A room with a view…

1valchloesmall  Hi, Anne here. I'm just back from a week-long writing retreat, the annual one I take with a small group of excellent writing friends. 

It's always an intensive writing week, as we're all published writers determined to get the most we can out of the week, professionally and personally, so we all got a lot of writing done. We also brainstormed our various plots, ran workshops on writing topics and shared approaches and strategies for improving our productivity and our writing lives. At night we relaxed, ate fabulous food, drank beautiful wines and talked our heads off.

This time we stayed in a hotel on Coogee beach in Sydney, and this was the view from my balcony. We chose Sydney, even though none of us lives in Sydney,  because it's only one plane flight for any of us, even the New Zealander in our midst.Viewfrommyroom2  

We're just a small group but we live thousands of kilometers apart — the original group was formed to help overcome the barriers of isolation — so for many of us, it's the only time outside of a national conference we get to talk to our peers about the passion we share — writing. So it's very stimulating as well as productive.

As a consequence, our brains were buzzing and it was hard to sleep in, so some of us started writing at dawn, getting pages done before we all met for breakfast. Our rooms overlooked the sea, so watching the sun lift slowly out of the sea was a beautiful start to the day. Again, this is taken from my balcony.

Coogeedawn2
 

Some people were more energetic and swam before breakfast in the 20 meter (approx 60 ft) ocean pool, built exclusively for the use of women. It's been in continuous use as a women-only bathing spot since before 1876. The pool itself was built in 1886.  Built into the cliff, with a rock floor, its occupants can swim in complete privacy, virtually invisible from the cliff path above — I took this photo from well down inside the women's area. You can see my friends in the bathing hats, waving. 

Womenspool1
 

The bathing hats were a fun gift to us all from one of the retreat-writers and as you can see, we put them to good use.

Hatsonpoles
 The hotel had two kinds of occupants that also stimulated us. The first was of the genus footballer — when we arrived the South African rugby team was in occupation, and they were replaced by a succession of teams full of large, strong young men — all grist to the romance writer's mill. One time I was in the elevator with three women attending a conference, and we were chatting when a big gorgeous guy dressed in nothing but a pair of swimming trunks got in. The conversation stopped in mid word as four women's brains turned to mush and I swear nobody remembered to breathe until he got out again at the pool level. 

The other kind of occupant of the hotel hit a very different mush factor. In a program new to me, new mothers from the local maternity hospital spend their first few days after giving birth in the hotel, instead of staying in hospital. They're given  lovely balcony rooms overlooking the sea, and all their needs are met, including food. A midwife visits them each day to check their progress. They're not sick, of course — they've just had a baby. Husbands and children are also allowed to stay with them, for an extra cost, I assume.  Most of the young mothers seemed to be on the same floor, so I guess they could visit each other if they were so inclined.Mother&bub  

It was a beautiful sight to see young mothers sitting on the balcony, peacefully feeding their tiny baby as they gazed out to sea. I met a young father bursting with pride as he came from work to visit his wife and brand new new son. He told us in the elevator– the news was just bursting from him, and his joy and pride were palpable.  He had a most receptive audience, too, in a bunch of romance writers, but there was another guy in the elevator who was a biologist and he was just as touched as we were.

It's a brilliantly innovative way to reduce hospital bills, and at the same time it gives new mothers a lovely rest and a bit of a treat before they return home.  And I never once heard a baby crying — I don't know whether it was because of good building design or an outcome of having a happy, relaxed mother. I'd never heard of this kind of program before, but apparently they do it in several cities in Australia.

I feel blessed to be part of such a retreat — it really is a wonderful experience for any writer. Now I'm home and it's head down again, working hard on my next book, feeling refreshed and stimulated but still wishing for my room with a view…

So what about you? Have you ever been on a retreat of some sort? Shared a hotel with footballers? Swum in a special place? And what do you think of this program for young mothers? 

100 thoughts on “A room with a view…”

  1. Whata fabulous retreat, Anne–productive, relaxing, and fun. And what interesting hotel mates you had! The program for new mothers sounds wonderful. I hope it spreads. And rugby players = hunks. *g*
    I also love the idea of the woman only ocean pool. In days gone by, I’m sure it was to ensure the modesty of the weaker sex. These days, it helps all of us who don’t like the way we look in swimsuits. *g*
    This particular retreat spot looks like it’s one to go back to again and again.

    Reply
  2. Whata fabulous retreat, Anne–productive, relaxing, and fun. And what interesting hotel mates you had! The program for new mothers sounds wonderful. I hope it spreads. And rugby players = hunks. *g*
    I also love the idea of the woman only ocean pool. In days gone by, I’m sure it was to ensure the modesty of the weaker sex. These days, it helps all of us who don’t like the way we look in swimsuits. *g*
    This particular retreat spot looks like it’s one to go back to again and again.

    Reply
  3. Whata fabulous retreat, Anne–productive, relaxing, and fun. And what interesting hotel mates you had! The program for new mothers sounds wonderful. I hope it spreads. And rugby players = hunks. *g*
    I also love the idea of the woman only ocean pool. In days gone by, I’m sure it was to ensure the modesty of the weaker sex. These days, it helps all of us who don’t like the way we look in swimsuits. *g*
    This particular retreat spot looks like it’s one to go back to again and again.

