Day 254 of retirement

February 25, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 19th February:

Left Lakes Entrance for Inverloch (250km @ 3.5 hours). Rained most of the way and stopped when we arrived at 1:00pm but it was still very windy and cold.

After checking into the cabin we drove 12km down the road to Wonthaggi as it has a Woolworths (mainly for our fruit supplies). Had a very nice Chinese lunch while we were there.

The rest of the afternoon was spent having a cup of tea and a lay down while listening to the blowing wind.

Tuesday 20th February:

Made our way to Phillip Island (160km round trip) for some exploring. We will be back later in the week to stay on the island for two nights so just scoping the place out today.

Stopped at a few local attractions (Point Grant, The Grand Prix Circuit and the township of Cowes) and booked our Penguin viewing guided tour for Friday night. Had a very nice lunch on the island before following the coast road back to Inverloch.

Wednesday 21st February:

Off to Wilsons Promontory NP for a wander today (150km round trip). Made our way to Tidal River, which is the end of the road. Then slowly made our way back stopping in at most of the lookouts and beaches along the way. Very beautiful part of the world.

Thursday 22nd February:

Left Inverloch for Phillip Island (55km). Only a short drive, so when we arrived the first stop was the National Vietnam Vets museum. A very interesting and moving place.

After lunch we checked into our cabin and headed for the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. They have a 2:00pm tour of the facility but as the world superbikes are on this weekend the tours were off due to practise sessions today.

So next best thing was the Phillip Island chocolate factory. After a self guided tour and a few samples we left with some very yummy treats.

Friday 23rd February:

Went exploring Phillip Island today in the drizzling rain. Rained most of the day unfortunately.

But we did have an awesome lunch at The Cape Kitchen restaurant. The outlook from our table over the shoreline was amazing.

Did a drive round the island stopping at a few more landmarks. No walks though due to the rain.

At 7:00pm we headed to the Penguin Parade on the western end of the island. There were lots and lots of tourists there to see the Penguins come out of the ocean after dark and make their way to their nests.

We did a guided tour with a Ranger so got to hear all the history of the little Penguins and also got to go to our own exclusive viewing area away from all the “tourists”.

Saturday 24th February:

Left Phillip Island at 10:00am for The Spirit of Tasmania wharf in Port Melbourne to commence boarding at 6:30pm (9:00pm departure time). As we had 8 hours to kill we detoured down the Mornington Peninsula right out the end and back. Called into Portsea and Sorento and a few other lookouts as well.

Arrived at Port Melbourne at 3:00pm so just chilled till load time. The ferry was delayed by an hour due to bad weather in Bass Strait so hoping it wasn’t a bad omen for us.

We were all loaded and on our way at 10:00pm. We had booked a cabin so once we dumped our gear we explored the ferry, which took all of 10 minutes.

Sunday 25th February:

On the 9-hour crossing we both managed some broken sleep, as there were a few time when we were woken by a rolling boat. But I must say that laying down certainly help my seasickness. I actually felt okay (apart from being tired) when we arrived so very happy with the crossing.

On leaving the harbour we found a nice little café for breakfast and a very nice hot cup of tea.

As checking in for our cabin isn’t officially not till 2:00pm we gave them a call and they said we could have the cabin round 12:00pm ish. So after a wander round the markets in Ulverstone, we settled into our cabin for some sleep and route planning for the next four weeks.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

 

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Day 247 of retirement

February 18, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 12th February:

Left Jindabyne for Mount Beauty (300km & 5 hours). There is about 100km of this road that is very steep, narrow and windy so it took us 2 hours just to drive this section (Thredbo to Khancoban).

Also got caught at three lots of roadwork sites which slowed us down. But arrived safely mid afternoon to another very nice cabin and park that is practically deserted so nice and quiet.

Tuesday 13th February:

Off exploring today on the road to Falls Creek (70km round trip).

We had lunch ay Falls Creek and visited a number of lookouts along the way. Quite by accident we found Lake Guy, a lake named after Guy… ha ha ha.

On the way back we stopped at the Fainter Falls hiking trail and hiked in to see the falls. Beautiful spot.

