Thursday, September 15, 2011

the last of the shit start (or Part 3)

So about 10 minutes after I burst into tears as soon as I saw P's parents, P arrived with the news that at that point in time the airline actually had no idea where our bags were.  

Remember earlier when I told you about the new bra with the hurty underwire? I was 
almost ready to pull that underwire out to stab someone but what could I do, we headed
to the car park and tried to find the car. I didn't even have the energy to be annoyed as 
we went up and down a few times to locate it. We finally found the car and I breathed a
sigh of relief, just a short drive home and I could finally get some much needed sleep.

Or so I thought.

As we climbed into the backseat with P and I either side of Sadie we were told that 
by law you are not required to wear a seatbelt. I buckled up anyway and I'm glad I did. 
The drivers here are crazy and apparently even though the speed limit on the freeway
is 120, everyone does at least 140!!!!
So for the hour and a half drive (short drive, my arse!!!)  could feel myself drifting in and 
out of sleep, with my arms across Sadie's car seat the whole time, with a false sense of reassurance that if something happened at 140 km/hr my arm alone would save her.

When we finally got to Pombal, I seriously thought about kissing the ground, but knew 
that once I was down I wasn't getting back up. Sadie had fallen asleep in the car so I carried her up the two flights of stairs put her straight to bed and took dibs on the first shower.
All I wanted was clean pj's but because they were possibly still flying over the Indian Ocean, I showered and turned my leggings and tank top inside out and after attempting to eat I headed for bed as I had lost all ability to chew, let alone communicate.

I would love to say I slept for 12 hours and woke up refreshed and revived but the little princess awoke from her slumber at about 4 a.m. 
6 hours sleep was better than nothing, I pulled out the ipad  and while she watched a movie I dozed a bit longer, I finally got up still weary but I knew that it was all up from here.

I had a (free) room with a view, a fridge full of food, clean undies and a purse full of Euro's 
that I could buy new clothes and toiletries with. 

Time to forget about the more than forgettable trip over, I was finally in Portugal.
I had no concept of what time or day it was but I was ready for some proper Portuguese food, 
shopping and sight-seeing. Any problems had to now solve themselves because I was officially 
on HOLIDAYS!!!!!


 (Incidentally our luggage tuned up 24 hours after we did!)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

And... Part Two

So I've been writing part two of the journey here for about a week and between losing drafts,
 limited internet access and fighting for the computer, I'm going to try again. I promise this is 
the last long and whiny post, from here on in it will be all good.

Premium economy was pretty sweet, more leg room which was a big bonus for the almost 
6 foot baby-daddy and drinks and snacks on demand.
The Melbourne to Hong Kong leg wasn't too bad, Sadie had her pj's on as we boarded and 
thankfully she slept at least 6 of the 8 (ish) hours that we were in the air. Most of that time 
she was asleep on me, not physically the most comfortable but I took comfort in the fact that she 
wasn't going anywhere and as much as I tried to sleep I couldn't manage any more than a few 10 minute catnaps. Before we got off the plane for our stop over the lovely flight attendant mad sure we were stocked  up with snacks as she informed us that there wasn't much open at HK airport at 5 a.m. 

It was lucky that our lovely flight attendant had taken care of us, because even if the stores had 
been open, we got stuck in customs, where our duty free alcohol was confiscated from us. I don't
 know why they hadn't sealed the bags in Melbourne but I didn't want to be detained so I stopped
 short of going bonkers in Honkers (of yeah I was that delirious).

So we quickly freshened up and before we had time to think we were boarding for the dreaded long leg.  A few drops of rescue remedy and I was as ready as I could be for the 12 hours from Hong Kong to London. At this point I had been awake for over 24 hours and was a little tired and emotional. I tried to read but words were all blurring into each other and after trying to read the same page 3 times, I attempted to watch a movie or two. No luck I would either doze off and miss 10 minutes of the story or someone would demand my attention. Pretty early on I resigned to the fact that this was going to be the longest 12 hours I could imagine and tried to visualise some paint to watch dry.

(now idea where in the world I am)

We finally touched down in London and I could feel my body aching but I was looking 
forward to a shower and a decent meal in the American Airlines lounge that we had been 
given passes to for our 6 hour wait for our next flight. 
As we were about to disembark from the plane we were surprised when the captain called out 
our names and told us there would be someone waiting for us at the gate. 
We knew this was going to be good news. Just what we wanted, they had managed to get us on the earlier BA flight to Lisbon which meant we had to whizz through the airport to get our connecting flight with just enough time to make sure our baggage was coming with us.
Finally after over 40 hours in transit we were in Lisbon, delirious I didn't know what I 
wanted most a shower, a decent meal or a comfy bed. 

