So when Ben called and said he had a free weekend approaching soon and suggested a trip to the Bay to visit Austin - I jumped on it! Turns out the weekend wasn't exactly "free", but for an independent business owner there are rarely free moments. Yes, Ben started The Chicken Gardener and has become Eugene Oregon's premier chicken cooper! Supplying the Pacific Northwest - and now - Northern California with beautiful cedar chicken coops and raised flower beds of his own design and built with his very own blood, sweat, and tears.
Ben and I began our trip in Eugene where we stayed up into the wee hours while Ben put the finishing touches on a coop to be delivered in a town on our way down to the Bay. Once we got to the Bay, Austin greeted us with great and sincere hospitality (offering copious amounts of our very favorite party favors) and we spent a fast weekend doing what we do best! Spending time in the Berkeley Hills, in SF proper, and partying in Oakland.
This is not the first time I've been to the Bay, and revisiting gave me a strong nostalgic pang. I moved to Berkeley after turning 20 and lived there for two years - years which I fondly look back upon and reminisce about. My cousin who took me under his wing and became a surrogate brother still lives in Oakland - now with his beautiful wife and I am so grateful I had a chance to spend a moment with them. I do feel like I left a piece of my heart in San Francisco years ago, and every trip back (especially spent with my good friends and family) feels like visiting that lost piece. Maybe someday I'll reconnect them to build a whole again...
Austin and I spent a warm-ish day in the Berkeley Botanical Garden.
The Bird Whisperer
Thank you to Ben, Austin, Josh, and Anna - miss y'all already!