Windy Acres – Hope Across the Lavender

Hold on to your hats!

The 100 eager patrons seated at the Long Table at the Windy Acres Lavender Farm at Westbrook south of Toowoomba certainly had to keep a firm hold on their hats and skirts. The name of this peaceful property 15 minutes from Toowoomba was definitely reflected in the weather. Yet it was a point of entertainment rather than frustration for those who had gathered to help raise funds for Hope Horizons Cancer Wellness Centre and its healing support programs.

Decked out in the colours matching the lavender plants, Windy Acres host family and friendly band of volunteers turned on a very special High Tea in the field. Country hospitality, supported by both country and city dwellers, many of whom have been touched by the insidious creep of cancer saw a mix of delicious afternoon treats, bottles of bubbly, lavender tea and gifts from the lavender farm, and many, many raffles with prizes generously donated.

The President of Hope Horizons Board, the always upbeat Jo Capp, reminded everyone of the comforting and often life-changing work being done, and the much anticipated new centre hopefully ready later in 2023, and thanked everyone who supports the various efforts to be able to provide free support services such as remedial massage to people during their journey of beating the cancer.

With the scent of the lavender gently wafting across the table and the scene of country colours and skies changing as the afternoon lengthened, it was a very relaxing atmosphere, and the announcement that $7000 had been raised was the icing on the cake for such a successful event.

So glad to know that we don’t have to wait for a High Tea event to visit Windy Acres. The gift shop and wandering through the lavender rows can be an experience anytime. Add it to your tripping bucket list and you won’t be disappointed.

That Old Chestnut?

Toowoomba has a host of hidden gems……..both natural and manmade. Mostly unseen by motorists, there are loads of plaques dotted around the city which savvy walkers and a few with eagle eyes are privileged to find.

A chestnut is a nut. It is a British favourite. It grows on a tree. It has a saying that identifies its longevity. There is a lovely chestnut tree right here. That old chestnut!

So this is a short tribute to Toowoomba’s chestnut tree.

One of the plaques which herald the history of the early years of Toowoomba’s settlement –

This Spanish Chestnut tree

Commemorates an avenue of these trees

Planted by John Handley

On Paradise Farm

In the years 1865-1875

This plaque unveiled by his descendants on 2-4-1983

Chestnuts- are cocooned in a spiky outer covering to protect the developing nut from the ravages of sharp-toothed hungry animals.

Traditionally roasted and often seen, and uplifted by the alluring aroma, on street corners in northern hemisphere countries, chestnuts have supplemented family food stock for generations. The taste is similar to roasted Bunya Nut.

If you are curious to see this particular Toowoomba relic of a pioneer generation, then head to the corner of West and Nelson streets past UniSQ.

Even after the tree becomes compost back into the Earth, there will remain its legacy through Paradise Park on the opposite corner. Happy Chestnut hunting!

Australia’s Standing Stones

What a trbute to the creators of this memorial site – an annual festival celebrating all things Celtic in the heart of the New England High Country overlooking the charming town of Glen Innes.

With a vision and community spirit, the plan, the design and the practical labour to establish the site a hardy band have created a site unique to the immigrants who were courageous enough to make a new life in an unknown land. The traditions and culture they transplanted on the landscape are alive and well, and the annual gathering of the Clans is testament to the generations who have gone before, and to the determination of those who want to see it continue into the future.

The site is set on the higher area where the sky meets the expanse of grass tough enough to withstand the tread of many feet over the years, and where the various stones pay tribute to many contributions. The picnic area, the delightful cafe, The Croft, with its incredible library, chess set of the Picts, and the delicious food offerings and the peaceful view are all excellent reasons to spend time here.

Central to the site are the memorials. The wall embedded with stones dedicated to clans, families, organisations and individuals entices people to wander, read and be awed by the various stones and their inspirational heritage.

Things of particular interest to me were the way of measuring with the Ogham Stone, the memorial walkway and stairs dedicated to Pipe Major Ferguson, and the stone highlighting the mythical King Arthur and the Sword Excalibur.

Looking out over the site, my imagination turned to the festival and what a difference the sounds of the pipers and the feats of strengths, the dancing and the general air of joy in all things Celtic must make when the Festival is on.

Am already looking forward to the 4-7th May 2023 when this site will ring out loud in tribute.

