Apr 16 2012

International flying

So, I said I was going to blog about it and now I am staying true to my word. You got the idea from my previous blog that the flight went not well right? It was horrid.

This is how I thought I would feel the whole trip long

Let’s start with what I was thinking leading up to 3 flights, 26 hours in motion and a 9 hour time change. I was a bit worried as every time I had ever flew with the wee babe, she was breast feeding and that went really well. She breast fed almost the whole trip over to Switzerland, (which kinda sucked as I was tied to a chair) and she bit me once but it was good for going up and coming down. When we took this flight, she wasn’t breast feeding anymore.

I had been reading up that I should pack several different “new” toys so when the one year old got bored, I could pull out a new one and PRESTO! She was distracted again.

She wasn’t quite walking yet so I was worried that she would spend a lot of time on the floor and in the aisle of the airplane. Not one of the most sanitary places you’ve ever seen.

Ok, so those were my worries leading up to it and I tried so hard to figure out how I could make the best of this situation. I failed. Miserably.

We woke up at 6:30am that morning and headed off to the airport in Geneva. So far so good. We checked our 5 full suitcases (at no charge I might add, pat, pat, pat), one car seat, and put the babe in the stroller. We each had a bag including the baby. We were loaded.

The day before, I had asked the hubby to get some formula to get us through to Canada since we were almost out. He decided to try something new. I should have known better and send him right back out to get the stuff we normally get. Anyway…

I wish we had one of these. Just one.

Onto the plane one hour late, and up we go. 6-7 hours later we start our decent. The wee babe starts puking and puking and puking. I’m covered. Plastic cups that you haven’t given in to the flight attendants come in pretty handy when the 1 year old doesn’t want to puke into the puke bag, let me tell you. It gets better: just as we’re about to land, the pilot pulls up and we’re going up, up, up again. Almost scared the shit out of me. He comes on the PA system and tells us that a plane hadn’t cleared the runway in time. Splendid. And down we go again. It’s like an over priced roller coaster ride.

We arrive in Montreal with what was supposed to be a couple of hours of layover but now that we wasted an hour on the tarmac waiting and then the almost landing and circling – we’re late. I think to myself – screw it. I stink and they now expect me to get all of the luggage again, walk it through customs and check it all back in again. They’ll hold the plane for me right?

So we grab the luggage and head to customs. Get through customs, and then try to check the luggage back in. We get there and the person for Air Canada is panicking that we’re going to miss our plane. She’s freaking out, counting the luggage, it’s not computing that we have 5 pieces but there’s only 4 of us. After she finally figures it out (of course I’m wondering if it’s all going to make it to Victoria, I’m most worried about the car seat. Wouldn’t that be just peachy after 26 hours and no car seat waiting for you in Canada and it’s 10pm at night).

She yells at us “run, run, run Forest run!!” I’m like, you’ve got to be freaking kidding me. So we run (hobble) to the gate. They are still loading. We get on the EXACT same flight number and fly to Toronto. But not before we have yet another puke fest preparing to go up.

The wee babe unleashes what she has left in her all over my chest. You can tell we’re about to start taxiing but I absolutely needed a different shirt. Stupid me didn’t bother to pack one in the carry on luggage. I was about to ask the tweenager who is about 7 sizes smaller than me if I could borrow one of her shirts when the hubby pulls through with a shirt he tucked into the carry on last minute as he would have been over on the weight of his suitcase. Thank the lord. I don’t even go to the washroom to change, I just ask him to make a wall with his body in the seat and I strip down right then and there.

While I’m in mid-strip, the flight attendant comes over and says that my hubby will have to sit down as they are ready to take off. Hold you’re freaking horses lady.

So we go up and we go down. The wee babe’s not eating much and randomly puking. I’m worried that she’s getting dehydrated but she’s still cruising around on the floor crawling on the disgusting carpets. Ugh… What’s a woman to do? Oh and let’s not forget she’s tired, it’s probably around 10pm, wellll past her bedtime, her tummy hurts, she’s not feeling well and she’s – yup you guessed it – crying. You know how you read all those magazines about how people who don’t have kids, wonder why people who do have kids, bring said kids on the plane? I’m surrounded by those knife throwers.

And this is really what we looked like.

Anywho, we make it to Toronto. Thankfully it’s a quick flight. 1 hour I think. And then we have a nice long layover for 4 hours. So we’re in Toronto, it’s like 2am for us and the wee babe isn’t sleeping. I’m so confused. I’m wishing I was still breastfeeding – I was even contemplating whipping it out to see if that might work… I didn’t but I thought about it. I hit up a little airport store and they were selling newborn formula in a can for like $20 each so naturally I bought two. The wee babe wasn’t drinking water and I was really worried she was going to kick it on me, so I thought I better get something even if it was intended for a 0 month old.

