This past week the boys of the family went to California. While it was not exactly a pleasure trip, they had a lot of fun from all accounts! I'll show you some pictures in a moment but first, the reason for the trip! We are looking to buy a Precision Pruner for our Pellenc 4560 multi-functional machine (we just call it the grape harvester). You can click here to watch a video of it. The precision pruner would be used after pre-pruning and it would eliminate two plus months of work for us - no more hand pruning the vineyard as we do it now! The Pellenc Precision Pruner uses an infrared eye to follow the cordon and cut the spurs at the desired length. If you remember, we have been pruning the Montepulciano grapevines and leaving one bud spurs - it would do that for us. We hand prune about a half acre per day - the Pellenc Precision Pruner does about 2 acres per hour! We would still need to clean up any vines missed or spurs that come from the underside of the vine but, that would be nothing compared to the three months of work we are doing now. So, after renting a car, (5 of them in an Impala - circus clowns that just keep coming out of a small car!) the fellas drove to Tuscon, AZ where they visited friends we met while we lived in Switzerland. Not only was it a refreshing stop, they also reminisced and caught up - thanks Fred and Janet for entertaining the crew on such short notice! Here are some photos our oldest son took on his new phone: Sunset over the Pacific The Pacific Rocky Coastline They even did some mountain climbing! Here they are playing king of the mountain The Golden Gate Bridge at Night The Pacific bathed in Moonlight While the boys were in Paso Robles which is on the central coast of California to see the precision pruner, the girls and I enjoyed the scenery of El Paso. I enjoyed spending most of the days holding a new grandson and hearing all the precious sounds they make! The Pellenc Precision Pruner must be ordered from France and would not get here in time for this year's pruning so, we plan to order it after this year's harvest - Lord willing! Needless to say, everyone here is completely jazzed at the prospects of automating the vineyard!