Thursday, March 31, 2011

Long Southbound Journey

For the ones wondering how my flight went yesterday with both kids, here is a short summary! Let me start with a little description. I flew to Brazil with an 8-month-old baby and a 2-year-old toddler. While our kids have been overseas before, this time my husband couldn't come with us, so it was my first long/multiple flight journey outnumbered by kids.

Our itinerary included an hour car ride to the airport, a 3-hour flight to Miami, an 8-hour flight to Sao Paulo, and a 4-hour drive to our final destination, west of Sao Paulo.

We planned and packed toys and books, snacks, a little blanket and a Mac with many DVDs. Our toddler doesn't watch much TV, so I knew that having some cartoons would be perceived as a major treat!

About 2 hours before our departure to the airport, I received a call from the airline informing that my international flight was going to be 3 hours late, which meant having both kids at that horrible airport for 5 hours, and after 9pm, way passed their bed time. That completely ruined the confidence I had on my preparation.

Understanding that the airline agent who called was unwilling to help, I called the general reservations, and luckily got a nicer rep on the phone. She sympathized with my drama and rerouted us through Dallas. My layover would be only 40 minutes! While that wouldn't allow me to feed or even change the kids, I took it anyway. Way better than a 5-hour ordeal in Miami (boy, I really dislike that airport!).

Going through security was painful, even with the help of my lovely hubby. Having to take both Ergobaby carrier and stroller through the X-ray machine, removing all the shoes, belts, laptop, baby food and liquids, and putting everything back are always frustrating, even when you are alone!
First flight was the most difficult part of the journey. My toddler was very unsettled, not understanding why he had to be confined! We've made it, and the toys tied by the yarn were life savers!
We were very excited to land, and dashed to the next terminal.
As we were all boarded and settled, I asked the flight attendant to watch the toddler while I changed the baby, and then the baby while I changed the toddler. No drinks for me, I'm not sure the flight attendant would be ok with watching both kids at the same time. Whew!

Both kids were a lot easier on me this time. Seats on 777s are wider and the individual little screens can keep toddlers entertained for hours! He didn't care for the movies, but was thoroughly engaged with browsing through the channels, features and languages.
Around midnight the baby fell asleep on my lap, and my toddler finally gave in at 2am. While I couldn't sleep at all, at least I was able to relax and close my eyes for a few hours. They kept waking up every time they tried to change positions. Both were completely awake by 5am. Hey, 3 hours of relaxation for me is not bad at all!

We finally arrived, and many Brazilians helped me with the luggage, car seats and babies. We got the car, and after installing both car seats, which can be trick when sleep deprived, we were finally on the road to our final destination. Both kids fell asleep and only woke up at the destination. Whew! I'm a pro now!

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