Monday, October 09, 2006

Spring Lunch at Phil's

Sunday was the annual GA Spring Lunch at Phil's. Phil is one of the bigwigs at work. You know the type: gregarious/principal/millionaire/owns a block of land outside of town so large that he has manicured gardens and a proper nursery out the back.

The day was really fun. I hitched a ride with Richard and Dee and we headed off to Mt. Macedon where Phil lives. We toyed with the idea of sampling a few wineries on the way up, but since we started at 10 AM on a Sunday and we were heading to lunch with the higher-ups, something about wine tasting on the way didn't feel quite right.

Instead we headed to the top of Mt. Macedon and the lookout there. It was a really cold, hazy day (yesterday had been 30 degrees and warm!), and so I didn't even bother taking a photo. On top of the mountain, they have built a giant cross to memorialize Australia's war dead. The cross was meant to be visible from Melbourne, but at roughly 60k away, it was a bit of a stretch.

After being sufficiently chilled, we headed to the cafe and had a coffee. Didn't want to appear too eager and be the first to arrive to lunch, now would we?

Not too soon later, we made the drive halfway down the mountain and arrived at Phil's house. We parked at the greenhouse, walked up the drive to the main house and found a gang of golderites hiding near the doors since we had just had a rain shower. Hellos exchanged, we got on the important business of schmoozing.

Two swallows into our beer however, Doug the office manager appeared and essentially told us to get lost. Phil has the 18 acres of gardens to explore and we were told to go find them. (I later learned that Doug was on the lunch-serving committee and was trying to get us out of the way so he could set tables.)

Well, find gardens we did. We wound our way around the property and up the hills and I can tell you that it was beautiful and somewhat steep and not too easy to navigate considering I was wearing glorified gardening clogs/sandals and it had just rained and the soil was mostly clay. I managed to keep myself upright, but there were a couple of places that were very one-step-forward-slide-two-back. I wasn't the only one to make poor footwear choices though. Some of the girls had actually dressed up (pppssh) and were trying to hike in strappy sandals. Silly girls. Everyone knows engineers don't dress for lunch.

Lunch itself was pretty good. Everyone was chatty and I managed to secure a seat at a good table in the first seating. Turns out most everyone ate then (the first seating, I mean) and so afterward a lot of folks left. Since the crowd was dying down and there weren't as many children to point and laugh at in the jumping castle, (OK, so I mean we weren't allowed inside the jumping castle. Dang rules.) we decided to head back to Melbourne.

I ended up tagging along with Richard and Dee back to their house where we watched V8 Supercars (Australian NASCAR) and then I taught them the finer points of 500 rummy and spit. Or is it speed? I always get them mixed up. Anyway, Richard liked spit much better because it was fast. Go figure.

Vocab of the Day
Rock up: to arrive.

Since people were supposed to show up at Phil's starting at 11, Richard, Dee and I rocked up at the fashionably late time of 12:00.

No comments: