Working in retail I have little choice about working weekends. Where we live in what is really a seaside holiday town Saturday shopping is not what you would call typical. Saturday mornings for us in the toy shop are usually quite busy first thing with a lot of people running around picking up last minute things before they go home. Saturday afternoons are very quiet. People who have just holidayed have gone home and new holiday makers are concentrating on unpacking, resting from their journey and picking up just food. I learnt this very early on and as I moved to Tywyn and set up this business for the simple like I made the decision to finish at 2pm on Saturdays.
I need to spend time with my growing family and not missing out on family. Something I did too much of when I worked silly hours when they were younger. I determined not to let that happen again.
This weekend, me and my girl had a weekend away together. It was the trade show at the NEC and we decided to have some fun of our own. We are lucky here that school finishes at 2.45pm (due to our rural setting and trains/buses only running every 2 hours. But they do start at 8.30am and have a shortened lunch break) we were able to be on the 3.30pm train back to the Midlands.
Crochet and ipad playing…..
After 2 3/4 hours it was time to change trains and we were nearly back at our house in the Midlands.
Reluctantly early to bed as a busy day ahead on Saturday.
Few bits of things were packed and sorted and then on to the bus in to Birmingham to our hotel for the night.
The trade show started at 10am on Sunday morning and getting in to Birmingham on a Sunday morning early is neigh on impossible. We had lots of companies to see and needed to be on the 4.07 train home; The last train straight through to Tywyn. Late on Thursday night I decided to ease the rush and booked a hotel in Birmingham for the night. Nothing fancy, just a bed for the night. Comfy bed, spacious room, clean and friendly staff. Only criticism is the decor was a little tired. But what do you expect for £35 a night for a twin room. I will most certainly use one of these last minute hotel booking sites again if I ever need to book a hotel just before travel again. So quick, straight forward and easy to do. We certainly got value for money with this room.
We dropped off our cases and jumped on the bus right outside our hotel in to the city centre. Walking through Birmingham on our way to the Bullring, I got ‘conned’ in to buying a new denim jacket for a little someone which she had to wear straight away.
Our one and only destination was Selfridges in the Bullring. I needed a Cath fix and The Girl wanted to eat at the American Diner in the food hall.
A little someone wanted to try on some clothes for part of her Christmas present.
Loved this green clock print dress and also the red clock print skirt in this fabric looked lovely too but I somehow managed to delete the photo.
Someone will have to wait until later in the year until she knows which outfit she gets.
After spending nearly an hour in Cath Kidston and 3 mugs added to the collection it was time for something to eat.
A treat at Ed’s American Diner in Selfridges it was.
I then got ‘conned’ again at Paperchase as you oh so need a new notepad and stickers.
Next day it was down to the hard worm. relaxing clothes, sensible comfortable shoes and a hearty breakfast.
And then we were off….
Very few of the companies like you taking photos of their stands but I did grab this sneaky one after I ordered some Gruffalos and lots of them!
A few other purchases included:
Looking forward to stocking these lovely quality toys in the next few months.
And then it was time to begin our 3 1/2 hour journey home to Wales, luckily on a straight through train.
Not exactly getting out in to the fresh air of the countryside but more of the exact opposite. But what it was, which country kids tries to achieve was quality family time. It was great spending time one on one. the Boy has declared he is coming to the February trade show and we are going to have a Mother/Son weekend away. I truly look forward to this.
This was a favourite one on one time I recently spent with The Boy.
I don’t know about you but my kids just seem so different when I spend time with them alone. I try to do this every day, even if its only something as simple as a five minute cuddle in bed together in the morning or before bed. One on one time with them both is special and in my opinion a essential part f their lives.
This is an independent review of the hotel booking site. I was not paid or asked to review the hotel or service.