Newcastle 2018

16 Aug 2018 – Kensington Market


Tue: Phở Hưng, Vietnamese Restaurant for beef noodle soup. The large bowl was enough to fill us up for a whole day – was unable to finish it. Had to doggy-bag the summer-rolls, a case where the eyes are wider than the stomach!

Kensington Market, a bohemian multicultural neighbourhood attracting artists and tourists.

All kinds of trendy and interesting shops. Cocktail Emporium and could not resist this tiny MoscowMule copper mug – originally C$8, got it for $5 as there is a slight dent, even got the a straw C$5 to go with it. Now I can carry this with me, no more disposable straws and the perfect size for sampling any drinks, ie one sip 🙂

Courage My Love&Dancing Days, both clothing stores; another colourful wall mural.

All kinds of unknown fish to me and would have liked to try them all.

Would not have mind wearing any shoes from the Bata Shoe Museum if someone was pulling me around in this red chair or if I could ride the rainbow coloured zebra!

A contrast from the buzz and colours, Little Pebbles Cafe is a nice cozy place to quiet the eyes and mind ending this visit. Sakura cold coffee with a Sakura cookie hit the spot – the creamy dessert was just for my pix, did not feel like anything creamy.

En route to Newcastle (app 80-100k from Toronto depending which way you drive) on the DonValley Highway turning off for food-shopping and this must be the only place with an Indian Hakka Chinese Cuisine – wonder what that taste like?

Ho Ho BBQ 银湖烧腊 in Scarborough, good reviews and locations like these do make me feel that I am not that Chinese as I thought myself to be!

Amazing with all these places of worship on the same road, not even sure of what kind of religions? My favourite quote for places of worship is still –

It is better to go skiing and think of God, than go to church and think of sport – Fridtjof Nansen

Would not like to drive on the Highway-401 with 12 lanes of traffic – the way to give my heart an attack…

More grocery shopping – wonder how the Chinese characters Good World Supermarket become Field Fresh Supermarket?  Am I lost in translation again??

Grocery shopping with May&Lock to be sure to have enough food to feed an army 🙂 Her BambooClams were delicious, especially after we learnt and spent an hour cleaning them!

Wed: beautiful sunrise walk by the lake which is so vast that it feels more like the sea.

Morning has broken like the first morning
Seagulls have spoken like the first bird
Praise for the singing
Praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the world – Cat Stevens

Peaches galore in the backyard peach-tree and a beautiful Campsis radicans-creeping trumpet-vine.

Tonight’s dinner yummy Paella and fresh sweet corn from the farm.

Thu: beautiful serene morning with a fisherman and wild life@Wilmot Coastal Wetland, 5mins walk from where we stay.

Abundance of life with another sunrise.

Somehow cousins like Wilki in HI & Lock here like taking me to shop@Costco – we were not even hungry for their C$1.50 hot-dog. Wonder how many bottles of wine this glass holds?? PortDarlington with Newcastle in the far background, and no tkx to swimming here, too choppy even though it is a lake.

Decent CrabCakes@BobbyC’sDockside/PortDarlington. Not too hungry, had to doggy-bag.

Yun arr this afternoon. Haircut in Bowmanville C$23 and fan shopping@CanadianTire, where you can get everything under one roof except for food. May&Lock bought 2fans and I got 1tiny one, so imagine how hot it is here at present. Yummy LambRoast for dinner which was marinated a day ago.

Civilization is the lamb’s skin in which barbarism masquerades – Thomas Bailey Aldrich

Toronto/4

14 Aug 2018 – A Tourist Thru’&Thru’

Sat: one of my favourite things to do – food tasting. St. Lawrence Market Complex today is comprised of three main buildings: The North Market and St. Lawrence Hall and the South Market which has more than 120specialty vendors, known for the variety and freshness of their fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, grains, baked goods and dairy products.

Tkx to Minos for the recommendations for the yummy Peameal Bacon Sandwich considered a signature dish here. Highly recommended and looking at the lines here, they too agree! SausageKing – Minos was one of the partners thereno more now. Pleasant music entertaining us.

