Sep 1, 2014

The Flight

With 9 bags of various sizes, a stroller, and a baby, we were a sight to see at both our departure and arrival airports.  We were that family going through TSA.  Neal slicing his finger while collapsing the stroller and seeping blood all over the place didn’t speed things up either…three TSA agents came to assist as he bled through several paper towels and two band-aids. Eleanor was busy trying to eat my boarding pass, and I was attempting to keep things moving. I kept trying to remind myself that we would never see any of these people again and not to stress out about holding up the line. Most were actually really great about it—they’ve dealt with worse before, I’m sure. Hopefully. Maybe not. It was pretty bad.

Eleanor's first flight. SUCCESS.

Our first leg was delayed for an hour and half.  We had a 2-hour layover in Chicago, so it wasn’t a big deal.
My daughter gets an A+ for behavior on her first international flight, and Neal gets an A+ for booking smart. First, he chose a departure time 2 hours before Eleanor usually goes to bed, in the hopes that she would sleep most of the flight, which she did. He reserved seats for us on the second to the last row, choosing a window seat for me and an aisle seat for him. He thought this would decrease the likelihood of someone choosing the third seat on our row, because who wants a middle seat? Well, we lucked out, and there were several empty seats on our flight, our middle seat being one of them. So we were free to use it for Eleanor and her car seat, even though we didn’t purchase a ticket for her. This was definitely the key to having a successful flight with E—we played with her for the first couple hours, then laid her in the car seat with the cover on, and the sound of the plane made it a piece of cake for her to fall asleep. We usually play airplane “white noise” at bedtime for her at home, so it really was perfect. She slept through the rest of the flight, briefly waking twice. And the angels sang.

I, on the other hand, hardly slept a wink. Neal is blessed with the ability to sleep anytime, anywhere. He can literally decide to close his eyes and it’s like he immediately enters REM. It's so unfair. I wasn’t very comfortable and just felt like a kid on Christmas Eve.  I couldn’t wait to get to Edinburgh. The month leading up to the move was so focused on dealing with stuff in Kansas and tying up seemingly infinite loose ends, that I hadn’t had much time at all to think about Scotland.  So I shifted restlessly in my seat, worrying about all the details I hadn’t had time to worry about. (Typical.) Finally, with about 2 hours left in our flight, I dozed for a half hour before they flipped the lights on and wheeled out breakfast. We had decided to stay up all day to help curb jet lag, so I knew it was going to be a looong day. A long and exciting day. As we landed, my husband and I exchanged the “ohhhh my goshhhhhhhh we’re across the world” look.  We left the plane, made our way to customs, and I heard the first sounds of a friendly Scottish accent.  I had to pinch myself. We made it! 

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