I’m afraid there was just no time – no time – to stop to write a blog last week. Soz. It’s just that a trip away with your girlfriends is an entirely different experience to a trip away with anybody else.
What sets these trips apart from others? There is magic in eight confident, intelligent, funny women travelling together. Grand ideas are hatched, empowering stories shared and sound advice given. We listen to and respect everybody’s opinions, at the same time lending lipsticks and complimenting earrings. We build each other up without even having to think about it.
Our New Zealand trip was eating and drinking and hang the consequences. Wine tastings across the length of the island, cocktails, ordering one of everything from the food menus – the crack cheese, the goat, mulled wine, smoked anything. And as we all know, alcohol and good food draw out the big ideas – establishment of the Brisbane girls’ choir and dance troupe, with the Central coast satellite branch, the Sydney affiliate and the Townsville chapter. A new business solutions company with a job for each of us. The advantages of purchasing a wine fridge. Like I said, the big ideas.
Something else? Girlfriends on tour are much better resourced. Multiple puffy jackets, boots a’plenty, earrings, curling wands, Bluetooth speakers, shopping bags, hairdryers, selfie sticks, board games, keep cups, pickles, it was all covered.
But above all there was the music.
Our entire four days played out with its own soundtrack. Every genre, every era represented. The obscure to the popular. Hilltop Hoods, Olivia Newton-John, Bowie, Haim (pronounced HI-im). Club Can’t Handle Me three times. The Big Chill soundtrack whilst making breakfast, a fully choreographed From LA to New York, a straight up Australian rock session. The biggies – Don’t Pay the Ferryman, Africa, Xanadu – all with a little less choreography but the same dance enthusiasm. A night of the best female artists – think Pat Benatar, Lizzo, Aretha, Janelle Monay – found three of us simply unable to go to bed. You cannot leave the room when Linda Ronstadt is singing.
The music was not limited to the living room of the Airbnb. There was a rousing rendition of Robbie Williams Angels with the soloist at our first restaurant (musicians love it when you do that), a top of our lungs in-house music Human League after the dismal Bledisloe cup defeat and a string of Doobie Brothers hits in the van as we tripped around the island.
At some point there may even have been sock puppets.
Drinking, eating, dancing and singing for four days takes an incredible amount of stamina, perseverance and commitment, not to mention poor judgement. Which leads me to some of the other things that the eight seemingly intelligent women said or did this week.
Watching the Bledisloe and asking if that player in the black with the silver fern on his shirt is Australian.
Group selfies that featured a prominent selfie stick and outstretched arm.
Sleeping three hours past your alarm for your international flight.
Talking about the lions that inhabit Russia.
Wearing two contact lenses in one eye all day.
Constantly being left behind in the shop, the garden, the bathroom, the beach…
Very loosely packed bottles of red wine. Very loosely packed.
All in all, a wonderful, hilarious, uplifting celebration for a fabulous friend.
Happy birthday Gab.
You are definitely smarter than a box of rocks.