I’ve had a few e-mails from readers regarding my post a couple of weeks ago about my trip to Sydney to attend the Stella McCartney for Target launch. The readers comments were all along the lines of “how lucky you are” and “how glamorous!”
Well…I won’t deny, it was very cool to attend the launch party, see some fabulous clothes, and have the opportunity to meet so many people in the fashion business.
But the actual event only took 3 hours, and I was away from home for over 48 hours.
So here is a fast summary of my other, very un-glamorous 45 hours.
Taxi to airport. Checked-in my baggage. Met up with another Perth fashion blogger going to the same event – Emma of Dropstitch. We spent 2 hours gossiping about fashion and blogging while waiting for the plane.
As we boarded the budget airliner for the 5 hour flight, I realised I was quite tired, so I tried to sleep. But I was also excited and impatient. If I had been sitting near the pilot of the plane, I would have been saying “Are we nearly there yet? Are we nearly there yet?”
I also realised that I was hungry, so I bought an economy meal from the economy airline.
Emma and I finally arrived in Sydney at 10pm, and we were delivered by taxi to our very, very, VERY nice 5 STAR hotel on Sydney Harbour. In fact, my room was so perfect I was scared to sit on the bed in case I ruined how well made it was. I was like – “Is this really for me?”
It was 12am and I was really hungry. Just order room service, right? After all, the hotel has a super-chef downstairs just waiting to cook us a la carte meals.
The FIVE STAR hotel was being paid for by Target, and the deal was that we had to pay for any FIVE STAR extras ourselves. The mini-bar had a “condoms and personal lubricant” kit that cost $18. If just two condoms can cost that much, I was sure that room service would cost at least $50.
So I rang Emma, and we went out and found an all night hot dog place.
We sat next to a service station on a busy road to eat them.
The hot dog was soooo yummy, and cost a lot less than two mini-bar condoms.
But I admit, it was not very glamorous.
Back to the hotel room, I was so tired that I crashed into bed.
I still couldn’t sleep, because I was probably over excited. All the noises were different, the smells were different, the bed was too bouncy and big, I felt lonely, I missed my husband, and I was worried that my children could be in danger. What will the event be like? Did I pack my toothpaste? I hope I didn’t forget to take my silver earrings! And I kept waking up from my “sleep” thinking that I missed my plane.
The next day was just a blur, especially since I hadn’t slept properly.
I decided to have a morning bath, hoping to calm myself down. But again I couldn’t relax properly, because I wanted to make the most of the day.
I took another taxi and zoomed across town to have lunch with a friend. I had only been to Sydney twice before, very briefly, and I was keen to check out a whole range of things. But there just wasn’t enough time.
This is what Sydney’s Botanic Gardens looks like from a fast moving taxi.
Apparently, it is simply beautiful in there (sigh). Oh well, maybe next time.
Took another taxi after lunch. As I was standing outside my hotel, I realised that I actually had half an hour before I needed to get ready for the launch event. So I took a short walk along the harbour.
Even though I am from Perth, a city which has a massive, beautiful river running right through it, Sydney Harbour is also pretty spectacular. For a few moments, I felt calm and content, and I wanted to get a picture of myself with the harbour in the background. I set the camera up exactly like I wanted it. I asked a random person walking by, a European guy, to take the picture, and I explained that I wanted my whole body in the picture.
As he was framing me up, I noticed he reset the zoom completely. When he showed me the picture, I was just head and shoulders with some trees in the background, and I could have been anywhere on planet Earth that had trees. He offered to take the picture again, and I reset the zoom, and asked him to make sure that all of me was in the frame. So he immediately played with the zoom again, and I just knew he was going to get it wrong. And he did. So the third time, I carefully explained to him that he didn’t need to adjust the zoom, and I pointed to my shoes, and said that I wanted them in the frame as well.
He played with the zoom AGAIN, and took another picture. I thanked him, took my camera, and headed back to the hotel. Here is the picture.
He completely missed my shoes. Arghh! At least it looks like I’m in Sydney in this photo. My smile is completely fake. I was so irritated with the guy.
Back at the hotel – shower, make-up, get dressed.
I don’t usually like to use products provided by the hotel. Not to mention, you can never tell which item are not complimentary. Thus the sinktop was totally covered with all my girlie crap. I was not looking forward to packing it all up again later.
