Monday, October 17, 2011

Days 106 - 109: Mount St Helens to Berkeley, CA?

Maybe a month ago, we were driving towards Mount St Helens along a treacherous road with plenty of potholes and some pretty large rocks that fall regularly from the cliffs and came upon a couple with a flat tire on their rented car.  Naturally, we pulled over to see if they needed any help.  After helping to change the flat and a pleasant conversation about travelling, we headed on to do some hiking.

When we got back to the van after our hike there was a note on the windshield.  It was Karen and John, the flat tire couple, offering to put us up at their place in Berkeley if we were heading that way! 

Who are we to say no to an offer like that?

Karen's place in Berkeley.
(We were greated with Tequila shots so we knew we were in the right place.)

Karen's view!
Yep, that's San Francisco in the distance.  Wow.

These decks provide the view!  The house is fantastic, Karen and John designed and built it.  Again, wow.

City lights at night.  Yep, wow.

Our first day there we were pretty lazy.  Angie hangin' on the deck with Kipper and Guido, the resident pup.  We did motivate enough to cook a TexMex dinner for our hosts (another excuse for Angie to make queso!).  John provided the delicious margaritas.

Kipper loved the deck...

Saturday, Karen and John were having neighbors over for a little get together.  Angie and I lent a hand with some of the preparations.  Here Karen and Angie are rolling salad greens into proscuitto...yummy!

Carla, from across the street is in the center.  She provided some great travel advice for California, Nevada, and Utah and even loaned us a cabin for a couple of days!  More on that later....

I can't remember what this was called so we'll just call it AWESOME!  It's about 20 layers of goodness including spinach, ham, cheese, and more cheese and baked.  Oh yeah

Karen admires her masterpiece as John sets up the buffet.

Party!  We met lots of nice folks.

Later that night, after party cleanup, we were talking about this and that when Angie starts talking about how I need to get physical.  Karen pipes up and says she'll check my blood pressure!  She's a nurse, by the way, and just happens to have a blood pressure checker thingy.  Once I passed with flying colors it was Angie's turn!  She passed with flying colors too.

Sunday, we took a ferry from Oakland over to San Francisco to check out some of the Fleet Week festivities.  We have quite a few photos of ships, boats, and planes so we'll probably do a separate entry for that, but in the meantime, here's one of Angie looking skyward at a daredevil jet!

We woke up Monday morning and what a difference!  We'd had such beautiful weather the entire time we were at Karen's house, but we left in a foggy drizzle to head inland to a borrowed cabin for a couple of days (more on that later).

Thanks, Karen and John, for all your kindness, generosity, and hospitality!  We had a great time at your place and hope to see you again!!

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