I really don’t wanna sound like every other blog post I’ve read recently… but I’m going to have to because I feel exactly the same; where the F has 2017 flown to so far? It’s MARCH!
This year’s been fun so far. The nesting and down time I treasure has been well matched with some fun times too. Additionally, business has been ticking by nicely and despite a few electrical faffy things that have needed looking at, it’s not caused much stress, or big bills which pleases me immensely!
Time has galloped on to mid March without much more than a triple blink, and Gemma and I have only just gotten around to talking seriously about Easter weekend, and what we’ll do at the shop in terms of being open and also about when we can get round to making our first abroad trip this year.
Easter weekend needs a little final planning but the dust has been polished off the Ryanair and EasyJet logins, and I’ve finally booked a couple of trips.
Our café is in a town which is not a big weekend or tourist style ‘destination’, therefore we close on Sundays as standard, and also close on bank holiday Mondays.
In previous years, unless the Makers Market, which is a monthly artisan style market held on the last Saturday of the month in our town, falls on Easter Saturday we have stayed closed for the whole Easter weekend, including Good Friday, the Saturday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. On the years where the market has fallen on the Easter weekend Saturday however, because it is a busier day for the town our café is in as a whole, we have stayed open, and opened the Good Friday too, despite that being a bank holiday day.
Last year Easter fell like that, and Good Friday turned out to be fairly steady business wise, so we have decided to stay open for Good Friday and Easter Saturday this year, despite it not being a Makers Market weekend, but just operate some reduced hours to make it feel a little different for us.
Some business owners may think that seems silly, and that we should just open and capitalise on trade as much as possible, but we like to try and enjoy the bank holidays too, and because of the type of town we’re based in, there isn’t the roaring trade that is afforded to some towns through these bank holidays.
I’ve suggested to Gemma that we open for some shorter than usual hours, and make some fun afternoon plans, to maximise the Easter weekend vibes for ourselves… and then we hope to head off somewhere from the Saturday after work for a few days, either to the cottage we get use of on the Llyn Peninsula, or take the tent away for its first outing of the year. That plan will get firmed up soon I hope!
BOLOGNA - MAY
This morning I got confirmation that our lovely ladies who work for us can cover the extra days I need them to work for Gemma and me to take a few days off and make a little trip away for our second anniversary in May.
And what do you know, a little ryanair purchase later… we’re booked to go to Bologna in Italy for five days now! Bologna has been on the would-really-like-to-go-there list since watching Rick Stein’s Long Weekends series which featured an episode based in the city.
From what I’ve read so far, it’s smaller and less on the tourist hit list than some of the other better known Italian cities – looking at you Rome, Florence, and Venice – but the food scene and central location make it hugely appealing!
I’d originally looked at flights to Bologna for just three days, but seeing that they did a flight home that would allow us a five day break instead, coupled with the realisation that Bologna is in a great central location to take some day trips to some other stellar Italian cities, I’ve gone and booked the five-day option!
Next up I’ve just got to check out hotels or Airbnb rentals, book a food tour maybe, and see which of the nearby cities will make for the most rewarding day trips.
I’m looking forward to a city break, heavily focused on food and sight-seeing, in warmer weather, as we tend to take this kind of trip in late autumn to colder climes. Secondly, it’s been far too long since I’ve been to the home of gelato, pizza and prosecco and what better place to celebrate our second wedding anniversary!
JERSEY – SEPTEMBER
The final booked in trip I have so far is a quick two-night getaway to Jersey in mid-September. This is a trip that Gemma and I will take to join my mum, aunts and some of my mum’s friends as the second part of my mum’s 60th birthday celebrations – there are a few weekends of celebrations in the diary as she is not entering her next decade without a lot of partying!
I have been to Jersey once before, with my mum that time also, and loved it. I was spoilt by her on that trip, and we really enjoyed relaxing and indulging in the good life, whilst also exploring the beautiful island over a quick trip there together.
Needless to say, I’m looking forward to returning, and I think it’s going to be a great location for a girls trip full of celebration!
What else can I get planned in?
Well, that’s what I want to fix up for myself. I’m not sure we’ll take any more abroad trips or holidays until later in the year, but the upcoming spring and summer is the perfect opportunity to capitalise on quick trips to the north wales coast with the tent in the back of the car. And whilst these don’t need to be planned out or booked, I would like to earmark some of my weekends for exactly this kind of easy trip… yes it might drag down the spontaneous factor, but it does somewhat guarantee it happening.
Similarly, I’d really like to visit London and/or Edinburgh this year as my adult self hasn’t been to these cities in such a long time. Again, earmarked weekends - and train reservations would be even better - need to be thought out to try and get these desires fulfilled.
And with that deluge down in words, I’m feeling very grateful for the fun life I love and live. It’s not about massive, long, timely holidays every time, or about swanky hotels (although I’d always be partial), but it’s about prioritising the time off and money, and allocating them to doing things we love, in places new or familiar, to fill our eyes, and ears, and wanderlust seeking souls.
Any fun travel plans you’d like to share?
How do you plan your future travels?