Sunday, June 14

Vacation

Helio & Betsy
Clara concert uke
Cheryl and I returned this afternoon from a week in California. It's good to be back in the desert -- even if it's crazy hot right now. But you don't really appreciate the desert fragrances and the dryness until you leave it all for a few days and then return.

Sam & Kent
Cheryl & Larry
Most of our time in California was spent with family in the San Francisco Bay Area.

High points:
Seeing our son-in-law Helio Costa graduate with his PhD in genetics from Stanford. Our daughter Betsy is nearing the completion of a PhD in genetics from UC San Francisco. Both started their programs at the same time but as things in science work, his research came together faster.

Kent flew in from Washington, D.C. His girlfriend, Samantha Morrow, teaches in La Paz, Bolivia. But she is in the Bay Area this summer and so we all got to meet her. She is wonderful!

On Friday Kirk took us on a tour of his office at Glassdoor in Mill Valley. What an amazing place to work!

Cheryl's brother Larry Bickerton flew down from British Columbia to attend the graduation and hang-out with us. We always enjoy spending time with him.

Great visit with the Hallstens in Roseville. We feel so comfortable with that side of our extended family.

On Tuesday, Cheryl and I visited the Blackbird Guitar (& Ukulele) factory in San Francisco. We met with Joe Luttwak, the founder and designer. Joe let me play a "Clara" ukulele that had just minutes before been finished downstairs in the shop. I could not believe how well it held tune for being so fresh from the womb. It was the most amazing ukulele I've ever played -- so rich, so comfortable, so beautiful, such gentle action. It's definitely out of my league. But I'm saving my pennies to get one, anyway. After I handed it back to Joe, he handed it off to be shipped to her new lucky owner in England.


Kirk
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