We woke in the hotel this morning and sent off a text to our oldest grandson, wishing him "Happy Birthday". We went down stairs to meet some of the CEIF board and their wives. Some of us had breakfast together and we all met in the lobby. We drove out to Napa in several cars and met at the railway station where we waited to board a train that goes up the valley and serves a meal. On the way we had texts back and forth with Hunter, the birthday boy.
The train was much longer than I had expected and took a while to board. We were all in the same section of the rear carriage and we were able to talk together. Most of us knew each other, but there is one new member of the board who has served previously, but is new to a few. The controller if CEIF is also attending these meetings for the first time and was new to most of us. He only got married on Saturday, and it was an introduction to his wife, meeting almost all of us for the first time. There is a large Russian group of people in this part of California, and Igor, the controller is Russian, having been born in Moscow. His wife is from Odessa in Ukraine and they grew up together in the same Church here. I knew there were Russian Churches here as CEIF has financed some of them, but on Sunday I was surprised to see how many there were when I was looking for a Church to attend.
The train left and went fairly slowly through the Napa Valley. We enjoyed the scenery and arrived at the furthest end of the track where we went along to a dining car and were served a good three course meal. While we were eating, the train left to return to Napa along the same track. We were fortunate to be able to sit on the opposite side, so had a view of both sides of the track by the time we were back.
When we arrived back at the station we stood around and talked for a while then went to our cars. Some were going to have a walk in Napa, but we decided to head back to the hotel. We had been driven by Bob and Nora, the marketing manager of CEIF and his wife. So we had good conversation, catching up with family and business news.
We came back to our room and rested till dinner time. We went back to the place where we had eaten last night and met a couple from Vernon who were here for the conference also. I had a sandwich and Christine had dessert as we did not need much after the lunch on the train.
We returned to the hotel and met some other board members and sat and talked to them before retiring for the night. It was 44 degrees here today and at 9:00pm it is still 39.
I have the CEIF board meeting tomorrow and Christine is going exploring with some of the ladies.