Also known as cornmeal bacon is a type of back bacon made from lean boneless pork loin, trimmed fine, wet cured (not smoked, and rolled in cornmeal – credited to ham&bacon curer William Davies. Peameal bacon derives from the historic practice of rolling the cured and trimmed boneless loin in dried and ground yellow peas to extend shelf life. Since the end of WW II it has been rolled in ground yellow cornmeal. Above 3pix downloaded.

In food paradise after tasting a bites of Pintxo, Paella, Margarita, oyster, Jalapeno cream-cheese, 4 different kinds of smoked-salmons, wild-blueberry pie (lucky to buy their last 2pieces!), fig, PastéisDeNata=Portuguese custard-tart&roast-chicken, various hams, salamis, beef-jerky, BBQ pulled-pork, dried beets, ginger, nuts, illy ice-cappuccino, Canadian Ice-wine and a dry Rosa wine.

Great street entertainments, both pleasing to the ears and eyes 🙂

Was named the world’s best food market in 2012 by National Geographic. Thank you to Anna&Yun for a glorious scrumptious afternoon. After such a afternoon, no dinner was necessary…

Sun: on the way to meet Jen and decided to pop into the corner pub, to explore – neither a beer (24types here) nor Ceasar drinker, but will have to give this Canadian’s National Cocktail a try before I leave!

Pass by here daily and like their chalk-board tagline sign on the pavement. Dominion on Queen, one of Toronto’s oldest pubs, has been reborn under new ownership as Dominion Pub and Kitchen.

http://www.goodhood.ca/whats-good/dominion-gets-new-life-on-queen-east

A heritage-designated renovated church on Winchester Street houses Toronto Dance Theatre, beautiful front yards and houses.

Cabbagetown where the name derives from the Irish immigrants who moved to the neighbourhood beginning in the late 1840s, said to have been so poor that they grew cabbage in their front yards, but now those yards are a feast to the eyes.

Dating back to 1850, Toronto Necropolis is one of the city’s oldest and most historic cemeteries. Some of the most beautiful trees can be found in old cemeteries (like in SIN Bukit Brown). The cemetery has over 50,000 bodies. It is used to bury bodies used for research at the U of Toronto and is now part of the Mount Pleasant Group of Cemeteries.

Toronto Necropolis Chapel

Entrance to the cementary

The cemetery contains the war graves of 34 Commonwealth service personnel, 29 from World War I and 5 from World War II

Just learnt that Peter O’Byrne passed away peacefully in his sleep yesterday – he was in London for his sister’s funeral. Prayers, thoughts and condolences to his family. He will be greatly missed and a big loss to the orchid society.

Peter, a teacher@UWC/SIN was someone with a vast knowledge on orchids and helped to proof-read the MOR (Malayan Orchid Review) when I was in OSSEA (Orchid Society of SE Asia). He has also published many articles&books on orchids. May he RIP.

La Société is a French Bistro located on the Mink Mile on BloorStreet, heart of Yorkville neighbourhood.

The decor with the stained-glass ceiling are the reasons for this visit – tkx to Jennifer. Excellent service and decent creme brulee.

Mon: Lock&May arr this afternoon. Good to catch up with them.

Toronto/3

10 Aug 2018 – 10th Uncle TSANG YanChuen

Tue: lunch@ElizabethSt JapanGo, decent beef bento box. The food@The Market by Long’s across the street looked impressive and tempting! And here is a typical case where the grass is greener across the road – lol

The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) C$16 S$16.80 for seniors. Like the Frank Gehry designed spiral staircase (app 11 residential stories tall and I certainly felt that in my thighs!); glass and wood façade facing Dundas St W, spanning 180m (590′) along DundasSt. 

Views from the staircase.

ᑐᓂᕐᕈᓯᐊᖏᑦ Tunirrusiangit=their gifts or what they gave in Inuktitut – Kenojuak Ashevak and Tim Pitsiulak. David Ruben Piqtoukun (1950) limestone of Guidepost (1995) and Journey of a Great Woman (1995).

Works from Tom Thomson, Group of Seven, Emily Carr and Cornelius Krieghoff; Henry Moore Sculpture Centre; Cornelius Krieghoff (1815) Village Scene in Winter (1850) bringing back memories of my stay in N Norway.