    Reply
  4. Whata fabulous retreat, Anne–productive, relaxing, and fun. And what interesting hotel mates you had! The program for new mothers sounds wonderful. I hope it spreads. And rugby players = hunks. *g*
    I also love the idea of the woman only ocean pool. In days gone by, I’m sure it was to ensure the modesty of the weaker sex. These days, it helps all of us who don’t like the way we look in swimsuits. *g*
    This particular retreat spot looks like it’s one to go back to again and again.

    Reply
  5. Whata fabulous retreat, Anne–productive, relaxing, and fun. And what interesting hotel mates you had! The program for new mothers sounds wonderful. I hope it spreads. And rugby players = hunks. *g*
    I also love the idea of the woman only ocean pool. In days gone by, I’m sure it was to ensure the modesty of the weaker sex. These days, it helps all of us who don’t like the way we look in swimsuits. *g*
    This particular retreat spot looks like it’s one to go back to again and again.

    Reply
  6. Sounds like the retreat worked well for you.
    I can understand the large distances. The US is a large place, too. Since I hate to travel, the only place I’m going is the local RWA chapter conference this weekend because it’s six (yes, that’s 6) miles from my house.

    Reply
  7. Sounds like the retreat worked well for you.
    I can understand the large distances. The US is a large place, too. Since I hate to travel, the only place I’m going is the local RWA chapter conference this weekend because it’s six (yes, that’s 6) miles from my house.

    Reply
  8. Sounds like the retreat worked well for you.
    I can understand the large distances. The US is a large place, too. Since I hate to travel, the only place I’m going is the local RWA chapter conference this weekend because it’s six (yes, that’s 6) miles from my house.

    Reply
  9. Sounds like the retreat worked well for you.
    I can understand the large distances. The US is a large place, too. Since I hate to travel, the only place I’m going is the local RWA chapter conference this weekend because it’s six (yes, that’s 6) miles from my house.

    Reply
  10. Sounds like the retreat worked well for you.
    I can understand the large distances. The US is a large place, too. Since I hate to travel, the only place I’m going is the local RWA chapter conference this weekend because it’s six (yes, that’s 6) miles from my house.

    Reply
  11. What a wealth of source material — hunky young men and brand new babies! I love the idea of sending mothers and babies to a resort instead of keeping them in the hospital. Lowers stress, lowers risk of infection, and, I would guess, also lowers cost.
    I look forward to reading the books that result from your retreat.

    Reply
  12. What a wealth of source material — hunky young men and brand new babies! I love the idea of sending mothers and babies to a resort instead of keeping them in the hospital. Lowers stress, lowers risk of infection, and, I would guess, also lowers cost.
    I look forward to reading the books that result from your retreat.

    Reply
  13. What a wealth of source material — hunky young men and brand new babies! I love the idea of sending mothers and babies to a resort instead of keeping them in the hospital. Lowers stress, lowers risk of infection, and, I would guess, also lowers cost.
    I look forward to reading the books that result from your retreat.

    Reply
  14. What a wealth of source material — hunky young men and brand new babies! I love the idea of sending mothers and babies to a resort instead of keeping them in the hospital. Lowers stress, lowers risk of infection, and, I would guess, also lowers cost.
    I look forward to reading the books that result from your retreat.

    Reply
  15. What a wealth of source material — hunky young men and brand new babies! I love the idea of sending mothers and babies to a resort instead of keeping them in the hospital. Lowers stress, lowers risk of infection, and, I would guess, also lowers cost.
    I look forward to reading the books that result from your retreat.

    Reply
  16. That retreat sounds like a dream place to be. The photo of the sea looks so wonderful, I’m surprised you could do anything but sit and gaze out. And hunks too – that was gilding the lily. Wish i lived in Australia.

    Reply
  17. That retreat sounds like a dream place to be. The photo of the sea looks so wonderful, I’m surprised you could do anything but sit and gaze out. And hunks too – that was gilding the lily. Wish i lived in Australia.

    Reply
  18. That retreat sounds like a dream place to be. The photo of the sea looks so wonderful, I’m surprised you could do anything but sit and gaze out. And hunks too – that was gilding the lily. Wish i lived in Australia.

    Reply
  19. That retreat sounds like a dream place to be. The photo of the sea looks so wonderful, I’m surprised you could do anything but sit and gaze out. And hunks too – that was gilding the lily. Wish i lived in Australia.

    Reply
  20. That retreat sounds like a dream place to be. The photo of the sea looks so wonderful, I’m surprised you could do anything but sit and gaze out. And hunks too – that was gilding the lily. Wish i lived in Australia.

    Reply
  21. Mary Jo, before that that swimming pool was built into the rock pools, it’s believed to have been an aboriginal women’s swimming place long before British colonization, so it’s pretty special.
    I hope the program for new mothers spreads. It’s cheaper than recuperating in a hospital and so much better for the mothers and babies.
    And yes, if we can, we’ll return to the same place for our retreat next year.
    Nicola, it seems this hotel is a regular haunt for sporting hunks. I told a friend from Sydney where I was staying and she replied , “Enjoy the footballers.”

    Reply
  22. Mary Jo, before that that swimming pool was built into the rock pools, it’s believed to have been an aboriginal women’s swimming place long before British colonization, so it’s pretty special.
    I hope the program for new mothers spreads. It’s cheaper than recuperating in a hospital and so much better for the mothers and babies.
    And yes, if we can, we’ll return to the same place for our retreat next year.
    Nicola, it seems this hotel is a regular haunt for sporting hunks. I told a friend from Sydney where I was staying and she replied , “Enjoy the footballers.”

