Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Old Dog Same Tricks Tour

It's been 24 days, 7 hours and 51 mins since my last party...
What do I do when someone I love turn the big FOUR-O? - - throw a party of course. 
This would have to be the best excuse under the sun to do so. But I throw parties all the time, so I had to make  this one extra special. The invite went out a year in advance, to allow all those that wanted to make it have enough time to save up.
Catch was, we weren't going to tell anyone where they were staying, just the country. 22 adults with 18 kids all took a leap of faith and signed up for the week adventure. I spent months fielding questions that they thought would somehow hint the location - no one was successful.
A few days leading up to the event, I sent a series of cryptic Gossip Girl style texts reminding each family what they had to bring Seen...One Cromie child Stuffing a black mask in a suitcase. Will other children follow suit, will parents remember? Will this be a case of Super Hero or Super Zero? Only time will tell... XOXO GG (I did originally name myself MG- Mother Goose, but got renamed somewhere along the way)
On their day of departure from respective countries I texted each person as they checked in to the airport with the villa name for immigration purposes. Only one family jumped straight on their iPad and googled, which I found to be quite impressive.
Everyone was met at the airport and transported about 40 mins away to the gorgeous Villa Pantai Lima. We had hired out all 5 villas so had the entire beachfront to ourselves. 
On arrival everyone was issued a booklet and an 'old dog same tricks tour' t-shirt (women had sleeveless). All personalized with glow in the dark names, including ones for the littlens.(Although some wore them often throughout the week, they were to be worn on the actual celebration night)
The Booklet contained fun facts about Bali, inter room phone list for all guests, relaxed itinerary, and emergency numbers. Guests were allowed to do as much or as little of Bali as they liked, scheduled only really to meet together for dinner. Kids earlier in one of the villas, then once they were tucked up and in the watchful care of the sitters, the adults gathered together for their dinners. We rotated through the villas and whomever's villa was hosting the meal for the night, they had to choose the menu. It was all really casual as it was more about having a relaxing time.
For the first night, as food is ordered from the chef's 24 hrs in advance, and as guests were still arriving we had organized the dinner in our villa. Towards the end, I excused myself upstairs to our bathroom returning with tragic news that our Aloe Vera After Sun gel had exploded in our suitcase all over D's clothes. Bringing the evidence with me. There were gasps from the room and D looked gutted... I could see his mind ticking over that this was not a great start to the week. I then whipped out a Cafe Press Bag full of t-shirts that I had ordered on the sly. I bought a different t-shirt for every day of the holiday, all with some sort of 40th slogan on them (even including a golf shirt for the day he was to play golf) so matter where he was everyone would know how old he was. With a belly laugh he plowed through the t-shirts trying to choose which one to put on immediately. (funnily enough, I had planned on hiding the t-shirts and say I forgotten them, but the aloe vera really did explode and only on his shirts - the truth was so much better in the end!)
New and Improved 40yr old - please note the 39yr old model has been discontinued
Vintage 1970 - aged to perfection
It took me 40 years to look this good
©1970 -unauthorized use of me is prohibited
Awesome at 40
This is how good 40 looks
The next day was spent in one of the 13 pools/spas around the estate, kids digging their toes into the very cool Black volcanic sand, shopping, drinking eating more drinking.... you get my drift.
The main event, was Sunday 10.10.10, which was also our 9th Wedding anniversary. I had organized a golf trip for anyone who wanted to go... perfect opportunity for me to finish little bits that I needed to do before that evening. As D with a whole group of people headed off to play golf at Nirwana Golf Resort, I got stuck into the cake and finishing the presentation for that evening. I wasn't sure what I was going to be able to find in Bali, so I brought the ingredients and tools with me for the cake. I decided to buy packets of Betty Crocker Devil's Food Cake to make it easier (and it's sooo yummy anyways!!!) Then I had to bring tools, tin, icing ingredients and fondant etc. The chefs of our villa hovered as I baked. They had never seen a packet cake mix before and were very curious. I HATE people watching me cook, so tried not to get unravelled as the peanut gallery grew. Finally as I buttered and floured my tin- French executive Head chef for the whole estate, Sebastien Robuchon, walks in. Now I'm just embarrassed, he picks up the cake boxes smiles and says in