Adelaide Writer’s Week : Day 3

Today Marg came with me to the Writer’s festival. Over the years she has been many times and has given me all the tips for a good visit.

We walked down past Government House and the Memorial walk.

A beautiful Government House right in the city.

It’s surprising how busy it still is – for a Monday. But book lovers are passionate lot! I love observing the crowd at festivals and events like this. Definitely there are people of a certain age! Comfortable walking shoes, pants, hats, little backpacks. I cut a different figure. Each day I’ve worn a dress! With sandals. The weather has been beautiful so I’m taking advantage of no Queensland humidity.

We arrived in time for coffee and to find a shaded seat for our first session. Robert Dessaix’s new book is for those pondering how to age well, The Time of Our Lives: Growing Older Well. He claims that we need a rich inner life is key to both

Robert is of an age where he doesn’t care about what people think about him. So he says what he thinks!

Think about friendships

Loneliness is the worst thing about aging.

Be animated. Invigorated. 120% alive.

Develop an inner life.

Love English, Music, concerts, read

At the end of the day it’s not about what you achieved it’s ….were you happy.

All good advice for those of us lucky enough to be living a long life. Chaired by the very funny Chris Flynn, an Irish Australian.

After the session we met up with Margs friend from her early school days. She met Jane when she was 9 and had arrived in London. Then again at 14 in Canberra. They have been friends ever since.

After our long chat I listened to Debra Adelaide and Tegan Bennett Daylight. They talked about their love of reading. How they became readers. What they liked to read and ultimately how they became writers. But it all starts with books and reading.

When I worked as a teacher Librarian I often said to the children – you’ll never be lonely with a good book.

Next up

Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai. She wrote….The Mountains Sing is the epic, multigenerational tale of the Tran family, set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War. Spanning the French colonial period to the present day, it follows the lives of matriarch Diệu Lan and her granddaughter Huang.

I haven’t read it yet. But it’s high on my list. She’s a beautiful funny intelligent Vietnamese woman. With a huge talent.

I moved across to the East stage for Craig Silvey. He has written the most moving book – Honeybee. He spoke so well about this book and it’s character Sam Watson, a young trans boy. It has such insight and sensitivity. A must read.

By now I’m ready for a change. So it was off to the Wheatsheaf hotel for some jazz.

The hotel is old, with many rooms where friends gather for a drink. A food truck – tonight a taco van was outside and people were tucking into the delicious smelling tacos and retried beans dishes.

One of the art works on the hotel wall.

Steve arrived from Brisbane, Marg brought Soraya, my niece’s 13 year old and we gathered in the courtyard at the back for the Alex Moss big band. A Fringe Festival act.

It just happens my niece, a freelance musician is also in this band. Her main instrument is bass sax but she also plays clarinet and flute. Lots of talent.

Great music.

Another full fun day at the Adelaide festivals.

Sunday 28th. Day 2 of the Writer’s Festival

A slower start this morning.

One of my favourite authors, Maggie O’Farrell is on first – but live streaming from the UK. You could pay a small fee and watch from home. So that’s what I’ve done.

Tonight we’ll watch from the comfort of the lounge with a glass of wine in hand.

I was on the bus by 9.55 for the 20 minute run into town. Marg lives in Highgate and it’s a quick run into the city. It’s a lovely area. Lots of trees, parks, sturdy houses with stone work and great gardens.

Again, a good choice of speakers. I started with Dr Julia Baird. She’s on The Drum and is a fine author. I read her biography of Queen Victoria but it’s her book Phosphorescence she was talking about today. It’s a memoir of finding joy when your world turns dark. It’s been described-as a book of wisdom and wonder when things don’t go right.

I’ve read it and loved it. So much to think about. It’s a book you would return to over and over.

Julia presents as a down to earth woman, obviously intelligent and a survivor of a terrible illness.

I loved her talk.