    Reply
  23. Mary Jo, before that that swimming pool was built into the rock pools, it’s believed to have been an aboriginal women’s swimming place long before British colonization, so it’s pretty special.
    I hope the program for new mothers spreads. It’s cheaper than recuperating in a hospital and so much better for the mothers and babies.
    And yes, if we can, we’ll return to the same place for our retreat next year.
    Nicola, it seems this hotel is a regular haunt for sporting hunks. I told a friend from Sydney where I was staying and she replied , “Enjoy the footballers.”

    Reply
  24. Mary Jo, before that that swimming pool was built into the rock pools, it’s believed to have been an aboriginal women’s swimming place long before British colonization, so it’s pretty special.
    I hope the program for new mothers spreads. It’s cheaper than recuperating in a hospital and so much better for the mothers and babies.
    And yes, if we can, we’ll return to the same place for our retreat next year.
    Nicola, it seems this hotel is a regular haunt for sporting hunks. I told a friend from Sydney where I was staying and she replied , “Enjoy the footballers.”

    Reply
  25. Mary Jo, before that that swimming pool was built into the rock pools, it’s believed to have been an aboriginal women’s swimming place long before British colonization, so it’s pretty special.
    I hope the program for new mothers spreads. It’s cheaper than recuperating in a hospital and so much better for the mothers and babies.
    And yes, if we can, we’ll return to the same place for our retreat next year.
    Nicola, it seems this hotel is a regular haunt for sporting hunks. I told a friend from Sydney where I was staying and she replied , “Enjoy the footballers.”

    Reply
  26. Linda you are so lucky in the US with the number of RWA chapters you have. We used to have one — yes, 1 chapter, and people came from all over Australia for its small annual conference. I don’t think they even had chapter meetings — you’re lucky to get two romance writers in the same town.
    But these days we do a lot on line.
    DP, an escape from reality does count. In a way, isn’t that what we do each time we read a good book?

    Reply
  27. Linda you are so lucky in the US with the number of RWA chapters you have. We used to have one — yes, 1 chapter, and people came from all over Australia for its small annual conference. I don’t think they even had chapter meetings — you’re lucky to get two romance writers in the same town.
    But these days we do a lot on line.
    DP, an escape from reality does count. In a way, isn’t that what we do each time we read a good book?

    Reply
  28. Linda you are so lucky in the US with the number of RWA chapters you have. We used to have one — yes, 1 chapter, and people came from all over Australia for its small annual conference. I don’t think they even had chapter meetings — you’re lucky to get two romance writers in the same town.
    But these days we do a lot on line.
    DP, an escape from reality does count. In a way, isn’t that what we do each time we read a good book?

    Reply
  29. Linda you are so lucky in the US with the number of RWA chapters you have. We used to have one — yes, 1 chapter, and people came from all over Australia for its small annual conference. I don’t think they even had chapter meetings — you’re lucky to get two romance writers in the same town.
    But these days we do a lot on line.
    DP, an escape from reality does count. In a way, isn’t that what we do each time we read a good book?

    Reply
  30. Linda you are so lucky in the US with the number of RWA chapters you have. We used to have one — yes, 1 chapter, and people came from all over Australia for its small annual conference. I don’t think they even had chapter meetings — you’re lucky to get two romance writers in the same town.
    But these days we do a lot on line.
    DP, an escape from reality does count. In a way, isn’t that what we do each time we read a good book?

    Reply
  31. Susan D/C, that’s it exactly — all the benefits of this young mothers program in a nutshell. It is cheaper than keeping them in hospital and it lowers the risk of infection enormously. Plus it’s quieter and less stressful than any hospital, and it’s beautiful and such a treat. I was enormously impressed that the hotel gave them balcony, ocean view rooms when they could have put them at the back. Just lovely.
    Beth, I confess there was some gazing out to see, but also a lot of writing. And occasionally a phone would ring and someone would say “time to stretch” and you’d get up from your desk and wander out onto the balcony where there was not only a sea view, but a pool-side view to admire and inspire.

    Reply
  32. Susan D/C, that’s it exactly — all the benefits of this young mothers program in a nutshell. It is cheaper than keeping them in hospital and it lowers the risk of infection enormously. Plus it’s quieter and less stressful than any hospital, and it’s beautiful and such a treat. I was enormously impressed that the hotel gave them balcony, ocean view rooms when they could have put them at the back. Just lovely.
    Beth, I confess there was some gazing out to see, but also a lot of writing. And occasionally a phone would ring and someone would say “time to stretch” and you’d get up from your desk and wander out onto the balcony where there was not only a sea view, but a pool-side view to admire and inspire.

    Reply
  33. Susan D/C, that’s it exactly — all the benefits of this young mothers program in a nutshell. It is cheaper than keeping them in hospital and it lowers the risk of infection enormously. Plus it’s quieter and less stressful than any hospital, and it’s beautiful and such a treat. I was enormously impressed that the hotel gave them balcony, ocean view rooms when they could have put them at the back. Just lovely.
    Beth, I confess there was some gazing out to see, but also a lot of writing. And occasionally a phone would ring and someone would say “time to stretch” and you’d get up from your desk and wander out onto the balcony where there was not only a sea view, but a pool-side view to admire and inspire.