High Country High

Left Toowoomba with a sense of expectation as we headed south past the tree-lined carpet of purple Jacaranda petals along Ruthven Street. Driving to Glen Innes to the High Country Writers Festival would take 4 hours, but the drive would take us through a few towns brimming with nostalgia, so it was with a sense of expectation about seeing the familiar sights but also anticipating the new. Very little traffic at 7 am on a Saturday morning, so it was a smooth getaway.

Waved to my birthplace of Warwick, then was a little saddened by the number of farms, orchards and businesses that looked decidedly like covid casualties as we travelled into Granite Belt country at Stanthorpe – five years after exchanging our hobby farm at Mt Tully for the suburban life of Toowoomba, I had very mixed emotions.

Wallangarra was little changed, and Tenterfield’s beautiful heritage architecture never fails to delight, so it was a very pleasant place to stop and stretch before continuing the next leg to Glen Innes. The countryside was green and the landscapes very appealing.

Glen Innes is obviously a popular stopping destination judging by the number of motels dotted along its highway entrance and exit, and the wide, wide main shopping street holds plenty of history in its sweep. My chauffeur and LSM (Long Suffering Male) mainstay support easily found our destination – The Book Market. With time to spare before the Festival began, I indulged my passion browsing the shelves and chatting with delightful, quirky owner, Badger, and enjoying the signage, the HUGE range of second-hand and the very reasonable prices. Managed to find Wicked London and Scottish Clans, both in great condition and with a0 nod to my recent overseas foray. On the ‘luring’ table outside I spotted a book I thought LSM would like to add to his family history research collection about the early Victorian goldfields and life for immigrant families such as his Simcocks line……so much for restraint…..and I hadn’t arrived at the festival yet!

Then it was on to The Makers Shed at the end of a quiet block in Grey Street. What a quality addition to the creative artisan scene in the region. Owned and operated by Michael Burge and husband Richard, this duo have created a space not only for showcasing beautiful wares from local artists and producers, including Richard’s beautiful silver jewellery, but also providing an intimate location for writers, book clubbing, a very elite book sales outlet for new releases, and a place for collaboration with the others in the regional writing, reading, storytelling, workshopping realm. It also provides an outlet for Richard’s delicious culinary delights which stem from his considerable chefing background. He was the perfect host…. and the gourmet sandwiches, jam drops and chocolate brownies were a treat.

Michael Burge’s repetoire is large, his influence in writing about homophobia and its impact is considerable and acknowledged by the writing fraternity, (Tank Water and Write Regardless) and his drive and discerning choices for the 4th year of the High Country Writers Festival are spot on. His easy manner and hands-on approach as the Festival Director have created a means of engaging with great presenters and moderators and bringing a regional audience on board. What a result!

It was wonderful to connect to the New England Writers Centre, and prolific children’s writer Sophie Masson (Inside Story) and Lyn from the centre, as well as Michael, are on the Word Fest Toowoomba collaboration radar for our 2023 program. It was also a chance to meet and chat with Ian Wynne about the influence of his South African journalist background on his writing. Was drawn to his work The Seventh Vial and its association with a Palm Island character-intriguing contemporary theme of genetic terrorism. Collaborative local support from the Council has really helped sustain the momentum of the Festival and The Makers Shed activities, and was roundly applauded.

So then it was on to the Community Hub at the other end of the block for the Festival sessions. A well-designed centre for many community activities, with technology on tap, meant the distances for authors from far away places was not an issue……and we, the audience, were entertained by great authors, themes, moderators, and q & a style opportunities. Well done Michael for the program design.

Matthew Condon’s experience as a journo and presenter showed as he moderated the CSI New England session. We heard from Emma Partridge (The Widow of Walcha) and Walkley Award Winner Kate Holden (The Winter Road) about the processes, and the extensive research that went into their work. Fascinating! Just as riveting was the session moderated by Kirsty Reading on the Historical Fiction and the Search for Home of Julie Janson (Benevolence), the counter Indigenous perspective to Kate Grenville’s The Secret River, and the prolific Nicole Alexander’s work on a grazier dynasty’s boom and bust as well as the history of the Murray River paddle steamers (The Last Station). Also fascinating!

The sun was shining on Glen Innes as we came out of the very cool air-conditioning in The Hub, and it was easy to see why so many creative souls enjoy being here.

