In 2000 I started to write to Gary Blomgren in California who was looking for help
with his family research. As a thank you for helping him, I was invited to visit him
and his wife Mary Ann in California. The first visit came in 2002, and the second one
in 2005. In between those, Gary, Mary Ann and son Jim visited me in Sweden in 2003.
Both visits were quite similar: a few day in my favourite city San Francisco,
followed by the visit with the Blomgrens, and then a few more days in SF. Both times
we spent a few days at their farm near Lodi in Central Valley, where they grow Zinfandel
grapes just like most of their neighbours. We spent a few days at Sea Ranch, right next to the
sea where they have a second home. And both times I was invited to a sightseeing flight
over Central Valley in brother Will's Cessna. Great fun!
We certainly spent time talking about family history of course, but we had time for many
excursions in the area: to Sacramento, the state capitol, a few days at Kirkwood in the
Sierras, over the mountains to Nevada where we went soaring near Lake Tahoe. Both times
I had flautas for lunch in Mendocino. We joined the Skunk Train into the Redwood forest
near Fort Bragg and Gary also gave me a whitewater trip down the American River as a thank
you ... as if unlimited access to Corona Extra wasn't enough!
The 2005 photos were taken with my digital camera, and those from 2002 are scanned color
slides, hence the difference in quality.