Well, 2017 has landed and it is time for new adventures! The year started off pretty well; with my birthday on New Years Day. It is always tricky to decide what to do for your birthday when you know that people are going to be a little jaded from New Years Eve. This time, as I wanted 2017 to start with the spirit of adventure, I decided to set a treasure trail for friends and family to follow.
It Seemed Like A Good Idea
I thought it would be best to moot the idea to Jamie and my best friend, Jo, before I made any solid plans. I told them that I wanted to lay a treasure trail and invite people to come along and follow it before heading back to my parents house for food and drink after. Jamie was a little neutral but Jo loved the plan. As we all know besties beat partners (sorry Jamie!), so I decided to go for it.
Social media is great for mass messaging, I sent out the invite and waited to see what would happen. The reaction was great! Lots of immediate, positive replies made me realise I had made the right decision. I had plenty of time to plan the trail but, typically, left it until days before.
My Dad has a fantastic mind for cryptic clues and would have been the perfect person to help. However, I needed him to be taking part in the trail as it was important to have someone with good local knowledge in each team. This meant Jamie and I needed to get our heads together and do some serious thinking (this involved beer)!
Planning The Trail
A trail of just under five miles was decided on. The teams would all set off together for the first destination and then split off to follow the trail from different start points. We decided to further complicate matters with quiz questions at each clue destination.
On New Years Eve we spent much of the day typing clues up and then laying the trail. Food and drink treats were included at each clue destination to provide sustenance for the participants. We made sure everything was in sealed bags and off the ground so that small animals wouldn’t feast overnight.
I’m not going to pretend it wasn’t a little stressful planning this; Jamie had to have incredible patience with me. But it really was all worth it in the end. Bags were hung in woods, covered with leaves, concealed behind signs and in hedgerows. Now we just had to wait and see if we had got it right!
Will They Come? Will They Enjoy It?
Waking up on New Years Day I could hear the rain hammering our windows. I lay for a while and hoped it would subside. It did not. The old saying of ‘rain before seven, gone by eleven’ was clearly not going to apply today.
As we headed to the village I began to panic. Would anyone still come with the rain pouring down? If they did come, would they enjoy themselves?
I needn’t have worried. My friends are not only far too lovely to abandon me, they are also a resilient bunch. I was amazed that twenty people turned up, fully kitted out in their waterproofs. Four teams were put together and we anxiously gave them their first clue and sent them out into the rain.
As they all got the hang of how my mind works and therefore what the clues may mean, it seemed that people were actually enjoying themselves. Some clues were a little too cryptic but, even when stumped, no one grumbled. It certainly would have been a more pleasant experience without the rain but I loved seeing the teams getting their teeth into the trail. Two teams got pretty competitive when realising they were in with a chance of winning.
Mulled wine was served at the half way point to warm all the adventurers. We briefly lost one team; only for them to reappear, depleted of members but determined to finish. A few extra hints were given over the phone and finally we had a winner in sight!
A Fantastic Atmosphere
Once everyone was gathered back inside, drinks in hand, it was time for a little prize giving. Wooden spoons for the final finishers were proclaimed to be ‘quite useful for the kitchen’. Chocolates were merrily shared around and then my Mum really pulled the stops out with a fantastic spread of food.
I had asked for Mexican food ‘maybe a few nachos and tacos’ but my Mum is an amazing host and went the extra step. A full on Mexican feat was devoured by all and I was a very happy birthday girl.
There is something so satisfying about sitting in a room, surrounded by people you love and care about. Seeing them laughing and chatting really made my day. I want to say a massive THANK YOU to everyone who came along and indulged in my adventure idea. I couldn’t have asked for a better day.
A Great Start To 2017
With that as the first day of 2017 there is a lot for the year to live up to! I have been the same as most people in overindulging over the past two weeks. I want to get a little more comfortable in my jeans again so it’s time to knuckle down.
As I know I’m not the only one who feels this way I have decided to start something new to get people moving; Non-Runners Club. A no-pressure, no intimidating targets club to get people on that first step towards fitness. Watch out for more on this later in the week.
My year has started well, I hope yours has too. Let’s all make plans for an adventurous 2017!