Yes, you read that correctly. For my work’s end of term party, we were all surprised with a helicopter ride to our destination. Since we work in education, we always have a party at the end of July to celebrate the end of the academic year and as a well done from our boss for our hard work through the year.
We all finished work (or arrived at work, for me and a few others who only work term-time) at 10:30 and were handed our first glass of prosecco of the day. After a few photos, we all clambered into our rented minibus and we drove a whole five
metres before stopping and pulling up at the side of the road. Our boss had left a little earlier and we were told we were waiting for her. Now, the wonderful thing
about our boss is that she’s very generous and always plans a surprise or two for the day. Last year, for example, we went go-karting and had a party bus booked to take us around town afterwards for some karaoke and sight-seeing. So, of course, we all began guessing what she could have up her sleeve until one of the guys said it could be a helicopter. We all laughed and rolled our eyes but then we heard what sounded like a helicopter outside the van. We looked out the window to see a helicopter in the sky and our ‘driver’ aka the boss’ husband just smiled at us all. Feeling speechless, we all stared as the helicopter landed on the land opposite our office block and our boss emerged. Shocked, would have been an understatement.
Turns out, we weren’t being driven to York but we were being flown there! It was one of the biggest surprises of my life. I had never been in a helicopter and when I woke up that morning, I had no reason to believe that this would be the day that would change. We were split into two groups and I was in the second group to be flown to our destination. We watched and waved as half our work mates took off then spent the next quarter of an hour or so giggling excitedly as we awaited our turn. The entire plan for the day was to have afternoon tea then attend the races and watch Tom Jones perform afterwards. We just didn’t know we were landing on the racecourse in a helicopter first. Sorry, if we upstaged you, Mr Jones!
When it was our go, my nerves did kick in a bit but it happened so fast, I didn’t have a chance to get too anxious. The ride itself was so smooth and seemed to go so fast. Then when we actually arrived, it was just so surreal – I felt like a bond girl landing on that racecourse!!
Still in a delirium, we grabbed a taxi into the centre of York and settled into a bar for an hour or two before we headed to The Star Inn the City York for our afternoon tea. We drank more fizz and ate delicious little sandwiches and slithers of brownie and cake. Feeling sufficiently stuffed and a little tiddily, we made our way back to York Racecourse to drink Pimms and bet on some horses. I only made a few bets and then quit while I was ahead so I didn’t end up spending all my money in a couple of hours.
Once the last race finished at 8:30, we all piled out front to see the legend that is Mr Tom Jones perform live. We boogied the night away and enjoyed the sight of a few men whirling their ties and jackets around their heads during ‘You can leave your hat on’ and I may or may not have done a little Carlton dance when ‘It’s not unusual’ came on.
The entire day was absolutely amazing!! It was just brilliant from start to finish and I feel so lucky to have experienced it. From Tom Jones to copious amounts of prosecco to a frigging helicopter ride to the late night McDonald’s run on the way back home. What a fantastic day of treats and surprises!