20 October 2014

The Three Flights

About a month ago I took a trip to Africa with my Tot. I wrote this when we were about ready to go. But then life got crazy and I never revisited the subject.

Oops.

So we had three flights to get us to our destination. Mike was supposed to meet us at the gate of the final destination (having flown into the same airport just a few hours before) but we didn’t actually know as we started our journey if he’d be there or not!

The first airport was fine. We were fresh!  And the lovely airline people gave me an extra seat for the peanut.

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It was at this point, however, that I realized that she had just learned to run that week. How convenient…

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She did a lot of running.

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And she made a friend and checked the size of herself as a carry on.

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Then we boarded the plane and the first flight was a short one to Canada. It was easy. She mostly charmed the passengers sitting around us. She flirted with everyone and had a selfie taken with her and ate peoples food and was given a bracelet. One man taught her to stick out her tongue and she was so happy I never even had to get up and walk with her. It was great.

In Toronto we had lots of delays. Late was getting later and it was way past her bedtime. The main terminal was packed but a few turns away we found a deserted terminal. And space is the best thing for traveling todders. She stayed busy for awhile…

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Climbing around and coloring in her own notebook…

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…wherever she felt inspired…

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We also practiced jumping, ran in circles, smeared chocolate goo on the windows and climbed on anything climable.

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We finally boarded and had an extra seat again, which was wonderful.

By now it was so late we did jammies and melatonin. She went to sleep during takeoff and slept nearly the entire flight, which was overnight.

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I slept also for a couple minutes at a time. She was restless and kept rolling around and I had to constantly catch her and put her back on the seat so she wouldn’t hit the floor. But I was so thankful she slept! The old man sitting on her other side was thankful too, I’m sure.

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Now we’re in Frankfurt and I had this on my hands. One flight of fitful sleep only equaled about half of her normal rest, in my estimations.

So, that’s where the photos stop on that journey. After a layover in Frankfurt, we had four more hours to our final destination.

Those hours were rough. ROUGH. The plane was small. It wasn’t a particularly friendly crowd. Lil’ A was grumpy and restless and there was no room to move. We walked the aisle (The plane was so small that there was only ONE aisle on a four hour flight, ack!). She barely slept. She cried a lot. It was so challenging. It was an amazing exercise in patience and grace for me. “Mind over matter. Mind over matter.”

I kept my mind focused on the fact that we’d see Mike soon and I wouldn’t have to travel with a toddler by myself ever again in my life (?!). I was putting all my hope in seeing him at the end of the flight. But I actually didn’t know if it was true, so I was also pep-talking myself into continuing alone. Ack!

However.

We made it.

We deplaned.

We rode the bus.

We escalated and walked our way to the visa hall.

And there was Mikey! He was waiting for us. He waited 8 hours in that little arrival hall for us! I burst out in tears.  I was so relieved to see him. So so relieved.

So that was my solo journey with Lil’ A. My traveling-with-tots motto is “Failure is not an option.” No matter how bad it was… we made it, and that’s the goal!

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Africa Summer 2014 to be continued…

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