What happens in Shepparton, stays in Shepparton. (Unless you have a blog!)

“A bosom friend–an intimate friend, you know–a really kindred spirit to whom I can confide my inmost soul.” ~ Anne Shirley, “Anne of Green Gables”.

As I’ve gotten older, it has become more and more difficult to make new friends. In fact, since I became a mother, then a mother of a child with additional needs, it seems the friends I did have, have drifted away.

I met Sonja at the early intervention centre that Milla attends, last year. She has a daughter who is only 2 months older than Milla, and very similar on the spectrum. The girls soon became firm friends. bestfriends

Sonja and I clicked almost immediately. Kindred spirits. We can talk and talk and talk, with never an awkward moment. We have so much in common, even apart from our quirky little ladies.  As the girls started 3 year old kinder together this year, Sonja and I have a regular lunch date every Tuesday. I look forward to it all week.

When I was contacted by Parklake Shepparton, and offered a complimentary nights accommodation, I immediately thought of Sonja. What a perfect excuse to have a night away together, to really get to know each other outside of our roles as “Mum”. To actually have some fun, just for us, when usually our worlds revolve around our special girls.

So on a sunny Saturday morning, we channelled our inner Thelma and Louise, and hit the road for the three hour drive to Shepparton. roadtrip

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We may have gotten slightly lost; when we missed a turnoff, and were directed by the GPS down a gravel road, past an incredulous herd of sheep…roadtrip 9


Eventually we got back on track, and finally arrived at Parklake Shepparton.

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The staff behind the counter were really friendly. One of the ladies had just come back from maternity leave with her first child, so we put the fear in her by confiding that baby brain NEVER GOES AWAY!!

We were given the ‘Family’ room; which comprises a queen sized bed, two single beds, a bathroom with shower over bath, a mini bar and a flatscreen TV with Foxtel.

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One of the great things about Parklake Shepparton is the location, particularly for families. Directly across the road, there is a playground and a skate park,

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View from our room.


and the beautiful lake, with picnic and BBQ facilities.

View from our room.
View from our room.

There is a swimming pool and spa for the guests to use. It is also within walking distance to many restaurants, shops and bars.

Once we had settled in, we decided to doll ourselves up a bit, and check out what ‘Shepp’ had to offer in the way of nightlife. Confession~ Since having Milla, I rarely wear makeup. So strange, since before Milla, I would rarely leave the house without it. Well, I handed my face over to Sonja, and she worked her magic. Suddenly I had eyelashes! And cheekbones!! roadtrip7

So feeling very unlike my usual “housewife/mother” self, we hit the town. We had been recommended by one of the locals, a bar called “Noble Monks”. Here are the things that have changed since I last went to a bar; women don’t wear pants now, men look like they are 14 year olds, and the real kicker, 90’s music is now classified as ‘retro’!! Also, no dance floor!? Well, we were determined to have fun on our girls night, and let down our hair; so no dance floor? We’ll make our own! Sonja and I had an absolute ball, dancing up a storm to all the music that used to play in pubs and clubs ‘back in our day’. Do you know what the beauty is of being at least ten years older than everyone else there? We couldn’t care less about the looks we were getting, or the giggles that may have been at our expense. We are so past that stage of caring what anyone else thinks, and certainly weren’t trying to impress any of the ‘fellas’. We have our lovely husbands at home with the kids. Tonight was about us. About having fun, laughing, dancing, and just being ourselves; Sonja and Jane (not Mummy!)

We impressed ourselves by staying out past midnight, before eventually walking back to the motel. Once we got to our room, it was into our pj’s, and snuggling under the fluffy doonas, to catch the end of Anne of Green Gables. I may have tested out the beds first… roadtrip 8

 They were very soft and comfy! Finally at around 2am, we drifted off to sleep, looking forward to our sleep in.

You can imagine how thoroughly unimpressed we were, when at 6.45am we were woken by the sound of a male voice over a loudspeaker, at the park across the road. Turns out there was a marathon being run on the Sunday morning, and the marshall was blaring through the loud speaker all day… Arghhh! So much for our sleep in!

Luckily we were also given a complimentary buffet breakfast, so down to the Parklake restaurant we went. There were heaps of options available, both hot and cold foods. I enquired about gluten free toast, which was arranged immediately, without any hassle. The breakfast was delicious; and the restaurant is also open for lunch and dinner.Parklake hotel 7

Apart from our rude awakening, we really enjoyed our stay at Parklake. All of the staff were super friendly, and very accommodating. The rooms were clean and comfortable, and the location is perfect for family activities, or exploring the town.

After we had our breakfast, we decided to embark on the long trip back home. Despite having spent 24 hours together, (with only 4 of them being asleep!) we gabbed all the way back. That’s the beauty of being bosom friends; kindred spirits, we never run out of things to talk about.  I really feel so lucky to have met such a good friend at this stage of my life. We are already planning our next road trip away!

Parklake Shepparton is located at 481 Wyndham Street, Shepparton, in Victoria. You can contact them on +61 3 5821 5822 or reservations@parklake.com.au. You can visit the website at www.parklake.com.au.

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