Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Day We Moved Our Family to Australia!

Wednesday was a whirlwind of a day...

We had spent the night on Tuesday at the Houstonian Hotel, and we ordered a nice spread of room service for breakfast before heading out the door Wednesday morning... No later than 7:00AM.

I didn't sleep well the night before, tossing and turning in anticipation of the coming of the next day. 
It was going to be "The Day We Moved Our Family to Australia".

We got back to our house on Purple Finch before our ride arrived to take us to the airport. 
Two cars were scheduled to pick us up. We couldn't all fit into one vehicle with all of our luggage. 

We had eight bags that we were planning on carrying onto the plane with us.
The contents of these bags included:
Three iPads
Two Laptops
Two Changes of Clothes per Person
Toothbrushes and Toiletries
Endless Toys, Games, Coloring Books, Crayons, etc.
Books and Magazines
All My Jewelry
 And, of course, the two things that mothers of twins know not to leave the country (or the house) without- Melatonin and Birth Control (Lots of Birth Control)

We checked two car seats and six bags (each bag weighing as close to the 70lbs limit as possible).
The contents of these bags included:
Clothes, Clothes, and More Clothes
More Toiletries
and somehow... a Yoga Mat
(Who knows how that got real estate in the suitcase?)

I'm not exactly sure how we managed to move all that luggage from Point A (the car) to Point B (the check-in counter) without pulling some sort of muscle (or having a blood vessel explode in our brains), but by nothing short of a miracle, we did it.

Going through security with two small children is actually easier, curiously, than without two small children. People were more patient, and since they don't have to take their shoes off, it wasn't that bad. 
Easton wasn't super keen that he had to hand over his backpack momentarily, but he was distracted with the process as a whole just enough that it wasn't a big deal.

We hung out for a bit, ate McDonald's, read, played, and piddled on iPads until we boarded the first flight of the day. We took up four of the nine First Class seats, and we were rock stars for those few hours. The flight attendants passed out little snacks, like apples, cookies, bananas, and such throughout the flight, and between Easton taking a short nap and Samantha watching a movie, we made it through that first flight without incident. (Not counting the few seconds that Easton got his head stuck in between the seats...)

*Exhale. Take deep breath in. Move to the next step.* 

Let me just come out and say what everyone thinks... LAX sucks. Huge.

We had to exit the plane, take a shuttle from the isolated American terminal to Terminal C, exit the Domestic Terminal, and walk on a tiny sidewalk with two small children and eight carry-on bags to the International Terminal. That walk was an easy fifteen minute stroll when it was just Blake and I, but with the massive amounts of people and the two struggling three-year-olds each carrying a backpack and pulling a larger backpack, it was the worst part of the whole trip. 
At separate times, both Samantha and Easton were brought to tears by the pushy people who cared nothing about running them over in an attempt to reach their destination only slightly sooner than if they had just been civil and waited like decent human beings. These people came within inches of their demise without even realizing it... Or perhaps they did as they shrunk at my glare. 

Next time we'll take the bus that takes twice as long as walking. 
LAX sucks. Whatever. 

Once we made it through security and entered the International Terminal, things were much better. This terminal is very nice, recently redone, and has so many colorful things for kids to stare at.

We made our way to the Qantas Lounge, and I hung out there with out stuff, charging our electronics, having some sort of fancy coffee that was recommended, and downloading the latest episode of Justified (of course) for Blake. Blake took Samantha and Easton to the God-sent playground one floor below, and they ran around like mad for a little over a hour. 

By the time our flight had started to board, Blake and I had changed Samantha and Easton into their pajamas and given them a snack. 
We walked right onto the plane and found our way to our seats in Business Class. We all settled into our flight with orange juice or champagne, and we placed our breakfast orders for the next morning. Our flight left at 6:30PM (but to us it was 8:30PM in Houston). After takeoff, the attendants brought Samantha and Easton their dinner immediately, and almost instantly after they were finished, both fell asleep.
Blake and I ate our dinner leisurely, and I went to bed, sleeping for a solid five hours before waking up enough to peak over the side of my seat to check on the still snoozing Samantha. 
Samantha and Easton slept for a solid nine hours(!) before waking. They each then ate a few snacks that I had packed, while Blake had a cup of coffee and I had a cup of tea. It was nice and relaxed, although I checked the time over and over, sure that the kids would get restless and upset at any moment. 
They never did.

After breakfast, we all freshened up, brushing our teeth, changing into clothes, and gathering all of our things. We landed shortly after. 

Samantha and Easton weren't scared at all with any aspect of the flight, and they really enjoyed the taking off and landing. They both squealed loudly when we landed on both flights! Being on an airplane was everything they had thought it would be and more, but of course how could it not when your flight is in Business Class? Lucky little things...

(Side-note: I am fairly certain that there may never be another flight where we will be flying in Business Class or First Class. Maybe when we fly home to move back, but Blake's company paid for these flights, and they were amazing. Definitely made the trip so much easier than it'll be when we fly back to visit. Sigh.)

Collecting our bags was all kinds of fun... Not. 
We somehow managed to stack them in teetering piles on two carts and maneuver successfully through customs. Thankfully, our driver was waiting for us on the other side, and he took over pushing my cart so I was able to hold a few hands and coax a pair of confused kids through the airport, the parking lot, and into unfamiliar car seats.   

From there, we were off to the hotel... And that is a whole other blog post. Whew. 

*Exhale. Take deep breath in. Move to the next step.* 

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