Just as we were leaving we found an iPad and glasses that a couple we meet coming in had left behind. By the time we got back to the parking area they had gone.

So we dropped off the iPad and glasses at the Mount Beauty Police station. At 4:30pm I got a call from a lady who was very very grateful for getting her iPad and glasses back.

Another very pleasant day exploring the high country. We both love the snowy mountains and all it has to offer.

Wednesday 14th February:

8 years ago (been together for 13 amazing years) I married my beautiful wife Guy. We have had the most awesome adventures together and look forward to many many more. Life and love is good. Love you my wife.xxxooo

After a very nice sleep-in we went for leisurely drive (60km return) through the mountains to Bright for lunch. A very nice lunch was had by all then we headed back to Mount Beauty for a cup of tea and a lay down (siesta).

Thursday 15th February:

Left Mount Beauty today for Lakes Entrance (270km & 5 hours) with a few stops along the way at lookouts. Left the mountains for the beach.

In 1 week we have gone from the top of Australia (2,228m (7,310feet)) to sea level (0m).

Arrived mid afternoon and had a very nice late seafood lunch. As we’re back on the coast and fishing village, I feel some seafood coming our way.

Checked into our Big4 cabin, which is just across the road from the pedestrian bridge to the ninety-mile beach. Had a short stroll today but looking at a longer walk tomorrow.

Friday 16th February:

Quiet day in Lakes Entrance today. We went for a 5km stroll along the beachfront (inside the lagoon as it was blowing a gale on the ocean beach) checking out all the fishing fleet.

Found a very nice restaurant that served a great seafood platter of local delicacies for lunch. This was followed up by a dessert consisting of locally made Baklava.

Back to the cabin early afternoon for a cup of tea and a lay down. Also did some booking ahead for the rest of next week as we get on the Spirit of Tasmania on Saturday 24th February for 4 weeks. Also booked a cabin for our arrival in Tassie.

Saturday 17th February:

A wandering day today. We just got in the car and drove, stopping wherever we felt like. Great way to explore as we get off the beaten track.

Back to Lakes Entrance for one of the best seafood lunches ever at the Ferrymans Seafood Cafe. We had a platter of local fresh seafood, which was awesome. The desert wasn’t bad either (Hazelnut Daquoise).

Then our usual back to the cabin early afternoon for a cup of tea and a lay down. After our siesta its a walk along the esplanade to wind off the day.

Sunday 18th February:

Late morning we headed of on a 6km walk along the surf beach then back along the calmer lake side. Stunning walk topped off by a pod of Dolphins that checked us out to the bar entrance.

After building up an appetite we went back to the Ferrymans Seafood Café for a magnificent seafood lunch. The food was outstanding once again (we were there yesterday for lunch as well).

Back to the cabin for our cup of tea and afternoon siesta.

On the move tomorrow across to Inverloch (Philip Island & Wilsons Promontory NP area).

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


Day 240 of retirement

February 11, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 5th February:

Left Sydney for Tumut in the snowy mountains (430km & 6 hours). Had a slow run due to 3 lots of major road works. Arrived mid afternoon to our magnificent cabin right on the riverfront (20 steps away).

We have only booked for 2 nights but after getting a heap of tourist info from the info centre we might have to extend it to another night.

Tuesday 6th February:

Today it was off to the Yarrangobilly Caves in the Kosciuszko National Park (210km round trip). There are six caves in the complex with one of them being self-guided and the others you need a guide.

We did the Jillabenan Cave with a guide and as it turned out there were only four us on the tour so a very personalized tour. We then did the South Glory Cave on our own (self guided tour). Very interesting as each cave is slightly different.

Finished off the day with a hike into the thermal springs (down a big hill) only to discover the springs were not so thermal. Cool springs would be more appropriate. But we did go for a swim in the lovely pool.

Wednesday 7th February:

Road trip today where we visited local attractions in Adelong, Batlow and Tumbarumba (220km round trip).

Some of the attractions we visited were the Adelong Falls gold mill ruins, the Sugar Pine Forest Walk and Paddys River Falls.

