Philips birthday is now done and dusted for another year. I think it was one of the best parties we have ever hosted and it was all to do with the wonderful friends that we invited. They truly are the friends I want to grow old with!
We started on Saturday, the day after Philips official birthday. We asked all our friends to meet us in the Presidential Suite at the Pullman Reef Hotel. I have written about this hotel on previous blogs. It is one of Cairns best kept secrets. Of course all Pullman Hotels are outstanding but the staff just cannot do enough for you at this place. I asked that we have enough glasses (champagne, beer and wine) for 17 people and it was done. I asked that all the mini bar be cleared out of the fridge to make way for food, and it was done. I asked for enough coffee cups, plates, cutlery and platters to feed everyone for breakfast Sunday morning and it was done. Nothing is too much trouble and to really top it off they sent a magnificent bottle of champagne and chocolate truffles to our room for Philips Birthday.
So we all met in our suite at 4.30 pm for a "get to know you" as some friends did not know others. (By the end of the night it was like we had all been friends for a lifetime). At about 6.00 pm we did a quick tidy and then walked the short distance to the Spirit of Cairns for our dinner cruise. I cannot praise this cruise enough. From the moment I booked it the staff have been magnificent and on the night we could not fault anything, except maybe that they ran out of oysters. Admittedly though, one of our crowd could have feasted on nothing but oysters! The cruise took two and a half hours but the night just went so fast. We ate talked and some of us danced the night away and didn't even really notice that we had docked until they told us that it was time to leave the ship!
We headed back to the Reef Hotel and a couple of our group wandered into the casino. A friend and I carved up the dance floor for a couple of dances but as it was so noisy and busy we all decided to head back to our suite. I have to report that the couple that headed into the Casino picked up a cool $1000 on the black jack table in fifteen minutes! Wish I was a gambler. Not.
Back in the room we put the music on and just enjoyed the balmy night out on the balcony. We eventually headed back inside to the dining room and sat around the large table and once again toasted Philip with a hearty rendition of "Happy Birthday to You". It probably was a bit loud at that hour of the night as we did have security come to our door and asked us very politely to move out of the dining area and into the lounge area because the people in the room next door (against the dining room) had complained. ("Insert" guilty face).
I was in bed by 12.30 as most of our guests had left by then and I don't know what time Philip came to bed. He and another one of our friends talked into the small hours.
We asked everyone to join us again at 8.00am for a continental style breakfast, which they did, and it was once again a time for catching up on each others news. We finally checked out of our room about midday after we had said all our goodbyes and promised each other that we would keep in touch. Sadly life gets in the way and we don't always keep in touch but as it is with good friends even if you haven't seen each other for a long time you just pick up where you left off....