Ellen and I first met each other as "Baerbel" and "Gabi" in high school German class. Over the years and across continents, I've kept her near and dear to my heart as one of those friends who provides engaging company and a fresh perspective. Her peaceful nature and old soul essence are much needed reminders to my frenetic, type-a tendencies, encouraging me to slow the f**k down and take time to enjoy the simple things in life. Oh, and she taught me how to make tamales.
Mom and I visited Ellen and her equally down-to-earth husband Dave this past week as we toured the Monterey Bay area. Dave and Ellen graciously opened their home to us, a charming old farm house perched on a few hundred rolling acres on the outskirts of Watsonville. A horticultural whiz and berry breeder by trade, Ellen tends to her gardens and home-brews a fierce cider when she's not examining the leakiness of raspberries. (Yes, it's a thing.)
Dave and Ellen's place is nothing short of magical, inside and out. Here are just a few shots I took over the days we visited. A huge, blubbering, gushingly appreciative THANK YOU to Dave and Ellen for their hospitality.