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whew!

The choral exchange wrapped up yesterday afternoon as we saw our guests off on their trip
back to France. There were lots of hugs and (French friendship) kisses. Some people were
crying tears of happiness; I even had a bit of tear in my eyes. It was quite a moving
scene.

A few of our guests are staying behind to do some traveling in the western US. Their
destinations include Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, and the Grand Canyon. Then it's back to the SF
bay area to catch flights back to Europe.

The concert went pretty well. We were able to fill Stanford's Memorial Church to capacity.
In fact, I heard over 100 people were turned away. Too bad, because there were some seats
available, although you would have had only a side view of the choruses. My solo went
reasonably well also. I wasn't miked, but I could hear myself pretty well. (The acoustics
of the church are much better than the places we usually perform.) Someone who was sitting
in the balcony at the rear of the church said they wished I'd been miked because they
couldn't hear me very well, but there's not much I could have done about that.

Other items of note: The trip to Yosemite was great. We hiked to the top of Vernal Falls.
It was much steeper than I thought it would be. The trail is rather rocky and uneven in
some places. It is a good thing I have been exercising regularly and that I have good balance
from dancing, because I might have twisted my knee or ankle on the trail. I was tired and
somewhat dehydrated when we finished. (I should have brought more water; usually, I have at
least two bottles for such a hike.) The trip to the Monterey Aquarium was somewhat of a
disappointment to our guests, because they didn't get to see everything and were somewhat
rushed. Also, our guide spoke very little French (even less than I), and couldn't convert
from US to metric measures, so all of our guests didn't get a good sense of what she was
talking about. However, our guests enjoyed San Juan Bautista quite a bit. I did also. I
had never been there before. I enjoyed the old buggy/coach exhibits the most.

So now that the exchange is over, I've had to spend time doing things that I would have been
doing if there had been no exchange, such as practicing piano and job hunting. I actually
spent most of today doing the latter. I'm caught up there, although I skipped over some
postings I might have otherwise looked at. (I may continue to skip over such postings so I
have more time to do other things.) I still haven't had a full piano practice, however.
Maybe tomorrow.