Nice stained-glass at an interconnecting passage with a view to the old Victorian houses across the street.

From the Baroque – Gian Lorenzo Bernini, The Crucified Christ (Corpus), c. 1650.

Entrance/Exit and Gift shop.

A lovely stroll on the RiverSide Bridge across the DonRiver with the railway track&a walking-trail on one side and the highway on the other. Korean chicken dinner@Kaboom on QueensSt.

Wed: lunch in Chinatown/Spadina Ave@SwatowRestaurant, yummy beef noddles, especially the tendons. Here you can even get durians and all the tropical home-fruits. Wandering around this area, I can understand that it is possible to live and Canada and not speak English at all. Bought 5 pairs@C$3pp of the hand-made sequins slip-on footwear to send back to SIN.

The owners said to me in Cantonese – you are not from mainland China. I asked how she could tell and was told that I was not loud nor did I try to bargain with her!!

Bata Shoe Museum, All About Shoes: Footwear Through the Ages (C$12 S$12.50 for senior) home to the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of shoes and footwear-related artifact. Exhibits a collection containing 13,500+ items from throughout history, as well as the present. It is the only museum in N America dedicated solely to the history of footwear.

Where there is a story and history for every pair of shoe.

Fascinating but would you wear any of these? Yes, if I do not have to walk.

Special temporary exhibition – Manolo Blahnik, The Art Of Shoes, a stunning retrospective by one of the world’s most influential figures within the fashion industry.

The Bata name brings back childhood memories of the Bata Factory on Temenggong Rd in SIN and in this museum, my N Norway days for the Lapps (Sami) display. Appreciations to Sonja Bata for this museum – highly recommended.

You know you’re old when someone compliments you on your alligator shoes, and you’re barefoot – Phyllis Diller

Great to catch up with Jennifer, dinner@KibuSushiHouse and dessert@TangoPalace, both on QueenSt for the convenience of the streetcar 🙂

Thu: Majulah Singapura and the best National Day ever for me – thank you to 10th uncle, TSANG YanChuen (only survivor of my mother’s siblings) for delicious lunch@Ginger & Onion Cuisine/Alton Towers Circle. Standing L-R: Francis (Winnie’s husband), cousin KarLeng, cousinWinnie (Anna’s eldest sis). Sitting L-R: cousinAnna, 10th Uncle, me, cousinYun, Henry (KarLeng’s husband).

So glad to be able to meet with mother’s youngest bro, 96yr and seeing him ticking off what he wants to eat on the menu and to watch him choose his own fruits and oils at the grocery is impressive.

Cousin KarLeng (daughter of mother’s older #4 sis ) and her husband Henry. who also live in Toronto. To the orange generation, 10th uncle is their grand-uncle from HKG who is the look-alike to the actor Charles Bronson.

Tkx to cousin Anna for arranging this. Feeling blessed to have this branch of the family crossing my life journey. Appreciations to cousin Yun for driving us to and from the other side of town.

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Fri: TGIF – a good weekend to all. The Distillery District is a commercial and residential district located east of downtown.

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It contains numerous cafés, restaurants, and shops housed within heritage buildings of the former Gooderham and Worts Distillery. The 13 acres (5.3 ha) district comprises more than 40heritage buildings and is the largest collection of Victorian-era industrial architecture in N America.

img_6708IMG_6892Has it been really exactly 5yrs ago I was here? Comment then was – if only these beautiful Bergo Designs are not soooo expensive and heavy. Today, 5yrs later (right), same comment!!

https://amylamsg.com/2013/08/17/booming-city-of-toronto/

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The district was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1988.

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IMG_6895Funky and trendy designs with the Peace sign here consists of different religious symbols. Most religion teaches PEACE, but very unfortunately many ppl are not even aware or know or understand that, thus creating unrest and wars in the names of Allah, God etc. And before there can be Peace, you will need to unchain and unlock Love 🙂 Not sure if I like the banana light 🙂 🙂 but will end this posting here so as not to open another can of worms 🙂 🙂 🙂

Toronto/2

6 Aug 2018 – A Civic Holiday

Sat: good to catch up with niece JessicaXU (with glasses, pix downloaded) who is visiting from Ottawa for the long weekend. She recently graduated from UBC Med School at the young age of 22 and now a Resident in Internal Medicine at The Ottawa Hospital, the grand-daughter of 13auntie and daughter of cousin LeeYeng. Last time I saw them was Dec 2016 when they were in SIN.

https://amylamsg.com/2016/12/22/its-getting-to-look/

Delightful time to get to know this lovely young lady over dimsum lunch in Broadview, Chinatown.

