Hello darlings, and I am so thankful for this cooler weather. Didn't you just die in all that heat we had over summer? But I did venture forth over the last weekend in February, to the fabulous Australian Romance Readers Convention 2017.
It was held in blissful comfort at Rydges Melbourne Hotel. Lovely room, super comfy bed (like sleeping on a cloud), great food, excellent company and just so! much! fun! After the Canberra ARRC15, when I drove home with a smile on my face and a car boot full of books and goodies, this time I took two 3kg post bags to post my loot home. And wow, wasn't that a good idea. All the freebies and prize books arrived at my place just a few days later without me having to lug them onto the plane. Fantastic, thanks so much ARRC17.
We kicked the weekend off with a High Tea at Zumbo Cafe, in Richmond. Oh. My. Goodness. This wasn't your traditional High Tea with the gorgeous triple decker plate packed with goodies. This was plate after plate of the most unconventional, unusual, delicious food ever. It looked like works of art and tasted even better. I thought we were going to roll out on a sugar high, but I suspect the food was naturally sweetened with fruit and yogurt and other such yummies. The savoury food was also amazing.
Fuelled by the High Tea and then welcome drinks in the evening, my Trivia table went on to win the Trivia Night. To be fair, not many of us knew the answers (I know you're shocked by that) and at one stage we were actually coming last, then the plucky Maggie Nash acted out a magical charade we guessed correctly, and bingo! we were in the lead. Our prize? Books, of course. And chocolates. By that stage most of us had eaten our body weight in popcorn and ice cream sundaes, so nobody really minded who won or who lost, it was such a great night.
Then followed a weekend of bliss: talking books, laughing a lot, reading books, meeting authors and other readers - is there anything nicer? The Awards Night was star-studded and sparkling with bling (with a dazzling Bling-Off Competition, aha). Congratulations to all the award nominees, what fabulous books you gave us. Below is a sample of one of the awards - won by the very lovely Anne Gracie (who blogged for us just two weeks ago here), and who scooped the pool for several awards.
The weekend finished with a lovely lunch cruise from Melbourne Docklands. Such a relaxing and pleasant way to enjoy excellent views and commentary from our very novel 'Tramboat' operators, a nice lunch, and time to cement new friendships.
I cannot imagine what work goes into planning such a weekend. All I can say, fervently, is thank you Australian Romance Readers Association, for a brilliant, wonderful convention. I was in reader heaven, and I look forward to your next fabulous event. Why don't you join me?