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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international mushroom consultants. MEMOIRS about husband Pieter Vedder, who was a SCIENTIFIC PIONEER in Mushroom Cultivation Education. His practical handbook is in 9 languages and is called the MUSHROOM BIBLE: https://mariettesbacktobasics.blogspot.com/2020/08/modern-mushroom-growing-2020-harvesting.html

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Darling Harbour Cruise in Sydney for Surprise Birthday Party

So, we got up very early on Saturday morning in Melbourne Australia on October 10. 
Cousin Liz came with her B.M.W. to pick us up at 8:30 AM for dropping us off at the airport.
Again, saying goodbye, we did not have much time together but that was because of our 2-week job for doing training at Melbourne Mushrooms.
We flew to Sydney and were picked up by our mushroom friends Rob Tolson and John Miller.
Home with them to Windsor, NSW, through the new Sydney Harbour tunnel, that opened in August of 1992.
We had lunch at John & Beryl's home.
Here we are aboard the ship but to the right is Beryl Miller, who hosted our lunch for Saturday upon arrival.
With Ansett Australia from Melbourne to Sydney
Feeling happy for having completed a good job and now a few days with mushroom friends in a more relaxed atmosphere.
What we did NOT know was that on Sunday, they had already organized a bus, for going back to Darling Harbour in Sydney for a Harbour Cruise with dinner in honor of the 21st Birthday of Tania Cox, daughter of one of our mushroom friends, Johnny Cox.
Here we are at Darling Harbour, waiting for the birthday girl to arrive with her fiancée...
We hid behind the bus and sprang out singing HAPPY BIRTHDAY and at first Tania was mad at her fiancée for having lured her to the harbour.
Me on the left with husband Pieter and to the right are John Miller and Rob Tolson.
Here we are with the lovely birthday girl Tania in our midst, with her Dad John Cox to her left.
Such a lovely afternoon and evening!
Pieter wearing his favorite leather jacket from Pond's India Leather Garment Factory and I wear one that I bought in the U.S.A.
A very special toast to the 21-year old Australian Tania Cox!
A happy family!
John & Daphne Cox with daughter Tania, cutting the dessert, and her sister Nerilee to the right.
We had such a great time and felt like family!
Norah & Rob Tolson
We arrived home very late with the Tolsons but what a day!
We knew each other for many years and ran into each other usually at International Mushroom Congresses.
We walked with Norah, along the bay of San Diego on March 12, 1985 at the 5th North American Mushroom Conference.
In 1987, on my birthday we all happend to be together for dinner in Santa Cruz, California; 9 of our Mushroom friends from Australia. Rob Tolson with Rob Tolson Jr. and John Baker.
They ordered around 10:30 PM a large strawberry tort with candles and champagne and sang Happy Birthday to me. Unforgettable!
Already in 1986 in August, Robert Jr. did visit us in Georgia at our home, while he was studying at Penn State University. He did stay a couple of nights with us and visited the Campbell Mushroom plant that Pieter designed here locally.
On Monday we first visit Robert Jr. & Buffy's mushroom farm.
Yes, you can read more about Elf Mushrooms when clicking on this link...
We know the two generations!
We also visited John & Daphne Cox's mushroom farm.
John looked so much like our late friend Roy Chappell... They say that we all have a double; somewhere!
Lunch at Mary Daley and her two sons and Olga, the grower.
Next day we visited the Dorresteyn farm, which was leased to his workers.
Rosy served us coffee and dessert.
Next we went to Brian and Heidi Carroll and Heidi gifted me a nice round broche that she'd hand painted.
It always made it kind of hard to leave such sweet friends!
We went to have lunch with Graham and Janet Price and in the evening we rounded it up with a lovely dinner where some 60 Australian mushroom growers joined!
Pieter did show slides form the Indonesian mushroom farm where we worked and John Miller gifted us in the name of all mushroom growers a beautiful book:
Such a warm gesture and so meaningful!
Also John Baker did buy 30 of my own design Lacquered Brass Mushroom Window Decorations.
On Wednesday we had lunch with a Swiss mushroom friend, the late Hans Tschierpe.
First they'd done a video from my harvest demonstration.
Thursday, October 15 we got up early and left for the Sydney airport by 7:30 AM.
No Hawkesbury river flooding this time!
It was hard to part after such special days together, with also a visit to a local nursery for plants.
We could buy a truckload, if it would be allowed!
Via Honolulu, Hawaii we entered the USA and went on to Los Angeles and Atlanta, home on Friday by 1:00 AM.

