Those following my Instagram feed may have noticed that Mr B and I have recently returned from a few days away in Rome.
This was a particularly special trip as Mr B turned the grand old age of 40. Was it a surprise trip? No.
I have been banned from booking surprise trips.
Many years ago, and with an anniversary nearing, I decided to treat us to a last minute holiday. I spent hours scouring the internet until I found the perfect resort, Dubrovnik. Having never visited Croatia before, and Mr B the same, I was immediately taken with the beautiful coastlines, the old historic town and amazing vistas. I also found an incredible hotel.
The necessary flights were available and I had even arranged for a private driver to meet us at the airport.
The day before our departure I broke the news to Mr B and with much excitement we packed our cases and poured over the gallery of pictures on the hotel website, even planned our first few meals.
The following day, as we made our way through the always crowded departure area at Dublin airport we scanned the boards to find our gate.
And scanned some more.
And some more.
‘Can I have a quick look at the tickets love?’
I duly handed over the printout of our boarding cards.
Yep, we had the right time.
Just the wrong day.
Our flight had left the day before.
My heart sank, and I promptly burst into tears. And rang my Mum (Obvs) Mr B, to be fair, found it hilarious. After calming me down a little we then realised we were stood in an airport, bags packed, with three days to kill.
‘So where do you want to go?’ he asked.
So, once again, we scanned the departure boards and settled on Prague. And a very lovely time we had to.
I do still wonder about that poor driver sent to meet us in Dubrovnik though and to this day it causes pangs of guilt.
So no, Rome was not a surprise and Mr B was actively involved in checking and double-checking everything from airport parking to flights, hotels and transfers. This time we left nothing to chance.
And, unsurprisingly, all went without a hitch.
For anyone who hasn’t visited Rome I cannot recommend it highly enough. Nor the hotel that we stayed in, Hotel D’Inghilterra which was just so elegant, so comfortable and so welcoming it truly made our stay that bit more special.
But even the city itself, the architecture, the sculpture, the food, the history. Three days were really not enough to take it all in. Yet, after three days we were dying to go home.
You see this was the first trip we had taken away without the smalls. For the first twelve hours it was bliss. We could relax in the airport lounge. We could eat our OWN FOOD OURSELVES, uninterrupted. We had a chance to browse the duty free.
On boarding the plane I really didn’t know whether to relax with my book or go to sleep, neither having been an option during a flight for the previous five years.
But, after an exquisite night-time walk from the Trevi fountain to the Piazza Navona we found ourselves sat in a cute little trattoria feeling very much like half a team. Don’t get me wrong, the time together was priceless but we have now come to realise that our relationship is so much more than just the two of us. Of course we are still partners and as in love now as we were when we married, but we are now part of something really quite unique. Our little family. There are things that only we will find funny. Memories that only we share. And we need the smalls every bit as much as they need us. We are a team.
And, although we no longer have the freedom to stand in an airport and choose a destination at random for a last minute adventure, I wouldn’t change a thing.
I will also still be leaving Mr B in charge of all future travel plans.
And, just as an aside, I did attempt a surprise party for Mr B’s 40th. It was a surprise, particularly so as I had forgotten to give the doorman his picture and he had a hell of a job just getting in. NEVER again!