16 December 2018
Well, last night was a surprise… Cornelia woke up at 04:20 and had done a small wee in her pants. I took her to our loo, but she didn’t want to use it, desperately pleading to go into the main house. I said that was fine, but when we tried to get in, the back door was locked. An already sobbing four year old turned into a beast… she screamed and yelled that she wanted to get in, but there was literally nothing I could do about it! Oh my goodness, the noise of a screaming child at that time of the morning already had been mentally writing notes of apology to all the neighbours…! I suggested a free wee. No good. She tore into our room, furious and desperate for a wee. About our loo, “It’s disgusting, it’s disgusting!” she raged! She grabbed hold of me and started tearing at my neck with her fingernails (note to self – cut that child’s nails down again!), continuing to scream and scream. She ran from me to try and get out of the door again, and started pulling furiously at the blinds, at which point I told her that if she damaged an inch of this house, we would pack up first thing in the morning and leave. That shut her up for a moment. “Without even going for breakfast with everyone?” Correct… Then amazingly, she managed to quiet down, and agreed to go for a free wee, which she did – an enormous wee, that might easily have watered the entire garden..! Once I’d dried her, she clambered into bed with me, full of tears of apology, and Ian moved into her bed. Needless to say, she had an epic sleep, not waking until about 09:15.
We had an arrangement to meet Rochelle’s sister, Stephanie, who has recently had a baby girl, Billy, at the surf club cafe near her house at about 09:00. I told Rochelle and co to go ahead without us and we would catch them up, having no idea what time she would wake, and knowing exactly what it feels like to be a hungry new mother! When Cornelia did finally stir, I was fully prepared for a whiny tired girl, but instead the first words she uttered were “You did a really good job of looking after me last night” and my heart melted as she came to me for a cuddle. And hilariously, she had lost her voice. She was very concerned that everyone had gone, and that she had missed her opportunity to have breakfast with everyone, but I assured her that they had just gone on ahead and would be waiting for us.
We jumped in the car and sped down to Miami Surf Club, finding a parking space nearby and briskly walking past all the fit runners to the restaurant. We had to sign in as guests, but as soon as we were through that, we spied our large group, including Steve & Avis. Rochelle had kept the seat next to Stephanie vacant for me, and Carl was snuggling gorgeous baby Billy, while Stephanie and I got to know each other. As with Rochelle, this was extremely for both of us, and I can’t remember feeling so welcome into someone’s family so quickly. Bugsy was on brilliant form again, delighted that she was having pancakes at last, and surrounded by willing playmates. She filled my entire being with happiness, such was her joy!
Although we had a very long wait for our drinks and food, it was delicious. Ian and I both had muesli with yogurt and fruit compote, and it was so much tastier than we were expecting! Once we’d all eaten (and as the restaurant was closing!) we headed outside so the kids could run around for a bit, and we could carry on talking. Honestly, it’s a wonder I hadn’t lost my voice too! (I must be well-practiced…) Just as we sat down, the dark clouds that we’d had our eyes on decided to empty on us, and it started pouring with heavy rain. The children didn’t mind, of course, although Levi was a bit upset about getting wet and not having a change of clothes. I offered him Cornelia’s purple (dry) t-shirt, but he was not impressed!
Rochelle, Stephanie and I agreed that we would have a night out together tonight, and we all went our separate ways for a few hours. I drove us down to Benowa Village, just around the corner from Rochelle’s house, and Ian went into the barbers, Good Fellaz, for a much-needed “manscaping”, as Carl called it. Carl had offered to do it for him, and I think Ian was secretly relieved that Good Fellaz was open and had availability! ;o) Cornelia yelled “Hello Daddy!” as we visited the supermarket for some water, and again on the way back, much to everyone’s amusement. But we spent the rest of the time in the car, staying out of the ongoing rain.
When Ian returned, freshly groomed, he told me that the woman who had looked after him had lived in London many years ago for a short while, where she did some hairdressing. Amazingly, it turned out to be the little tucked-away hairdresser that he used to use when he lived in London! Anyway, despite the offer of a beer or whisky, he’d accepted the offer of some water, and had quite enjoyed a bit of man pampering, and peace and quiet!