Armed with a hugely generousal from the Noodle Bar, we hunkered down at the Glenn Innes Motel – LSM admiring the meticulous Pointilist style Emu Dreaming print he had found at the Gawuar Art Gallery and enjoying watching the cricket test. Me? My head was trying to process all that I had done during the day, and of course reading.πŸ˜ƒ

And so to Sunday – with a little bit of touring to the Standing Stones to stir my strong Celtic heritage, and stopping for cherries and apples at Stanthorpe, my weekend will feel like this burst of joy ……..

Aussie Elvis takes on the Brits

Forget Eurovision – Toowoomba has Elvis Vision!

With barely twelve months of tribute gigs under the bling of his Elvis belt, Toowoomba go-getting performer, Tristan James is getting prepared for a trip to the UK in 2023 to compete in the European Elvis Championships against 40 other Elvis Tribute Artists (ETAs) for the honour and the next step in his increasingly familiar role of the King of Rock and Roll. Tristan has a background of local roles in many productions at the Empire Theatre, and is keen to represent his home town and make the most of his singing and acting talents and follow his dreams.

Oh Tilly Photography has captured Tristan’s essence andctribute to the King in this one image from the day…….great job Tilly!

Local Federal Member for Groom, Garth Hamilton, who is well-known for his attention to all that is going on in the community saw that Tristan was heading over to show the Brits what they were up against and suggested a opportunity for a creative activity by connecting music lovers to a burgeoning local talent. His guitar playing was ready and willing to be the background for a joint gig. Tristan turned to the very supportive local business network to make it a happening thing.

Another community-minded local identity, Kim Cahill from KC Strategic Media Services, a proud longtime advocate for local people, places, food, events and business through her well-established Toowoomba Darling Downs Community support platform, was inspired by Tristan’s story to arrange a gathering to get the story out to the Toowoomba community. With her Social Media contacts and her network through BNI The Range, Kim approached All Star Brokers and the delightful Sonia offered her Mt Kynoch home as a venue – with her beautifully decorated Christmas Tree as the backdrop.

Of course this brought to mind the Elvis seasonal song – Blue Christmas. Tristan was well and truly on board to practise the song in such a peaceful bushland setting and was especially pleased to be able to share with other media outlets organised through Kim. Garth was such a good sport to take time to strum, whistle and tap along.

So, buoyed by Sonia and Kate’s All Star hospitality, and Sonia’s delicious Cypriot heritage pastries to boost his energy level, it was down to the professionals to set up the sound and camera gear – Tilly Mykat from Oh Tilly Photography, Clayton and his video angles from Little Pig Consulting and the super-chilled Channel 7 pro, Peter, with his relaxed interview style, and MollyB Blogging taking in the human aspects rather than the technical.

You can check out the great brandishots at Oh Tilly Photography ‘ Face Book page – til then you have my MollyB Blogging happy snaps.

The atmosphere was very Christmasy and Tristan and Garth sparred neatly off each other. Decked out in his identifiable red-spangled jumpsuit, the eagle insignia with the hair and sideburns refecting Elvis’ trademark, and warming up those distinctive flexible hips, Tristan effortlessly sang and wiggled a great rendition.

We know that the tribute artists are a friendly group, and we know that music reaches each and every one of us, so it will certainly be a fun time for Toowoombaites to get behind Tristan and support his journey as Elvis leaves the building here and enters the European arena.

Tristan is very much looking forward to the overseas experience. He will be travelling with his wife to the UK in 2023 to compete for the experience. He is expecting fierce competition, but judging by the impromptu promo efforts, he will be right at home doing his tribute to the King. Thanks to everyone involved in the fun.

Brisbane the River City

A bus ride from Toowoomba gave a higher than normal view of the Lockyer Valley, the market garden farms and the increasing density of housing in the Plainlands atea. All under a bright November sky and some amazing cloud formations enjoyed through the windows, the trip was smooth and time efficient.

Then the changes to Brisbane hit home as we pulled in to Roma Street. The much anticipated Cross-River rail construction is extensive and hopefully it will deliver its targets and provide the Queensland capital with extended infratstructure to meet the anticipated needs of the 2032 Olympic City. The inconvenience of noise, dust and traffic detours now might pay off….one can but hope.