Amazing to find all these fresh produce, foods, pitcher-plants,

Colourful murals, huge sunflowers and lovely pink flowering cacti.

Sun: was looking so much forward to catching up with Dika&Ike who are en-route from SaultStMarie/Canada to Chicago/USA. But unfortunately that did not happen!

 

They were unable to get out of immigration@Toronto Island, BillyBishop TorontoCity Airport YTZ which was for me quite a experience to be at.

An interesting airport where the runways, arrival&departure gates are located on the island and connected to the main land entrance under LakeOntario by travelators and escalators or by ferry – nice view from the island.

Downtown –  Gooderham Building  is Toronto’s very own FlatIron, only built earlier than the one in NYC, in the early 1890s. Hyatt Hotel.

Thank you for lunch cousin Chai@O&B Canteen at TIFF Towers where TIFF Bell Lightbox is a cultural centre located in the first five floors of Festival Tower on the NW corner of King&JohnSt. It is the HQ for the Toronto International Film Festival.

Colourful ride on the street-car on KingSt C$2.10 S$2.20 senior.

Mon: 1stMon Aug is a public holiday in many parts of Canada – a statutory holiday in some provinces and territories but in others it has another legal status. Called the August Holiday, Civic Holiday, Provincial Day or other local names, such as Terry Fox Day in Manitoba. Streetcar connecting to subway/QueenSt (no crowds here) and then another streetcar from Union (crowds heading to Toronto Island) to HarbourFront.

Tkx to nephew Minos for yummy dimsum lunch with a view@Pearl Harbourfront Chinese Cuisine. Good to catch up and safe trip to niece Jessica back to Ottawa.

A pleasant walk on the boardwalk by the lake with ppl enjoying the holiday on this hot day.

With a force of police patrol on the Lake Ontario to protect a yacht like this and also if you own private plane, you can land across the lake@YTZ Airport on Toronto Island – the true life-style for the rich in these high-rise condos! The lake looks really choppy today, am sure glad that I am on land. By the time we got home, the sky opened up to a welcoming needed heavy down-poured.

Hello August 2018

4 Aug 2018 – Hello Toronto

Tue: tkx to Linn for driving me to CAE airport. Is this grasshopper is trying to tell me something? Someone nearly sat on it but I managed to give some warning and perhaps it is trying to thank me! Flights were delayed due to bad weathers, also was not aware that a visa was needed for Canada C$7 S$7.40. Appreciations to this young man@AmericanA for his excellent service by helping me to get the visa and to re-book flights. Better getting stuck here than@DCA airport. Considering everything, have been lucky, if I got on the flight, would not have been allowed to enter into Canada! CAE-YYX US$140 S$191.

Did not want to bother the family. A restful night in a clean room@ClarionInn US$70 S$95 including breakfast+shuttle service from and to the airport is the best decision in this case!

Wed: back to the airport and as usual gave myself time to enjoy the serenity here. There is a piano here now and it is even in tuned (tested it!). Like the light effect with all these glass roofs but am glad that I do not have to be in charge of the cleaning!!

Those white rocking chairs are my favourite features, they are so typically Southern. Flight took off 11.15hrs on schedule to Charlotte/NC with this K9 on board.

With just enough time to buy lunch to take on board connecting with flight to Toronto/Canada. Arr 15.15 on time to catch the UP Express into Union Sta C$6.20 S$6.50. Tkx to cousin Yun for meeting me and good to see her.

Thu: lovely morning walk in the neighbourhood – just cannot get enough of these beautiful stained-glass windows for the house numbers on this street.

The Bruce Kidd Track/RegentPark, all very new and still under construction.

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Interesting sport – Bubble Soccer

Alfresco sitting area surrounded by beautiful flowers@Wendy’s and a trendy coffee joint, SumachExpresso.