We get on the next plane finally. Another 5 hours I think. I’m delirious, I want a divorce (you can imagine how loving my hubby and I were towards each other at this point as I completely blamed him for the baby puking for the last 20 hours – which the words still out on if it was a reaction to the formula but I tried to give the same stuff to her one month later and 2 days after giving it to her she randomly puked. So we immediately stopped) and I smell purty.

We finally arrive in Canada, immigration is a breeze and I see my parents. So nice to see a familiar face and someone who loves me even if I stick so so so bad. It’s about 9pm Canada time, noon Swiss time and I can hardly contain my excitement to see my house that I left 6 months ago. Actually, all I really know is that it was dark when we got in and it was morning for us normally. Other than that I was way too tired to do the math.

We made it safe and sound. The wee babe didn’t die due to dehydration, but she did pick up a nasty cold/flu somewhere (can you say airplane carpet much?) and then we all come down with it shortly after her – except for the tweenager. Welcome to Canada eh?

Many many lessons here but the one thing I will NEVER cheap out on again is taking many many flights to save a few bucks and adding in picking up luggage in the middle of it to recheck it and then hop back on the exact same flight number. Come on – there’s got to be a better way people.

Oh and a big shout out to my tweenager for helping as much as she did. She was a trooper through all that puke.

And that’s it. The car seat made it. Hallelujah.

Jul 31 2011

Day 29: St. John’s, Newfoundland – Switzerland

I took a few days hiatus due to travel, jet lag and general laziness. We’re officially in Switzerland! I’ll update on how I’m feeling, how the family is doing and where we are staying in a bit.

But I must back up and let you know how the flight and everything went. We were supposed to have a 6 hour layover in Montreal. Say what? 6 hours? Yeah, 6 hours. Our flight was supposed to leave St. John’s around 1:15pm. But of course it was 2 hours delayed. Yup, you read that right. 2 hours. The wee babe did great though. Barely made a peep. Which cute down our time in Montreal considerably. Thank goodness.

The wee babe did AWESOME on the plane. She fell asleep just before we took off and slept for about an hour. Then she giggled and smiled on our descent. I had nothing to be worried about.

We ate in Montreal airport and then waited for the next plane to arrive and whisk us away to Switzerland. It was also delayed by a half hour. I managed to squeeze in a nap and the hubby did some duty free shopping.

Again, the wee babe did great on the assent.

We had reserved the row right at the front of the cheap seats as we were told that there was a bassinet that would hook into the wall for the wee babe to sleep in. BUT of course the bassinet wasn’t in front of us but instead on the outside seats. So there were two seats to the left of the middle row of 3 seats (where we were seated) and two seats to the right. That’s where the bassinets where located. Sigh… So the flight attendants asked the people who were sitting to the left of us if they would exchange with us. No problemo.

The flight was about 7 hours altogether. We slept a little and the wee babe slept in her bassinet. It was great. I can just imagine her on our lap and us falling asleep and her rolling off onto the floor. YIKES!

The descent was again fairly anti-climatic aside from the wee babe biting me for the first time when she was nursing. Youch! And this has continued about 4 more times since. I was reading online about why and what can be done about it. We think she’s getting a 5th and 6th tooth and that might be the cause of it. But for me it SUCKS! I’m already thinking of throwing in the towel on breastfeeding so this isn’t really helping to keep me motivated. Any suggestions on what I can do and if this has happened to others, is welcome.

Let me add in something here. We have oodles and oodles of luggage. 4 suitcases each weighing either just a bit below or above 50 lbs, a car seat, a backpack for everyone except for me, a travel size piece of luggage for me, a camera bag, two purses, a stroller and blankets, toys, a water bottle and a kitchen sink. No kidding, we don’t travel light. Oh and the duty free bag of booze and presents. Wowsers.

My hubby’s dad and neighbour picked us up in 2 cars. We needed two cars for all the stuff! They took us to the house exchange we are doing.

The house exchange is such and amazing idea. So we are living in these people’s house in Bussigny and they are staying at our house for a month. Their house is great. Beautiful patio, nice size kitchen, big master bedroom, good size living room. We are pleasantly surprised to say the least.

The first night we had a wonderful dinner of homemade pizza and salad at the hubby’s parent’s house in the pergola. It was really nice to see them again. And his sister showed up as well. We had a wonderful time, the food was delicious and it was great for them to finally meet their grandbaby face to face (not skype to skype).

We took his sister back to our place so we could catch up a bit more with her. It was too bad that the hubby had a stag to go to the next morning at 6 so he needed to go to bed. But I had a great time catching up with her. She’s might be my belle soeur, but she’s also the best friend I have right now. :)

I’m going to write about our first day full day in Switzerland in a follow up blog. Can you stand the suspense?