Playing tourist in the familiar city that saw my University studies and Teachers College days in the early 1970s was actually a strange feeling. Although I have visited regularly, being on foot and exploring the hidden gems was a luxury I had not allowed myself for many years. So the walk across the Kurilpa bridge with its unusual structure was a delight. Allowing great views of the muddy old Brisbane River in either direction from the bridge picked up the sense of a big country town turned global city with a contemporary flair. I loved what I saw, and enjoyed the winding loop along the river at the end of the bridge which snaked along the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) and opened on to Montague Road.

I had a bit of time to kill, so explored Peel Street and its many theatrical outlets and the sprinkling of high rise apartments amidst the trendy coffee shops and interesting boutiques. The murals on the huge pylons of the Goodwill Bridge or was it the William Jolly Bridge were eyecatching. The Spring flowers made a fetching border along the bridge run.

My appetite was sated by the bacon and egg roll (gf toast for me) for a $3 bargain at Ripe Cafe where the staff knew and greeted every passer-by and every customer. Next door was Wyld Floral with its natural vibe, and lots of interesting businesses along just this one section up to Merivale Street.

The Queensland Theatre Company was my destination and the super pleasant and well-equipped bar and cafe was just the atmosphere needed to prepare for the matinee performance of the adaptation of author Kris Olsson’s poignant family story of Boy, Lost. It was a powerful portrayal of the conditions and injustices of societal dysfunction and cultural mismatch and the impact it has on so many. Wonderful stageing, minimal sets, multi-faceted actors and sustained performances. What a lucky audience we were. Coming back into the reality of Montague Road was a bit of an emotional shift.

So a visit to the contemporary exhibitions at GOMA was next. The new exhibit called Air was being installed…interesting balls in the air. Amazing Indigenous traditional bark paintings, totems and works on canvas as well as the interpretation of weaving with different, non-traditional materials were enthralling and culturally gifting us knowledge. Very special.

For years I had listened to the recommendations of visitors to the Museum of Brisbane – you must go and see it. So without being hampered by parking time limits, I was free to wander back across to Queen Street Mall and into King George Square and up to Level 3 of City Hall. Yes, it was well worth it! More treasures uncovered. I particularly liked the posters of the artist in residence (who wasn’t in residence ) and the Brissie…isms. I smiled at all of them. Very familiar and oh so typical of those of us who have grown with the city.

The final piece of my day in Brisbane was to meet my family at the Old Museum for my grandson’s Year 12 Graduation from the Music Industry College. Such a small high school with a big impact on its students. A short, sweet, individualised program with the highlights being the performance of the teacher lead band Double Happiness and the throwing of the mortar boards into the air…… to see these talented young creative arts students take on the world.

It was a foot-weary Toowoomba tourist who finished that day tired by truly grateful for the sights and sounds of the River City. BrisVegas you rock!

Delightful Duggan Street

Toowoomba is a walker’s paradise. The CBD offers so many gems, and a stroll to meet friends for lunch in Duggan Street reminded me of the treasures to be found.

Cutting through the gardens on Ruthven Street to zigzag past the Regional Council offices and the absolutely stunning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander totems presents a visual feast in a haven of trees and green – workers lunching in the peaceful surrounds must bring a wellness bonus for their workplaces. The history the totems tell is unfolding for us all to learn about, and the community is so much richer for that knowledge.

Then into Duggan Street and the first of Toowoomba’s now famous street art. There is a map of the whole mosaic of street art which entices locals and visitors alike to wander in wonder at the talent here. Check it out at the Visitor Information Centre.

Streetscapes differ everywhere, but Duggan Street has a very gentle and subtle difference. It is bounded on one side by the no nonsense architecture of the Grand Central building walls, car park and walkway, plus a few professional offices and the Suncorp bank on the corner. Nothing special there really. πŸ˜€

However it is on the opposite side of Duggan Street leading down to Margaret Street that the diversity of small businesses stands out. Toowoomba is attracting a range of new health and beauty offerings, as well as the contemporary Proof Brewery with its hip following, the classy John’s Hair Studio, and plenty of eateries and laneway coffee shops to cater for all tastes. Hopefully the businesses will get ongoing support.

Two Birds Cafe was our oldies lunchtime destination and the usual catching up was on the menu. Food, genteel service and attention to detail made our Duggan Street rendezvous a definite thumbs up and the reason to return.