    Reply
  34. Susan D/C, that’s it exactly — all the benefits of this young mothers program in a nutshell. It is cheaper than keeping them in hospital and it lowers the risk of infection enormously. Plus it’s quieter and less stressful than any hospital, and it’s beautiful and such a treat. I was enormously impressed that the hotel gave them balcony, ocean view rooms when they could have put them at the back. Just lovely.
    Beth, I confess there was some gazing out to see, but also a lot of writing. And occasionally a phone would ring and someone would say “time to stretch” and you’d get up from your desk and wander out onto the balcony where there was not only a sea view, but a pool-side view to admire and inspire.

    Reply
  35. Susan D/C, that’s it exactly — all the benefits of this young mothers program in a nutshell. It is cheaper than keeping them in hospital and it lowers the risk of infection enormously. Plus it’s quieter and less stressful than any hospital, and it’s beautiful and such a treat. I was enormously impressed that the hotel gave them balcony, ocean view rooms when they could have put them at the back. Just lovely.
    Beth, I confess there was some gazing out to see, but also a lot of writing. And occasionally a phone would ring and someone would say “time to stretch” and you’d get up from your desk and wander out onto the balcony where there was not only a sea view, but a pool-side view to admire and inspire.

    Reply
  36. I think the program for young mothers is a wonderful idea. It is good for moms with other children at home – recharge and relax before having to deal with the whole tribe. I think it is even more important for the new mothers. It gives them a chance to get used to the baby and motherhood and to get questions answered. A nice adjustment period before the world descends upon them.
    Haven’t been to a retread like this.
    Did swim in a special place. In Bali, I went with some other travelers. We canoed to the far side of a lake to a remote native village still relatively unchanged by western culture. (That visit is a story in itself) We then canoed to another shore of the lake and climbed an active volcano. It was dusk when we got back down to the shore. There was an area in the lake that had had walls built up. The water was warm because of the volcanic activity. The others in the group went skinny dipping. I’d worn my bathing suit the whole day. The prude in me refused to take it off. Hey, I’d worn it, I was going to use it. That was in 1971.
    Oh, to be young again, traveling on less than $10 a day. No worries and no responsibilities.

    Reply
  37. I think the program for young mothers is a wonderful idea. It is good for moms with other children at home – recharge and relax before having to deal with the whole tribe. I think it is even more important for the new mothers. It gives them a chance to get used to the baby and motherhood and to get questions answered. A nice adjustment period before the world descends upon them.
    Haven’t been to a retread like this.
    Did swim in a special place. In Bali, I went with some other travelers. We canoed to the far side of a lake to a remote native village still relatively unchanged by western culture. (That visit is a story in itself) We then canoed to another shore of the lake and climbed an active volcano. It was dusk when we got back down to the shore. There was an area in the lake that had had walls built up. The water was warm because of the volcanic activity. The others in the group went skinny dipping. I’d worn my bathing suit the whole day. The prude in me refused to take it off. Hey, I’d worn it, I was going to use it. That was in 1971.
    Oh, to be young again, traveling on less than $10 a day. No worries and no responsibilities.

    Reply
  38. I think the program for young mothers is a wonderful idea. It is good for moms with other children at home – recharge and relax before having to deal with the whole tribe. I think it is even more important for the new mothers. It gives them a chance to get used to the baby and motherhood and to get questions answered. A nice adjustment period before the world descends upon them.
    Haven’t been to a retread like this.
    Did swim in a special place. In Bali, I went with some other travelers. We canoed to the far side of a lake to a remote native village still relatively unchanged by western culture. (That visit is a story in itself) We then canoed to another shore of the lake and climbed an active volcano. It was dusk when we got back down to the shore. There was an area in the lake that had had walls built up. The water was warm because of the volcanic activity. The others in the group went skinny dipping. I’d worn my bathing suit the whole day. The prude in me refused to take it off. Hey, I’d worn it, I was going to use it. That was in 1971.
    Oh, to be young again, traveling on less than $10 a day. No worries and no responsibilities.

    Reply
  39. I think the program for young mothers is a wonderful idea. It is good for moms with other children at home – recharge and relax before having to deal with the whole tribe. I think it is even more important for the new mothers. It gives them a chance to get used to the baby and motherhood and to get questions answered. A nice adjustment period before the world descends upon them.
    Haven’t been to a retread like this.
    Did swim in a special place. In Bali, I went with some other travelers. We canoed to the far side of a lake to a remote native village still relatively unchanged by western culture. (That visit is a story in itself) We then canoed to another shore of the lake and climbed an active volcano. It was dusk when we got back down to the shore. There was an area in the lake that had had walls built up. The water was warm because of the volcanic activity. The others in the group went skinny dipping. I’d worn my bathing suit the whole day. The prude in me refused to take it off. Hey, I’d worn it, I was going to use it. That was in 1971.
    Oh, to be young again, traveling on less than $10 a day. No worries and no responsibilities.

    Reply
  40. I think the program for young mothers is a wonderful idea. It is good for moms with other children at home – recharge and relax before having to deal with the whole tribe. I think it is even more important for the new mothers. It gives them a chance to get used to the baby and motherhood and to get questions answered. A nice adjustment period before the world descends upon them.
    Haven’t been to a retread like this.
    Did swim in a special place. In Bali, I went with some other travelers. We canoed to the far side of a lake to a remote native village still relatively unchanged by western culture. (That visit is a story in itself) We then canoed to another shore of the lake and climbed an active volcano. It was dusk when we got back down to the shore. There was an area in the lake that had had walls built up. The water was warm because of the volcanic activity. The others in the group went skinny dipping. I’d worn my bathing suit the whole day. The prude in me refused to take it off. Hey, I’d worn it, I was going to use it. That was in 1971.
    Oh, to be young again, traveling on less than $10 a day. No worries and no responsibilities.

