We have made it safely to Latvia! This was, by far, our least eventful trip so far. I have to admit that I was a bit nervous about traveling half way around the world with a 4 children, ages 3, 5, 11 & 12!
Sarah and Dee, true to form, came through for me! They always amaze me at how well they travel. I still remember my first trip to Romania and how cranky, miserable, tired and gross I felt. I was NOT a great travel partner (can I get a witness Sarah, Bill or Michelle?) and I was 26 years old!!!! These 2 girls have already traveled more in their short years than I have in my entire life! Just watch them go through a security check point at any airport in the world and you will see that they know what they are doing. As I turn around to get ready to tell them what to do I find them standing there holding their shoes, belts and jackets, already depositing their purses into the plastic bins and hauling their carry ons onto the belt! They walk through the metal detectors with ease, collect their belongings, help the Littles with their shoes (which depending on which TSA agent you get they do OR don't need to remove them at their age) and are on their way to the gate before I realize what's happening! I should have known that we had prepared them well when I went to help them pack and saw that they had put everything they would need for a 3 week trip into their carry ons! I LOVE THOSE GIRLS!!!!!
I was a little concerned about how Anita would do. She is 3 and a bit busy! Thankfully, our first flight left Boston at 11 pm so she went right to sleep and slept most of the way. We only had a 2 hour lay over in Paris, which most of it was spent walking through the maze of terminals to get to our gate so there wasn't much time for her to get into trouble. Thankfully, we thought ahead and spent the whopping $15 to buy a new umbrella stroller before we left so she was easily confined and easy to keep track of.
Hannah...oh Hannah....you are another story! As they say in the South, "Bless her!" Which I've come to realize is a kind way of saying, "What the heck were you thinking?" Let's just say she has years to go before she can put herself into the same category with Sarah and Dee. She's got some work to do!
Case in point....before we got on the plane in Boston she asked me 17 times (no exaggeration) if she could "please, pretty please, please, please, please watch a LITTLE movie when she got on the plane". to which I replied 17 times "No, when we get on the plane it will be bedtime and you need to go right to sleep." So, we get on the plane, wrap up in our blankets and pillows, pop on our eye masks and Bill and I promptly fall asleep. Aahhhh!!!! Apparently, little miss Hannah had other plans. She was NOT going to miss out on the opportunity to watch her "little movie". So, Bill wakes up 2 hours later to find her sitting straight up in her seat, headphones on, movie blaring, full plate of food in front of her!!!! You can imagine the conversation that ensued after that as Bill blurry eyed and sleep deprived tried to figure out how this 5 year old managed to all but get herself bumped up to first class by the well meaning flight attendants of Air France who had apparently helped this poor defenseless creature, with slacker parents, figure out how to open her plastic utensils to eat her beef wellington and get the TV to play all night cartoons!!!
I wish I could say that was the end of her "brain cramp" (as we are calling it for now) but she has unfortunately continued to amaze us with her attempts to "one up" her parent's authority on this trip. I'm chalking it up to the stress of meeting her new sister, travel and jet lag. We'll keep you posted......