Had a very lovely country lunch in Batlow and as this is a huge apple growing area we finished up the lunch with apple pie and whipped cream.

Thursday 8th February:

Left Tumut for Jindabyne (260km & 5 hours with some stops) on the Snowy Mountains Highway. This is a beautiful drive and I would have loved to have the old Ducati today for the ride.

On the way, we visited the Blowering Reservoir, 3-mile dam and the big trout in Adaminaby.

Arrived mid afternoon and hit the information centre for local info and attractions. Lots more to see in the next few days.

Friday 9th February:

Road trip today to Thredbo, Crackenback, Perisher, Smiggin Holes and Charlotte Pass (150km round trip).

At Thredbo we checked out the car park and chairlift as tomorrow we hope to catch the lift to within 6.5km of Mount Kosciuszko (highest point in Australia) and hike in the rest of the way. It will be a 13km round trip so a big day (for us mere mortals).

Awesome drive through the mountains. Short hike into the lookout at Charlotte Pass as it was drizzling a bit.

Lunch at the Wildbrumby Schnapps Distillery. Awesome food but didn’t try the schnapps.

Saturday 10th February:

Summit day as we head for Mount Kosciuszko (2,228m (7,310feet)) the highest point in Australia.

It was an alpine start (ha ha ha) to the day (up at 6:30am) as we had breakfast and headed to Thredbo Village (37km drive from Jindabyne). Arrived to catch the 9:00am chair lift up to the Eagles Nest on top of the ski slopes. From there we hiked 6.5km to the summit then 6.5km back (13km round trip) through the beautiful alpine meadows.

We both made it in good spirits and a little body weary. The hike down was a breeze as we descended from the mountains.

The top of the chair lift is 1,927m (6,322 feet) and Mount Kosciuszko is 2,228m (7,310feet) so it was a 301m (988feet) vertical climb. Guy and I are not as nimble as we used to be so are feeling it tonight.

But it was an awesome hike/climb and if you’re ever in the area definitely worth a visit.

Sunday 11th February:

Rest day after our big climb yesterday. Went back to the Wildbrumby Schnapps Distillery for lunch. Such an awesome place with some of the best food we have eaten so far.

Did a bit of a random drive round the district sightseeing. Off to Mount Beauty tomorrow.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


Day 233 of retirement

February 4, 2018

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Hi All

Thursday 25th January:

Left Crookwell for a short drive through the rolling hills to Moss Vale (120km).

We arrived at our cabin 3 hours early but it was ready for us so we moved straight in. It is an Executive cabin and is basically a small house. Very nice as our base for the next four nights as we explore the Southern Highlands.

Off to Bowral for lunch (awesome Thai lunch) and to visit the Don Bradman museum. I’m not a huge cricket fan but this place was very interesting. Learnt all about the origins of cricket through to the World Series and Kerry Packer’s influence (take over….) on the game.
My Dad would have loved it here.

Friday 26th January:

Happy Australia Day you all. Guy and I spent it in the lovely country town, Berrima (Southern Highlands). Great day with trinket and food stalls (food from all corners of the world) to be explored.
At midday there was a good old-fashioned parade of vehicles of all shapes, sizes and vintages along with a marching band.
Saw a few old vehicles that I grew up with which brought back fond memories of years gone by.

Following the parade we visited the old courthouse and did a self guided tour. Very interesting to hear some of the cases tried in the court and how brutal some of the punishments were.

A couple who murdered the husband of the woman were hanged, buried standing up (so that they could never rest) and had their heads removed and sent to Sydney as a warning to others. This is what the judge ordered.

Saturday 27th January:

A road trip today (Moss Vale – Fitzroy Falls – Kangaroo Valley (lunch) – Robertson (pie shop & cheese factory) – Moss Vale). A 100km round trip.

Had a great country steak lunch in Kangaroo Valley and made a few purchases in the cheese factory and the pie shop in Robertson. Won’t go hungry tonight.

It was a very leisurely / pleasant drive through the rolling foothills of the southern highlands.

Sunday 28th January:

Off down Bundanoon way today and the Morton National Park. First stop was an hour long hike in and out of Glow Worm Glen, where we planned to come back when it’s dark.