Next up was a choice of Malcolm Turnbull or Meg Mason.

I thought I’d heard enough over the years from Malcolm – though he is a fine speaker. I wanted to hear Meg Mason.

I’ve just finished her book Sorrow and Bliss. I’ve chosen it for BookClub so was keen to hear her speak.

Meg Mason on the right

She and fellow speaker Luke Horton spoke about their books where their main characters have mental health issues.

Luke Horton’s book The Fogging is about the disintegration of a relationship where the main character suffers from anxiety.

Megs books character, Martha has an undiagnosed mental health illness. She’s a complex character who is likeable but frustrating.

Meg read aloud from her book. It’s funny despite it’s subject. She talked about her character Martha, and I understood a little more about her.

Play this video.

The next session was about words. I read Pip Williams book The Dictionary of Words and loved it. It’s about Esme who is present in Oxford while her father and other lexicographers prepare the very first Oxford English Dictionary Set in 1901 it’s a fascinating tale of what goes into the dictionary and what is left out.

The other speaker Sue Butler worked for many years as editor of Australia’s Macquarie dictionary and saw the inclusion of many new words.

Under the trees… a world of words.

A great discussion. I should point out I regularly listen to a podcast called A Word in your Ear with Brisbane’s Roly Sussex. It’s a great discussion of words.

By now my afternoon of books was over. I was off to The Spire. My niece Vashti was performing in Saxism, a saxophone quartet. We had an hour sitting in a beautiful church in Beulah Park listening to great music. From Bach to John Denver.

Talented Vashti with her bass sax.

A great afternoon. Then home to listen to the live streamed interview of Maggie O’Farrell. Her book Hamnet, a story of Shakespeare and the son he lost in the great plague. Such a wonderful book. And the discussion with Maggie led by Anton Enus a newsreader from SBS was great.

More tomorrow.

Adelaide Writers Festival

Day 1 of the festival was off to a flying start. Early into the city by bus to the lovely Women’s Pioneer Memorial Gardens for the first talk at 9.30.

There are trees, so lots of shade and a big book tent for sales and of course lots of coffee.

The daily program is posted on a board. It changes depending on people’s travel and covid restrictions.

So much to choose from. I started with Kate Mildenhall, a lovely Melbourne author. She has had her second book The Mother Fault published and was speaking about it today. I haven’t read it – it’s described as a fast paced thriller! It’s her first one I’d like to read. Skylarking. An historical fiction novel set in 1830.

Next up was a session with Emily St John Mandel from NY and Laura McKay from NZ. So it was in the big screen. I was keen to hear Mandel. I’ve just read her book ‘The Glass House’, an unusual book about a Ponzi collapse and a missing woman! I enjoyed it. now I want to read her book Station Eleven about a Pandemic.

Laura McKays book The Animals in that Country. Both authors have written about a pandemic. Written before covid had started it provided lots of discussion. Both interesting speakers.

I took a break and walked up the hill past Government House to the State Library, Museum and the Art Gallery. Beautiful buildings.

Next up. The hugely popular Julia Gillard. Her book on Women in Leadership would be a good read. Since stepping away from politics. this former Prime Minister of Australia is making an impact in the area of Women empowerment. She spoke extremely well and had the huge crowd on their feet.

Fans stood in line for over an hour to get an autographed copy of Julia’s book.

Richard Fidler was next. I feel I know him , though I’ve never seen him live! His Conversations program in ABC radio is a favourite – he is a fantastic interviewer. Our own David Frost.

He was a band member of the Doug Anthony All Stars a very popular musical comedy band in the 80’s. He now writes books. Good books about places. His first two books , Saga Tales, is about Iceland, Ghost Empire, about Constantinople and today he talked about The Golden Maze about Prague.

Richard Fidler had the audience in the palm of his hand

As the sun moved I did too. Up closer to the stage. I’m amazed how many people are here. And with covid we are supposed to be social distancing but it’s difficult and many are left standing as seats have to be left vacant.