    Reply
  41. Patricia, I love the sound of your Bali swim — it’s a magical island, all right, especially if you can get away from the tourist hordes, a more difficult prospect these days.
    And yes, I used to travel on $10 a day, too… Alas, not any more

    Reply
  42. Patricia, I love the sound of your Bali swim — it’s a magical island, all right, especially if you can get away from the tourist hordes, a more difficult prospect these days.
    And yes, I used to travel on $10 a day, too… Alas, not any more

    Reply
  43. Patricia, I love the sound of your Bali swim — it’s a magical island, all right, especially if you can get away from the tourist hordes, a more difficult prospect these days.
    And yes, I used to travel on $10 a day, too… Alas, not any more

    Reply
  44. Patricia, I love the sound of your Bali swim — it’s a magical island, all right, especially if you can get away from the tourist hordes, a more difficult prospect these days.
    And yes, I used to travel on $10 a day, too… Alas, not any more

    Reply
  45. Patricia, I love the sound of your Bali swim — it’s a magical island, all right, especially if you can get away from the tourist hordes, a more difficult prospect these days.
    And yes, I used to travel on $10 a day, too… Alas, not any more

    Reply
  46. I love the program for young mothers! First time mothers especially need time to learn to cope with the baby before returning to hectic lives of housework and cooking. And to do it at a relaxing resort… I’m not sure I would have returned home.
    I think writers ought to get together and buy a resort where we can all go, any time, and work and talk!

    Reply
  47. I love the program for young mothers! First time mothers especially need time to learn to cope with the baby before returning to hectic lives of housework and cooking. And to do it at a relaxing resort… I’m not sure I would have returned home.
    I think writers ought to get together and buy a resort where we can all go, any time, and work and talk!

    Reply
  48. I love the program for young mothers! First time mothers especially need time to learn to cope with the baby before returning to hectic lives of housework and cooking. And to do it at a relaxing resort… I’m not sure I would have returned home.
    I think writers ought to get together and buy a resort where we can all go, any time, and work and talk!

    Reply
  49. I love the program for young mothers! First time mothers especially need time to learn to cope with the baby before returning to hectic lives of housework and cooking. And to do it at a relaxing resort… I’m not sure I would have returned home.
    I think writers ought to get together and buy a resort where we can all go, any time, and work and talk!

    Reply
  50. I love the program for young mothers! First time mothers especially need time to learn to cope with the baby before returning to hectic lives of housework and cooking. And to do it at a relaxing resort… I’m not sure I would have returned home.
    I think writers ought to get together and buy a resort where we can all go, any time, and work and talk!

    Reply
  51. What an inspiring post. I just got back from a week in Havana that I found incredibly stimulating – first holiday without children and the beauty an elegance of Havana took our breath away. We managed a day at the sea and swam in turquoise, warm waters all day. It was a spa hotel but I can’t stand anyone faffing around me so I didn’t use those facilities. I highly recommend Havana though,it is unlike any other city I’ve visited and the ultimate romantic hero Che Guevara’s picture is everywhere.
    What a great idea the maternity hotel is. I had a midwife visit every day for the first week home with my first baby (lived in England) and I don’t know what I would have done without that help. I could totally go for the spa hotel as an add on though!
    Congrats to all the US residents on this site for your historic day today. I watched everything live and shed a few tears.

    Reply
  52. What an inspiring post. I just got back from a week in Havana that I found incredibly stimulating – first holiday without children and the beauty an elegance of Havana took our breath away. We managed a day at the sea and swam in turquoise, warm waters all day. It was a spa hotel but I can’t stand anyone faffing around me so I didn’t use those facilities. I highly recommend Havana though,it is unlike any other city I’ve visited and the ultimate romantic hero Che Guevara’s picture is everywhere.
    What a great idea the maternity hotel is. I had a midwife visit every day for the first week home with my first baby (lived in England) and I don’t know what I would have done without that help. I could totally go for the spa hotel as an add on though!
    Congrats to all the US residents on this site for your historic day today. I watched everything live and shed a few tears.

    Reply
  53. What an inspiring post. I just got back from a week in Havana that I found incredibly stimulating – first holiday without children and the beauty an elegance of Havana took our breath away. We managed a day at the sea and swam in turquoise, warm waters all day. It was a spa hotel but I can’t stand anyone faffing around me so I didn’t use those facilities. I highly recommend Havana though,it is unlike any other city I’ve visited and the ultimate romantic hero Che Guevara’s picture is everywhere.
    What a great idea the maternity hotel is. I had a midwife visit every day for the first week home with my first baby (lived in England) and I don’t know what I would have done without that help. I could totally go for the spa hotel as an add on though!
    Congrats to all the US residents on this site for your historic day today. I watched everything live and shed a few tears.

    Reply
  54. What an inspiring post. I just got back from a week in Havana that I found incredibly stimulating – first holiday without children and the beauty an elegance of Havana took our breath away. We managed a day at the sea and swam in turquoise, warm waters all day. It was a spa hotel but I can’t stand anyone faffing around me so I didn’t use those facilities. I highly recommend Havana though,it is unlike any other city I’ve visited and the ultimate romantic hero Che Guevara’s picture is everywhere.
    What a great idea the maternity hotel is. I had a midwife visit every day for the first week home with my first baby (lived in England) and I don’t know what I would have done without that help. I could totally go for the spa hotel as an add on though!
    Congrats to all the US residents on this site for your historic day today. I watched everything live and shed a few tears.

