Monday, July 22, 2013

getting to France

The first of many, many posts to come about our trip...

After four long weeks without Daddy, it was finally time for Jamie and me to join him in France. Our friend J drove us to the airport and helped me get all our luggage to the counter, for which I was extremely grateful. Even after getting rid of the checked bags, I still had all of this to handle on my own:

We had a pretty crazy itinerary. Knoxville to Dallas, Dallas to Boston, and Boston to Paris, with the craziest part being that we had an overnight layover in Boston and our flight to Paris didn't leave until nearly 7 pm.

Obviously this trip wasn't going to be easy, but there were some things that definitely made it easier. This orange car seat/luggage strap was a huge lifesaver. It allowed me to handle my carry-on suitcase and Jamie's car seat with one hand. I don't know how I would have managed everything without it!

Here we are on our first flight!

Another lifesaver: airports with children's play areas (DFW, in this case).

Understanding strangers were also a huge help. Jamie fell asleep maybe half an hour before we were landing in Boston around 11 pm. The man sitting next to me offered completely on his own to pick up Jamie in his car seat and carry him off the plane for me so I wouldn't have to wake him up. So amazing.

Happily the luggage strap still works with a child inside the car seat. Unhappily I had to pick up my checked bags in Boston and lug them around with us until our next flight...

Jamie at the hotel the next morning
Most of all, we were so, so thankful that Thomas's Uncle Geoff lives in Boston and spent most of that day with us. Instead of just going crazy at the airport, we went to the Museum of Science and then to his house before heading back for our last flight. It made a huge difference! Jamie took to him right away, which was very cute. They had only meant once before, when Jamie was tiny. We had a very fun day together.

And while not as helpful or lifesaving as anything else I've mentioned, we were still very thankful for the random balloons and cupcakes waiting at the gate for our final flight. Apparently it was the first flight from Boston to Paris in several months . . . ?? I'm not really clear why that called for cupcakes, but it was really fun to have a feeling of celebration as we embarked on the last leg of our journey.

Overall, Jamie did very well, considering how long we were traveling and how little sleep he got compared to normal. His one and only meltdown came as we were about to board that last flight to Paris. He hadn't gotten anywhere near enough sleep the night before (we got to our hotel at midnight, after all), had no nap, and had been constantly on the go for over 24 hours. I had just folded up the stroller and he wanted me to hold him, but I just couldn't with my hands so full of everything else, and he totally lost it. Happily all the people waiting in line with us were very understanding and once we finally did manage to get on the plane, he calmed down and went to sleep shortly after take-off.

That final flight was entirely uneventful as Jamie slept nearly the whole time and I dozed on and off throughout. What was very cute was how excited Jamie was to go find Daddy when we finally landed in Paris. I didn't know how he was going to react after a month apart, but it was pure joy when he saw Thomas waiting for us, and the two of them took off through the airport together, ready to start our adventure in France.

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