Two weekends ago (June 23rd, 24th and 25th), S and I and S's parents went up to Schenectady, NY to the Old Songs Festival. It was fantastic! Contra dancing, Shetland fiddling, flat-picking, blues, bluegrass, Celtic harp, ... I had a great time and the experience was educational, inspirational, and in various ways eye-opening.
Last year at Old Songs, S's parents won a guitar. I've been playing it on and off for a year or so now and it's got a great sound to it. It's very different from my Guild American--I think the best way to describe it is that it's less muddy and it's brighter. Though part of that could be due to a need to change the strings on my Guild American.
I attended a few workshops of Beppe Gambetta, a flatpicker from Genoa, Italy. He taught one workshop on stretching and gymnastics for better flatpicking, most of it focusing on making the left hand more agile. Great stuff.
Great experience. I'm looking forward to next year, though S said that the festival coincides with GA, so I think we'll wait a couple years before going again.
On a side note, I brought my Nokia 770 with several ebooks and Mahjong on it. It was super useful.