One of my best friends at work recently celebrated her 40th birthday, and to mark the occasion she decided to take us all away for a weekend stay in Red Hill.
A few months ago, my friend Robyn announced that she was going to arrange a girls' weekend away for her 40th birthday, and we were all invited. So the 5 of us made sure to lock it into our calendars and then had to wait for March to roll around.
And this past weekend, it was finally time.
Robyn had booked a gorgeous house for us all to share via AirBnB in Red Hill on the Mornington Peninsula. Red Hill is a stunning area that is packed with so many places to visit. It's most well known for the wineries but there are a few other places that are just as special, like the Green Olive (a really popular olive grove), the Main Ridge Dairy (definitely hit this place up if you're a fan of goats cheese), and Mock Red Hill (a cider and orchard farm) to name a few.
We all met at the house in the late morning to see where we would be staying. Kate was going to meet us at the winery where we were having lunch, so it was just 4 of us to start. The house was absolutely gorgeous and we were ecstatic to discover that we each got our own bedroom because the house was so big. We quickly scampered around the house screaming "This one is mine!" when we found a room we liked. As the birthday girl, Robyn got the lovely master bedroom upstairs, with Candice and I getting the other 2 rooms, whilst Kate and Georgia got the 2 downstairs bedrooms. We looked around, opening every cupboard and drawer and just generally being sticky-beaks. At one stage one of the girls discovered some revolting kids cowboy hats that we immediately put on and took a photo in.
Eventually it was time for lunch so we all piled into the car to head out to T'Gallant for some good food and better wine. T'Gallant is one of the most popular wineries on the Mornington Peninsula and despite the 37C day, it was absolutely packed with people. We managed to score a table inside under the fans which was a blessing because it afforded some respite from the heat, with Kate rocking up a few minutes later.
The scenery at T'Gallant is lovely and they have an extremely popular Cellar Door as well. Another of their features is a large wooden picture frame for people to take photographs in. We managed to snag another guest and asked her to take some quick pics of the 5 of us.
Candice, Robyn, Georgia, me and Kate.
Candice, Robyn and Georgia went to "take a quick look" at the Cellar Door and 45 minutes later Kate and I were still waiting for them. It was boiling hot outside and the heat seemed to be radiating from the ground as well. We found ourselves a spot at one of the outdoor tables under an umbrella to wait for the rest of the girls, taking a couple of selfies at the same time (apologies for the poor quality but I think my phone was struggling from the heat as well!).
Eventually the girls came back out, carrying twelve bottles of wine between the three of them. It was definitely looking like a big night was ahead. We all piled back into mine and Kate's cars to head back to the house. On the way, I realised that I'd forgotten to bring some pineapple juice to mix with my Midori. Now before you judge me, no I'm not a big drinker, no I don't like wine or beer or most spirits, so yes, I drink Midori because it's sweet and doesn't taste like alcohol.
My lack of pineapple juice was going to be a big problem for my drinking plans ahead and so Georgia and I tried every general store and petrol station we could find between the winery and the house, but alas we came up empty. Back at the house and a couple of Midori's with orange juice in, I had the brilliant idea to hire an Airtasker to bring me some pineapple juice!
Now for those of you who aren't familiar, Airtasker is this fantastic website where you can hire people to do literally anything. From bringing you McDonald's because you're too hungover and don't want to go out, to assembling your Ikea furniture, to building you a website, to growing your Instagram following, to helping you move house. There's no job too big or small for Airtasker. If you have a job, then there's someone out there who's willing to do it.
Basically all you have to do is post up the details of your job - what it is, where it is, how much you're willing to pay and when you want it done. People will then respond to either say they'll do it for the amount you've posted or they'll quote a different price. So I posted up on Airtasker that I wanted someone to bring me a 2ltr bottle of pineapple juice, the address of our house and that I wanted it within the next hour. Within 5 minutes I'd had someone respond saying they'd do it, and by the time Tim had arrived we were all feeling extremely mellow and extremely excited that my pineapple juice had officially arrived (hence the slightly tipsy photo below)...
While we were waiting for Tim to arrive with my juice, we had all gotten ourselves settled outside by the pool with a delicious smorgasbord of food and copious amounts of alcohol. Georgia had bought a couple of platters from Woolworths for $35 each, one being antipasto style (see below) and another being full of wraps. Everything was absolutely delicious.
Robyn, Candice and I immediately hit the water for a relaxing soak in the spa (despite the heat the pool was absolutely freezing so we stuck with the spa instead). Everything to do with the spa and pool was automated by this little panel inside the house so we could set the temperature to whatever we wanted as well as the lights and the jets.
Candice had been tasked with bringing the all important birthday cake to the party, and she didn't disappoint. This masterpiece was delicious and looked amazing. Robyn was really happy and that was all that mattered.
As the night progressed, more and more alcohol was consumed and more and more laughter was had. 5 intoxicated women alone for a weekend meant there were screams of laughter, tears of sadness and a lot of hilarity. We discussed everything from work and families, to politics and television and everything in between. Eventually Kate and I had reached our limit and decided to head off to bed. We'd all been going for over 12 hours and after 3 hours in the spa, we were done. The other girls' decided to keep going and apparently at about 3am they rolled into bed.
The next morning Kate and I got up and got to work cooking a delicious breakfast of bacon, eggs, toast, baked beans and tomatoes. We set everything up outside on the back deck with the gorgeous warm morning breeze and some soft music and the dappled sunshine coming through the gum trees above us. Lovely.
Alas, it turned out that finishing up at 3am meant that the thought of walking, let alone eating, was just too much for the others. So in the end it was just Kate and I who took advantage of our beautiful surroundings and the delicious breakfast.
Eventually the others made their appearances and the true after effects of the night before were revealed. I won't say who, but there were definitely at least a couple of heads hanging over the toilet bowl that morning.
After stumbling around tidying up from the previous night's festivities and dumping all the empty bottles in the recycling bin (because we're a very environmentally friendly group), it was time to say goodbye and head home. But not before we took one final photo to commemorate our weekend away together in all our hungover, bleary-eyed, barely upright glory.
Thanks to all the girls for a fantastic and memorable weekend away, and I can't wait to do it all again when the next big birthday arrives.
Until next time,