Kwong Sang Walk in the Heart of Toowoomba

Toowoomba’s CBD has been revitalised – and not just from the pandemic restrictions having been lifted. Downtown Toowoomba is a place bristling with new eateries bringing all sorts of international cuisine and tastes to a contemporary food scene.

However a CBD cannot survive on coffee and cake alone. The urban sprawl to outlying shopping centres, the convenience of online trawling and the lure of shopping trips to Brisbane has seen the demise of many regional town centres. Not so Toowoomba. The TRCouncil has been diligent in its renewal planning and the CBD is a comfortable mix of historical heritge building designs, and contemporary class with eyes firmly on the future.

Kwon Sang Walk is one such contemporary addition. This recognition of its Chineses origins is seen in the designed and built walkway connecting the library, Art Gallery and City Hall precincts at the southern CBD section of Ruthven Street to the entrance to the Oaks Hotel complex in Annand Street. The laneway gives easy and pleasant access to the high quality boutique shops in the laneway through to the car park in Annand Street and then on to the Empire Theatre and Neil Street businesses.

Designed to acknowledge and appreciate the contribution of the Chineses immigrant, Hock Sing, who, in 1883 imported Chinese goods and established a store at 552 Ruthven Street. The name was changed to Kwong Sang in 1901 and the store reflected its meaning – always welcome, always open. It seems to have been a community gathering place and with a Chinese Altar, also a religious centre. This altar is now in the Queensland Museum.

In 1957, next to the store, his son, Diamond Lum, opened the first Chineses restaurant, the Cathay Cafe. Though no evidence of the original store was found during the development of the Council owned site, the tribute to its past lies firmly in the oriental and artistic features.

Kwong Sang Walk is now an embedded part of Toowoomba, and worth a wander.

TelΔΊ your friends about it, too.

Steveston turns on the charm

Canada has a well-deserved global reputation for its fishing industry, particularly salmon, and a visit to Stevest ppon at Richmond brings the history and impact of the industry to life.

The weather was cooler and the sky threatening, but the rain held off and we enjoyed the Cannery which was a great educational and learning resource, supported by the Historical Society and volunteers. The displays were well planned and executed and many original items from the bustling days were interactive. A first class place to see the waves of immigrant Chinese and Japanese workers, Indigenous Canadian craftsmen and the legacy of what was a huge salmon canning industry.

We were also impressed by the display of the Haunted Sea, a seasonal theme around the damage human plastic waste is doing to the sea creatures, aimed at students, but a warning to us all.

The fish species turned our minds towards KOVE the restaurant at the boardwalk overlooking the water, and we enjoyed our brunch. The deep red and strong flavour of the sockeye salmon was very different from our southern waters around Australia. But delicious!

Then it was a gentle stroll through to the Steveston Bookstore where the gentle owner spends his retirement amongst cascading shelves of secondhand beauties….only bought two here. Very restrained.πŸ˜€ Next door at the Social Enterprise supporting children in need, there was a lively band on the pavement entertaining a gathering and appreciative crowd. The streets are filled with Halloween displays and quirky and entertaining visuals, as well as opportunities for arts and crafts to thrive.

Halloween dominates.

The other bookstore, Village Books and Coffee, has a more contemporary feel with its coffees and yummy baked treats and sells both new and used books and gift items….and after its current refurb is completed it will have its new windows and its indoor seating back. A very pleasant place for browsing….and surrounded by interesting food and home decor outlets and only a few doors down from the Post Office / Steveston museum.

As we walked back towards the Cannery we decided to find the other historical site which shows how and where the workers lived, and the marshland landscape. Such a beautiful, peaceful reconstruction and very informative guides.

The lives, families, work, hardships, and legacy of the many people engaged in this area and industry have been beautifully preserved for all to share and learn from. This complex also sees an annual vibrant Tall Ships and festival event.

Steveston’s charm has also been captured on film in the series Once Upon a Time, and its place in Canada’s tourism landscape is assured. A wonderful day trip and highly recommended.

Anyone for Maple Syrup?

Nothing was going to wipe off my smile when I saw the final Bookstore sign at Heathrow Airport and settled in to my seat on the Air Canada flight to Vancouver. Heading back to this neck of the woods was definitely the icing on the cake of the Bucket List Book Adventure. The engines roared into life and the lady seated next to me was a gentle Vancouver resident returning from visiting her grandchildren in the UK….the flight attendants were still fresh and perky, and the menu looked fine.