    Reply
  55. What an inspiring post. I just got back from a week in Havana that I found incredibly stimulating – first holiday without children and the beauty an elegance of Havana took our breath away. We managed a day at the sea and swam in turquoise, warm waters all day. It was a spa hotel but I can’t stand anyone faffing around me so I didn’t use those facilities. I highly recommend Havana though,it is unlike any other city I’ve visited and the ultimate romantic hero Che Guevara’s picture is everywhere.
    What a great idea the maternity hotel is. I had a midwife visit every day for the first week home with my first baby (lived in England) and I don’t know what I would have done without that help. I could totally go for the spa hotel as an add on though!
    Congrats to all the US residents on this site for your historic day today. I watched everything live and shed a few tears.

    Reply
  56. Loved your sharing of the beautiful retreat. There is something magical about the sea. Having been raised inland in the US & now living in the desert, it’s even more appealing. We are lucky, with the Pacific close enough for a day trip. And, my husband & I run off up the coast for a getaway ever so often. One time we also had a “room with a view” up Washington way. At sunset we were serenaded by a wonderful gentleman dressed in full kilt, etc. piping the sun to it’s rest. Bagpipes never sounded so fine! I also think it a grand idea with the hotel rest for the new mommies, babies, & families. I was appalled to see new mothers leaving the hospital after 1 day stay to go home to have no one checking on their physical needs (health or otherwise) here in the US. Just think how many lucky ones will be influenced by calmness, rest, & being able to truly bond together as a new family. May it develop for all mothers around the world.

    Reply
  57. Loved your sharing of the beautiful retreat. There is something magical about the sea. Having been raised inland in the US & now living in the desert, it’s even more appealing. We are lucky, with the Pacific close enough for a day trip. And, my husband & I run off up the coast for a getaway ever so often. One time we also had a “room with a view” up Washington way. At sunset we were serenaded by a wonderful gentleman dressed in full kilt, etc. piping the sun to it’s rest. Bagpipes never sounded so fine! I also think it a grand idea with the hotel rest for the new mommies, babies, & families. I was appalled to see new mothers leaving the hospital after 1 day stay to go home to have no one checking on their physical needs (health or otherwise) here in the US. Just think how many lucky ones will be influenced by calmness, rest, & being able to truly bond together as a new family. May it develop for all mothers around the world.

    Reply
  58. Loved your sharing of the beautiful retreat. There is something magical about the sea. Having been raised inland in the US & now living in the desert, it’s even more appealing. We are lucky, with the Pacific close enough for a day trip. And, my husband & I run off up the coast for a getaway ever so often. One time we also had a “room with a view” up Washington way. At sunset we were serenaded by a wonderful gentleman dressed in full kilt, etc. piping the sun to it’s rest. Bagpipes never sounded so fine! I also think it a grand idea with the hotel rest for the new mommies, babies, & families. I was appalled to see new mothers leaving the hospital after 1 day stay to go home to have no one checking on their physical needs (health or otherwise) here in the US. Just think how many lucky ones will be influenced by calmness, rest, & being able to truly bond together as a new family. May it develop for all mothers around the world.

    Reply
  59. Loved your sharing of the beautiful retreat. There is something magical about the sea. Having been raised inland in the US & now living in the desert, it’s even more appealing. We are lucky, with the Pacific close enough for a day trip. And, my husband & I run off up the coast for a getaway ever so often. One time we also had a “room with a view” up Washington way. At sunset we were serenaded by a wonderful gentleman dressed in full kilt, etc. piping the sun to it’s rest. Bagpipes never sounded so fine! I also think it a grand idea with the hotel rest for the new mommies, babies, & families. I was appalled to see new mothers leaving the hospital after 1 day stay to go home to have no one checking on their physical needs (health or otherwise) here in the US. Just think how many lucky ones will be influenced by calmness, rest, & being able to truly bond together as a new family. May it develop for all mothers around the world.

    Reply
  60. Loved your sharing of the beautiful retreat. There is something magical about the sea. Having been raised inland in the US & now living in the desert, it’s even more appealing. We are lucky, with the Pacific close enough for a day trip. And, my husband & I run off up the coast for a getaway ever so often. One time we also had a “room with a view” up Washington way. At sunset we were serenaded by a wonderful gentleman dressed in full kilt, etc. piping the sun to it’s rest. Bagpipes never sounded so fine! I also think it a grand idea with the hotel rest for the new mommies, babies, & families. I was appalled to see new mothers leaving the hospital after 1 day stay to go home to have no one checking on their physical needs (health or otherwise) here in the US. Just think how many lucky ones will be influenced by calmness, rest, & being able to truly bond together as a new family. May it develop for all mothers around the world.

    Reply
  61. Chiming in late here, but sounds like such a wonderful experience, Anne/ I’ve only been to a large conference (RWA) but even there, the energy from being around writers is very inspiring. I’d love to try a getaway in a small group, and experience talking about plots and craft and strategies for coping with all the many demands on a writer’s life.
    From your pictures, the setting itself was enough to get the creative juices flowing. But hey, where are the pics of the rugby players in their Speedos!

    Reply
  62. Chiming in late here, but sounds like such a wonderful experience, Anne/ I’ve only been to a large conference (RWA) but even there, the energy from being around writers is very inspiring. I’d love to try a getaway in a small group, and experience talking about plots and craft and strategies for coping with all the many demands on a writer’s life.
    From your pictures, the setting itself was enough to get the creative juices flowing. But hey, where are the pics of the rugby players in their Speedos!

