London, UK ¦¦ Alright I’m starting with a cheat but last weekend we went to the EP launch of our good friend and stayed over so we could maximise our London time without having to rush for the last train. It was a lovely weekend, and although S and I were both struck with horrid headaches (at different times too, what are the chances?!) we were still able to support our friend, hear some awesome live music, and stuff ourselves with gluten free food. Recap coming soooon.
Oxfordshire, UK ¦¦ Next weekend I’m treating myself to a solo spa day somewhere near Oxford. Because why not?
Istanbul, Turkey ¦¦ S and I are heading to Istanbul for Easter and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve already started planning what I’m going to pack and what sights to see, food to eat… And the recent bombings in Ankara and Istanbul have me slightly concerned, but not overmuch. I tend to be optimistic about these things; I mean, I’ve had near scrapes before and come out fine. So I’m planning to be sensible but not stress about it.
Birmingham, UK ¦¦ We used to live in Birmingham and grab any chance we can to head back there. The excuse this time is to go and see one of our favourite bands, The Cat Empire, who are playing a venue in the city centre. We’re also hoping to catch up with some of our friends, in particular one of my besties who I really miss being able to hang out with regularly, and our old church which we also miss.
Leeds, UK ¦¦ My biggest sister (in age, not stature – sorry sister S!) has been through a tough time recently which has culminated in a change of circumstance. I can’t really say any more than that at this stage but we will be taking a trip up to say hi, support the transition, and celebrate her being her. And my nephew too. We’ll be celebrating them both. I’ve no idea what we’ll be doing on the trip but if my nephew is involved, there won’t be a dull moment.
Norwich, UK ¦¦ In a bid to see more of our glorious country, S and I picked Norwich to go and spend a weekend in. There was no reason really other than accessibility, value, and the fact neither of us have been before. Apparently it’s quite nice – some new friends tell us they spent their entire honeymoon there so it must be good.
Santorini, Greece ¦¦ This is my birthday treat trip from S and I’m so excited! I’ve always wanted to go to Santorini and I can’t wait. I think it should be quite warm at this time of year (but not too burny) so perfect for doing lots of walks up steep hills. I’m currently trying to decide whether to spring for a guided tour for a day as recommended by Lauren on Location because it looks like a great way to see the island and they take you to all the prettiest bits. However… It’s about £235 for the day (that’s about $335 for my US readers) which is an awful lot of money, and it’s tailored for cruise ship passengers who only have one day on the island. We’ll be there for 4 days in total, and although 2 of those will be travel days I’m wondering whether we can make it round ourselves in that time, for free. What would you do?
New York, USA ¦¦ Right. I can’t even tell you how excited I am about this. Just… It’s a lot. My very oldest friend and I are taking this trip together to celebrate turning 30 and I can’t frigging wait. It’ll be my first visit to the US ever, and there’s so much I want to do! After a very stressful experience trying to book an AirBnB in Manhattan (anyone else have AirBnB woes in NYC? I’ve never experienced anything like it) I’m now planning the day and a half I have in the city after my friend leaves. I’m also after recommendations in general, especially gluten free food related ones, so if you’ve got anything please sling it my way. I know New York is such a touristy place that it’s easy to find a list of the big sights, but I don’t want to treat my trip like a giant tick list.
TBC ¦¦ S is turning 30 this year too, and seeing as we’re going to Santorini for my birthday I figure we should go somewhere good for his birthday too. I’m currently plotting… Any ideas for good long weekend destinations from London?
Insane US trip ¦¦ Okay so this one is just crazy. I still can’t believe we booked this trip. It’s a bit involved so let me explain. First we will fly into Chicago where we’re staying for 2 nights in a hotel which is slap bang downtown. We will then board the Empire Builder Amtrak train which will take us from Chicago all the way across to Seattle, via Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, and Washington. You can see the route here. We’ll have two nights in Seattle, and then we’ll be taking our first ever cruise up to Alaska. The boat calls at Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway (all Alaska, USA), and Victoria (British Columbia, Canada). I have family in Victoria so I’m hoping to catch up with them then, if timings allow. The cruise returns back to Seattle, at which point we have half a day before we fly back home again.
So, as someone who at this point has never been to the US, on a big cross country train, or on a cruise, there will be a lot of firsts for me! If you have any recommendations please pass them my way. Seriously. I’ll take anything.
P.S. Previous travel planning here
Linking up with Bonnie, Anna, Swags and Diana for Travel Tuesday