The last speaker – at 5pm is the energetic, enthusiastic, likeable Trent Dalton from Brisbane . What a down to earth charmer. A journalist now author, readers loved his first book Boy Swallows Universe. His new book All Our Shimmering Skies is receiving slightly mixed reviews from people I know who have read it. So I have put off reading it so far. I love his writing so much I want him to talk about it and then ………

The likeable Trent Dalton

Well, he has persuaded me to read it. He talked about the characters. How & why he shaped the story as he did.

He told some great stories Both about his book and people who have encouraged him. A great one about a mid 60’s pocket rocket at a book signing in Adelaide. During his book chat he said he was doubting his ability to write another book after Boys Swallows Universe. The lady stood and said ‘I have no questions. I just want to say get on with it. You can write. Just do it’. He later found out it was Mem Fox !

The session finished and I walked from the gardens along North Terrace to the area where the Fringe Festival takes place. Two separate park areas. One called Gluttony the other the Garden of Unearthly Delights.

Entrance to the Gluttony area
Delights! There are …..

In theses area there are lots of tents , small and large where a huge range of artists are performing. Amateur singers, comedians, burlesque dances……. you name it they are here. We needed tickets to a show to enter and most were already sold out. So Marg, my sister in law and I got the last two tickets for Evan Demarais. His show called ‘ A Canadian stuck in Australia’.

Aren’t we all stuck in Australia? He came out last year for the festival and has been here ever since! The first 29 mins were funny but after that he needed fresh material! Lots of fun poking at the audience!

Performing out of a shopping container!

After the show we sat in the garden bar / eating area and enjoyed the music and the atmosphere.

By now I was more than tired so headed home. I’ll be repeating it all tomorrow. Lucky me.

Adelaide here I come.

Exciting to have a ticket

My blog has suffered during covid!

I only blog when I travel and as there hasn’t been much travel in the past year I haven’t written much.

So here we go readers.

Today I fly to Adelaide to stay once again with my sister in law Marg. She has a lovely house in Fullerton and makes us very welcome. So welcome in fact, that when we went there for Steve’s birthday in October we invited ourselves down for the Festivals!

The Adelaide festival, the Fringe Festival and the Writers Festival. https://www.adelaidefestival.com.au

Checkout the website

There is so much on its hard to know where to start.

The Adelaide Festival has lots of music , theatre, dance. The usual line up of overseas artists will not be there. But there will be lots of wonderful Australian talent.

The Fringe Festival goes for a month and features a huge variety of talent. Have a little read below.

https://adelaidefringe.com.au/about-us

Then there’s the Writers Festival. Being a keen reader I’m looking forward to seeing and listening to this line up. Go to the link to see the day line up.

Tell me in the comments who you would like to see. https://www.adelaidefestival.com.au/writers-week/writers-week-schedule/

I recently read Honeybee by Craig Silvey. A terrific moving read.

Trent Dalton has been a favourite of mine as a feature writer for years. His All Our Shimmering Skies follows his very successful Boy Swallows Universe.

Kate Grenville’s A Room made of Leaves, I loved. And Meg Mason’s Sorrow & Bliss was very good. A mixture of sadness at the mental health of the main character and the wit that linked the characters.

I’ve only named a few here but I’m very excited to be going. We thought we’d be at the Edinburgh Festival last year but that was off. This is going to be just as much a treat.

So look for my updates and come along with me.

Meeting the Police in Beautiful Bargara

We farewelled Bargara with a small hiccup and a run in with the Police.

But in the nicest possible way.

Another sunny day and I didn’t want to miss out on a swim. The little lagoon was chilly at 7.30! But in we went and loved it. So good on my still swollen knee.

After breakfast and pack up we headed to The Journey coffee shop. I was all a fluster. I couldn’t find my credit card. I keep it in a pocket on the back of my phone and it was missing. I searched in the car and my purse and from the coffee shop rang last nights restaurant & then Carmel asking her to search the unit. No luck.

