Well………….I’m back from a visiting Hamilton Island- a little piece of heaven amongst the Whitsunday Islands.
I attended the Stampin’ Up! Incentive Trip as a guest of the lovely Claire Daly and I it was such an amazing experience that I have no idea where to begin. It was so lovely to share the trip with Claire! I know I’ve told you already- but it is worth repeating…..Thanks SO much!
I arrived home Monday night and it took some time to adjust to being at home after all of the lovely relaxation. I finally got an opportunity to sit at my computer and upload my photos and then I was struck down by the awful gastro virus that is doing the rounds at the moment. All is well now- fortunately! I’m sorry for the delay in telling you all about the Stampin’ Up! Incentive Trip to Hamilton Island.
I guess the best place would be to start is the beginning. I arrived on the island on the third flight in my journey absolutely knackered after travelling on the ‘red eye’ flight. After meeting and greeting at the Reef View Hotel Claire and I went up to our room on the 18th floor.
After scanning the lovely room Claire and I burst out onto the balcony to check out the gorgeous view
Here is a shot of me on the balcony
Eek! Don’t look down! Oh hang on that’s a very pretty view!
Yes- each morning this is the divine view we could see from our room.
After checking out the room we went up to the “hospitality suite”- A special area for the demonstrators to meet and mingle and devour copious amount of ‘candy’ from the US. The US staff were even kind enough to supply little bags so that we could fill the bags and take a little stash back to the room. Unfortunately I didn’t think to snap photos of those- I was probably too busy filling my face!
It was on this first visit to the Hospitality suite that we got a sneak peek of the upcoming Mini catalogue. I am not allowed to reveal what was inside but I should probably warn you to save some pocket money for the release of that catalogue. Don’t worry you only have to wait until the 1st of December to be able to see it yourself!
In the evening we met in the lobby to await instructions for the surprise venue for dinner. The next thing we knew fire engines pulled up with half-naked dancers, loud music and fireworks going off on the beach. It didn’t take us long to realise that the “Show” wasn’t for us but rather another large group staying at the Reef View Hotel. Instead we journeyed across the island on a pathway lit by torches to this beautiful setting…….
We sat at the table with the lovely Kim Gavarra and Maureen Crameri and their partners. Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of us at the table. I do have a shot of the gorgeous flower arrangement that was on the table
…..and I also snapped a shot of the “visitor” to our table- a Possum that tried to scramble up Kim’s legs? He was such a lovely colour that we comtemplated requesting adding a new colour to the Stampin’ Up! colours. How does “Possibly Possum” sound?
I noticed lots of people taking shots of the beautifully presented food but I didn’t think of that until AFTER I had devoured it all. Oh dear!
After dinner we snuck into the event for the large group staying at the hotel and got to watch “Guy Sebastian” perform on stage. We knew he was on the Island as he was on the same flight from Sydney and it turns out that his ‘entourage’ were actually sitting in the same row as us (and also behind us) and probably heard us chatting about him in the flight. ooops! Anyway…….Here is my photographic evidence.
The following day we had a suprise trip out to the Great Barrier Reef with Fantasea. Just looking at the boat before boarding was enough to make me feel seasick
The trip there wasn’t exactly the most pleasant boat ride I’ve experienced. Let’s just say I made friends with the Toilet Bowl and had to be ‘rescued’ from the toilets by one of the staff. She suggested I sit right at the back of the boat where I started to feel ‘human’ again. It turned out I probably had the best seat on the boat. Many other people were stuck inside the boat with lots of people around them making use of the ‘barf bags’.
When we arrived on the pontoon I relaxed on the sun beds and recovered from the trip before going snorkelling on the reef.
The “stinger suits” were just stunning….. Kind of a cross between a telly tubby outifit and ‘stig’ (from Topgear) Here are some of the ‘snorkellers’ splashing about enjoying the views on the reef.