the sexy french accent- You use dis? I too use dis somtimes.... tis dilish! mwaww! smacking his lips together. I laugh as he exits and then there is a made scramble for the boxes from the staff who want to read the instructions. Cakes in the oven I head off to finish the video that will replace speeches for the night. As alot of friends and family could not make it to Bali, I thought I would try and bring them to D. I wanted something commical but touching at the same time, so I asked those that could to answer the following questions on camera and send me the evidence. I also had all the guests that were there do it too (some wearing his 40 t-shirts whilst they filmed weeks before the party) I then spliced everyone together alternating between photo slideshows and video footage. Every question came up on screen, then followed everyone's answer to that particular question. Nine Questions in total
ie.. If Drew was a Rockstar, who would he be (and why) If Drew was an appliance what would he be?
On the day of the party, I still had to splice in the Aussie crew who's footage came up with D's brother (are you seeing a pattern in my party planning... nothing like the last minute!!!) I managed to splice & dice, check and burn the movie without burning the cake. Cake was easy as I had designed the graphics on top a while before and had them printed onto edible icing sheets. I printed four just incase something happened to one on the plan or in the humidity or something disastarous, turns out I only need one. Once the cake was cool, it was easy to sculpt cover and finish and ended in applause from the staff who had nothing better to do as everyone was playing golf.
Then we waited...and waited. Golf took longer than expected, so we fed the kids, by which time the crowd had returned. All dressed in Black (except D) we moved into the theatre room of Villa Mary were treated to some D faced M&M's (A friend that had them made and flown in from the states especially for the movie.) Loads of laughing, we still managed to bring him to tears - it was a marathon show at just under an hour, but the songs split into it with the photos had the kids dancing all over the place. Everyone had a ball and on a nice sugar high
We walked down the beach where we were greeted by the fire dances. After a spectacular show filled with firewalking/breathing etc. We headed up to the next villa where the table was set for the grownups and the cake was waiting to be consumed by the eager littlens.
As kids were ushered to babysitters and best wishes to them for the amount of chocolate they had consumed. We reconvened back at the table where everyone found their own wine goblet. It's a running joke, that you come to our house, you get a Cromie Pour. It's a large wine glass, filled at least half way. (I have a feeling the producers from Cougar Town may have stolen our Cromie Pour) So I had large glasses engraved for everyone and carefully carried them across the ocean without a single breakage! From that night on, they were used for all drinks. The glasses were supposed to be taken home, and those from Oz and HK did actually take theirs with them.... but the rest decided that as they frequent our house so much, it was only fitting that the glasses live with us and be used when necessary. And used often they have been - best wine charms ever!
As the night went on... I think the memories get a little fuzzy for everyone- but I do know that D had an amazing night. 
All But five of the Kids perching on the edge of the infinity pool at our villa
The rest of the week was filled with laughter, lots of water, lots of sunshine. One further thing that we did is we asked all the kids to bring a costume, didn't matter what it was. On the second last day, we rallied all the kids together, locked them in the theatre room with some of the babysitters and our friend's two 18yr old daughters and they came up with a play based around all the characters. After a couple of hours perfecting their craft, we were treated to theatre brilliance. They did an amazing job with everything from Brides to Darth Vada to wizards and flamenco dancers.

The party to end all parties... well for a couple of weeks at least. We arrived back in Singas, refreshed & exhausted & in need of a major detox.


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Currently my blog does not allow you to comment directly from the front page, previous posts are ok, just not the current one. Not sure what the issue is, but until I figure it out- I would still love to hear from you! You will be able to comment using the left hand link of the current posting ... what a pain, am so sorry!)


  1. Is there a theme you haven't touched? I am loving these party blogs, your ideas are amazing.! :D

  2. Miss, you astound me.
    Wonderful party, wonderful mum, wonderful wife.
    Are you going to co-ordinate my next party?

  3. Good to see a party that is action packed. Great to have a 'bunch of fun' party. Super ideas (for 16 year old boys). Waiting to see the next one. M