Friday, December 3, 2010

Further Adventures in Cali

The last weeks at the ranch were fun while bittersweet; it felt so natural to be there it was weird to think about leaving. The last weekend we were there we had a little party, lots of food and a few visitors. We barbecued about half a pig's worth of pork and had lots of other treats like squash pie and homemade caramel.
After the ranch, we went to San Francisco for a few days and then to visit some friends in Chico. In SF it was 75 and sunny, and two days later we were snowed in at a friend's house near Chico!
We stayed for Thanksgiving and met lots of wonderful people. It was a big potluck affair with 27 people and it was a blast.
There was an enormous amount of food including a "cheeseman" (snowman made of cheese balls)
Evan (friend from Kripalu) came up from SF for Thanksgiving and we drove back through the Central Valley which produces a lot of this country's food.
We stopped and bought some fresh winter fruit which we made into a lovely salad
We wandered around the city, went to Golden Gate Park
and the California Academy of Sciences, which is one of the coolest museums I've ever been to. The main part is a multi-level ecosystem where you can view the aquarium from above and underwater as well as 4 different levels of living rainforest, a planetarium, living roof and lots of educational non-living exhibits too.
What a trip!

I also made a pilgrimage to Cafe Gratitude - a raw food cafe whose cookbooks inspired me to experiment a lot with raw, vegan desserts
Then I went to Mount Madonna (another yoga study center with a residential volunteer program) to visit Broderick (another friend from Kripalu) and check the place out. Beautiful hiking trails, deer chilling outside the cabin, lots of good conversation and music.

From there I went to Santa Cruz to see Noush (another Krip friend) and then back to SF. I went up to Berkeley to visit Francie (a friend from Camp Green Cove - way back) and had dinner with her and her boyfriend Matt, wandered the Berkeley campus and hopped on a train to Salem, Oregon (It seemed romantic to take the train up North, but after 17 hours I'm not so sure)... though it was beautiful.
I am about to meet Rica & Erik (friends from UF TRiP) - just having a grand old time visiting people I love on the west coast, next stop Seattle!

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