Well after a quiet home time since Alaska, I was really keen to head off to Woodford in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland of Queensland for a couple of Folk Festival days to farewell 2018.

My generous brother, sister-in-law and niece shared the  Tent City two-room tent with me and we arrived after a smooth ride and a stop for a teenager’s thirst for frappe to the 400 tents for the slacko campers like me who value a bit of off-ground sleep – though with the thin camp stretcher mattresses we were glad that the 2 nephews had ended up staying back home, so we (well 2 of us) were able to double our protection from the wire frame.  I felt very privileged not to be in one of the smaller 600 tents in a different section of the revitalised former dairy farm.


Woodfordia offers a diversity of people-watching, music, food, and delicious thirst-quenching healthy drinks, street performers, comedy, cultural lectures, eco offerings, stalls aplenty and workshops.

20181230_170413Families and friends and fun-lovers and fairly alternate gather for this week of wonders each year.  The outfits were amazing.

Day 1 was really laid-back and spent searching for shade.  People-watching was the highlight – while sipping (no straws) the fruit punch pineapple/ginger under the cascading fig tree was second only to the discovery of funguys gf tempura mushroom dish.  OH MY!  Trying to recreate back home…..a BIG winner.  Congratulations on such a delicious combination.  LSM was back home missing it all….cricket was beckoning.

The challenge of the highlighter and the app was off and running!  I preferred the feel and smell of the printed program, while the family thought the app was a godsend and a must.  At least I was able to help pad my backside with the program while on the hill watching the Grande venue artists…and after a few hours, the crush and the fall of night, my tailbone was wailing for the relief of the chairs.  But what a view to see Irish Mythen, The Waifs and Dan Sultan!  And Govinda’s vegetarian curries were not hard to take for dinner.

Day 2 was a hoot after the meditation and call to the Day with the Tibetan singing bowls – and continued with meandering to all the venues on the highlighted page, a few purchases and Thatchers Cider and chatting with friends.  So many artists and Ukelele Mix was such fun.  More of funguys plates……SO mushy good!

Nightfall and the lights cast a mystical twinkle.

The countdown to NYE and the partying on in to the wee hours was enjoyed from the tent….LOL!  I was using the sore tailbone as the excuse.  Then all too soon it was the Tibetan call to the New Year sunrise and the farewell to Tent City and back to the unsurreality of Brisbane and home.

Bucket list ticked!

With this experience glowing in my head, it wasn’t long before I was googling accommodation for our February trip to Victoria and looking forward to the next travel adventure.

Happy Travlyn

Travlyn Tips – Reading

Plenty of reading material while travelling is a must.

Luckily, my kindle is stocked with a variety of good reads….and it doesn’t need wifi 😊….but how do you separate the wheat from the chaff?

Airport book outlets are expensive, repetitive, and often crowded both on the shelves and in the aisles……so imagine my delight when I had a link shared to a new blog site which is a taste tempter.  It is a delightfully refreshing look at a few categories enjoyed by this lifelong literary lover, Shirley Chambers.

It offers a manageable number of short blurb-like insights – because let’s be honest, how many books can I stockpile (either beside the bed, in the home bookshelves, or ebooking)…..and never really get to.

I like the fact that Shirley makes selecting good reads very much stressfree for me, and more likely that I will kindle it and actually read it……..and those wee hours in woozy timezones while travelling need good reading companions.

Thanks Shirley

Give it a look……https://glanceabook.wordpress.com


Seattle farewell

A day to kill.  Toilet gurgling close to the top of the bowl for 15 minutes certainly took us by surprise this morning….so we chickened out and went to breakfast and it had fixed itself by the time we got back and checked out….phew!  So we stowed the luggage and headed back down the hill and enjoyed the fewer Saturday traffic snarls.  Again the streets yielded up some history – this time about the Ice Arena and its  modern coffee reincarnation.20180915_111435

We enjoyed the short trip on the monorail from The Westlake shopping mall to the Science old Expo precinct.  We had previously loved the Chihuly glass extravaganza and the Space Needle, so we strolled down to the Bill and Melinda Gates Discovery Centre and marvelled at the simple, effective inventions and support which are changing the face of poverty around the world……just inspiring!


Thanks to everyone making the difference!

The amazing MOPOP…Museum of Popular Culture…….was a few hours of music, movies, sci fi and gaming WOW!  Hope you enjoy the cnallenge of identifying the collage of Pearl Jam, Jimi Hendrix, fantasy, sci fi, games and more below!

How did you go?

And so we monorailed back…and now boarding… See you in Brissi20180915_141428e

Oh I do like to be beside the Seattle side

Back on land and checking out the infamous side of Seattle’s history before we head back home.

The Baroness Hotel up the steep, steep hill of 9th Ave and Spring St was a classic art deco example and the old-fashioned elevator is a highlight.  The friendly staff allowed us to  hwck in early, so we caught a few zzzs and studied the city centre map before we took off around the streets.  The architecture is womderfully diverse.  Back past the library on 5th Ave, then a few blocks to James St, we counted many varied styles and marvelled at the forward thinking city designers who had permitted such an array.

There were many familiar international franchises and some local stores as well.  Then we reached the section of the old town and the numners of homeless swelled and the street performers held sway.  The queue of lunchtime hungries for the pasta shop and the Busker of the Day were entertaining.

Then to the history of the Seattle Fire and the rebuilding

of the lower shoreline sections of the town via the Underground Tour.  Loads of witticisms and anecdotes of the characters and the customs meant a lively time spent climbing up and down the stairs to see the town as it was after the fire completely destroyed the area.  Musty and dusty and dank in places where banks once thrived, the ‘seamstress” tax kept the rebuild possible and where movies used the spaces for sets, but certainly very interesting and entertaining being under the feet of modern shoppers walking above us on the old skylights.