It was a steep hike into a part of the canyon where at night the walls come alive with glowworms. Great spot.

Then lunch and off to the Morton NP to various different lookouts. Just love this park and can’t get enough of it.

Just back from Glow Worm Glen. We hiked in just before sunset and waited till dark and the whole wall came alive. Well worth the walk in and out.
Really hard to photograph in the pitch darkness.

Monday 29th January:

Left Moss Vale for Dee Why (Jordan’s place and our old apartment (150km & 2 hours)).

Arrived lunch time and proceeded to completely unpack the mighty Mazda. It has to go in for some routine repairs over the next two days so she is ready for the next 12 months on the road.

As we have good WIFI at Jordan’s, I spent the afternoon updating two iPhones (apps & OS) and my MacBook Pro (programs & OS) then backing it all up to two USB drives.

Tuesday 30th January:

Up at 7:00am (haven’t been up that early for a long time) and dropped the mighty Mazda off for some work before our next 6 months on the road.

Had lunch with Myrna (Guy’s friend and our Reike masseuse) then rested up for the rest of the afternoon. Guy had dinner at the RSL with the girls.

Wednesday 31st January –Saturday 3rd February:

Hung out at the apartment, caught up with friends, picked up the mighty Mazda and gave her a good wash and clean inside.

Tried to capture the Eclipse and Blood moon but too cloudy.

Sunday 4th February:

Back on the road tomorrow so did a bit of reorganizing of our gear and packed the car. Be good to get back exploring once again.

Making our way through the Snowy Mountains to Melbourne and then across Bass Strait to Tassie.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

 


Day 222 of retirement

January 24, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 8th January:

Stinking hot day in Canberra. Luckily a thunderstorm and cool change came through at 3:00pm and cooled things down. Although the aircon was able to keep us cool up till 3:00pm.

Tuesday 9th January & Wednesday 10th January:

Jo is baby sitting a friend’s kids for a few days (during the day only) so we have two five year olds, one one year old and one 4 month old in the house. Lets just say that the four kids kept the three adults on their toes all day.

We slept well at night.

Thursday 11th January – Sunday 14th January:

Hanging with the grandkids. Going for walks and generally get jumped on, dribbled on, crawled on, bashed with toys, vomited on, pooped on and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Monday 15th January:

Off to Sydney to see Jordan, get the car serviced and tidy up a few things before our next stint on the road (Vic, Tas & WA).

Nice easy run so made good time.

Arrived at our old apartment and not quite sure what we would find. You see Jordan has been living there by himself (his bachelor pad) since we left 7 months ago. All we can say was, it’s definitely a bachelor pad. After some cleaning, vacuuming and a couple of rubbish runs it was presentable once again. It looked worse than it actually was.

Tuesday 16th January

Did a bit of running round in the morning and cleaned up all the jobs I had to do.

Late afternoon we went across town to visit my sister Lyn (from WA) and her family (2 daughters, 1 grandbaby & son in-law) who live in Sydney. Got to see them all again.

Wednesday 17th January:

Took the mighty Mazda in for a service and check up for the pink slip (certificate required for rego). The service was fine but there were a few other things that need fixing before the pink slip can be issued.

So the parts are ordered and we will be back in Sydney on Tuesday 30th January to get them fitted and the pink slip issued. This is a NSW rego requirement so needs to be done in NSW before we leave for Victoria. Rego expires in March and we will be in Victoria by then.

The mighty Mazda had done 234,010 km so is due for a bit of tender loving care.

Thursday 18th January:

Had a leisurely morning with a walk to Dee Why beach and brunch. We both agree that Dee Why beach is one of the very few things we do miss about Sydney. It is a pretty awesome place.

4.5 hour drive (310km) to Canberra with little traffic. Got caught in the M5 tunnel with an accident that had traffic back to a crawl but once out all good.

Friday 19th January – Sunday 21st January:

Hung out with the kids. Didn’t get out much as it was just too hot. Stayed indoors under the aircon.

Monday 22nd January:

On the road again after three weeks with the kids. Left Canberra for a leisurely drive to Crookwell (100km, 1 hour). Staying 3 nights.

