Thursday, August 4, 2011

Travel logistics

Whenever you travel with children there is always a worry about how they will do with the actual travel time.  Our best option for getting to Ireland was to take a direct flight scheduled at 10pm from Newark, NJ to Shannon, Ireland.  Since we had some bulky items and special needs for going through airport security coupled with a good chance of hitting some congestion on the roads we decided to play it safe and leave ourselves plenty of time to catch our flight.

Everything went smoothly and we arrived at the airport about 4 hours early.  We used the porter to take our luggage from the curb and to check us in.  This was well worth his tip because all told it took about 15 minutes from our car to the security check-in and basically no effort on our part.  We thought security would be a hassle but were pleasantly surprised to find everyone very upbeat and accommodating and we got through without much hassle at all while they still managed to do a thorough security check.  And I was happy that they were so easy-going about the food and drinks that I packed for Emma.

We found a food court and had a bite to eat, explored the terminal a bit and passed the time pretty easily.  We were able to pre-board the flight and get settled only to find out that we were delayed on take off due to a passing thunderstorm.  We sat on the runway for over an hour and the girls were so good during the delay even though it was quickly approaching midnight and neither of them had a nap.  Emma fell asleep for a few minutes but when they put the lights on in the cabin to serve "dinner" sometime after midnight she woke up and wasn't very happy until I laid her on my chest where she slept for the majority of the flight.  Julia watched a few shows on the tv screen at her seat and I watched a few movies on mine;  neither of us slept much.

My parents were at the airport waiting for us when we arrived.  It was so nice to come out and see their smiling faces.  Thank goodness we had their help because the car we rented had just about enough room for Emma's jogging stroller with no room for suitcases so we put our stuff in my parents car and headed up to the farm.  The kids were happy to reach their destination and set about stretching their legs by climbing on the wall in front of the cottage we rented.  I have to say they look amazingly awake for traveling all night!

My parent's cottage has only one bedroom so there was not enough room for all of us.  Luckily two of the neighbors agreed to have my sister and I rent the cottages for our vacation so we were able to walk from house to house for easy visiting.  The kids loved the freedom of coming and going between the houses and most nights there was a sleepover happening.  We really couldn't have asked for a better set-up.  Here is a photo of me and Chris outside the cottage we rented - it is really a large house for the area and had 3 bedrooms.  

Since this post is on logistics I will add that on our return trip everyone was just as nice as they were on the way out.  Security and customs made it as hassle-free as possible for us, our flight left on time and arrived a bit early, neither of the girls slept but they were so well behaved on the flight that we got some nice comments on the way off the plane from others seated near us.  Outside of the two bad diaper changes - I'll spare you the details but just say that I have NO idea how we'll handle this at all as Emma gets bigger! - in the ridiculously small airplane bathroom it was an uneventful trip.  Just the way I like them :-)

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