    Reply
  63. Chiming in late here, but sounds like such a wonderful experience, Anne/ I’ve only been to a large conference (RWA) but even there, the energy from being around writers is very inspiring. I’d love to try a getaway in a small group, and experience talking about plots and craft and strategies for coping with all the many demands on a writer’s life.
    From your pictures, the setting itself was enough to get the creative juices flowing. But hey, where are the pics of the rugby players in their Speedos!

    Reply
  64. Chiming in late here, but sounds like such a wonderful experience, Anne/ I’ve only been to a large conference (RWA) but even there, the energy from being around writers is very inspiring. I’d love to try a getaway in a small group, and experience talking about plots and craft and strategies for coping with all the many demands on a writer’s life.
    From your pictures, the setting itself was enough to get the creative juices flowing. But hey, where are the pics of the rugby players in their Speedos!

    Reply
  65. Chiming in late here, but sounds like such a wonderful experience, Anne/ I’ve only been to a large conference (RWA) but even there, the energy from being around writers is very inspiring. I’d love to try a getaway in a small group, and experience talking about plots and craft and strategies for coping with all the many demands on a writer’s life.
    From your pictures, the setting itself was enough to get the creative juices flowing. But hey, where are the pics of the rugby players in their Speedos!

    Reply
  66. Pat, wouldn’t that be brilliant? — a resort for writers to retreat to. Mind you, we set pretty strict rules about actually getting work done — our own writing as well as workshopping etc, otherwise we couldn’t justify it. I would love to go on a wenchly retreat.
    Sue, Havana sounds so interesting. The closest I’ve been was a movie about musicians there — can’t remember the title, but the place looked amazing. I’m with you, too on the not enjoying being fussed over in places like spas — just leave me alone and let me enjoy myself, please.

    Reply
  67. Pat, wouldn’t that be brilliant? — a resort for writers to retreat to. Mind you, we set pretty strict rules about actually getting work done — our own writing as well as workshopping etc, otherwise we couldn’t justify it. I would love to go on a wenchly retreat.
    Sue, Havana sounds so interesting. The closest I’ve been was a movie about musicians there — can’t remember the title, but the place looked amazing. I’m with you, too on the not enjoying being fussed over in places like spas — just leave me alone and let me enjoy myself, please.

    Reply
  68. Pat, wouldn’t that be brilliant? — a resort for writers to retreat to. Mind you, we set pretty strict rules about actually getting work done — our own writing as well as workshopping etc, otherwise we couldn’t justify it. I would love to go on a wenchly retreat.
    Sue, Havana sounds so interesting. The closest I’ve been was a movie about musicians there — can’t remember the title, but the place looked amazing. I’m with you, too on the not enjoying being fussed over in places like spas — just leave me alone and let me enjoy myself, please.

    Reply
  69. Pat, wouldn’t that be brilliant? — a resort for writers to retreat to. Mind you, we set pretty strict rules about actually getting work done — our own writing as well as workshopping etc, otherwise we couldn’t justify it. I would love to go on a wenchly retreat.
    Sue, Havana sounds so interesting. The closest I’ve been was a movie about musicians there — can’t remember the title, but the place looked amazing. I’m with you, too on the not enjoying being fussed over in places like spas — just leave me alone and let me enjoy myself, please.

    Reply
  70. Pat, wouldn’t that be brilliant? — a resort for writers to retreat to. Mind you, we set pretty strict rules about actually getting work done — our own writing as well as workshopping etc, otherwise we couldn’t justify it. I would love to go on a wenchly retreat.
    Sue, Havana sounds so interesting. The closest I’ve been was a movie about musicians there — can’t remember the title, but the place looked amazing. I’m with you, too on the not enjoying being fussed over in places like spas — just leave me alone and let me enjoy myself, please.

    Reply
  71. Jean, we had a retreat a few years back that was inland, in a very pretty place, but we missed the magic of the sea and the beach, so now it’s a “rule” for us. It’s so special to be able to start the day watching sunrise over the ocean, or a dawn swim or walk along the beach. It really sets up your day.
    As for hearing a piper playing, my scottish blood rises at the thought. I love the sound of the pipes and drums. I remember going to Victoria island once and hearing a piper busking, in full highland regalia. Wonderful.
    Cara, sorry about the lack of pics of the guys in their speedos. You’ll have to chalk it up to brain-freeze. It was all we could do to breathe. LOL

    Reply
  72. Jean, we had a retreat a few years back that was inland, in a very pretty place, but we missed the magic of the sea and the beach, so now it’s a “rule” for us. It’s so special to be able to start the day watching sunrise over the ocean, or a dawn swim or walk along the beach. It really sets up your day.
    As for hearing a piper playing, my scottish blood rises at the thought. I love the sound of the pipes and drums. I remember going to Victoria island once and hearing a piper busking, in full highland regalia. Wonderful.
    Cara, sorry about the lack of pics of the guys in their speedos. You’ll have to chalk it up to brain-freeze. It was all we could do to breathe. LOL

