This time I had to go to Ikea to get some fittings for the shop and see a couple of suppliers to view summer 2012 kids clothing collection. After that was done I decided to stop for a late lunch on Bridge Road in Richmond and get a bit of shopping in before checking into my hotel.
Did I say hotel? It was actually supposed to be a serviced apartment with a 4 star rating. I drove up Arthur Street in South Yarra to find a circa 1970's yellow brick apartment block and the sign said to check in at a backpackers on Toorak Road. What??? Sorry but the photo's on Wotif.com were so different. Deciding it was way to hard (the Australian Open is on in Melbourne at the moment) and I was way too tired to try and get my money back and find somewhere else, I decided to risk it. The backpacker reception assured me it was freshly renovated inside and beautiful.
Inside it was clean, renovated but definitely not 4 star. Silly me for accidentally booking something that was self-rated. It didn't even have a full length mirror!
This is what they advertised
This is the actual bedroom..... and the bed is more like a sofa divan with the thinnest
Anyway, my girlfriend Ms L and I decided it didn't matter, it was just a place to sleep for the night, and several vodka, lemon and limes later we were standing on chairs trying to see our outfits in the tiny bathroom mirror.
Dinner was at a restaurant and bar called Hoo Haas. We were meeting a couple of old friends of mine, one of which is bravely battling breast cancer at the moment. My friend who I'll call Ms D has incredible spirit considering what she is going through, and she's able to make light of the most terrifying situations. She refers to her surgeon affectionately as "the butcher" ("Well she had three goes at the sucker!" she pointed out) and explained that loosing your hair is actually really painful and her partner would let her lie with her head in his lap while he pulled out the loose hairs like a monkey grooming his mate. Truly she is an amazing woman and such an inspiration to me.
My other friend is single and bought her roommate along (also single) so after Ms D went home we decided to hit a bar. It was there that I discovered a whole new concept on the singles scene, the wingman for women. Basically the wingman befriends the target man, has a casual conversation with him finding out if he's married, attached, has kids, occupation etc etc and then steers him towards the single female. It seemed to work quite well and we were all in awe and wishing we had thought of this when we were in our twenties.
About 10 minutes after our arrival the four of us were standing in the courtyard chatting when a very tall and good looking man came over and casually asked how we were doing tonight. We all replied well thanks and he proceeded to make casual conversation at first with all four of us before concentrating on Ms L (who is gorgeous by the way but also very attached with two gorgeous boys). She was polite but made it quite clear that she wasn't interested. He complained that he couldn't catch a break, she was so beautiful and if he went to the bathroom could she please call her partner and break up with him by the time he got back. I muttered "oh smooth" while my friend said "what?!" and the other two girls had already turned their attention to a group of guys behind us. Just as we were about to give him a serve he says "oh and here's my girlfriend, good night ladies!" and that was it. He walked over to a very attractive blond lady, put his hand on her ass and gave her a kiss. We stood there stunned at the gall of this guy. We also took that as our signal to leave our single friends and head back to the safety of our pretend 4 star apartment where we agreed we were very glad not to be on the singles scene any more.
Waking up the next morning I was looking forward to breakfast on Chapel Street, but I was also really anxious to get home. I love getting away from it all and the opportunity to mix work with pleasure, but I really missed Miss E and hubby.
After a delicious breakfast I headed off on my 3 hour drive home. Pulling up in the driveway it was so good to be greeted by my little girl who clearly missed me. There's nothing quite like the love you get from your child is there.
Ms L & I at breakfast on Chapel Street