Modern sculptures near LakeOntario. Did not manage to stay fully dry threading thru’ this fountain – hahaha 🙂

Lunched@SukhoThai where we shared a padThai and it was more than enough.

What a sensible use of these spaces under the highway – basketball court, playgrounds, gatherings, artsy murals, etc…

CF TorontoEatonCentre, HudsonBay&SaksFifthAvenue – from one glass-roof airport to another glass-roof shopping center. Nice window shopping experience and ended up with a packet of dental-floss as that was the only thing I needed. Somehow at this stage in life, there is not much one needs. But wanting is another matter and for me wanting is hardly in my vocabulary.

Chocolates and eclairs are too beautiful to end up in a stomach, so for the eyes only!

How I wished all my problems were just a piece of cake. Eat it entirely and then it’s all gone ― Joe Mari Fadrigalan

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Fri: TGIF and a sweet weekend to all. Corktown – not long ago was a not so desirable area, but now things are different after Google has decided this area for their IT-city. Enjoying&relaxing in Yun’s lovely backyard which she and her friends have created. Charming nightbourhood pub, but remember to read the fine print 🙂 St Bartholomew’s Anglican Church/Regent Park.

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Dinner@Kanpai SnackBar – Taiwanese Restaurant located in the historical neighbourhood of Cabbagetown. 

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The food was good but tasted more fusion to me. They messed up one of our orders, took forever to get it corrected, but we got a complimentary dish for their mistake!

Last 2018 Weekend In SC

30 Jul 2018 – Leaving With A Heavy Heart

Thu: running errands before thinking about packing! Returning library books (0.80c penalty for 2books and 2days late) and clothes to  charity. Great catching up with the Barbara&Justin. Calamari&Bruschetta starters followed by Soft-shell crabs@Alodia’s with a Bellini to celebrate this last Thu dinner in the US.  Truly blessed with the best family&friends like the Lufurnos who are very special ppl to me – their kindness by letting my family stay in their parents’ condo after the house fire will always be appreciated and remembered.

Fri: TGIF and a good weekend to all. Saw this below posting. SIN and Norway on top of the list – explains why I like being there! Bolivia, Sierra Leone, Botswana are at the bottom of this list and countries I have not been…,

http://www.rdasia.com/travel/destinations/which-countries-are-safest-visit

Getting foods ready for the weekend and it will be another year (ie if I live to see another year 🙂 ) before I make food for this family again –  Curry shrimps, Bourbon SalmonIrish-creamed potato+mushroom&fresh fruits.

Sat: congratulations to dear grand-nephew SuiChang for his marriage, welcome Mrs Lam to the family – will update with name when back in SIN. All the very best to them and might even be blessed to see a new generation! Waiting to hear what the colour will be for the new generation! So far brown has been suggested by niece JenLeng. Pix credits to another dear grandnephew, KeeYang. L-R: LAM JenMum, ANG KeeYang, SiewKeng, ANG QiYing, 2sis-in-law,  LAM SuiChang&his bride, LAM JenLeng&MrANG, MayvenLEE&LAM JenWee. This is 2bro’s (may he RIP) branch in the family tree.

#5 belated Bday Party@Lake Murray – not that easy to get my whole flock together. Jeff is on call today! Will try later before I take off!! 

 

Rub-a-dub dub, too many boys in the tub – boys will be boys and glad to be able to be here to capture them all having such fun. And grandma will be grandma and she sure likes taking pix, especially candid shorts 🙂

Anna, Tiffany & Tai with their boys and Rich with his 2girls. These kids sure make me feel old. It really did not seemed that long ago when we babysat baby Cody when Tiffany had to go for her haircut after giving birth. He is now 14 and has a great sense of humour.

Stayed indoors in the AC with the hormonal teenagers, #1&2, Cody, Tyler including the dog! This must be the most expensive US$20 S$27 treat I have ever gotton for any dog – Prairie DogTreat/Antier Elk Horn, organic and was told that it should last for months. Will need the kids to let me know how long it will last…

Managed to gather the flock together for dinner@TopChinaBuffet with Tiffany&her boys. Bday boy here is hidden behind #4 in this pix, but they are all here. My only rule to all buffets is – they can take whatever and however much they like, but NO food wastage. The kids like it here as they can eat as much ice cream as they want. For 11ppl the price is not too bad, US$85 S$115 including 10%discount.

