Sunday, July 10, 2011

planes, trains and automobiles (part one)

There were a lot of things to consider when planning transport while abroad. The first thing was purpose. The reason for our trip was three-fold:

1- It was going to be my father-in-law's first trip back to the Netherlands since he immigrated to the States as a teen.
2- Chris and his writing partner (who lives and works in France) needed to sit down in the same room and hammer out the details on their latest project and
3- Paris is one of Chris' and my favorite cities and after a whirlwind two-years of introducing the turtle into our lives, we were anxious to return and see the city through his eyes.

Given these three very different reasons we had a lot to plan.

First we needed to decide how to get to Europe. Chris' folks were heading to NYC a couple of days early so we could fly over the pond together. We looked at both straight shots and lay overs, and finally decided on a short stop in Dublin. Our thought was that a couple of hours for the turtle to stretch his legs and "get the wiggles out" (a recurring theme on this trip) would be a good idea. We were right. And the Dublin airport was so conducive to this goal, as there was a playground in the food court (next to the Burger King: oh the horror), which turned out to the be perfect place for our little guy to spend some downtime. 

The other thing that was a life-saver was Chris' call ahead to the airlines, which landed us in the bassinet row. That's right - the bassinet row. Which meant that when the turtle slept (which turned out to be the entire flight to Dublin)  we could settle him into his little "box" and Chris and I were hands free for a few hours. We have to admit we felt a little guilty as other parents with obvious lap infants headed toward the back of the plane. I've been there before (having taken a couple of domestic flights with my little guy) and the bassinet was a HUGE improvement.

The one lesson we learned regarding plane travel was that milk is not easy to find in an airport, and is sometimes only available in little creamer containers on a plane. This was the first flight we've taken where I wasn't nursing, so we hadn't anticipated this. Fortunately, like I said, the turtle slept most of the way to Dublin, but we loaded up on coffee with milk (hold the coffee) in Ireland, so we had a store for the second leg of the trip. And on the way home, we were better prepared with powdered milk and bottled water.

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