Saturday, 23 June 2012

The morning after...

Had a fantastic time at the awards ceremony, it was all so fancy! Definitely motivated me to do my best at work in the hopes that I could be in with a chance for next year's awards.
There were nine of us in total and once we got off the ferry there was a mini bus waiting to take us to the hotel. On the way one of the women suggested we phone ahead to a cafe across the road from the ferry terminal to get some lunch ordered. After a bit of uhmming and ahhing we all decided to get something, only to discover that the place was closed for refurbishment. Cue 90% of the day's jokes at her expense.
Luckily we had an accommodating driver who took us to the hotel via McDonalds, the first I've had in years. There was much merriment on the bus, attempts at a singalong didn't really work but I've not laughed so hard for a long time.
The hotel room was fantastic. I can't remember the last time I had a hotel room all to myself. I didn't know what to do, hehe. Once I'd explored everything (located the hairdrier and found all the little cubby holes) I showered an began the preparations for the evening.

I always pride myself on the fact that I'm better than most women, I don't take too long to get ready to go out. Well, I started by showering at 3:15 an I was just about ready to go by 5:45!

We were ferried to the venue by taxi and then were assigned our tables. As there was an Olympic theme each table was named after a country; ours were New Zealand, Greece and Canada. I was sitting at New Zealand which was nice because I've always wanted to go there.

First there were cocktails. I tried a bit of almost every one on offer. My favourite was this mint flavoured one, green coloured with gin and pineapple juice. It was lovely. The amaretto one which was orange and pink was nice too.

We chatted upstairs for a bit until some cheerleaders with an Olympic torch came to let us all know that it was time to go down to our tables. This proved a little tricky for me because I'd been wearing my shoes for several hours by this point and my feet were killing me. It was a real relief to sit down at the table.

The MC started the evening off and there was a little display from the cheerleaders and... Umm... Some others joined in too, hehe. Then it was time for the meal.

It was great to watch the meals being served. The waiters and waitresses would come out in a line, circle the table and then at a nod from their leader would deposit the plates in front of the people seated there. Perfectly synchronised! It was like something out of Doctor Who!

Once we'd all eaten it was time for the actual award presentation. Everyone who was there had been nominated at their site and then had won at their site for one of the quarters of the year. We were then put forward for one of the six categories and from there it was short listed down to just four; from which one winner would be picked.

My category was Best Agent and I was actually short listed! At rough count there were at least twenty people put forward for the Best Agent category so to make it to one of the final four was great. A couple of others from our site were also short listed so it was a very good night all round.

Once the ceremony and speeches were over, the cheerleaders came back out again and then a band set up. At this point Greece and New Zealand invaded Canada (and pinched wine from at least one of the neighbouring countries). I was reluctantly dragged up onto the dance floor where I soon got comfortable and went on to get down voluntarily throughout the night.

There were some great photos taken, though not on my camera, and I'm hoping to get some copies of them later on because I looked quite good. I'm really not very confident when it comes to things like this but I felt great! (and I'm sure it wasn't just because of the cocktails).

My outfit was lovely, in fact everyone looked really good. It's the first time I've had an excuse to get dressed up for a while and I liked it. As the evening wore on, I felt less and less self-conscious as well, though my feet hurt more and more.

We wound things up at 12:30am and caught taxis back to the hotel. After a little bit of chat and planning in the hotel lobby I crawled upstairs (after having to get someone to help me take my shoes off because I couldn't work the buckle).

The sensible thing to do would have been to go to bed but I showered and then sat reading until 2am, not the best thing to do as the alarm went off six hours later so we could meet for breakfast at nine. Which we did, an before long we were back in a minibus and on the way home.

We were certainly quieter on the way back, nobody having much energy for anything. It was good fun though and I'm really hoping that I get a chance to go to another one with a similar crowd. Everyone was really good about looking out for each other and making sure we all knew what the plans were.

I'm very glad I decided to take the rest of Friday off as holiday, part of the prize for getting the site award was an extra day's holiday so I though that was a good way to spend it. Hopefully I'll be fully recovered by Monday because I can't wait to tell everyone all about it.

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