So off went went deciding not to panic.

We drive in convoy to Tinaberries.

A lovely strawberry farm.

As we arrived Steve received a phone call from Rob at Bargara Police Station. My card had been found in the street just near The Journey coffee shop. I must have had it in my lap and dropped it. We would have to go back in Bargara to collect it. After our ice cream.

The strawberry farm encourages picking your own. We didn’t.

But we did buy their delicious ice cream and sat in the gorgeous garden. And had a brain wave. I rang Policeman Rob at the station and said could they cut up the card to save us returning and I’d just get a new one. He said he couldn’t do that as he’d done the paper work!

So he’d send a police car out to deliver it. He knew where we were ! I didn’t want to inconvenience them so said we would return but he insisted he send a car out.

15 mins later, Poiceman Rick arrived with the lost card. I signed and presented him with a box of strawberries as a thank you. He was delighted. I hope it’s not seen as a bribe.

What service.

Drama over. Lucky me.

We got to stay with the group and head off for Gin Gin & onto Goomeri for lunch.

The Bakery in Goomeri is famous. A local lady decided to go to Paris to learn all about baking. She learned how to do it so well when she returned to Australia she opened a bakery in her home town. It’s a huge success.

The pies , sausage rolls, pastries , cakes etc etc are world class. I had a delicious savoury pastry with tomato , basil and cheese.

Decision time in the Goomeri Bakery.

From Goomeri we made our way past the Everything shop in Wondai to Kingaroy. This shop is amazing. So much junk!

We’re staying at Room Motel. New, stylish , comfortable and all prefab. Great idea.

Now for champagne and a little mahjong game with the girls before dinner.

Beautiful Bargara

Our unit overlooks the water and it’s sparkling this morning. The early birds, Kath and Pam were up with the sun and captured a beautiful sunrise as they walked the headland making me a little jealous.

They also had a swim in the lagoon just around the headland near us. They thought it was a little cold but when they spoke to an 85 year old lady who swam there everyday of the year they didn’t complain!

Within any travel group there are a variety of ‘paces’. Some are up early walking and finding the best coffee places using an app called Bean! Others meandering later after a short walk and then there’s the injured who don’t get up and sieze the early start. Steve and I fall into this category at the moment. With my new knee I’m not walking too far , Steve has an ankle injury, so we both get up and do our exercises!

Tomorrow I’m swimming!

After breakfast on the verandah we all met at the best coffee place. The Journey. These places are always down lanes – not the big corner spot with chairs and views.

They are run by friendly but somewhat trendy young tattooed people who sometimes curl their lips disapprovingly if you ask for coffee extra hot! Something about burning the beans.

Fortunately these young people didn’t curl lips except to smile.

Great coffee.

Every t spoon carried a message. Mine: Conquer from within.

Following coffee our group of 14 split. Some to Mon Repos turtle centre, some to wander the main streets of Bundaberg and most of the men went to explore the Hinkler Museum.

I went to the turtle centre with Jill. It’s housed in a beautiful timber building behind the beach at Mon Repos. It’s well set up and has a good selection of interactive activities to discover things about turtles.

Great for children. There is a theatre for the short film and then a ranger gives more information about turtles, their nesting & hatching and answers questions.

Photos courtesy of Jill Wilson

You can walk out onto the beach, where during the nesting and hatching seasons you can visit at night to watch closely in the dark as these ancient looking animals start laying eggs.

Only thing missing was being able to see turtles! I realise they don’t keep them in captivity but it made the experience a bit underwhelming.

Next stop was the Patchwork House. No, I haven’t taken up quilting but several of the girls are very keen. It was a big house with so many beautiful fabrics. It was was almost enough to make me take up this craft. But I resisted!

