After picking up our car in Manchester, we drove straight to Sheffield to check into our hotel. I had high hopes for Leopold Hotel – a former school that was converted into a hotel. I liked the reviews and pictures, and I loved that they had a Nespresso machine in the rooms. Our room was quite large with a loft bed, and the girls loved that it was so big and had stairs, and they ran upstairs and down making lots of noise like the hooligans they are. The Nespresso machine hit the spot, and the hotel won the girls over with the chocolates on our pillows at night. Who knew it was so easy to please them? Another nice touch was a couple of bottles of still water and sparkling water – in glass bottles! I loved that Leopold didn’t use plastic. In summary, the hotel was clean, the location was great, the furnishings and carpet a little worn, but overall, we were happy.
Sheffield was suitably English. Beautiful old buildings, learning to look for cars that were coming from the wrong direction, lovely accents, tea with milk and sugar over coffee. I was thrilled to be back in England. And I was excited to start our National Trust/English Heritage/FancyHouseCastleHall adventures early the next morning. There was a lot to look forward to!
The packing method I used worked out really well. I always pack for myself and the two girls, but I normally pack us in separate suitcases. In a rare moment of precognition because we weren’t going to stay in any one place long enough to unpack, I could see the girls having tantrums over what they would wear each day, unzipping each suitcase, digging through piles…ugh, no thanks! This time I had a revelation – I didn’t want to deal with the nightmare of dealing with multiple suitcases every day…so, I developed a new system:
Zip locks bags.
I packed all of the clothes and pajamas for the three of us in ziplock bags. When we got to our room, it was easy to pull out one bag of pajamas for the evening and a bag of outfits for the morning. Three sets of pajamas per bag, and three sets of outfits per bag. There was no fighting over what they were going to wear, no digging through suitcases, and no trying to figure out where things were. It worked brilliantly.
I did have to fine tune a few things to make toiletries more accessible, but that was more because I’d packed them in a separate checked bag to avoid TSA and London’s stringent liquids policy. I straightened that out fairly quickly, and everyone got to bed relatively easily considering our day started with a delay.