Living 479 miles away from most of my friends and family means that every couple of months we prepare for visitors to come and see us. Often it’s just mine and Amy’s Mum so she doesn’t really count. Neither does it register on the visitor scale when my Dad comes with her. Their fridge is always empty when we visit (except this last time when Dad stocked it to the gills in anticipation of our Mother’s Day surprise. Mum was pretty perplexed with the presence of pints of milk and every type of fruit imaginable until we arrived!)
We’ve got great friends making an even longer drive for Easter so I’m starting to get everything ready for their arrival. I decided to check out Pinterest to see if there was anything I had missed, but, as soon as one site encouraged me to make notes of interesting conversation starters I snorted with laughter and shut the laptop. I mean, these are my friends. I’ve known them for years. I know things about them that even they’ve forgotten!
So I decided to write my own list to make sure I had everything covered off. And this is it, word for word. No censorship. I hope it helps you too.
- Double check dates and times of arrival. Send additional directions. Sat Navs (GPS) can’t always find our remote location
- Check food likes and dislikes as well as allergies and intolerances. I live with James’ fussy eating habits so I’m a master of adapting any recipe to remove an essential ingredient
- Clear the bath of all the toys. I may not care about stepping on Tinkerbell’s wings but others may do
- Make sure the sleeping arrangements are ok. An 11 year old may not want to share with a 3 year old, no matter how excited said 3 year old is
- Make space in the wardrobes for their clothes. I hate living out of a suitcase even if it’s just for one night and I err on the side of assuming others feel the same way
- Clean the guest room properly. Vacuum, dust, check lamps and light bulbs. Leave an adapter or two and clean towels. The addition of a mirror and a rubbish bin is always helpful too. Note to self – get a bin asap
- Explain any of your home’s quirks before they need to ask. The bathroom door needs brute force to close it and we have a rather special German shelf loo. It’s gross unless you like to inspect your own poo
- In-family communication is important. I need to remind Emmie to flush because more often than not she doesn’t. It’s pretty horrible for me so I can just imagine how someone else would feel about it.
- Tell guests to help themselves. Mi casa es su casa and all that
- Keep the drinks they like on hand. That goes for wine and beer as well as tea and coffee
- Make things in your kitchen easy to find if they’re early risers. Not a problem for us. No one gets up earlier than my family
- If it’s a longer stay, make sure they have a Sat Nav, key and know how to work the washing machine and dishwasher. Different country’s machines work in different ways and don’t we know it..!
Lastly enjoy it. It’s not forever and you won’t see them again in a while. Sadly or thankfully, depending on how it went!