After so many patchwork decisions it was time to eat lunch. ‘Indulge’, a little cafe / restaurant in Bundaberg had come recommended, so the girls headed there and got tables under the trees in the middle section of the road. It was cool and due to covid seating restrictions not crowded.

The boys collect for lunch

The lunch was delicious and served by the most gorgeous Belgium girl who came to Australia on a working holiday and married the owner of the restaurant.

Next stop, with lots of excitement was the Bundaberg Rum Distillery. What a slick operation it is. We’ll set out with an informative museum , film and tour of the distillery.

About 50% of rum drunk in Australia is consumed in Qld. We love our dark & stormy ( rum with ginger beer )

Mark, Helen, Pam & Susie

Our tour with Adam included two tastings. They loosened us up. And prepared us for the next stop.

The KALKI Moon Gin Distillery where it turns out the owner of the distillery worked at the rum distillery for many years – so as well as making gin he makes rum – but it takes much longer so meanwhile the gin business is growing.

◦ We learned the secrets of gin making and then got into tastings. Very delicious gins. I like mine with soda and lime. I bought Steve their signature Old Navy Gin at 57% alcohol. That will knock his Fathers Day socks off!

Assorted gins in the Kalkimoon range.

The couple who run the gin distillery were so helpful. They had been closed for tours due to covid but were able accomodate our group of 14 after hours.

We were nicely warmed up for dinner at Kelly’s restaurant back in Bargara. A lovely meal, a glass of wine & great company finished off a fun day on tour.

A Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Day…………….. Maryborough to Bundaberg.

It’s easy to forget how attractive our smaller Queensland cities are and how much history is attached to them.

Waking up in Maryborough I was sorry I’m not ready for big walks ( new knee will only carry me so far) so Steve and I drove through the streets of Maryborough.

Maryborough, population 27,000+ sits on the Mary River on the Fraser Coast. It has some very attractive buildings and a lovely Queens Park and Portside on the river.

I particularly enjoyed the many beautiful timber houses built with the plentiful timber from the area.

One if Maryborough’s most famous people is Helen Lyndon Goff born in 1892. She went in to write Mary Poppins as PJ Travers. There is the Storytime bank where you can visit the Mary Poppins Museum.

We left by 9 am our group well organised and enthusiastic. First stop Burrum Heads which is the sleepiest, prettiest little coastal town. Full of little timber houses dotted along the long sandy beach it would be perfect for a family holiday wanting a simple beach holiday.

Back in the cars we headed for Childers with a stop along the way for an ice cream.

Made locally these ice creams on a stick were perfect for a refreshment under the trees.

Then we arrived in Childers a bustling little town made famous in recent years for the fire lit deliberately in the backpackers hostel. It claimed many young lives and the museum in the hostel tells of the sad day it happened.

We enjoyed a coffee in the old Post Office grounds.

There are some great little shops, all covid safe along the Main Street with some funny names!

On to Woodgate and lunch at the Bowls Club. Another lovely beach side holiday destination.

We arrived in Bargara on the coast outside Bundaberg for a two night stay. It’s on the water and is just lovely.

We had a self catered bbq at our units and shared many stories over a few glasses of red!

Holidays at Home

Exciting times. We’re going away.

We are going on our first little holiday in a long long time.

Travel for everyone has been postponed this year. Our Qld borders are closed so we can’t go out of the state without quarantining for 14 days on return. So it’s Queensland – a beautiful big state, we have to explore.

Finally we are heading off. A road trip with our Sri Lanka travelling friends. We’re missing Anne & John Dunphy who live in Melbourne and they are still in lockdown. They can’t go anywhere. They can follow along from the comfort of their lounge looking out over their beautiful country garden.

The group in Sri Lanka last November.

This holiday has been in the planning stage for awhile but today we are hitting the road. 14 people in total, in 6 cars. We are the only ones travelling in an open top car. Our British Racing Green 1970 MGB will have everyone queuing up for a turn to drive or be a passenger!

