When I found out I would be getting a week off work to go to the Melbourne Cup with P&O Cruises last November, I saw a teeny tiny opening to win Best Daughter of the Year by inviting my mum to come along.
And by God, I took it.
But mum wasn’t my first plus one choice. She knew it, I knew it, it was fine. I think it was fine. Sorry, I know that comes across as quite brutal, but who else other than your mum would take a week’s annual leave just before Christmas for you? No one, that’s who.
“Guess what, I’m going on a cruise to the Melbourne Cup and I want you to come with me!” I told her over the phone once I realised none of the three friends I’d asked first could make it.
“Oh” was her response. Oh.
After I explained again that she and I would be taking an actual cruise to the Melbourne Cup, she perked right up, and our conversations over the following month consisted of questions about what dresses we would wear, if we could pull off fascinators, and if I’d need to pack a jacket for Cup Day (typical mum, her answer was, of course, yes).
Soon enough the departure day arrived. Prior to going on the Pacific Explorer, mum and I had never travelled together just the two of us. I was nervous – how would we go stuck in a twin room with only each other’s company for a week? Would we get sick of each other? Would we fight? Would there be… awkward silences?
But I needn’t have worried, because when our six-night adventure with P&O started with the Uber driver asking us, two people not from Sydney, where to go to get to the ship, we knew our trip was going to be… eventful.