in…….. Costa Rica!!!!!!!

Have you gotten so frustrated that you walked away from your screen yet? Thrown your glass of wine at the computer? 🙂 Just wait… there’s more

Clue #7:

To start, the old ranch trail’s under going unusual extensive renovations, oy! So, let’s go watch some ball in the capitol.

Solution: FYI - this one has NOT been solved by Gaby and her sister yet so it pains me greatly to give it away. I think it was one of, if not, THE BEST clue of the year. Okay….here it is:
“To start” is the key - note use the
first letter of each word in the first sentence beginning with “the…” and you end up with:


…watch some ball in the capitol” - What ball team is based in our capitol of Washington DC - The Washington Nationals - The stadium where you watch them play - NATIONALS PARK

Put it together and you of course have: TORTUGUERO NATIONAL PARK in Costa Rica

I am crying now having to give that one away (though not as much as when you listen to that Adele song…. some men are so emotional!)

Clue #8:

In old Western Films, what happens when Lloyd and his clan are found guilty of murder.

Solution: I could have made this much easier by using not just Lloyd but other first names for the Clan - like Beau and Jeff, but that would have been WAY TOO EASY.

So now, of course the Clan is the BRIDGES. (Lloyd, Beau and Jeff Bridges of Hollywood fame - thus films)

In the old west if found guilty of murder you were hanged - thus…..


The Arenal Hanging Bridges in Costa Rica are one of the most famous in the world. After enough alcohol to allow me to actually tolerate walking across them (some acrophobia here mind you)…it will be done!!

Clue #9:

They wear orange robes with ease.

Traveling as they please.

Not quiet nor dark

Always in search for fun

In space so bathed by the sun

Solution: For those of you who have frustrated over my work in the years past, you know I love the rhyming poem format for my clues. Could not go an entire year without one - so here it is!

Orange robes = MONKS     

“with ease” thus - Monk + ease = MONKEYS

Not quiet nor dark : of course HOWLER and WHITE FACED

And simply, monkeys seem to be always having fun and in the tops of those trees so warmed by the sun


I feel so good right now after that clue……..

Clue #10

For over 50 years tons of cheese to try

Lots of natural butter of course, and sadly with it flies

Then later to be amazed by the twenty story fall

Better bring a suit to enjoy it all

So many sights we will see

And what fun it will be!


First line: A group of American Quakers migrated to Monteverde, Costa Rica in 1951 and brought cheese production to the area. Monteverde Cheese Company now makes over 3400 pounds of cheese daily.

Second line: Butter and Flies = BUTTERFLIES, such as the Monteverde Butterfly Garden in Costa Rica!!!

Third and Forth lines: Twenty story fall = 200 foot waterfall aka La Fortuna waterfall which of course we will swim in.  

Fifth and Sixth line: And no clue series can be complete without the closing points that we are so fortunate to see many amazing sights and how much fun it will be for us all to be together!!!!!!!

I hope I have brought you not only frustration and pulling out of your hair… mine fell out years ago 🙁 , but mostly a few smiles and some enjoyment with my word choice and clues.

I wish you all a wonderful Holiday season, and of course a healthy and happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Clue Master

ps. I will return in 2016! Get ready……..

Feature photo from my bff Tara Gallagher 🙂 

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