We made it back home, and Cornelia rejoined the kids in the movie room, where we gave them each a bowl of popcorn and put on Shrek. I realised with horror that I didn’t have any shoes to wear tonight (Skechers and running shoes were definitely not an option!) so I nipped out to another mall that Rochelle had told me about and delved into shopping heaven. Thank goodness everywhere was closing at 16:00 today, as I could have happily spent hours and hundreds of dollars there! I ended up with two pairs of sparkly shoes – one flat and one heeled – as I couldn’t quite decide which would look better with my dress. I was fully prepared to return one pair, once I’d made my decision as to which pair to wear tonight, but Ian said I could have one as my Christmas present. Whilst I was tempted to throw them at him, I accepted the offer graciously…!
By now, the possibility of a run was out of the window, and I still had to decide which dress to wear! I dragged Rochelle into our room with a gin, and did a quick trying on session with her. It was an easy decision in the end – the coral dress and heels. With more make up than I’ve worn for months and months, I was totally ready for my night out! Rochelle was also wearing an orangey-red dress, so we complemented each other quite well, and were ready to head out of the door shortly before 19:00. We took an Uber to Stephanie’s and collected her. Amazingly, she was also in a similar colour, and we coordinated brilliantly. It was an excellent omen for the night!
On arrival at the Garden Casino, we went straight to the restaurant. We were tempted by the Veuve, but aware that our budgets might not match up to the amount we intended to drink, we settled for the Prosecco and it turned out to be a good choice. Our waitress was good enough to let us sample a couple first, so we could select a bottle we liked, and her excellent hosting continued throughout the evening.
Before we ordered, we managed to get hold of Cousin Jane, and went outside to call her. We had a lovely long video call with her, and she was delighted to see us all together. It is really because of her that I was here with Rochelle, and it felt so right that she should be included in our evening together.
Returning to our table, we refilled our glasses and were ready to order. I had the salmon, as did Rochelle, and Stephanie had the lamb. It was all incredible, but the salmon was especially delicious. Convinced of the quality of the food, we simply had to have dessert: strawberry shortcake for me, chocolate & raspberry delice for Rochelle, and the winning dish of lemon tart for Stephanie. All completely amazing. Yum yum,
We’d finished eating by 21:00 and it was far too early for us to call it a night. Besides, we’d only smashed one glass (wobbly table, not wobbly us!) and the night was still young. We headed off to the casino, the natural next step, and went straight for the cheapest $2.50 roulette table, where Jordan was our croupier. We squeezed in at one end and changed up our $100 each, and set to work. Stephanie was hilarious – her number were 0 and 4 – and she was loving it! Unfortunately, 0 and 4 just weren’t coming up, and her stash of chips quickly deteriorated. In the meantime, Rochelle had won on a couple of numbers straight up, and had already earned back her stake. I quickly joined her with a $100 chip that I popped in my handbag, convinced that we would both retain our stakes. However, as Rochelle shared her chips with Stephanie, she got through hers quite quickly and changed up the chip again. I did the same with mine, and we had loads of time having a ridiculous amount of fun.
Then Jordan left the table and the tides turned. A slightly-nervous Jason swapped with him, and he was pretty rubbish from the outset. The whole atmosphere had changed when two vile women joined our table, first taking Stephanie’s chair (she had gone outside to call her other half, to check on the baby), then spouting vulgarities all over the place. Bleurgh. They were throwing their money around until it had all gone, at which point we heaved a sigh of relief. But no… a Scottish guy decided to hand them nearly $500 to play with, so they continued their dominance of the table, and we kept losing. Annoyingly, on a couple of occasions, I was about to put a chip on a number when I got shoved out of the way by one of the trashy blondes, who was going for the same number. In my drunk, childish way, I decided not to go for that number and BOTH TIMES that number came up!! ARGH!!!! So, we waited until they’d drained the Scot’s resources and finally they left. They were so awful that the management had come to supervise the table, and were ready to cart them off, if necessary. It was, of course, all bloody Jordan’s fault for leaving our table… 😉
Eventually, our chips ran out, and we wandered back through the casino, stopping briefly for a quick play on the pokey machines. At 2c a spin, $20 lasted quite a long time! But Stephanie’s boobs were about to explode and she needed to get home, so we called our Uber, posed for a few end-of-the-evening photos and headed home, dropping Stephanie off first. I should add, we were not as drunk as we looked!
The boys were already in bed by the time we returned home – surely a first! We did our best to get to bed quietly, but of course, we woke them! But oh, oh, oh, what a FABULOUS evening!