Then came the announcement from the Captain. A light had indicated a possible engine issue, so we waited for an hour on the tarmac for it to be checked, and whatever they did to it….then we we able to proceed. Usually I strap on my faithful travel pillow and catch as many zzzzs as possible, but strangely I was on full alert in case that light reflickered. So it was a movie marathon for me. Well any excuse to watch fun classics Miss Congeniality and First Wives Club, as well as cackle over the documentary on Canada taking us on the stereotypes from East to West and finishing up with Where the Crawdads Sing. Yes, the eyes were hanging out of my head, but I was going to be ready for any situation…..actually it was a smooth and pleasant flight.

Instructions on how to get to the Three Kittens Guesthouse out of Vancouver in adjacent Burnaby had been prepared by my LSM back home and all would have been well, had I followed them to the letter. I guess the weariness was setting in because when I took the Skyrail to the City Centre, instead of changing and getting the Skyrail on to Burnaby, I got on the regular bus. BAD CHOICE! It stopped at every stop along the looong route and it took over an hour and it was getting dark, and it was sprinkling rain. So after I realised my error, I decided to look on it like a HopOn Hopoff Tourist bus and enjoy the various and many changes of inner city, Chinatown, suburban cultural sites and 50 stops later we arrived at the big Metrotown Station opposite the HUGE shopping mall.

Luckily it was still buzzing and I was able to purchase my local Canadian SIM and find a taxi to take me to the Guesthouse. (#7288 below) Sadly, the energy of Dwhali celebrations seemed to have sapped the ability of the taxi driver to find the number of the place and he left me in the dark and rain to try to find it. Another challenge! After getting soaked despite my umbrella, I managed to find a local who knew where I needed to go, and I finally made it to the destination next to the very interesting Deaf Support Village – and soon crashed into the sleep of the idiot who had done a movie marathon instead of napping on the plane.

Vancouver is the home of my extremely organised and welcoming cousin on my father’s maternal side, so it is always a joy to catch up with the Coltrin crew. Carol had gone to great trouble to arrange a day trip across on the ferry to Vancouver Island to a very different part from that which we had seen or met them at on previous trips. So it was with great anticipation and heavy bags under the eyes that I headed on the Skytrain to meet them at a more convenient station. In the light of day, it was easy to see that I could have walked to the Guesthouse the previous night and got the same amount of soaking as via the taxi…….sigh!

What a fun day at Sidney-by-the-Sea. This is a very small, welcoming town which had earlier, under the guidance of the Tanner family established it as a Booktown. The tourism and more contemporary food outlets and boutiques added an air of tourist temptations and although it has four bookstores, it is no longer touted as a distinct Booktown. It is just a gem though.

All four stores were different, and alluring. Even the male Coltrin contingent found themselves rummaging amongst the secondhand delights of the Haunted Bookstore; marvelling at the now amalgamated maze of Mrs Tanner’s wonderful collections at Beacon Books; the new offerings at the store still bearing the Tanner name but now owned by the Mayor; and the rare books sprinkled in among the antiques at Galleons. All bookstore owners and assistants were very amiable and willing to share their stories. I have loads of podcasting lined up for Word Fest Toowoomba from this day.

Of course I am now looking at discardimg my final few items of clothing to accommodate the new weight. Don’t laugh – my latest purchase is Bibliomaniac by Robin Ince. 😱🀣

Sidney-by-the-Sea is a sauntering kind of place. The gin distillery with its purple gin which got the nod from the boys, the sea aquarium, the fish market pier and our luck in seeing Princess the locally loved seal bobbing patiently under the pier knowing the tidbits would come, the sea front and the good toilet access at the local Starbucks were all highlights.

Even the ferry rides over and back were fun. The food on board was quick and filling, and there was even the kindness of being dropped at the guesthouse door at the end of a great day.

With a much needed day of test up my sleeve yesterday I walked up to the Metrotown Mall and had half a lunch, took photos of the very livable Burnaby satellite city and carried my other half back for dinner. And then crashed and slept some more. The body clock is very out of kilter.

And now I am gearing up for a day trip to Steveston in the Richmond area. Another adventure awaits. I am as sick of the jacket as you must be…only a couple more days.