I’m so sorry that it has taken me so long to get back to this blog. We have had many delays in getting internet set up at our house. I have not spent too much time in internet cafes with computers, because I always have my “entourage” with me needing attention. So, I will try to catch up with our activity so far. Be patient, there will be many posts in a row here as I upload things I’ve been writing along the way.
|Just the checked luggage|
We flew out of our local regional airport in the early afternoon, and thank heaven for a small airport in this case. We were able to go in during the late morning between flights when they are not busy to weigh and check-in our checked baggage. Basically it was just us and the airport staff, so there we were with suitcases laid out as we shuffled items and took out a few things to bring everything under weight. They thanked us several times for coming in early, and we were equally grateful that they were willing to be patient with us as we repacked. The Professor was in charge of getting suitcases weighed, and I was in charge of redistributing weight. Despite having spent most of a day with our own bathroom scale, we still played a few rounds of “this one is too heavy, this one is a little light.” Eventually we got everything in. In a couple cases we were only half a pound off, but as I told the woman at the desk, by that point I was taking it as a personal challenge to get them all under 50 lbs! I was also concerned that though they were willing to let us off with a little extra weight at the local airport, we might get charged along the way. We only sent a few things home again with the grandparents who were there to see us off. In all, we checked 9 bags and a trombone.
|Making our way through airports near and far|
[A trombone, you may ask?? Only Son is missing out on his first year in band in the states, so we gave him the opportunity to choose an instrument and said we would help him get started while we are gone. The local band director invited him to come in and try a few different instruments. We own a trumpet and a trombone, so we brought those, and he tried a few other things as well. Of course, he chose the largest instrument of the ones we looked at! The band director wasn’t much help, she told him he had nice full lips as well as long arms and big hands, just right for the trombone!! I’m afraid we must have resembled the VonTrapp Family Singers at one point, with a trombone and two violins among all our luggage. When we were in line for passport checks in Dublin, one woman did ask whether the girls, who had their violins as carry-on luggage, were in Ireland to learn Irish fiddling.]
|boarding our last flight|
Overall the flights went smoothly and so did the airport waits. The iPods did get quite a workout, and we all began to reconsider how many things we had packed in our carry-ons as we worked our way through the European airports. In Europe we always deplaned and boarded on the tarmac, so that meant a flight of stairs. We also felt that there was just more walking to be done in those airports (but maybe that was partly subjective, since we were at the end of our journey and more tired).
|Just the carry-ons!|
Most entertaining things we did on the flights and in the airports:
- Read the safety brochure (that laminated tri-fold card was worth a good 30-40 minutes for the two youngest on the first flight. Lots of pictures I guess)
- Play on the iPods and watch movies. We uploaded a couple of feature movies and some short films, as well as a few new games. I don’t think the older three slept much at all, they were so busy with the new content. They also enjoyed the on-flight movie, “How to Train a Dragon,” but we weren’t lucky enough to get one of the planes where the entertainment is right in your seat.
- Visit the toilets (usually with Mom). I should have kept track of how many different bathrooms I saw in the 18 or so hours we were traveling. We didn’t have any accidents along the way, though. It is quite entertaining to try to fit both a mom and a young twin in an airplane bathroom, however!