Fortunately for you all- I don’t have any shots of me wearing my stunning “stinger shot”….Although Karen Scott and myself did try snapping photos of ourselves in the water using the underwater camera however I’m not sure how successful our attempts would have been!
The boat ride back to Hamilton Island was far more pleasant. I assumed my position right up to the back of the boat from the beginning of the journey this time…
The following day I enjoyed a sleep in- a very rare treat and then went to my appointment at the “Wurmadaylin Day Spa“- an even more rare treat! I thoroughly enjoyed the pampering session and left feeling as though I was floating on a cloud! The indulgence continued in the evening with cocktails and a lovely dinner at the Italian restaurant. This time I remembered to take a shot of my yummy dessert BEFORE I started eating. Tiramisu anyone?
We braved the water again on Saturday. After the ‘adventure’ on Thursday I think there were quite a few people surprised to see me board a boat again.
This time it was more like a speed boat ride and I didn’t feel the least bit sick
Here is an action shot of the gorgeous Sue Madex (doing her ‘windswept’ look) and her husband John
Here we are arriving on “Chalkies Beach”
Some people went snorkelling but I enjoyed strolling up the pristine beach. It was nice to just feel the sand between my toes and admire the gorgeous views
Here is a photo of Claire enjoying a moment of solitude on the beach! The views were just breathtaking!
…..and here are the Lovely ladies- Linda Higgins and Vanessa Webb enjoying the beach
We hopped back on the boat and made our way to Whitehaven Beach. The water was lovely as was the pristine silica sand. I couldn’t resist going in for a dip. Here are a few members of the group performing a synchronized swimming routine
Sue, Claire and I took a break from swimming for a photo on the beach
…..and here is a shot of the rest of the gang who enjoyed the little adventure
When we got back to the Island I took a moment to just stroll around the island and find some little souvenirs to take home for the kids. It really IS a beautiful place and it would be lovely to go back again one day with Jason and the kids. I’m sure they’d love it!
For those of you who are unaware- the main mode of travel on the Island is by GOLF Buggy. Claire and I managed to spot Angie whizzing around the island on the a Golf Buggy and we suspect she was probably tying up lose ends for the evening’s adventure. Angie, along with Kelly Sue were the lovely US staff members who organised the details of the trip and made sure that nothing was overlooked.
On our final night we met in lobby again to find out that we were taking part in a Golf Buggy Rally. The adventure saw us travelling all over the island collecting clues. Claire and I were teamed up with Pam Jorgensen and her partner Dennis.
Here is a shot of Pam collecting her clue from Dave Baugh
and Claire stopping for a moment outside the beautiful chapel on the island
Here are Alisa Tilsner and Vanessa Webb collecting their clues from Emma Parkin-Wilson at one of the Buggy Rally stops
Here are some of our fellow competitors Teresa Dabrowski, Tanya, Debbie Yeomans and their trusty driver
Even though the “Buggy Rally” was a competition we made sure that we stopped to admire the scenery.
It looks as though Sue Madex’s husband, John was taking the competition very seriously in this picture. It looks as though he is studying the questions very hard. I wonder if he was trying to work out the names of the New in-colours
The last clue for the evening lead us to the final pitstop in our journey. The beautiful Yacht Club. Isn’t it stunning?
Claire and I sat at the table with Jacque Pedersen and her daughter and we were able to share the lovely company of Shelli Gardner (Stampin’ Up! CEO and co-founder) and her husband Sterling. It was a lovely evening and so wonderful to be able to chat with Shelli- who is a huge inspiration to all of us who love Stampin’ Up!
I was so grateful to be able to enjoy the experience of attending the Stampin’ Up Incentive Trip. A huge thanks must go out to be very supportive husband who stayed at home with kids and nursed them all through the gastro bug before ending up sick himself….all while I was enjoying an indulgent relaxing trip away. (Don’t worry I got to experience the joys of the bug myself when arrived home)