Since the location for the event was a WATERSIDE MANSION, I thought it would be super fun to catch a water taxi to the event, not to mention, give us the opportunity to take some awesome photos of the harbour at sunset! So I organised for all the other bloggers, who were also going to the event, to meet up at the hotel so we could catch a water taxi together!
I imagined that the water taxi would pull up to a set of steps leading down to the water, and that we would all simply step onto the boat like royal princesses.
But no. Five of us, all girls, had to STEP BACKWARDS down a step ladder, like in a swimming pool, to get to the boat. So down we went, one at a time, very, very carefully. Thankfully, I was wearing full-soled platforms, but most of the other fashion bloggers were wearing high heels. Oh how glamorous!
Notice in the background, a handbag, which we had to hand down to the driver, which he placed precariously on the very edge of the bobbing boat, ready to spill all the camera gear into the harbour!
The party was fun, and fabulous and glamorous, and the clothes were great. I met celebrities, and chatted to heaps of people. All good. The party ended.
But rather than limousines to whisk us away from the mansion, we had to queue for normal taxis that seemed to take forever to arrive on a cool Friday night. Not so glamorous! My feet were killing me!
My deal with Target was that I could say whatever I liked about the event and the clothes, but I had to agree to submit whatever I wrote by midday the next day!
Since I was flying back to Perth early the next morning, I had to write up my story immediately after the event.
So while all the models and other beautiful people were off at the inevitable fashion after-event party having wild sex and snorting cocaine with rock stars, I was headed back to my hotel room.
(NOTE: I have never actually been to a fashion after party. In fact, I’ve never met anyone who has ever claimed to be at one of these legendary parties. And I have no evidence that they even happen. But I am absolutely sure that’s what they are all doing, after every fashion event. Lifestyles of the rich and famous, right?!)
As soon as I got back to my room, I called my husband in Perth. I wanted to gush about the event, but he just wanted to know where I kept the spare nappies and how to get poo stains out of the couch covers.
It was like hitting a brick wall of reality for me, and I was suddenly very, very tired.
But I still had to write up the story.
So this was me, exhausted, alone, in a huge, luxury bed with four different kinds of pillows and silk sheets, trying to do my homework.
But then I realised I was not completely alone.
I head the noise of two voices coming through the wall behind me, from the room next door. After a few minutes, the noise changed, and it quickly becomes obvious that the room next door was the honeymoon suite, and a just-married couple were making good use of their $18 condom kit.
The man must have been an athlete, because he had a LOT of stamina, and the woman was probably an actress, because she was very, very expressive – with no vocal inhibitions. It went on for a LOOOOOOOONG time, and there was a lot of sounds of furniture thumping against the walls, and it ALL MADE IT VERY HARD FOR ME TO CONCENTRATE on finishing my homework.
It was totally like a scene in a comedy movie. I was sitting there, with the noise and thumping going on, and I’m rolling my eyes going, FOR GOODNESS SAKE JUST FINISH ALREADY!!!
Oh, the glamour!!
And again I hardly slept, because I was so scared of oversleeping and missing my morning flight home.
As I checkout out the next morning, the hotel handed me a bill.
They had got me with the phone call I made to my husband. I slapped my head with my hand as I realised I had used the hotel’s landline rather than my mobile phone. ARGH!!
Taxi to the airport. Check-in. Expensive and not very nice airport breakfast.
I was so looking forward to sleep on the economy flight home.
But, I found that I was on the same flight as the Australian Youth Choir, who were doing free recitals for the whole plane. They were heavenly, their combined voices transcending the merely human – but I didn’t give a damn, I just wanted to sleep.
This finally finished, and as they went back to their seats, I realised their seats were dotted all around me, and when these kids were not singing like angels, they were just a bunch of bratty, snotty nosed teenagers, talking, gossiping, jumping, laughing, and kicking the back of my seat.
Did I mention there were a few crying babies on the same flight? I love babies, and I always feel bad for parents when their babies cry during a flight. So I shall refrain from complaining. But it was awful!
So I couldn’t sleep, and I reluctantly decided to buy a $9 movie to watch. It was “Eclipse” from the Twilight series. I had resolved never, ever to watch any of this trashy romance rubbish, but I was emotionally vulnerable and weak willed.
Now, I’m hooked. I want to see all the movies, read all the novels, become facebook friends with Robert Pattinson, and change all my background wallpapers to that warewolf guy.
And when I got home (in yet another taxi), I discovered that my husband and three children were still wearing exactly the same clothes as they had been when I left home two nights before!
(But I slept like a baby that night. As Dorothy said – There’s no place like home).