We were hoping to go and see the Wombeyan Caves but all the roads in the area are closed till further notice due to a large bushfire.

Tuesday 23rd January:

So a change in plans required. We headed north to the Abercrombie Caves instead (160km round trip) for a self-guided tour. These caves are extremely impressive for their size but sadly are showing some wear and tear from the last few hundred years of being used by escaping convicts, bushrangers, gold prospectors and tourist on self guided tours. Still worth a visit though.

Back to Crookwell and off to see Susan on her alpaca farm. She has 70 odd alpacas that are all individually named (from 2 weeks old babies through to 20 years old). She breeds them with other breeders and for their wool.

As we were the only two “tourists” there we were able to feed them. I do remember reading that they do spit and unlucky for Guy, she was spat on twice.

It was extremely interesting hearing all about the life and loves of alpacas.

Wednesday 24th January:

Road trip today (Crookwell – Goulburn – Collector – Gunning – Crookwell (180km)). It drizzled rain on and off for most of the day which was great as it cooled things down quite a bit after the last few hot days.

Lunch was in Goulburn at a very nice Thai restaurant with afternoon tea at Gunning (tea and a very nice cherry ripe slice).

We visited a few local attractions along the way so all in all a very pleasant day.

St Saviour’s Cathedral in Goulburn was a highlight. A magnificent example of decorated Gothic architecture with amazing light and shadows throughout the cathedral.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


Day 205 of retirement

January 7, 2018

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Hi All

Wednesday 27th December:

Nice quiet day after all the festivities. Guy and I went for nice long walk along the beach to start burning up all the calories.

Thursday 28th December:

Time to gather all our belongings together once again and pack the car. Tomorrow we head for Canberra for a few weeks to see the gang there. Then back on the road trip for the next 6 months ish.

Washed and cleaned, the mighty Mazda is ready for the journey.

Friday 29th December:

Left Port Willunga in SA for Hay in NSW and tomorrow onto Canberra ACT to see the grandkids for the new year. (680km & 8 hours (had a few stops)). It started to drizzle after about a 100km and continued all the way to Hay. It actually got quite heavy in the last 100km into Hay. Nice traveling weather.

Arrived at 4:30pm and made our way to the BIG4 park (we are members) for a cabin. This is the first time we have not booked ahead and of course all the cabins were taken (Xmas school holidays).

We found a very nice motel just up the road with a nice big room and as it is just out of the township, it is nice and quiet.

Saturday 30th December:

Left Hay under nice bright skies for Canberra (500km @ 5.5 hours). Had a good run all the way thru. The Police were out in force in NSW as it is double demerits till January 1st.

We arrived to some excited grandkids.

Sunday 31st December:

Quiet day. For lunch Dave and Jo took us into town to a very nice hotel restaurant for lunch. Then back home for our afternoon siesta.

At 8:00pm we made our way into downtown Canberra for the 9:00pm fireworks. We were not disappointed. A great family show.

Back home and we all managed to stay awake for the midnight New Year’s fireworks.

Monday 1st January 2018:

Huge happy New Year you allllll. Here is to all the adventures that 2018 shall bring us all.

Quiet day just chilling with the grandkids.

Tuesday 2nd January:

Busy day today. I broke out the lawn mower and mowed all the lawns as well as moving the trampoline, swings, play gym, bikes and chairs so I could get a complete mow. It has been a long time since I mowed a lawn. I still remember how…….

Also gave the mighty Mazda a good wash and clean and check over. She will have a rest for the next few weeks then back on the road again in mid January.

Wednesday 3rd January:

Quiet day, well as quiet as you can get with two grandkids crawling all over you. I think we will need a holiday in a few weeks after all this activity.

Thursday 4th January:

Aria’s first birthday today. Very relaxing day with a bit of a cake and party for her for dinner. The big day is Saturday where there are 30 odd guests coming and Aria is getting christened as well.

Friday 5th January:

Babysitting duties today as Dave is working and Jo is busy shopping for Aria’s christening/birthday party tomorrow. Finished up with Aria and me asleep together on the couch.