Sun; breaks my heart to see someone heading to the misguided dark path in their life’s journey. While the family is at church today, hopes, prayers and thoughts that the light will guide their footsteps thru’ the tunnel of darkness back to the light.

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Mon: my least favourite thing to do – but pack I must. Here are pix to remind me what I have stored with L&J but will probably forget again this time next year…

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Tkx to L&J for storing my stuff so that I am able to travel with a small bag and my own self-made tag!+a Ultralight bag-pack, ie no check-in luggage.  Should really have a tag that say  I wish I could remember MY name&where I am going –  lol

牽馬到河邊容易,逼馬飲水難。(意指為他人做某事創造條件易,使其做某事難)You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink – as the Chinese saying goes!

Back To SC

26 Jul 2018 – For One More Week

Sun: breakfast@Dutch Kitchen Restaurant Frackville/PA before hitting the road. Wiggs and I had a Mimosa for vitaminC ration 🙂 and to celebrate our time together before going our separate ways.

Picked up HIHills’s car@TrailAngel Marion/VA who was out to feed us in 2005. Dropped Lizard at some junction in VA where she was picked up by her partner and Wiggs@her home in Blacksburg VA.

Stopped to communicate for directions and it was strange to recognize one of the Greyhound’s stop by McD – trying to remember which trip it was when I was here ?2015? Welcomed by a beautiful rainbow (showers and sunshine on the whole drive) and 2 cute rabbits in NC. Most appreciative to Glenda&Franklin for driving up&down this trip to ME.

Mon: Happy to Bdays #5 (7) and to grandnephew Lucas in SIN.

Paying respect to a legend Tom Dula/Dooley in Wilkesboro/NC, who was hung for murder – my thought is that he was innocent! Appreciations to HiHillsFranklin for finding the location and driving me there. Strangely enough the roosters at the nearby farm all started to crow when we were got to the gravestone, even though it was past 1400hrs and they stopped when we left!! Wonder what our other hiker buddy MoFo will make out of it 🙂 🙂

https://northcarolinaghosts.com/mountains/tom-dooley/

A lovely short drive by the YadkinRiver drive thru’ these Kudzu invasive plants which look very green but rather eerie. The Crepe Myrtles on the other hand, look delightful, even when pix is not sharp!

Blessed to have G&F crossing this life’s journey and for their being. Dinning on their lovely designers’ cast-iron furniture in their bed-room patio to end this wonderful trip to&from ME. Looks like Franklin is having second thoughts on my home cooked Bourbon Salmon – lol

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Enjoying their lovely garden before I have to take off – was told that it was unusual to have 3humming birds together at the same feed!! My first encounter with a Weeping Norway Spruce

Tue: 0945hrs bus from Wilkesboro-WinstonSalem/NC in heavy rains with a good driver app 1hr drive, on schedule and uneventful. The WS bus station has a nice map on the floor with interesting ppl here!

App 4hrs delayed in WS and no big deal and glad to have lunch again@SweetPotato and fun wander around the artsy area near the station. The Greyhound customer service here was good today and was willingly to store my luggage and came to update me with info regarding the delay.

Seems like the sculptures here like to be on the rooftops or on the wall which makes it difficult to get eye-contact with! Managed to do all the gifts shopping@MastGeneralStore.

1700hr – took off in a bus without air towards Charlotte/NC and it was either that or wait another 5hrs! 2hrs was not that bad, but there were definitely some ppl upset and all kinds of language&drama on this trip! Did not help with the bumper-bumper traffic getting into Charlotte in the bus without air! Cloud gazing usually have a calm effect on me. All’s well that ends well, there was another bus with air and the 1+hr ride to Columbia/SC was smooth&uneventful arr 2100hrs. Tkx to Linn for picking me up.

Wed: a day to rest and reflect feeling so appreciative&grateful to my hiking friends who have helped to make another wonderful trip with good memory to cherish.