Planning was started by the Graces who concentrated on stops for good food and drink places, Jill and Helen found accomodation, map man Steve helped plan the route and I booked a few activities. Namely the Bundaberg Rum distillery and Kalkimoon Gin distillery along with finding a few open gardens.

We’re heading north towards Maryborough with our first stop for coffee at Kenilworth.

Kenilworth is NW of Nambour about an hour and a half from Brisbane in the heart of the Mary River Valley. it boasts dairy farms , olive groves and vineyards. It’s also home to the cheese factory, yoghurt and Ice cream factories!

On a Sunday it’s full of people out for a drive. The bakery is famous not only for its baked goods. It for its wall art.

We got talking to the owner who pointed out all the famous faces in

We have christened the trip the ‘Empty Eski Trip’. We are taking along eskis hoping to find products we can spend up on and bring home. Three things we know we’ll find are Kenilworth cheese, Bundaberg Rum and Kalkimoon Gin!

Kathy takes over the driving from Steve.

The line up at the bakery was out the door so we moved on down the hill to the cheese factory and enjoyed coffee in the garden as Steve gave out the road maps and lollies for the tour!

The cheeses here are great so we made a few purchases for our evening drinks before heading off in convoy north towards the Theebine pub where we will stop for lunch.

It was a great pub but oh so slow.

There was a small stage and a local woman and man took turns entertaining us with country & western hits or well known songs from the past. This was a distraction whilst we waited , and waited for our lunch.

We waited around 1.5 hrs! So our food tasted magnificent when it finally came. Apparently they are getting a new kitchen soon with a big grill so they can cater for the number of people who crowd in each weekend. Too bad for us the kitchen hasn’t arrived just yet.

The music was fun and the juke box was a classic. A choice of songs. …..

All about beer!

We had time to explore the old pub and loved the letter from a mother to her son.

Back in our cars we drove north stopping at another pub at Tiaro. Another classic.

A great beer garden, herb garden , children’s playground. The food looked good. We should return for the Sunday roast.

We arrived into our motel in Maryborough and took over lots of the rooms. Some of us rested and some went walking to explore.

We have dinner booked at the pub next door. Not that we need too much after a late late lunch!

Up, up and not away to New York

As everyone, everywhere, knows covid19 has put a stop to all travel.

We must all be careful to stay safe by ‘Staying at Home’. In Australia we’ve been very good at staying at home and helping to ‘flatten the curve’ or as some are now saying ‘fatten the curve!’

There’s been lots of Instagram memes!

Today we should be flying out of Brisbane bound for New York. Off to see our precious new grandson, Leo. He was born in the midst of a pandemic that has devastated NY and many other places around the world. But out of the chaos came Leo. Born on April 11 – Easter Saturday in NYU Hospital. He’s beautiful.

Leo enjoying a walk
I can’t wait for a cuddle

We planned to spend 2 weeks in NY getting to know Leo. We’d booked an Airbnb in West Village, an area we were getting to know as we have spent the last two April’s visiting our son & his wife in NY.

One of the many little gardens in West Village

I’m imagining the spring flowers coming out as they do after the cold of winter.

What does their life look like now ? They have spent the past two years doing everything they could possible fit in, to really enjoy their life in this busy city. Restaurants, concerts, exercise, galleries, riding bikes, swimming, walking. Enjoying their jobs and getting out of the city on weekends & holidays to visit places like Boston, Charleston, Portland, Pittsburg, Austin, New Orleans, Salt Lake City, Miami, California, Mexico. ….now they are lucky to visit the nearby park. Photos of Leo on his daily walk show very happy new parents, not letting the Coronavirus stop them.

Going to the park on a Sunday is a must. Families out enjoying the open spaces – essential in big cities. Walking, listening to the buskers, or watching the tennis players or those rowing on the lake.