The whole area held imaginative glimpses of  bygone eras, and quite futuristic fashion outlets have sprung up – quite a swish on the men’s kilts!

And with a slow swish we strolled around gawping like the tourists we are and climbed back to our digs, and Happy Hour, happy to have made it! then later dinner at the Inn at Victoria Mansions – the historic sister hotel across the road from ours.

Another Seattle discovery day awaits…….

Victoria – a great day!

When you anticipate seeing your cousins briefly again in Canada and the reality meets every expectation, it is such a joy!

Our final shore day was kind to us with clear skies and relatively mild temps.  The custom clearing off the ship is a mere formality when declaration forms are processed the night before, so it was a doddle to get off the ship and see Carol waiting for us on the dock as planned.  How generous Carol, Aaron and son Cameron were to take the day off from work and school, travel over on the ferry the night before and be there bright and early, with delicious local Roger’s famous cream chocolates to welcome us…and damn fine chocolates they are!


Even though we had visited Victoria once before we had spent most of our time at the stunningly beautiful Butchart Gardens, Chinatown and at the Miniature Museum, so it was a lovely day Carol had planned for us to visit other acclaimed spots in the vicinity of the pier and the government building precinct.

Our first stop was the detailed exhibition of Egypt, and particularly Egyptian architecture in model replicas, at the Museum.  Wonderfully curated!  Everywhere you look in the streets, the flower bedsand hanging baskets are massed with begonias, hydrangeas and colourful dahlias and the manicured and green lawns would be very welcome back home where years of drought have created such parched earth.


Carol had thoughtfully booked us in for lunch at Q at The Empress……the renowned Fairmont Hotel where High Tea is legendary and everything royal is king!


Lunch was delicious and my sushi with a Canadian twist certainly hit the spot.  Muzza and mussels were a winner too!  Thank you, thank you Carol.  A lovely addition to lunch was the arrival of older daughter Jessica and her young son, Lincoln, to share time with us.  Such a lovely day!

Then it was a leisurely stroll around the pier soaking in the sites – and the fine examples of architecture……even if we were not so thrilled to learn that Starbucks now occupies the space in the glorious old building.


We were treated like royality ourselves and look forward to playing host to the Coltrins when they head Down Under in the future.  The connection through the  Woodgate family is very strong   –  Carol’s grandfather, Sydney, and my grandmother, Adeline, were Woodgate brother and sister.

So it was farewell to the beautiful capital of British Columbia, to the lovely Carol and Co. with many, many thanks and back on board for our last night with our dining companions, the distribution of conference prizes, the final lecture session and farewells to new found friends Karen Englund and Paul, and the final evening of gentle sea motion before we landed safely in to a rainy Seattle.

Skagway – a bit of character

When we docked the view was rather wooden, 😉, but we soon became endeared to the town of Skagway.  The mountains surrounding it were snow-capped and the pier was a very easy walk past shrubs with bright red berries, and a view of the tour cars and the train heading to White Pass, and past the RV Park which we found out later from our Canadian cousins, that marked the end of a really challenging rough road in by vehicle rather than by sea.

Skagway was full of interesting historical features and train buffs were well catered for.  They must have had the biggest dogs known to man….or scupltors who liked to work in big proportions.  The rangers here do a great job in the various centres and the museum and the souvenirs cater from the kitch to the overwhelming jewellery stores to a great selection of food outlets.


The architecture in Skagway is particularly interesting.  The town has kept its history alive and in working condition.  We loved the wooden Arctic Brotherhood building from the late 1800s, the banks and stores, the local homes nestled at the foot of the fir-treed mountains and the door of the now defunct Gemstone store.  A treat to saunter down the wooden boardwalks!

A couple of the quirky and memorable sights in the stores windows and around the town.

And back to the ship……….


Juneau, a capital Alaskan adventure

20180909_155044Weather worries held up the first shore day….and there were many disappointed tour ticket holders.  However, there was less disappointment than for those on the three other cruise ships whose visits to Juneau were cancelled altogether.  Greater disappointment was on the faces of the tourist ventures in Juneau though.  This was one of the last runs of cruise ships for the season, so takings were decidely thin on the ground.

Once the 60 knt winds allowed the cautious captain to steer in to the dock, the gangplank was lowered and despite cancellations to some tours, the walk to the capital was a pleasant sunlit 25 minute stroll.  It took longer to get off the ship!

With the lure of lip smacking King Crab and the glitter of diamonds and free gifts just for entering the various establishments, mate and I avoided the insistent cries from the sellers and strolled along the pier and took in the architecture of the place.  City Hall certainly had a very different feel to it.

We found the impressive Alaskan State Library and Museum and spent time orienting ourselves to the area’s Indigenous past and the  history of the fishing and canning industries.  The mammoth and gold exhibits were especially memorable.  Unlike most Australian state run art galleries and museums, there seems to be a trend for overseas institutions to charge quite high entrance fees – but if you are prepared in advance it’s not too bad.  The ship’s crew all made a beeline for the free wifi at the library………..yes, wifi on board is definitely a slug in the pocket!

The pier boardwalk was littered with statues and plaques, murals and food stalls.  The smell of fresh popcorn wafted from the  main street and the jewellery selling continued!  While it was a pleasant enough town, the sense that it may lose its status as the legislature hub seems very possible as it does not exude a buzzing growth.

LSM bought some great art pieces and had a spring in his step going back up the gangplank.