(4 minutes of net time let, I suppose I will finish off with part three when I recharge my data package xoxo)
And just when I thought our holiday could finally start I heard the announcement that the final bag was on the turn-style, which was a problem seeing as P was the only one with his suitcase. 
I thought about downing my whole bottle of Rescue Remedy or throwing myself on the floor arms and legs  waving in the air like a two year old having a tantrum, but I had a little someone that I had to worry about so we took a number to wait our turn.
At this point we tried to buy a phone card to let the in-laws know why we were delayed because they were waiting on the other side for us but two phone cards and 20 euros later we had two cards that didn't work and an increasingly frustrated baby daddy. 
All I could think of was that if it hadn't taken so bloody long to get here I wanted to go home.
But I sucked it up and left P to sort out the bags as Sadie and I went to let the relo's know what was going on

Monday, September 5, 2011

Jealous now?? Part One

After more than 40 hours in transit I have no idea what time zone I'm in.
 All I can say is that my mind feels like it is in one place my body another. I think I may have slept for abut 3 of those 40 hours so I'm a little tired and emotional to say the least, so I'll apologise here for the long and whiney post but it's the easiest way to keep the family updated all at once. And it can only get better from her on in.

So let's start at the beginning.

Wednesday August 31st - Up before the birds to finish packing and getting organized. Traveling is so different now. Last time I set off I didn't have a child or a house to worry 
about. There are lists everywhere. Snacks and toys to remember, bills to be paid, how the washing machine works and what and when the dogs eat ( thankfully my house and dogs 
are in the hands of one of my wonderful friends so after walking out and locking the front
 door I know that I don't have to think about my house again).

I didn't want to leave any room for anxiety to creep in, I believe that all children feel a parents anxiety and can feed from it, P deciding  had time to wash the doors an hour before we left didn't help my anxiety levels, but we'll leave that topic for another day.
So we set off at 12.30 for our 3.30 flight. 

After an easy check in, our worries about excess carry on baggage were eased as we strolled through customs, leaving a tube of toothpaste that exceeded the carry on liquid limit, and went to our gate to have something to eat and chill for a bit before we boarded.
We had timed the flight for 3.30, so in theory the first leg of the flight would be exciting then once we took off from Singapore, Sadie would hopefully get a decent sleep for the longest part of the flight.

At 3.15 there was announcement that our QANTAS flight was delayed by about half an hour, something to do with catering apparently. At this point I was more worried about that chewing into my duty free time in Singapore, I had accidently on purpose left my watch at home hoping I could get a bargain on the way. 20 minutes later we were told the flight was delayed a little longer, there was no time frame but we would be onboard as soon as possible.
After about an hour, and a few drops of Rescue Remedy we were finally called to board, we joined the cue and handed over our boarding passes, where we were asked to stand aside. 

My heart raced a little, I was convinced we had scored an upgrade. We soon found out there had been a problem with our original plane and the one being used to replace it was smaller and there were some seating problems. I'm pretty sure because there were three of us that is why people behind us made it on board. I felt sorry for the man that had to deliver the news to the 13 of us that were waiting for information. 
"Sorry folks but we've had a plane change and unfortunately we can't get you on this flight but we are doing the best we can to get you in the air a.s.a.p. "

I wasn't sure if I wanted to laugh, cry or punch him in the face (or nuts), it seemed our options were an Emirates flight at 6.30 or the late QANTAS flight at 10.55 that night. 
As we were lead to the business lounge, besides missing or connecting flights all I could think about was how Sadie would cope with being stuck in the airport. 

I needn't have worried. We had loads of food, numerous computers to surf the net, or in our case watch funny animals on you tube, and best of all the booze was serve yourself free pour.
If I wasn't traveling with a 2.10 year old I don't think I would have been capable of boarding a plane to anywhere, but being the responsible adult that I am (have become!) I limited myself to a couple of weak glasses. We soon found out we weren't going on the Emirates flight so P made himself comfortable and had himself more than a few serves of cognac (he's so posh). 

After being in the lounge for what felt like a lifetime, but was probably only just over an hour, we were told that we would be leaving at 10.55 that night. Not ideal but better than nothing, the biggest problem was the connecting flights, oh and the fact that I had banked on a Singapore stop over but we were now going via Hong Kong.
In our spare time waiting for news we had found a few connecting flights from London to Lisbon. We had found a flight that left an hour after our Melbourne flight but QANTAS told us that didn't give us enough time so we were booked on a flight that gave us a 6 hour stop over at Heathrow. I never thought I would be disappointed about spending any extra time in London but all I could think of was if I had enough supplies to keep Sadie clean and occupied.

Luckily QANTAS upgraded us to premium economy and gave us some $$$ compensation so when 10.30 rolled around I put Sadie in her pj's and we heading back to the boarding lounge excited but mostly relieved to be on our way. 

I'll be back with part two next time I get net acess.
Let's just say it gets worse before it got better, but the most important thing is we are here safe, happy and healthy and soaking up the beautiful weather, food and sights.

Wish you were here xoxo