I have been talking to hubby for awhile about me taking breaks once or twice a year away, solo, for my mental health and well being. I had pretty much forgotten when we got our tax money stuff through and was happy enough he bought me tickets to see “Giselle” in Sydney for my birthday (in January) when the Paris Opera Ballet are coming to town. What happened next was totally out of the blue.
I had been browsing wotif to see if there were any hotels with baths. As I now have a bath every night. Which led to me offhandedly mentioning that it looked like The Hotel Windsor had baths in every room. Next thing I new I was booked in for a night there and hubby was sending me off for two days and one glorious night all on my own….with spending money & a massage booked in.
I was so excited I was actually dancing along to my ipod at the bus stop…..I was only 150m from my house and I was already on holidays. First stop was the next suburb over to finally picking up my new glasses! I have had them on layby forever. This is the red pair…
Then I headed into the city. I was born and bred in Sydney, but there is nothing like Melbourne CBD. I love Melbourne, especially the city. I feel a weird sense of peace when I am there, like others might in the quiet country side.
Now this is where things get amazing. I showed up in ratty jeans, a pilled cardigan & a super old coat and I was treated like I was royalty. The staff were super friendly when I checked in, doors were opened for me and within 30 minutes it seemed like all the staff knew my name and was addressing me as “Mrs”. When I got to my room I was already so excited I could have jumped up & down on the bed. Then I discovered things like fluffy bathrobes
The room was divine. Perfectly made bed, a writing desk, a comfy reading chair and lots of fluffy pillows. Stunning marble bathroom. Oh and did I mention in case you weren’t happy with the pillows they had already…
Yup…a pillow menu. Including the armoatherapy pillow, a bath pillow, side or back sleepers, soft, medium, firm and antisnore. There were others as well. It was totally crazy. But as I hadn’t slept well the previous night and we have crappy pillows at home I ordered myself a back sleeper posture pillow and a bath pillow. Then I decided to head down to bourke st to grab myself a few things. I ended up getting some tea from T2, a bath bomb from LUSH, a pair of white satin pjs from myer (on sale down to $30…and I had to buy a medium top…I haven’t bought a medium anything since before I had the twins!!!!!!!!) and another glasshouse candle. I then popped back to the hotel and dropped off my goodies, left my phone behind (on purpose) and went for a massage. One hour of pure bliss.
The massage itself was second to none. The venue however left a lot to be desired. When I entered the building I had to follow a total maze of paper arrows til I found the counter. After I paid (in the basement) I was sent back upstairs for my massage. Now at this point I want to mention that it was dark and soundproofed in the basement and this is where they had their hair salon part….upstairs in a room with windows out to Spring St (that had been frosted, not curtained or anything) was where my massage was held. Now the candles and ocean noises were lovely, hearing the trams rattling past and peoples conversations out the window – not so much. But it was still amazing. After about 40 minutes I finally stopped thinking and relaxed. I also asked at first for her to not massage my feet as I am extremely ticklish. I can’t even touch my own feet…it’s crazy. But on second thoughts I asked her to give it a go and that I would let her know if it was too much. Oh…My….God. Are foot massages always that amazing? Maybe it helped that she knew I was extremely ticklish. It was bliss. My only critiscism of the massage itself was the room wasn’t heated, it was winter and after the massage she used a hot wet towel to wipe off the oil…..well it was hot when she started on my legs….I was freezing by the time she was done.
So I raced back to the hotel, ordered room service and had a super hot shower. I hadn’t been in the shower any longer than five minutes when my dinner arrived.
I went with the salmon & hollandaise sauce. I ordered steamed vege instead of the mashed potato and it was so delicious. Also the butler bought it in on a tray and put it on the bed for me. He addressed me by my name and told me to ring down if there was anything else I wanted. With my jazz music playing and my Marseilles candle burning I was in heaven.
I then started reading #3 in the Miss Fisher Murder Mystery series….and proceeded to read it from start to finish with the only interruption being the butler bringing me strawberries and cream for desert… I have to be honest the most luxurious point of the entire stay was reading a book from start to finish without anyone needing me. Even when I used to be in bed all day my door was (and is) always open to the girls. Somehow everyone in the house seems to have some sort of sonar for predicting when I will be on the toilet and busting in with their latest demands/observations/problems. SO being able to pee in peace was amazing, reading an entire book without interruption was almost orgasmic. I finished up the evening with a candle-lit bath and went to bed. Unfortunately I didn’t sleep well. I started getting pains in my legs and I left my pain killers at home. I also think the bed and pillows may have been too comfy (though I am now determined that instead of a holiday next year we should get a crazy expensive bed….seeing as how hubby sleep on the couch most nights he disagrees).
