I’m really enjoying Berkeley. No surprise, I guess; it’s known to be a pretty cool place.

Yesterday I met up with a friend in Oakland, for some cashew-based vegan ice cream at the Mr. Dewie’s shop. I had tried this ice cream before—the pints are sold in Portland—but I hadn’t remembered that the company is based here in the East Bay. I sampled four delicious flavors before deciding on a “split single scoop” of coffee and chocolate-orange chip, topped with caramel sauce. Yum!

On the way over there, I cycled along the waterfront. Somehow I had never put it together in my mind that Berkeley faces the bay too! (Um, duh?) I had always associated the city with its downtown area, near the BART station, and then also the hills on the east edge. But of course, the west edge of town is the water. I got to bike along it to get to Oakland, and it was beautiful.

This morning, I said goodbye to my Warmshowers host Thomas, and headed to my new place with our friend Mimi. She was cycling in Napa with friends this afternoon, so I took the opportunity to meander by bike through neighborhood streets and a couple of parks, including the UC Berkeley campus and its lovely eucalyptus grove. Today I also experienced the Berkeley Bowl grocery, which is a cool longtime institution of a natural-foods store; a longtime neighborhood Chinese restaurant with very affordable and delicious large portions (and a very apropos fortune in my cookie); and finally, the fabled vegan franchise Cinnaholic, which I also just learned was founded here. I got a decadent cinnamon roll while catching up with my friend Jessica, whom I had met when she was my Warmshowers host last time I came through the East Bay, last month. It’s been great to see friends—and keep making new ones!—on this journey.

I’m really enjoying this area. Looking forward to a couple more days here, before I head south.

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