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Fedoras afield

The Shoe

One Too Many
Messages
1,322
Location
Wakayama, Japan
In the lead up to Christmas, I was able to catch up with my old table tennis partner who I hadn't seen for over 30 years. We won quite a few tournaments together back in the day.
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We also caught up with another old friend (and his partner) who I used to teach with back in New Zealand twenty odd years ago.
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Christmas day and the gang was all there. It was the first time for mum & dad to have their three kids together for 30 odd years, and they'd kind of given up on it ever happening. Dad, in particular got quite emotional and shed a few tears of joy.
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As an added bonus, they also had all their grandchildren together for the first time ever.
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Yamahana

Practically Family
Messages
601
Location
Buckeye, Arizona
Twas a mite cold today in the AZ desert alfalfa fields for me and my two partners. Only fitting that my regular everyday winter work hat be an Akubra alongside my two Aussie gal friends SuzyQ and Bailey.
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Didn’t realize how dirty it was, brushed the loose stuff off.
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SuzyQ and Bailey taking a break from gopher chasing.
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Very uncommon sight in AZ desert, snow flurries on the mountains.
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The Shoe

One Too Many
Messages
1,322
Location
Wakayama, Japan
December 27th was one of the highlights of my trip and it involved a different hat.
We travelled South into the Waikato - the country where I was raised. I was surprised at the emotion I felt when we came over the Bombay hills into the Waikato. The Waikato is a dairy farming area - nothing special to visitors, but I love the rolling hills of the Waikato. First stop was Pokeno. This place is a UNESCO World cultural heritage site for it's magnificent ice creams (or at least it should be).
Etsuko had a small...
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I went for a medium, but kind of regretted not going for the large or extra large.
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We then progressed down the island to my cousin's place, still in the Waikato.
When we decided to make the trip to New Zealand, Etsuko asked if we could ride a horse (she's never done it before, and me only a couple of times). My cousin loves her horses and is into Western style riding, so I asked her if she had a horse suitable for a beginner. She was able to accommodate us and also offered to put us up for the night.
She decked out Etsuko right in a hat and boots...
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...and off she went!
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She wasn't expecting the horse to go in reverse!
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The Shoe

One Too Many
Messages
1,322
Location
Wakayama, Japan
Next was my turn...
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A couple of other cousins came over for dinner and there was lots of laughter and reminiscing.
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My cousin Annie's partner was an award winning chef once upon a time, so it's no surprise that the Christmas leftovers surpassed any Christmas food I've had before.
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We woke up in the morning to this view from our bedroom window.
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The Shoe

One Too Many
Messages
1,322
Location
Wakayama, Japan
Not far from my cousin's place is Shewan Road. My name is Gary Shewan. My grandfather bought some rough-as-guts land in the Waikato and turned it into farmland. When the road through the farm became a public road, it took his name. Shewans still live there (I went to see the cousin that now runs that farm, but neglected to get photos). Three of my uncles also had farms nearby. I'm a townie, but spent a lot of time out here on my uncles' farms.
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Short Balding Guy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,807
Location
Minnesota, USA
Not far from my cousin's place is Shewan Road. My name is Gary Shewan. My grandfather bought some rough-as-guts land in the Waikato and turned it into farmland. When the road through the farm became a public road, it took his name. Shewans still live there (I went to see the cousin that now runs that farm, but neglected to get photos). Three of my uncles also had farms nearby. I'm a townie, but spent a lot of time out here on my uncles' farms. View attachment 483386 View attachment 483387

Thanks for sharing. I am living the good life by imaging I am in your "backyard."

Eric -
 
Messages
16,242
Twas a mite cold today in the AZ desert alfalfa fields for me and my two partners. Only fitting that my regular everyday winter work hat be an Akubra alongside my two Aussie gal friends SuzyQ and Bailey. View attachment 483241
Didn’t realize how dirty it was, brushed the loose stuff off.
View attachment 483242 View attachment 483243
SuzyQ and Bailey taking a break from gopher chasing.
View attachment 483244
Very uncommon sight in AZ desert, snow flurries on the mountains.
View attachment 483245 View attachment 483246
Beautiful dogs!
 
Messages
16,662
Location
Central California
Not far from my cousin's place is Shewan Road. My name is Gary Shewan. My grandfather bought some rough-as-guts land in the Waikato and turned it into farmland. When the road through the farm became a public road, it took his name. Shewans still live there (I went to see the cousin that now runs that farm, but neglected to get photos). Three of my uncles also had farms nearby. I'm a townie, but spent a lot of time out here on my uncles' farms. View attachment 483386 View attachment 483387


I’ve really enjoyed going along for the ride on your adventures. Looks like a great place to have grown up.
 

Blare

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,698
The next day, in New Plymouth, we did the Coastal walkway.
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As magnificent as the Pohutukawas were up north, I think New Plymouth might just be the pohutukawa capital of New Zealand.
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Gary…. Thank you so much for bringing us along on your travels through your homeland. Beautiful photos!
 

The Shoe

One Too Many
Messages
1,322
Location
Wakayama, Japan
Thanks for sharing. I am living the good life by imaging I am in your "backyard."

Eric -

I’ve really enjoyed going along for the ride on your adventures. Looks like a great place to have grown up.

Gary…. Thank you so much for bringing us along on your travels through your homeland. Beautiful photos!
Glad you are enjoying it despite there being only three hats repeated endlessly. It really was a great trip, and of course it was the family and friends that I caught up with that made it so special.
Coming to the end of it soon.
 
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The Shoe

One Too Many
Messages
1,322
Location
Wakayama, Japan
No hat photos from the last two days of last year, but since some of you have followed it this far, here we go (rest assured I was wearing either my Bailey Toyo or my Stylemaster).
On the 30th, we found a good vantage point from which to see the mountain.
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Then it was a big drive to my parents' place via Waikato/King Country...
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...and on through Taupō.
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Not the best photos, but on the 31st we spent some time Mount Maunganui, a popular beach resort not too far from my parents' place. We saw in the New Year quietly with Mum & Dad.
 

The Shoe

One Too Many
Messages
1,322
Location
Wakayama, Japan
Katikati, where my parents live is known as the mural town, with lots of murals showing the town's history.
The people in the top picture are part of the photo. The extras in the bottom one are real.
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Me & my buddy checking the news
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My first custard square in years...
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And that was that. Nothing really to show from the last couple of days - a bit of shopping and preparation for the trip back to Japan.
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Blare

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,698
Katikati, where my parents live is known as the mural town, with lots of murals showing the town's history.
The people in the top picture are part of the photo. The extras in the bottom one are real. View attachment 484139
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Me & my buddy checking the news
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My first custard square in years...
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And that was that. Nothing really to show from the last couple of days - a bit of shopping and preparation for the trip back to Japan.
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Wonderful. Thank you again for bringing us along on your magical journey
 

The Shoe

One Too Many
Messages
1,322
Location
Wakayama, Japan
Wonderful. Thank you again for bringing us along on your magical journey
Thanks, Joe.
The scenery up north and in New Plymouth was probably more spectacular for most, but my first glimpse of the Waikato, where I was brought up had me feeling extremely (and surprisingly) emotional. That said, being together with my parents and siblings for the first time in thirty years, meeting cousins that I spent so much time with on their farms in my youth, and catching up with old friends; those were the real highlights. Especially meeting my sister for the first time in person. Of course, I’ve spoken to her online, but the last time I saw her, it was as my big brother. My trans sister is so much more open than my aloof brother ever was.
 

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