Sunday, May 15, 2011

I'm a Top 50 blogger!

I held my breath as the taxi hurtled down a one way street the wrong way, and into what looked to be a dark alley.

Oh dear, was this it? Had I unwittingly flagged down a serial killer instead of a taxi driver, and was my number finally up?

(Apologies to all taxi drivers who are not of course, serial killers, and are mostly very nice. It’s just that getting into a car with an unknown man and ending up in a dark alley in an unfamiliar city can be scary for a country girl in the Big Smoke).

But no, we pulled up outside a brightly lit door and I realised that I had been delivered safely to the Tom Dunne Gallery in Little Burton Street, Darlinghurst.

Inside, a warm welcome was waiting, and the Kidspot Top 50 Blogger Awards were officially launched.

Most of the finalists had made it to the party, and there was much squeeing and hugging as we recognised each other’s twitter and blog names.

It was great catching up with some of the women I’d met at the Aussie Bloggers’ Conference earlier this year. Others, I knew only from our escapades online. (Including discussions about slanketts. And home hair dye disasters. And vagazziling and merkins. And all sorts of #overshares).

The beautiful Alex, Editor of Kidspot, took to the floor to welcome us all. Did you know that Kidspot attracts an audience of more than 1.2 million? As Alex pointed out, that is way more than Ita Buttrose achieved in any of her years in charge of a Book. (Magazine talk for magazine).

It made me feel even more honoured that I'd made the cut.

All the bloggers were women. (A coincidence, I'm told, but also proof that social media is really female-friendly). So it was a brave Dave from Ford who spoke about the New Ford Territory, which is the major sponsor of the competition. (The prize is $5000 cash - swoon - and the use of a New Ford Territory for a whole year. Double swoon).

Anyway, Dave chatted knowledgably about the car, including the stuff that matters to chicks. Like handbag hooks, reversing camera, boot space, how many child car seats it will fit (3!), storage (including wine bottle holders), and colours. (Yes, Mrs Woog, it does come in pink!)

Then we were encouraged to smooch up to an actual New Ford Territory and show it some love, with the promise that the most embarrassing/lustful photo would bring prizes.

This we all did quite enthusiastically. Some of us more than others. Ahem.

After that, quite a few of the bloggers were making the most of child-free time by heading out on the town. But a few hours in unaccustomed high heels, and an early start, had this little birdie heading back to my hotel, to chill out with a nice cup of tea to take it all in. (Yeah baby, that's how I roll...)

My room at the BreakFree on George Hotel had been supplied by travel PR company Infront Communications and the Mantra Group. Oh and of course, the actual BreakFree on George hotel!

I'm pleased to say that despite the prime central location, my hotel room was beautifully quiet. The sheets were crisp, the pillows were comfortable, and the air-conditioning was Just Right. (Actually I turned it off and later switched it to slightly warm as the temperature dropped. Bliss).

Dreams of New Ford Territories and $5000 in $5 notes danced in my head, and I slept wonderfully alone in my comfy Queen bed.

(See I can rhyme as well as blog).

With no animals to lick me on the face or sleep on top of me for warmth, and a distinct lack of small humans to climb in for a cuddle in the wee hours, I slept like Goldilocks and woke fully rested. Which in itself made the trip to Sydney totally worthwhile.

Readers, what do you like about a night off from your normal life?
My room at the Breakfree on George, Sydney

Another view - it was quite spacious, with room for the kids if I hadn't been flying solo
All dressed up with somewhere to go ...

The prestigious list!

That's me!
The goody bags!

The finalists with THE New Ford Territory


Anonymous said...

Wow - it looks like it was totally amazing!! Just a little jealous :)Keep up the fabulous blogging Ms Maid!!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like it was a terrific meet up, and how nice is your room? Looks like the perfect retreat. Congrats on your place in the Top 50. xxxx

nonoodle said...

We just had a lovely night away choldfree in Syd too! Was so nice! Congratulations BTW xo

Unknown said...

Congratulations! A great honour indeed! Sounds like you had an awesome time - not least, the peaceful sleeping! :-)


Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Hehe it looks like you had so much fun :D And the room looks quite good. I've never seen that chain of hotels before.