California, the place it (almost) all started! Where we met, where we came up with this crazy project, where we convinced ourselves it wasn't all that crazy afterall and bought a sailboat. Where we also saved a sufficient amount of money to retire for a little while. We left in a rush one year and a half ago. Yalçın had come back twice, I hadn't. We had plenty of reasons to go back and I guess even more than usual…

1 baby, 2 weddings, a few articles, friend and family time, some blog and data sorting and two sad weeks under the weather would be a good summary of our time in the US between Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area. We initially went for three weeks but since we successively caught the first cold hanging around (3 negative tests including a PCR one convinced us it was a good old regular disease) in this less masked world - so much for our return to civilization! - we doubled our bet and ended up staying for a month and a half. Just enough time to miss our Tire Bouchon and his brand new dinghy (for some reason the thought of having a dinghy felt the most real part of the whole having-a-boat-waiting-for-you-abroad adventure) that we left in the mooring field of the French-run yard/marina where we did our bottom job in April. By now, Panamarina sparks a homey feeling for us and we knew our boat was in good hands.

Instead of telling you the very details of our trip, here is a selection of photos I figured we would be happy to see again down the road with a little context.

Number one mission was to meet Yalçın's cute newborn niece (there's no audio, otherwise you'll hear she says dayıcım dayıcım in her sleep!). Over the month and a half we were there, she grew so much - no kidding, she doubled in size! - and changed a lot from being all tiny and compact to looking around, looking at you and changing face expressions! Fun fact: she already has a connection to Tire-Bouchon since her mom is the Godmother, does that make her God-sister?
Mission number two was to attended the weddings of two couples we've missed quite a lot and who turned out to get married on the same weekend, luckily not at the exact same time. So glad we could make it for those! You may recognize Ryan and Mariya (on the left) who were with us on Tirb in Costa Rica, in a totally different type of outfits!
#3: Spend time with (the rest of) Yalçın's family in Santa Monica: his parents who were here on Tirb in Panama only a few weeks before and the new parents who became pros over these few weeks and housed us super comfortably. Thank you guys!!
Hang out with friends in Berkeley and in some cases meet their babies too (!)
Sailing at Cal Sailing Club, with friends or teaching and ending capsizing a lot!
Learned how to roller blade (or start learning again) in Santa Monica, just because I found these roller blades at my size by the trash in Berkeley marina, took them on-board thinking they might be useful, never used them, took them back to California to at least use them once on the beach waterfront, ended up like it a lot but never went to the beach waterfront, took them back to Tire Bouchon. Conclusion: don't expect to do what you intend to with roller blades!
Enjoy some time back in Berkeley and the beautiful San Francisco Bay area, thanks to our friends who landed us boats to stay on
Even among all of that, saw the 4th of July fireworks and I probably already forgot half of it...

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