Sunday, 4 December 2011
Ladies and Gentlemen!
At last, the post you've all been waiting for! The Annual SAPI Caravan and Camping Club Christmas Party!
Well, what a weekend it was. As part of the committee, I had a small role to play. I had to organise the cake that traditionally Santa cuts, but sometimes the club president does. Plus another to cut up and pass around after dinner with a glass of Port. Just a tradition that has been part of the club for many years.
This year I wanted to do something nice. So I found a boxed cake from Coles for $16, and asked my lovely friend Eve to ice it. See, recently, Eve and her daughter Kez had done a cake decorating course. So I asked if they wanted practice. As Kez would like to do it for a profession, she readily agreed.
There is the result. And I have to tell you, it went down a treat. It even got a mention at the farewell morning cuppa, where it was cut up and passed around.
But, first things first. There was a bit of preparation go do. As you know, Terry was a recent addition to our family. But to work properly he needed some modifications. So Fluffy got the electric brakes put in, then put the reverse camera in. He was not sure where to put it, as he didn't want to make any modifications to the duco. So he devised a little stand thing, which goes on the tow hitch. Clever man he is. I don't have a pic of that, but needless to say, it looks great.
Anyway, the big day arrived, and Fluffy took Friday off work so he could go up in advance. Dobby wanted to go too but being the bad parent I am I made her go to school. Horrid, I know. I was able to finish at 2.00 pm so I had time to race home, get the washing in, have a quick shower, pick up a few last minute bits and pieces, and head off to pick up Dobby.
My sat nav decided to take me the long way around, and as we got to the edge of town, it told me to keep right. Well, sadly "right" turned out to be a right turning lane off the highway and I ended up on another major road that went all the way across the northern suburbs. I had no choice but to keep going, adding another fifteen minutes onto my journey.
Anyway, we made it to Riverton about 5.30, and did the rounds, greeting everyone.
The park is a lovely little one, which was quite full. Fluffy had gotten us a nice corner block, and I parked Shazza across the way.
Another couple, their three kids, and us 3 made our way to a small pub a few minutes walk from the park and had a lovely meal.
Fluffy hadn't put up any decorations, and I didn't feel like doing it that late, so I thought perhaps we wouldn't this year. So I put them away.
Saturday we had morning we had morning tea, then we were pretty much left to our own devices. Some members used the bbq for breakfast preparation. As we were sitting close by, we decided to use the bacon I had bought and do the same. No eggs. They fell out the fridge and ended up scrambled all over the floor. Fluffy did a wonderful job cleaning those up.
He cooked the bacon crispy, just the way I liked it, and I made bacon sandwiches. He scored a couple eggs from the family we had dinner with, so he added those to his sandwiches. Yummo!
The rest of the day was slow. Some of the boys (big and small) decided to kick a ball around, which kept them active and amused for a while. Then at 1 it was kids club, which was a round of activities designed to tire the kids out. They had knock over the Santa face games, water games (which deteriorated into a "get wet" session, instigated by the adult helpers of course), and many other little activities.
Our neighbour Sally decided to decorate her van (just a token effort but it still looked festive) so I thought I would get ours out afterall. The aim was, each family was given two sheets with a list of each family. Two columns were for a score (1-5) for day display, and night display.
I found that I really was hopeless. I didn't know where to plug stuff in, or how to hang the lights, and I didn't have a step high enough to reach the awning.
So I went to see Fluffy and he was good enough to come back and help me. We put lights like a little runway from the front up to the van door, flashing coloured lights around the edge, and a table with a knitted Inspector Gadget with a red bottle and two glasses on a Christmas table cloth. We also hung the solar lights we won two years ago on Dobby's tent.
Then we bought out the big guns. We have a blow up Santa on a motorbike, which has a little air compressor inbuilt to keep him inflated. He also has lights inside him.
We were satisfied.
Eventually the boys decided to go up to the pub for a drink/to set up the tables for dinner. Fluffy had a shower and Sally drove him up to join the others, the lovely girl.
At 3.30 we had a special visitor...
No one knew how he was arriving, and all the kids were waiting out beside the side entrance to the park, singing Christmas Carols. Eventually he arrived...
He teased the kids by doing a couple of laps up and down the roadway outside the park before coming into the park itself, and parking behind our vans.
The kids were so happy! They all sat at Santa's feet and received their presents, and sat on Santa's lap for a photo. Then the ladies. We all had to sit on his lap too, as did the men! It's a big game for most of them.
Then Santa was presented with a lovely bottle of Jacob's Creek red wine, and he made is way back out.
Then it was happy hour, and everyone kicked back and relaxed before dinner.
Dinner was at the other local pub, and it was fantastic. We had a room out the back, all to ourselves, and they put on a hot roast dinner for us, with 3 types of perfectly cooked meats, roast vegeies and gravy. Dessert was either apple strudel with icecream, or mini plum puddings with icecream.
Throughout the evening we had a raffle. We bought $10 worth of tickets, and won 3 lovely prizes. One was a fluffy white 2011 Christmas bear. Man, I had to keep my eyes open. Everyone wanted him! Another was someone's leftover easter gift, but it was still lovely. It was a plastic tube of blue and pink wrapped chocolate eggs, with a small fluffy bunny on the lid. Dobby claimed the bunny. The other was a gift box containing a wine bottle stubby-type cooler, a box of chocolates (Irish Cream filled!) a tube of apple martini mix, and a red plastic cocktail glass. Lovely!
Afterwards we made our way home and I cut up one cake, and bought the good one out for the president to cut.
We all walked around and rated everyone's vans. It was great to see such an effort.
Sunday we all started packing up. The committee held a meeting at the van of our secretary. She is notorious for sleeping in, it's her thing, so we all gatecrashed while she was in bed. She was expecting us so made sure she had clothes on...
After our meeting it was morning tea time. I cut up that fabulous cake and everyone raved over it.
During morning tea the winners of the decorated van were announced. There were 4 main players. They did only two prizes, but announced winners for best night, best day, runner up night and runner up day. We scored runner up night, which was nice.
However, the two prizes were for the best amalgamated (added up total) score. It was very close, with first and second scoring 176 and 175 respectively. We all knew who would win, but no one expected second place!
The winning van had a stuffed Santa sitting in a chair, with lots of fluffy toys and dangly bits hanging around. Looked so good that a lady driving through bought her elderly mother through, dragged her out of the car, and got her to stand beside the stuffed Santa. She took her photo. I wandered over and offered to take her photo with her mum. She gratefully accepted.
Anyway, I digress. At night, though, this van also had plenty of flashing colourful lights. I did look good.
So, to get second place was a real honour. Considering we weren't even going to bother this year! We were stoked! Prize was a box of 4 spicey sauces. Just what Fluffy loves! I think I'll keep them in the van for Christmas. Maybe I'll put one in for him!
Anyway, when all was said and done, it was time to go. We bade our farewells, Dobby and Fluffy in Terry, and me in Shazza. Although we took different routes, we made it home at the same time (literally! He came down one end of the street as I came down the other!)
We put the van on the lawn and did what we had to do, then called it quits. Dinner was hot chips and the last of the bacon (made into bacon sandwiches of course). Now it's cuppa and hot tub time.
Hope I didn't bore you too much.