28 June 2010

Mamas Go Adventuring

How often do you get to go away to a nice hotel with a good friend, leaving all your kids and housework and troubles behind??? Not often right?? Right. Not often.
It's a rare treat, a luxurious indulgence...
I got to spend the weekend just gone with my lovely friend Gail - a girls overnighter in a nice hotel at an inspiring conference just for us women. We looked forward to it eagerly, leaving the kids in the more-than-capable hands of their daddies.

I was ready with my randomly packed suitcase when Gail knocked on the door. Kisses, hugs and waving goodbye... feeling like schoolgirls let out for the holidays, we were off.

Over the Bridge we went. Overseas, as the rest of us Aucklanders laughingly refer to the North Shore. Another world, over the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

To the Spencer-on-Byron Hotel; the name sounds posh and it did not disappoint; our room upgraded to a suite with a fab view over the Harbour and out to Rangitoto Island.
Out comes the chocolate, on goes the kettle, the iron and the hair straighteners.
We have a few hours before the Conference starts, so once we are all ready, we hit the town in our high-heeled boots and order gourmet pizzas at a place close to the venue. We drive because it's raining, and we are wearing boots.

Time flies when you're having fun... sharing never-heard stories of long long ago and far far away.
On our way into the conference, we spot a hungry door-attendant and hand him our doggy-bag of leftover pizza. He is very grateful (a student, what can I say??)

The place is packed with girls from all over New Zealand; the buzz of girl-talk is deafening. It's fun. We know we're in for a great time when the guest speaker gets up; Dr Pat Francis, what a living legend. This woman is a millionaire humanitarian pastor from Canada who is walking the walk, not just talking the talk. What an inspiration. We love her honesty, her rawness, her passion. Her confidence is infectious, she really knows who she is, and who God is in her.

What she has accomplished in her life is phenomenal, yet she makes it sound so simple. Believe what God says. Believe it and act on it. This simple faith has propelled her into an unimaginable world of influence, brushing shoulders with heads of state and being appointed to the UN committee on reducing poverty. But the focus isn't on how great she is - rather, how great God is. Gotta love that.

Afterwards we spill out into the chilly night and race eagerly to the car, thinking of our lovely hotel room, the view, coffee, the bottle of wine I stashed in the fridge...

Gail opens the car, we hop in. She puts the key in the ignition... er, try that again; she puts the key in the ignition... um, the key won't go in. She puts the key in the ignition... No. She doesn't. the key is broken. One of the threads has raised up and come away; the key is twisted and if we try to force it, we are scared the whole thing will snap...

We stare at each other, as our vision of a relaxing evening recedes rapidly.
Instead we are stranded in a strange place in the dark, with a car that can't be started.
What do we do???? we wonder.

Then I remember my AA card (that's the Automobile Association, not the 12-step programme). Phew.
We ring the toll free number and try to explain where we are... er we have no idea, but we do our best.
They promise to have someone there within the hour. Sigh.
Gail goes in search of coffee and I stay to guard the car and wait for AA to rescue us.

By now the street is emptying and cars are few and far between. I stand on the side of the street, grateful the rain has stopped. To amuse myself I take some pictures of the moon. And the street. Rubbish photos. Bah, never mind.

Gail is back, we sip our mochas and laugh (it's that or cry, right??)...
A car full of hoons approaches slowly... young guys hanging out the windows.
They wave to us and shout, "Hey ladies what you up to????" and whistle and toot...

Me and Gail look at each other and burst out laughing - we got tooted at! Us, two mummies stranded in Takapuna. We still got it!!

Eventually AA turns up (they were lost, our directions were crap) and a nice man rescues us by using his pliers to straighten out the key, and some lube to ease it in. We get the car started and snap his photo. We are bloggers, after all!!

Back safely at the hotel... we realise that the key is now permanently stuck in the ignition. Oops. We can drive the car, but not lock it. Luckily the hotel has secure parking so getting the key out will be a problem for another day. It's 11.30pm.

In our lovely suite at last, we flop on our beds. Only us!! This would only happen to us!! But we are still smiling, laughing even. And snapping photos as only bloggers do.

Photos of the toiletries and the beds; photos of each other taking photos... bloggers!!

A txt from Mr G. All is well at home and he says, "Treat yourselves; order room-service breakfast!"

I don't need to be told twice. The room service card is hung outside our room, we jump into PJs and robes, sip tea, read magazines, talk into the night... before we know it it's after 1am. Oops!

We are woken the next morning by a banging on our door... room service!

Out come the cameras again... Bloggers eating breakfast, photos of bloggers taking photos of their breakfast...

Ahhh yes, that was the end of the drama. The rest of the conference was great; we also got to go shopping and take in a movie... and then I returned home early, missing the final session. I missed my family! They had survived without me wonderfully; they'd had a bundle of fun with daddy although they said they missed me...? And I was sooooo tired. Zzzzzzzzzz....

I couldn't help myself, I just fell right to sleep on the couch; all that adventure really does tire you out.

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Kathy Monk said...

Love how you savored every moment! You & Gail look like Teenagers xx

Gail said...

HAHAHAHAHA. I'm loving the thumbs up photo with Mr AA. What an AWESOME time - thanks so much to you and Mr G for being so incredibly GENEROUS and treating me to a weekend that was SO over and above how I would have normally done conference.
Thank you!!!!!!!XXXXXXXXXXX

PaisleyJade said...

What fun - even with the slight drama thrown in between it all!

Widge said...

hahahaha!! awesome!! love all the pics of bloggers taking pics :)
looks like so much fun!
one day definitely bloggers camp!

alicia said...

Looks like a blast. So glad you had some girl time away. Just what every overworked mama needs every now and again. And some added drama for memory sake. Haha. Hope you feel rejuvenated!

Anonymous said...

somehow this all looks a little familiar
that camera action that is

so love this!
what fun for you girls
thanks for sharing your adventure Simoney
i am off to bed with a smile on my face because of it!!!
you girls are awesome!

Jen said...

sounds like a nice night away
and a good conference
arent the AA good
Im considering them for my insurance next time I insurance my car

Unknown said...

Room service?!?!? Ooh La La! Looks like you had a wonderful time with Gail and what would it be without a little bit of drama?

Brigitte said...

I love the blogger taking photos of a blogger taking photos of the hotel toiletries... classic!!
Sounds like it was a great conference and a special 'treat' time in a classy hotel as well, good on you!X

Anonymous said...

That was very funny. Loved it!! Every time I drive to Auckland something happens to our car too. We have AA on speeddial. ha ha

Tammy said...

Sounds like an adventure! But with a great ending...ROOM SERVICE...can't go wrong with that! :)

Sophie said...

too much fun! Love that u even snapped a photo of the AA guy! hee hee!

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