That’s right – a whole heap of surprises for my special birthday weekend! All I knew was to pack a case and jump in the car. After that, I had absolutely no idea where we were headed nor what had been planned for when we got there.
Very exciting 🙂
I was over the moon just to be spending a few days of quality time with our sons, which of course is fairly rare now they’re all grown up! So everything else was the big fat icing on a very lovely cake.
Lee had meticulously planned it all: he knows I’m not an adventurous ‘gal’ so obviously there would be no bunjee jumping or such like on the agenda!! And he also knows I love to holiday in the UK, which may seem dull to some, but I’m not one for boats or planes, so it’s perfect for me.
So I guessed I wouldn’t be needing a passport.
As the journey got underway and I knew the direction we were headed up the A34, I speculated quite a bit, but to no avail. Everyone stayed very silent in case they gave anything away!
An hour or two later, Lee casually asked if anyone needed a break, and he obviously had Ryan primed to say yes, in case I didn’t! We turned off at the next junction and headed towards the town of Abingdon. It did seem a little odd to be taking such a long detour just to find a loo but I didn’t suspect a thing. In fact what I thought was going to be a quick stop at a services with maybe a coffee and sandwich, turned out to be a full blown lunch in a beautiful restaurant overlooking the water in a lovely place called The Nags Head (was he trying to tell me something 😉 ) in Abingdon.
After lunch we continued on our way. I had a couple of ideas by now of where we might be going but of course no one was saying a word.
Our next stop/surprise, slightly later than intended due to bad traffic, was Charlecote Park, a National Trust property in Warwickshire. Ah – I didn’t see that one coming!! Although it was late afternoon by the time we arrived we still had plenty of time for a look round the interesting house and pretty gardens.
Then on to our destination for the weekend …. The fantastic Hotel LaTour https://hotel-latour.co.uk/ right in the centre of Birmingham. Wow! Very nice it is too. Just a stone’s throw by foot from the amazing Bull Ring shopping centre – which could be seen from our hotel room window – my idea of paradise haha !!!!
Then followed all sorts of surprises over the weekend – a theatre trip to see Breakfast At Tiffanys starring Pixie Lott, afternoon tea at The Centenary Lounge, a charming Art Deco café, a trip down memory lane to the National Trust Back to Back Homes, lots of delicious meals, including my birthday special dinner at the Marco Pierre White Restaurant in the hotel. What a treat that was!! Lee had also factored in lots of time during the weekend’s itinerary for my favourite pastime – shopping!!! Thank goodness – Birmingham is a dream come true for shopaholics such as me!
The hotel lounge area was very relaxing with great live music playing, perfect for some delicious and (and far too “moorish”!) cocktails at the end of each evening. And also very comfortable for me to open my cards and pressies with the family on my birthday itself, Sunday morning.
Monday came round all too soon, and it was homeward bound, dropping our youngest son and his girlfriend into Oxford en route.
As luck would have it, a lunchtime reunion had been arranged on the same day at the Coach and Horses in Kew with the girls I used to work with back in the late 80s (and mostly haven’t seen since) at Wang Computers. So we took a slight detour when we left Oxford to Kew and it was a very fitting end to my special birthday weekend to reminisce with them all and catch up on what they were doing all these years later – and the time in between! You know, everyone seemed exactly the same and it was as if those years just melted away!
So all in all an amazing weekend, fantastically put together by Lee. It was a little strange not knowing where I was going next for the most part, but great to just be able to go with the flow and leave it all in his capable hands.
And I LOVED every minute of it!