I must have gotten some sleep though as my alarm woke me up at 9. I threw on some clothes (though I did briefly think about calling down and asking if their restaurant would serve me in pjs) and headed down for breakfast. Once again being greeted by name, by people who didn’t know me was so weird. I felt like I was their number one guest. It really says a lot about their service that we booked the most discounted rate, in their cheapest room, and I felt like I had booked in to the suite and had been there a month. They went above and beyond to make me feel welcome. They then took my egg order (any way I wanted freshly cooked just for me) and said I was welcome to use the buffet.
Here is where I totally broke all my diet rules. I avoid all sugar and almost all carbs. I had changed my order the night before to leave out the potatoes. But as I have been so strict since February I decided to splurge, just once, and enjoy myself. While waiting for my eggs I had some yoghurt & fruit (what I normally have for breakfast each day), then I ate my eggs, bacon, fried tomato, mushroom & sauteed spinach (so divine). I also ate the english muffin it came with as I love eggs, bacon & english muffins. Then I noticed they had freshly made butter croissants. I have loved croissants since I was a little girl, but in the past few years I have had no luck finding decent, proper, butter croissants. So I had a whole one. With butter. Then I helped myself to one of their tiny miniature danishes (which used to be my standard breakfast…except I would get a giant one) and thought I might explode. It seems so bizarre when there was a time I wouldn’t have felt a breakfast like that was my moneys worth. If there was a buffet I used to go nuts not stopping until I made myself ill.
I then (sadly) headed upstairs to shower and get ready to check out. Once again the staff were wonderful as before I had even finished checking out someone from the concierge desk was asking me if I would like to leave my suitcase there for the day. Hell yeah!No dragging it along behind me while I shopped.
I then went straight to Circa Vintage (as I knew they had a sale on) and proceeded to try on everything in my size, knowing for once I could take my time and not have to worry about kids or husbands getting annoyed waiting. I ended up buying a handbag on sale and then proceeded to spend the entire day wandering down Brunswick st, stopping at any store I felt like and at one place I took 20 dresses into the change room with me! I bough some alannah hill fabric at the Clearit store (discovered I could now *just* fit into some of her clothes which is amazing as she only goes to a 14), bought another vintage handbag at an op shop and finally around 3pm sat down to have lunch. A quick bite to eat, before heading back to the Windsor to find out how late I could leave my bag. Discovered the concierge desk is open 24/7 so I could come back whenever. They then offered to take the shopping bags I had picked up and put it with my suitcase.
I managed a quick bra fitting (I am now a 12FF), a trip to myer to pick up a bra on sale and then I raced to meet the lovely Aly for dinner & a movie. The movie was a bit weird and meh….but I never get to see anything at the movies that isn’t one of hubbys comic movies or a kids movie. And of course the company was wonderful. I then proceeded to tell Aly all our terrible family stories before taking in the city one last time.
I then picked up my bags and was ushered into a taxi by the absolutely divine and lovely doorman and headed home.
The time away was amazing. But I was so looking forward to coming home. My life has changed so dramatically in the past three years. This time 3 years ago I was on the gold coast at a conference. I partied with all my photography friends and had an absolute blast. Everyone asked me if I missed the kids and I really didn’t. I knew they were in good hands (their dad was a stay at home dad…so it’s not like he hadn’t looked after them before) and I told everyone that I deserved my time off. Time off from what? I was never home. Then I stopped working, became a stay at home mum who homeschooled, was diagnosed with bipolar and have been on a roller coaster ever since and I wouldn’t change a thing. Except maybe going back a few years and realising that I really enjoyed hanging out with my family. It has taken me years to get here, but I love my life. I love spending all day everyday with my kids. I love that my husband is at home with us all day. I love the freedom, the flexibility and our low stress life. I missed my home, I missed my family.
How lucky am I that I get a night away in the WIndsor to realise how much I love my life?