What would we be doing if we’d gone across to NY today? Walking with the pram along the village type streets of West Village and visiting the parks. Washington Square Park is nearby and so lovely. Of course Central Park is something I do on every visit.

Visiting the art galleries is another must do. Each visit I try to visit different galleries. This time it was to be back to the Met. And the Museum of Modern Art – MOMA which I haven’t been to in quite a few years.

We would be catching up with our swim trek friends from our Galapagos trip. Lynn and Lois live in New York, others were flying in to meet us. Betty from California, Lexie from Mexico, Barry from Canada and Bill from London. Our plan for a catch up ……gone. We had a great reunion in 2018. Maybe next year.

A concert at Carnegie Hall and we were to see La Boheme at the Metropolitan Opera. We had great seats and on returning them recently, actually made money as the value of our dollar has dropped – as we’d paid in US $!

We also got a full refund on our Airbnb which was great.

This time last year we were there visiting and playing with our friends Peter & Elizabeth McGregor. We had a lots of fun and the photos bring back so many happy memories.

Instead of preparing for our trip we have been in isolation at our beach place. Right on the beach we have been able to swim each day and go for long walks. Lots of reading. Some tv series, cooking, collecting shells, sketching,yoga. So not all bad!

Look back at my posts from last year in NY and see the things we did then. In my mind I’m travelling there again. That’s all we do at the moment.

Stay safe everyone. Especially as things start to reopen. Don’t forget the simple things like washing those hands well and social distance always. This virus hasn’t gone yet.

What have you been doing in isolation? Wherever you are in the world, let me know ( in comments) how you are and what you’ve been doing.

Last day : Lodi to San Francisco

Poppy has a sleep over last night so Jordan took her for a walk to get our coffee ! Great start to the last day.

Lisa went to work a little bit later to make the most of Poppy time and to farewell me.

Right on 10am John , Jordan and I set off for San Francisco. It’s a beautiful warm, blue day and they are taking me all the way to San Francisco. About 1.5 hrs with some great signs along the way.

It was an interesting drive past vineyards and into the delta area where we sang the song ‘ drove my chevi to the levy but the levy was dry ‘

There are a number of levy here which cater for the farms in the area. Many crops are grown here.

I could sing my way around America!

‘Are you going to San Francisco….’

‘Do you know the way to San Jose….’

Visiting any area of America produces the opportunity to sing about it!

We arrived via the rather beautiful Bay Bridge. It was replaced after an earthquake brought down part of the old bridge.

It has a great approach and is a rather lovely structure.

We arrived into SF and drove along the Embarcadero………

past all the rejuvenated piers until we reached pier 39.

We parked the car and walked out on pier to Scomos. It’s an old restaurant – like bring on a ship. I had a great shrimp salad. And a glass of Rose!

Last time I’ll see Jordan before baby M arrives!

The day was perfect so we walked along the water. I admired the people swimming! It would be just a little chilly!

Then John took me on a tour. Of course the famous zig zag Lombard St featured.

The views down Lombard St.

We arrived at Grove St at a rather small hotel, one block from the painted ladies of Alamo Park. John and Jordan helped me in and then it was goodbye. Next time I see my daughter in law will be with a baby in her arms.

As the weather was so lovely I headed straight out. Up the hill to Alamo Park and the infamous Painted Ladies. SF style houses painted different colours.

My hotel is just down the street to the left.

I then walked …… and walked……. past some great houses.

Past public buildings

City Hall
Love the circular rooms
Mosaics
Opera & Ballet Theatre
Great street art.

Until I had passed numerous homeless people to reach Union Square where I had stayed years ago.

By now I was quite exhausted so had a cup of tea! Watched the passing parade and caught an Uber back to the Grove Inn.

I refreshed in my little room and went to the Alamo Square Seafood Grill. What a find. It was a little FRENCH ! place and I had the best fish fish! Grilled blackened snapper with delicious veg. And a glass of Chardonnay.