It's been a whirlwind since arriving in here and it's looking like it will only get busier! The leader house where I will be staying between trips is in Berkeley. Besides coming out here for my interview back in January, I´ve never spent time in Berkeley. I used to always think of California as a big, hussle and busstle metropolis. It's like that, of course, in the cities, but I was pleasanty surprised to discover that Berkeley is pretty low key. The house is in a nice neighborhood that is just a few blocks from restaurants, cafés and groceries and less than a half mile from the bay.
Pretty cute, huh?
At any given time, there may be up to 12 leaders staying here (3 beds per bedroom). Yep, total dorm-style. People are always coming and going so we basically just claim a bed when we arrive and take the sheets off before we leave. Leaders based here lead trips in Wine Country (to the north), Big Sur (to the south) and Yosemite (to the east).
Considering the exhorbently high cost of living in the Bay Area it's pretty sweet to be able to live here rent-free!
The day after arriving I was scheduled to take a tour of Wine Country with 4 other leaders to get to know the area. There are several different trips that we will lead and we had just 4 days to see everything for a weekend trip and two 6 day trips. It was a lot of information to take in, but being up in wine country felt so right for me- I love all the little towns, beautiful wineries, great food and coffee and quiet backroads. It's so luxuriouus and rugged at the same time. We spent part of the trip in wine country and part along the beautiful coast near Bodega Bay. We even ride alongside the tall coastal redwoods.
This castle-like structure is the famous Culinary Institute of America in Napa. At any given moment chocolatiers might be making gourmet chcocolates and pastry chefs decorating beautiful cakes. The students run an award winning restaurant and have food demonstrations and a tasting bar with wine, cheeses and olive oils. It is a food lovers delight!
Much more to come, but I'll end it there for now. Thanks for reading!