Saturday 6th January:

The big day for Aria’s christening and 1st birthday party. Had 25 ish people over and a great time was had by all. Kids galore so some pretty tired kids and adults tonight.

Sunday 7th January:

Recovery day today as the temperature hits 40C in Canberra. Luckily at 3:00pm ish a thunderstorm came through and cooled things down. It dropped 10C in half an hour. Made the rest of the day quite pleasant.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


Day 194 of retirement

December 26, 2017

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Hi All

Monday 18th December:

Left Menindee for Mildura. Now we had two choices of routes. One was 300km with 130km of dirt road. The other 400km but all sealed road. We took the 400km route, as we didn’t fancy doing the dirt bit in the Mazda.

We arrived in Mildura early afternoon in time for lunch then checked into our luxury cabin and had our afternoon siesta, as it was another scorcher outside.

Tuesday 19th December:

Another scorcher today so off to do the 11:00am paddle steamers cruise. Very interesting 2 hour cruise as we heard all about the old days of steamer boats on the Murray.

Back at 1:00pm and off to Gol Gol for lunch. Just as we arrived the hot north wind hit and it blew a gale (whitecaps on the Murray River). So after lunch it was back to the cabin for our siesta in the hottest part of the day.

At 4:00pm a huge storm hit with thunder and lightning along with pea sized hailstones. Just on 5:00pm as the storm subsided the power went out. Learnt from the park owners that 2,800 homes in Mildura are without power and they hope to have power restored by 9:00pm.

Then the sun came back out it became extremely humid. Ooohhhhh well good training for when we return to Marinduque (brownouts and all).

Wednesday 20th December:

Left Mildura for Renmark (150km) in much cooler conditions this morning. Along the way we visited the Inland Botanical Gardens and Orange World.

The Inland Botanical Gardens has the Sturt Desert Peas in full bloom, which was spectacular. The rose gardens were also in full bloom. Very nice place to visit as it was full of color and the smell of the roses was fabulous.

Next stop just up the road was Orange World. We took a tour of the 10,000 orange tree orchard and heard all about growing oranges, mandarins, lemons, limes and avocados. Also very interesting.

Made it to Renmark by 1:30pm so into town for lunch. Back to our very nice huge cabin and settled in for the afternoon.

Thursday 21st December:

Left Renmark for Port Willunga (our home away from… well no home) in nice cooler conditions (330km @ 4 hours drive). Grabbed a few groceries and lunch then back to the house to unpack the mighty Mazda as we are here for a week.

Guy found a cherry orchard 20 minutes away that allows self-picking of nice plum sweet cherries. So off we went and filled up a bucket and of course sampled a few (well quite a few) cherries. We both felt sick from an over indulgence of cherries.

Gave the mighty Mazda a wash and vacuum, as she was looking a bit rough and eeky after her outback experience. Like new again.

Friday 22nd December:

Leisurely morning as we made our way into Adelaide to the central market. Caught up with my sister Sandy and planned out the food requirements for the next 4 days. All stocked up and back to Port Will for a relaxing afternoon.

Saturday 23rd December:

Lazy day relaxing and eating with a siesta thrown in for good measure. For dinner Guy and I took Sandy & Brian out to the Star of Greece restaurant. Awesome food and view over the beach. After dinner we wandered down to the beach and watched the magnificent sunset.

Sunday 24th December:

After a last minute dash to the supermarket for a few supplies it was off to Second Valley south of Port Willunga to have a look at the geological formations.

A very interesting place with some magnificent geological formations to look at.

Then back to the cherry-picking farm where we picked another bucket of plump, juicy red cherries. Should last us a few days. Back for a late lunch and our afternoon siesta.

Monday 25th December:

Merry Xmas everybody. We had a light lunch with just the four of us as the big Kloeden family gathering is tomorrow. My boys (Rik, Jas & Mike) arrived late afternoon to stay the night so good to see them once again.

Tuesday 26th December:

We spent the morning preparing food ready for our Xmas celebrations at lunchtime. The rest of the family (my brother and crew) arrived at midday and the feast began for all eleven of us.

A great day was had by all.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy