Sunday, April 24, 2011

Road Trip: GRIFFITH!

I am a notorious overpacker! Shocking in fact. A life lesson I’ve never learnt. This is the giant suitcase I’ve packed for 3 days & 3 nights in my hometown Griffith. You know how much I love Griffith and going home, so extra particular care needed to be taken.

And yes I am also taking me new man-bag as hand-luggage for laptop and all the usual daily stuff I carry around with me – diary, pad, pens, Zantac, Panadol, ventolin, ciggies, lighter, Berocca, power cords, coin purse, USB, hankies, everything but the kitchen sink. I even have my passport in there in the hopes I may one day be whisked off on an emergency overseas trip to an island resort.

I’m not sure the tiny little Rex plane that flies me home will be able to take the weight. I’ve done this flight a 1000 times but I still get nervous. The shell doesn’t feel like much protection to me. And the fact that it isn’t even big enough to pull up at the gate, instead you have to get a bus out to the tarmac. I can always sense on that bus that I am not the only one with these thoughts, there is always nervous laughter on that bus.

When you are getting on the plane you can literally touch the nose and the propeller. I would have got shots of inside the tiny banana to demonstrate midgets like me can’t even stand upright but Air Hostess took an instant dislike to me and practically confiscated my iPhone.

Now purely by chance I am in Griffith on the weekend of the biggest annual social event – La Festa! Now for most of my life this festival was called Vintage Festival and was an excuse for anyone over the age of 14 to binge drink. It’s a grape-growing/wine-producing district so it was all in the name of supporting the local economy. We used to wear leather pouches around our necks to carry our glasses in – say no more.

My memory of Vintage each year has two parts… during the day you travel round all the wineries on a bus and then at night you hit the Area Hotel for a street party. Ahhhh… so many memories! It’s a bit of a haze really but I’m sure anything I’ve ever done illegally was done for the first time at Vintage.

Maybe its just that I’m older but this La Festa event is very different to the Vintage I remember. Yes, there was wine, yes there was food, yes all of Griffith comes out for it, but now it’s in a lovely park with garden furniture and musical acts. Where do the young folk vomit?

I was a bit excited when I first made my way in cause with all these flags left over from Mardi Gras I was thinking my weekend at home just got a whole lot more interesting! May even be brave enough to turn on Grindr? Alas, me and the flags were the gayest things about La Festa.

I was casually strolling through the stands for the local wineries when I found myself in the middle of some Line-Dancing. Flustered, yes! So after I’d done a few docey-does with the lovely ladies I got some snaps…

My other favourite act was this group of lovely young ladies, obviously of faux-Austrian descent, who where performing a traditional dance of some far off homeland. I whispered to Mumsy “Are they from Griffith, this seems very odd?”. Now if this was a traditional Italian dance I would understand, but this was practically lederhosen. I discovered they had come down on a bus from Sydney! Go figure!

Best part of the day, hands down, was catching up with Cousin Jill who is the yummiest of the yummy-mummies in town. She rocks it let me tell you! And while Cousin Jill and her Spur-man braved the 30min queues for a Kranski I got to play with her 3 gorgeous offspring. And there in a nutshell is why it is so good to come home.

Crowds started to swell but I suddenly realised I didn’t really fit any target demo of La Festa. Families = Brilliant, heaps to do, lovely day out. Young folk = Brilliant, cheap wine, bands, crowd. Single gay man visiting from the Ghetto = I CAN'T FIND VODKA!

I have to face the fact that I am somewhat of a nanna now, gone is my youth of Vintage Festivals as a 19yo. But just to demonstrate my lingering immaturity, for some reason I found this hilarious! The last thing you see as you walked out of La Festa was…

Surely that’s not how you want your guests to remember you? Thats just bad PR.


Mrs Woog said...

No vodka?? Travesty

ST. MURPHY said...

No vodka. And again today! Granted I was at a winery today so I couldn't kick up too big of a stink. I haven't been sober this long in ages. xoxo

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