Just 9 days later, Pieter left for Kalamazoo, Michigan to work for the Campbell plant there and back home on October 30; tired...
On November 1, we did pick up Pieter's eldest brother Thé with his wife Dora, they stayed with us till November 18. We took them to Florida and they both got lucky with check in for Royal Dutch Airlines, as Pieter let Thé use his Royal Wing card and that yielded them 2 business class seats 74!
Always busy but we can look back with lots of satisfaction!
 To find this card in the mail was so touching...
To Dear Pieter & Mariet(te),
I shall be retiring from the position of General Manager of A.M.G.A. (Australian Mushroom Growers Association) as from 31st December, 1992.
May I sincerely thank you for all of your assistance and friendship over the many years.
All of our members enjoyed your visit to their farms and your presentation at the hotel dinner.
If I can be of assistance to you at anytime in Australia, then please let me know.
Best wishes for the future,
Warmest regards,
John & Beryl Miller (our tour guides to the Blue Mountains on this trip...)...

Thanks for your visit and comment and stay tuned for the next Australia trip...

Related links:
Working & Socializing with Staff from Melbourne Mushrooms | previous post by me
Two Cousins from Two Continents in Melbourne, Australia | previous post by me
Visiting Healesville Sanctuary in VIC, Australia | previous post by me
My 2nd Trip to Australia from Atlanta - Dallas - Los Angeles - Sydney - Melbourne | previous post
Katoomba & Jenolan Caves, Blue Mountains Australia | previous post by me
Trips to Australia | previous post by me
{My Own Design of Brass Mushrooms} | previous post by me


  1. Dearest MAriette,
    so lovely memories about a happy Birthday :O)
    Wishing you a happy weekend ahead, hope, you both are well!
    Love and hugs, Claudia xo

    1. Dearest Claudia,
      One can say that it was a very special Birthday; a memorable one!

  2. Liebe Mariette,

    ausdrucksvoll und eindrucksvoll.

    Alles Liebe


  3. Hello Mariette, With a name like yours, you must be used to a few spelling variations! Of course, Georgia has its famous old city of Marietta, but Ohio would be equally as welcoming with its historic Ohio River town of Marietta, which is also the home of Marietta College. In fact, Marietta, Ohio is considerably older than Marietta, Georgia!

    1. Dearest Jim,
      Well, at the time we received our name, our parents had no idea that once the entire world would be our work place! That sure does have an impact on the spelling and also the pronunciation of a name. The Dutch version, as spelled out in these letters, is Mariet but most Americans failed to pronounce it properly so I opted for the French version and that seems to be rather easy for all. Your Spanish version would be equally easy as anyone here can say Marietta, sounding so familiar to them. Did not know about Marietta in Ohio and always interesting to learn some history!

  4. Those handwritten memories, those are priceless

  5. What a wonderful trip you had. My bucket list country. Looks like you spent it with lovely people and had some very nice dinners too.

    1. Dearest Debra,
      Yes those weekends interlacing the work weeks were often spectacular in every way!
      Our Aussie friends are exceptionally nice.

  6. What wonderful memories of a full life next to your dearest Peater. You were and are such a handsome and loving couple.
    Many blessings for a long life together.

    1. Dearest Fabby,
      We both share lots of very fond memories and it maybe rare for being in the same business together, as we were. The best time of our life! Thanks for your kind words and compliments.

  7. I know I say this every single time, but it just amazes me how much information and memorabilia you do have and remember from all those years ago. You are the most organized person I know. :)

    1. Dearest Tammy,
      Thank you for your words here and when it comes to paperwork, guess indeed we both were very organized.
      But it also is great for getting rid of it once being put to use for our life's story!

  8. Beautiful memories Mariette, wonderful gifts to treasure. So great that your friends kept in touch with you.
    Have a lovely weekend.

    1. Dearest Sami,
      Yes, those are very special memories and the gifts we treasured.
      Staying in touch is good for the soul as we all shared so much during our life time.

  9. Wow what a wonderful surprise birthday for Tania! Your birthday at Santa Cruz sounds so lovely, too! You are surrounded with wonderful people. Thank you for sharing your fond memories. I always love seeing those handwritten notes :-)

    1. Dearest Tamago,
      Yes, Tania for sure had a big surprise birthday and we were so fortunate for being part of it!
      Equally surprising was my Santa Cruz birthday amidst our Aussie friends. One to never forget.


Thanks for your visit and comment.



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