My last birthday was one of the best birthdays I ever had and the funny part is that I wasn’t even planning on celebrating. I was hitting the quarter century and the pressure of becoming an adult was real. It then happened that I had some work to do in Naivasha and my friends and I always wanted to go for a Naivasha getaway so it was just perfect timing. We got into planning with my friends and it was a weekend full of fun and great memories.
After searching and hunting on Air Bnb we finally settled on Leleshwa House located in Green Park Estate, Rift Valley Golf Course. It was a perfect choice because the house was an amazing old country house with an impeccable garden overlooking the Aberdare Ranges. For transport, we booked a shuttle that dropped us and picked us up the day we were leaving.
Ten of us went for the trip so those were enough people to have celebrations with and since I like planning and themed events, we planned a few festivities during our getaway
For the midnight countdown, we had a pyjama party which turned out to be so much fun and it was a great time for us to bond. We had some snacks and played a few games. At midnight, I blew some candles and my birthday had officially began.
We kicked off the day with a nice breakfast from Salome, our chef who was also everyone’s chef. One thing that disappointed us at Leleshwa House is the fact that we had to share the cook (that we paid extra for) with the guest house guests and the house owner. This made the cooking process a struggle so we had the breakfast really late.
A White Affair
This was the main birthday celebration and I picked the theme to be cocktail and the colours were white with a touch of yellow to represent peace and sunshine. With the help of my friends we picked out a heavy menu since we are all foodies. We had lasagne, Indian mixed rice and some salad. Then we had some mango and pineapple juice as our cocktails. Since the cook was busy and overwhelmed, we had to put on our chef aprons and get into business. Thank God my friends and I can cook.
To bring the theme together, I put a clear bowl of lemons, a flower vase with white and yellow flowers and some pineapples as centre pieces. We also had white and yellow balloons and straws with pop up fruits which added a great touch to the theme. For the cake, I wanted a rustic naked cake and ‘Sweet and Creamy Cakes’ brought my dream to life. Check them out on instagram @sweet.n.creamy.cakes for some yummy treats https://www.instagram.com/sweet.n.creamy.cakes/
The 90’s Night!
The 90’s are a great deal to me and my friends. I personally think that this was the coolest time in history and the rise of the urban pop culture: the fashion and music from this time was just the coolest. This party was to celebrate me and one of my best friends whose birthday is 2 days before mine. We were all born in the 90’s and since we never got to experience such a cool era, it was good having a feel of it. We all dressed up in 90’s inspired outfits and danced to all the hits from the time. It was such a great night full of amazing memories.
A birthday getaway with your close friends is always a great idea. I had the best time surrounded by amazing people and this is one birthday I will always remember. And since my birthday is on the 7th day of the 7th month let me share 7 tips on planning a getaway with your friends or family.
When it comes to planning, the first things you should put in mind are accommodation, transport and food.
- Accommodation-After picking a destination, the first thing you should do is find a place to stay that would fit your budget. We found Leleshwa House on Air Bnb.
- Transport-You should check out transport options that would best suit you and your trip mates. We chose to rent a shuttle because it was much cheaper than getting a car and fuelling it. We were 10 of us and that would mean we needed more than one car.
- Food-When you go for vacation, eating good food is essential. We made a menu in advance for the days we were going to be there. From the menu we knew what groceries to buy. The house comes with a cook at an extra expense so we resorted for that option so that we don’t spend the whole vacation cooking.
2. Recruit your soldiers
Once the plan has started shaping up, you need to know the exact number of the people joining the trip. Make sure if you want the experience to be intimate and exclusive then you have to include people you’re comfortable around. But it all boils down with your preference, I know some of you Gs out here don’t mind going on adventures with strangers.
3. Create a Budget
Once you have the number of people coming for the trip, then you can add up all your expenses (accommodation, transport, food etc.) and divide by the number of people. If you are a number of you, then the cost is going to be minimal.
4. Make a List
If there’s something I believe in when it comes to planning, then it’s lists. Make a list of everything: the people coming, the things you need to buy and carry, the activities you want to do and so on. When it comes to shopping lists, I sort out my lists according to where I would be getting the stuff e.g. I would make a supermarket list, butchery list, vegetables list and that way everything would be organised.
5. Make some fun
Ensure you include some fun activities that you and your trip mates are going to engage in. When picking out activities, then you should also make sure you include things everyone will enjoy. For us we had games and the many themed events.
6. Allocate Tasks
Planning a getaway especially for a group won’t be easy but when it’s a group of friends, then different people would be good at different things. You could allocate tasks to people depending on what they like to do and this way it will not be overwhelming for one person plus everyone will feel involved in planning.
7. Be flexible
Planning a trip for a number of people will always come with surprises. If you’re the one planning, then you should have room for change. Life is unpredictable and there is a possibility someone might cancel last minute. Make sure your budget is set in a way that can accept change. For instance, if one person cancels and you included them in your budget, then you should have a way of minimising expenses to fit the new budget.