Saturday, April 13, 2013

Up In The Air

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen; this is your captain speaking.  We have turned on the seat belt sign as we are experiencing light turbulence at the moment. We currently have a 101 knot tailwind up here in the jetstream...

I nearly fell out of my seat.  One hundred and one knots?  What!?  And this sleek bit of aluminum we were riding hadn't crumpled into a useless ball?  And I used to think that picking up an extra knot or two of current was a pretty big achievement.

The shocks kept coming.  I took Indy to the restroom, and noticed myself looking around in approval and thinking, "roomy!"  I took a closer look.  Yes, it's true.  The aft head on a 777 is larger than the main head on Papillon.

Food was a pay-to-eat affair on flight #2.  I took a menu and discovered, to my delight, that everything was quite reasonable.  Memo to Australia: you are too expensive.  When people start to believe that airplane food is cheap, your country has a major pricing issue.

It is disconcerting to fly across the Pacific.  We made it from Sydney to Vancouver in 14 hours.  To sail from Panama to New Zealand took us nearly seven months.  Between movies, I glanced at the live map.  Pop - we were at the equator.  Pop - passing over Hawaii.  Pop - look at those rain clouds; we're coming in for a landing.  Yes, it is a long and boring flight, but it takes no time at all.  It gives you no concept of the distance involved.  Erik and I are pondering our route for next season, one variation of which would take us to Seattle by way of Hawaii.  And that feels like so far from on deck.  That is months of sailing.  And yet, I can fly there in 14 hours.  I am having trouble reconciling these two concepts.

 Farther than  you might think.

But what you really want to know is, how was it flying alone with two kids?  Ha, I say to you.  Ha, ha!  Because, for once, my lotto numbers came up, and the kids were angelic and the flight a breeze.  This has not always been the case.

Exhibit 1.  When Stylish was 14 months old, we went to visit relatives in Europe.  Hours before returning to Canada, Erik got slotted into a meeting in London and left me alone with a toddler in a leg brace and all of our luggage in Zurich.  I have a photo of young Stylish sitting in her stroller with a stroller-high pile of luggage beside her.  That was annoying.  Also, the dead of winter.

Exhibit 2.  Stylish, age 3.  Shortly before returning home from a trip to Spain, Stylish contracted Rotavirus.  For those of you unfamiliar, this means that she attempted to purge herself of all internal fluids, forcefully and from both ends.  Almost constantly.  Let's just hit the highlights: entire Atlantic flight spent in the head.  Kindly airport worker snapped a (necessary) piece off the stroller before my eyes.  Stylish exploded in the lounge in Philadelphia.  My low point came in a Philadelphia airport bathroom.  Stylish lay half-asleep in her now-cockeyed stroller, moaning softly.  I stood at the sink in my underwear, rinsing out our clothes, trying to decide which articles were the least puke-stained and smelly, and would therefore serve to get us home.

So we had a high bar for horror trips.  And the girls were a delight.  And my parents picked us up.  And not even Toronto rush hour could dampen my mood.

Of course, Stylish threw up three times the next day.


Anonymous said...

And we are happy to have them home for a visit until they set out on their next adventure.
Love Mom

Karen said...

Soooo happy to see you again. Looking forward to spending some time with you and the girls and hearing first hand of your adventures. Enjoy your time with family and friends!

Brendan said...

Woo Hoo! Welcome back! Can't wait to catch up with you!

Tamara said...

The thought of you back home, even temporarily, warms my heart. Enjoy your time with family and we will look forward to hearing about your next leg of the adventure!

Big hugs,

Paul in Iowa said...

Amy & girls, glad you had a good trip and I am sure you are thrilled to be home for bit, though "home" may be kind of a stretch as you may not know where home is now.

Travleing with sick kids is no fun, sorry to hear of your experience.

Have you considered heading west to reach the east coast as you are this far? I am sure you have considered it, wonder what your thoughts and reasons are for staying in the Pacific.

Kate said...

Wonderful to see you all!!!