    Reply
  73. Jean, we had a retreat a few years back that was inland, in a very pretty place, but we missed the magic of the sea and the beach, so now it’s a “rule” for us. It’s so special to be able to start the day watching sunrise over the ocean, or a dawn swim or walk along the beach. It really sets up your day.
    As for hearing a piper playing, my scottish blood rises at the thought. I love the sound of the pipes and drums. I remember going to Victoria island once and hearing a piper busking, in full highland regalia. Wonderful.
    Cara, sorry about the lack of pics of the guys in their speedos. You’ll have to chalk it up to brain-freeze. It was all we could do to breathe. LOL

    Reply
  74. Jean, we had a retreat a few years back that was inland, in a very pretty place, but we missed the magic of the sea and the beach, so now it’s a “rule” for us. It’s so special to be able to start the day watching sunrise over the ocean, or a dawn swim or walk along the beach. It really sets up your day.
    As for hearing a piper playing, my scottish blood rises at the thought. I love the sound of the pipes and drums. I remember going to Victoria island once and hearing a piper busking, in full highland regalia. Wonderful.
    Cara, sorry about the lack of pics of the guys in their speedos. You’ll have to chalk it up to brain-freeze. It was all we could do to breathe. LOL

    Reply
  75. Jean, we had a retreat a few years back that was inland, in a very pretty place, but we missed the magic of the sea and the beach, so now it’s a “rule” for us. It’s so special to be able to start the day watching sunrise over the ocean, or a dawn swim or walk along the beach. It really sets up your day.
    As for hearing a piper playing, my scottish blood rises at the thought. I love the sound of the pipes and drums. I remember going to Victoria island once and hearing a piper busking, in full highland regalia. Wonderful.
    Cara, sorry about the lack of pics of the guys in their speedos. You’ll have to chalk it up to brain-freeze. It was all we could do to breathe. LOL

    Reply
  76. Recently had a ‘sharing hotel with Rugby team’ experience while in Auckland post cruise with husband and mom – I was waiting for the elevator – there were 4 – and the doors opened – elevator was full of really large men. Second elevator opened – also full of large me. Third elevator opens – even more large men – I said “what are you guys-a rugby team?” and they all said ‘Yeah- The Hurricanes – we’re playing in Auckland tonight!’ – They were on the same floor with my mom, so we saw quite a bit of them. They won, by the way…

    Reply
  77. Recently had a ‘sharing hotel with Rugby team’ experience while in Auckland post cruise with husband and mom – I was waiting for the elevator – there were 4 – and the doors opened – elevator was full of really large men. Second elevator opened – also full of large me. Third elevator opens – even more large men – I said “what are you guys-a rugby team?” and they all said ‘Yeah- The Hurricanes – we’re playing in Auckland tonight!’ – They were on the same floor with my mom, so we saw quite a bit of them. They won, by the way…

    Reply
  78. Recently had a ‘sharing hotel with Rugby team’ experience while in Auckland post cruise with husband and mom – I was waiting for the elevator – there were 4 – and the doors opened – elevator was full of really large men. Second elevator opened – also full of large me. Third elevator opens – even more large men – I said “what are you guys-a rugby team?” and they all said ‘Yeah- The Hurricanes – we’re playing in Auckland tonight!’ – They were on the same floor with my mom, so we saw quite a bit of them. They won, by the way…

    Reply
  79. Recently had a ‘sharing hotel with Rugby team’ experience while in Auckland post cruise with husband and mom – I was waiting for the elevator – there were 4 – and the doors opened – elevator was full of really large men. Second elevator opened – also full of large me. Third elevator opens – even more large men – I said “what are you guys-a rugby team?” and they all said ‘Yeah- The Hurricanes – we’re playing in Auckland tonight!’ – They were on the same floor with my mom, so we saw quite a bit of them. They won, by the way…

    Reply
  80. Recently had a ‘sharing hotel with Rugby team’ experience while in Auckland post cruise with husband and mom – I was waiting for the elevator – there were 4 – and the doors opened – elevator was full of really large men. Second elevator opened – also full of large me. Third elevator opens – even more large men – I said “what are you guys-a rugby team?” and they all said ‘Yeah- The Hurricanes – we’re playing in Auckland tonight!’ – They were on the same floor with my mom, so we saw quite a bit of them. They won, by the way…

    Reply
  81. Eleni, one of your SARA galz was there and she’ll tell you all about it. Word pics are all you’ll get, though.
    Donna, this was our experience too, only rather than entire elevators full of large men, it was more often one large, barely-dressed man stepping into a lift full of chatting women.
    Brave boys 😉

    Reply
  82. Eleni, one of your SARA galz was there and she’ll tell you all about it. Word pics are all you’ll get, though.
    Donna, this was our experience too, only rather than entire elevators full of large men, it was more often one large, barely-dressed man stepping into a lift full of chatting women.
    Brave boys 😉

    Reply
  83. Eleni, one of your SARA galz was there and she’ll tell you all about it. Word pics are all you’ll get, though.
    Donna, this was our experience too, only rather than entire elevators full of large men, it was more often one large, barely-dressed man stepping into a lift full of chatting women.
    Brave boys 😉

    Reply
  84. Eleni, one of your SARA galz was there and she’ll tell you all about it. Word pics are all you’ll get, though.
    Donna, this was our experience too, only rather than entire elevators full of large men, it was more often one large, barely-dressed man stepping into a lift full of chatting women.
    Brave boys 😉

    Reply
  85. Eleni, one of your SARA galz was there and she’ll tell you all about it. Word pics are all you’ll get, though.
    Donna, this was our experience too, only rather than entire elevators full of large men, it was more often one large, barely-dressed man stepping into a lift full of chatting women.
    Brave boys 😉

    Reply

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