Last weekend I went to my favourite 'retreat' - Hanmer Springs. It is about a ninety minute drive from my town - it is inland and north. Hanmer is a little alpine style village that's frosty and pretty and nestled next to a beautiful river and mountains. But the absolute draw card?!
I've been going to Hanmer since I was a kid (it was and still is a destination for school camps!), and my best friend's parents have a holiday home up there that they so generously let us use :)
I've been there in the hottest days of summer (when we all just about got sunstroke waiting in the line to go down the SuperBowl) and have stood in the hottest of the pools while snow flurries swirled down and collected in our hair and eyelashes.
|The Aquaplay land that the kids |
and I spend hours on.
I'm a total hydroslide junkie.
Hanmer has a spa facility of course and over the last twenty years or so has gotten a number more cafes and restaurants (there only used to be the 'Hastie Tastie') - but it still only has a permanent population of around 800. And yes, I've used it in a book - in UNBUTTONED BY HER MAVERICK BOSS (or REBEL WITH A CAUSE in the US) Lorenzo takes Sophy there to escape so she can FOCUS ON HER WORK (art imitating life there) -- and they may or may not have had an intimate moment in one of those private pools...
Anyway this weekend, much to my children's HORROR, I went without them and took two writing buddies instead. Sweet author Soraya Lane and Desire author Tessa Radley. We plotted, wrote and ate (not necessarily in that order). I think the people near us in the pool must have wondered about our lives when Tessa and I talked devious twists in our prospective stories... It was just brilliant - we hunched over our laptops during the day, in three armchairs pulled up to the logburner, pausing for plotting breaks, sugar breaks, caffeine breaks... and of course pool breaks.
We're going again in a few months and I can't wait. (Though the kids, hubby and I are heading back there in the next school holidays too! I'd get ousted from the nest if I went without them again in the near future!!!).
So have you got a favourite place that you like to retreat to!?!? Or a dream one?! What about thermal pools - do they float your boat like they do mine?! I've love to know!