Ok, so you think getting ready to travel abroad should be just like any other trip right? Well, that may be so, but when you are travelling by yourself with two children, things can get a little messy.
It wouldn't be so bad if Grant could carry his own crap (and maybe some of mine!)
I had it all figured out, or at least I thought I did. I did the laundry, had our travel outfits all picked out and layed out. All we had to do was wake up, get dressed, and go. In a perfect world, this makes total sense. However, in my world, not so much.
I guess it wasn't all that bad. Grant just spilled milk all over himself, the chair, and floor. It wasn't so much the mess that I minded cleaning up (well maybe a little, it's not like I didn't have anything else to do), but I had to rummage through the suitcases for clean clothes. After everything was all cleaned up, Grant discovered his magical ability to change the location of his stream while urinating. I guess I don't have to mention that this caused for another round of clean clothes (for Grant and myself), and more cleaning. Yay!
Leave it to me to wait to the last minute to get things done, but Nathan still had a Dr.'s appointment. It was definitely crunch time and, if it wasn't for the fire alarm, we probably would never have made it to the airport on time.
Ahhhh......the airport......finally! We had just enough time to get checked in, go through security, and grab a bite to eat. That is, until.......... Ever run through a busy airport, zig zagging through the crowds with your hand holding your toddlers crotch all while he's screaming, "I need to go potty, I need to go potty" and leaving a wet trail behind you? Well, I'll tell you, you're not missing anything! Clean clothes anyone??
The flight was actually not that bad. Aside from me walking in on a guy in the toilet (yes, toilet! this is Europe people) and then later, someone walking in on me. Both Nathan and Grant were great even though we didn't get much sleep. Grant got the most at about 2 hours, then Nate with 20 min., unfortunately, I didn't get any. That's okay though. It's not like I needed rest to prepare me for what was coming at the London Heathrow Airport!
There's nothing that says "Welcome to London" better than people puking during landing. Not only was the kid in front of us sick, but so was the kid next to us. Oh, and yes.......Nathan too! Poor baby. Green is not really his color. After regaining his composure, Nathan was a real trooper in helping with all our stuff. We had only 60 min beforfe we had to be at the gate for our connecting flight. Sound easy? Then you've never transferred in London! I've heard it was far. I had been warned. But, nothing drills in the truth better than experience. We walked for about 15 min. before we got to the tram. The tram ride was about another 15 min. Then we had to go through a liquids check, security check, biochemical check, and customs.
Customs was a nightmare in itself. We almost didn't make it through. They were telling us we had to have visa's. For about twenty minutes, I thought we were going to have to get back on a plane to the States. Fortunately, the customs lady really didn't know what she was taking about and we were allowed to pass through.
Let's pause for a helpful hint to all those wanting to travel to Europe with small children:
It is against British Customs to allow any baggage (this would include strollers) to be removed from the cargo area and brought up to the jetway. You're on your own until you get it at baggage claim!
At this point, we had decided we were definitely NOT going to make our connecting flight. However, upon arriving at the ticket counter, we were informed that if we ran......run??? What is that? Do you see the amount of luggage I have, the two year old child, the green tweener laying on the floor? Don't you know I don't run?? Well, unless challenged by my sister in Hawaii and even then, I just lose! Oh yes, you can make it ma'am. This must mean the gate is close right? It can't possibly mean that we aren't even half way there and still have another security checkpoint to go through can it?
Two miles later....seriously.....we arrive at our gate. Bloody and bruised (don't fall on those walking escalator deally-bobs it's not pretty), tired and weary (carrying a car seat, camera/video bag, backpack, purse, and a 30lb. two year old will do that to you), we make our way to the yes, you guessed it.... abandoned counter. What? Did you really think we made it?
When we finally did get on a flight to Dublin (40 min. later! I ran to avoid a 40 min. wait??? That's just stupidity), all three of us were completely knocked out before the plane ever taxied away from the terminal. Too bad it was only a 50 min. flight.
I'm in Ireland yet I'm pretty sure my brain is somewhere over the Altantic! My children are a complete mess. Nathan is laying on the floor...again... at the customs counter, still trying to recover from his air sickness (oh and the sleep deprivation and the two mile run!!!!), and Grant is screaming, once again, "I have to go potty, I have to go potty!!!"
Needless to say, we DID arrive safely. Somewhat derranged and battered, but safe. Only by the grace of God! Jeremy was very happy to see us and we were very excited to start our journey in the wonderful land of Ireland.
Oh, and remember that stroller I couldn't get back at the jetway and was supposed to pick up at baggage claim? Yeah, me neither. Hmmmm......where to buy a stroller......that'd be pun!
But, it's not over. We still have to get our luggage (all 5 bags) and go through security. You see, in Dublin, baggage claim is on the other side of security. So, no help from your loved ones waiting to greet you.