This past weekend I flew down to California to visit friends in the Bay Area, most of whom are now denizens of the Googleplex. In recent years, I've developed an ad-hoc tradition of spending 4th of July in lands afar with friends/family dear to my heart. That particular holiday fell in the middle of the week this year. But a quick rescheduling of plans proved sufficient to overcome this difficulty.
My trip clearly demonstrated to me that absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder. I reconnected with old friends, some of whom I hadn't seen for nearly two years. In this age, it's easy to forget how much fun the company of old friends can be.
But enough rambling. On to the pictures!
Early on in weekend, Anne and I faced off in a grueling game of The Lord of the Rings edition of Trivia Pursuit. Steve tried valiantly to compete but was hopelessly over matched.
Unfortunately, the game ended in a draw since dinner time had arrived. So we shuffled on over to the Amarin Thai Cuisine. Left to right: Parisa, me, Steve Hanna, John, Robin, Anne and Steve Downing.
Parisa organized a 5-hour hike through Big Basin State Park. So along with Steve Hanna, John and Graeme (who's a fellow Googler of Parisa's), we went forth into the wilderness.
John Carrino doing his thing.
Our inability to read signs led us briefly astray.
After about a half-mile detour, we realized our folly, backtracked and resumed course heading home.
Following the hike, Parisa held a BBQ at her apartment complex. We all came ready to eat, including Steve Downing, who didn't even come hiking with us.
While at UIUC, I'd acquired a small reputation for my ability to ingest and ingest some more. I certainly did not disappoint in this regard, and my compatriots also gulfed down their fair share as well.
Even Jerry Oscar Talton III decided to grace us with his presence.
Steve Hanna was reinventing how we think about cooking s'mores. That's PhD material right there.
It's all smiles over here.
Our paths through life might never again stay crossed for very long, as they did in the days gone by. But life sure as hell gets a lot better every time we do catch up, no matter how brief the meeting.
Now it's back to reality.