The journey of a thousand miles begins with...the perfect pair of shoes.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Traveling with a baby: it's NOT about the journey

Hello my lovelies!!! Have you missed me? I've been away in the exotic US of A! And what happens while I'm gone? Blogger does some sort of update and now I'm totally lost.  Boo.  Enough about Blogger.  More about me.
James Bond will be leaving for the 'Stan soon for...a long time, and we (read: I) decided that since he hasn't seen his family since 2007, he needed to go see them before he deploys.  My family happens to live in the same area, so it worked out well (for the most part).
Whoever said it's about the journey and not the destination has never taken that journey with a 1 year old.  Ugh.  Han Solo does not like to fly.  You know those people on your plane with the screaming baby?  Yeah, that was us.  If you happened to be on a flight from Frankfurt to Houston on April 9 or Houston for Frankfurt on April 22, let me just apologize.  We tried.  Really hard.  He was just not having it.  Let me tell you that as a general rule,  Han Solo sleeps about 17 hours out of every single day.  Every. Single. Day.  On a 14 hour plane ride?  Not so much.  Dear sweet baby Zeus it was awful.  Okay, maybe not that bad, but still.  On the first flight (14 hours) he slept for approximately 45 minutes.  Yes, that is all.  He was not happy about it either and let us all know.  In retrospect he only cried and fussed for a combined total of about 3 hours (not all at once), but when you're the parent of that screaming child it seems like much, much longer.  I was stressed out that he was so upset and worried that the other passengers would hate us, which seems silly since we'll never see them again, but still, I worried.  After that first flight, we had to go through immigration and customs, which took forever and barely made our second flight.  In fact they were paging us to the gate as we were running full tilt through the terminal praying they wouldn't shut the gates before we got there.  We made it just in time and on that flight, all one and a half hours, Han Solo slept the entire freaking way. 
When we got to our destination it was 9pm and approximately 7 million degrees (it was 44 when we left Frankfurt) and Han Solo went right to bed and slept most of the night.  Thank goodness.  The time change was difficult on him, but just a day or two before it was time to come back home, he settled in and got used to it.  Nice.
Our return home was...adventurous.  There was bad weather in Houston and our plane in was grounded.  We were due to leave at 2:30pm, but didn't actually leave until 6:15pm, with us arriving at 7:45pm.  Han Solo was not happy.  When we got to Houston, our plane to Frankfurt (originally scheduled for 6:30pm) was still on the Tarmac!  Huzzah!  Unfortunately for us, it left 10 minutes after we touched down. :(  United/Continental (what are they called now???) was wonderful though and put us up at the Hyatt, gave us $110 in food vouchers and rescheduled us for the same flight the next day.  We put a ridiculously tired Han Solo in the hotel crib and prayed he would sleep.  I went to the hotel restaurant to get some dinner ($40 in vouchers for 2 burger and fries, a chicken sandwich and fries and 3 drinks) since we hadn't eaten in about 8 hours.  When I got back Han Solo was asleep and we were afraid to make any noise lest we wake the beast.  We sat on the floor in complete silence and ate.  Indy leaned over at one point and whispered "Best floor burgers ever."  Tee hee.
The hotel was kind enough to let us have a late check out so we didn't have to hang out at the airport all day with Han Solo being a crab, so we slept late and napped before heading back to the airport to catch our flight.  One of the check in people gave us grief about one of our bags being 9 lbs over weight, which I don't understand since we were allowed 8 bags but had only 4.  What's 9 lbs when we're saving 200, plus the fact that none of our other bags were even at the limit???  After we got that sorted (another check in worker told her to let it go) it was off to security.  Ugh.  Since we were supposed to do a connection, we shouldn't have had to do security again, but as we missed the flight we had to do it all over.  Dear heavens is that exhausting.  Ever go through security with a baby and a child?  Yuck.  It takes forever!  You practically have to disrobe yourself and your children, remove every piece of metal that might have come in contact with you at any point in your life, walk across a gross floor without your shoes, be subject to a bag search and pat down and then you have to put everything back on and repack your bags, while trying to keep your children from running away. 
Our flight was pretty much full so it turned out that we were not sitting together.  What?  Yep, true.  We had 2 seats in row 22 and 2 seats in row 24, on opposite sides of the aisles.  Nice.  James Bond decided to sit with Han Solo and let me sit with Indy.  Han Solo did much better on this flight.  He slept about 4-5 hours!  At one point though, he was fussing and I leaned over to Indy and said "Man, I wish they'd get that baby to be quiet," and he said, "Yeah, I know!  Sheesh!  Get control of your kid people."  I love that boy.
I love to travel and see new places, but the getting there is not my favorite part and getting there with a baby is so much less than fun.   Trust me, when traveling with a baby, it is NOT about the journey.



KristinaF said...

I so know your pain with Hans Solo. When we PCS'd back to the states, our kids were 31 months & 13 months. The 13 month child was fussy for at least the last 3 hours of it. The gentleman in front of us even couldn't stand it, but there was no keeping that kid happy. I was so happy to see both my parents & inlaws at the gate and hand her over.

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