We Made it! We're in England. Alive, still smiling and all in one piece. The kids were amazing. Amazing. Honestly, I was prepared for 27 straight hours of hell (30 if you count transit time) but I have to say that it was nowhere near as bad as I imagined! Because, did I mention, the kids were amazing??
Here we are at Auckland Airport, lining up to get on our plane, which took off at 5.15pm. The first leg to Brisbane, 3 hours, was actually the most difficult. Scrag was a bit scratchy, the kids a bit over-excited and the staff somewhat unhelpful. In the Brisbane transit lounge we managed to wrangle them into PJs and dose them all up with medicine given by my doctor to help them sleep.
I gave Scrag his bottle once we got on the plane (by this time it was 10pm NZ time) and before I knew it he was asleep. Princess nodded off not long after and Dash drifted off in the middle of a movie. They all slept for 12 hours of the 17 hour leg to Dubai!
One scary moment though. When the kids woke up we gave them a snack, including a carton of strawberry milk. Mr G took Dash to the toilet; he was wobbling like a drunken sailor, so his daddy picked him up... and he vomited the strawberry milk all over daddy and all over the lady's seat in front of us (narrowly missing her head).
As we hurried to clean up the mess and try to find some crew members willing to help (!) we saw that our little lad was white as a sheet and looked terrible. He recovered within 20 minutes and got his colour back, didn't puke again and was fine from then on. It was a horrible moment though looking at his ghostly white face. I can only think he reacted to the medicine because he didn't eat much of his dinner :(
Dubai was a shock - the heat! It was 32oC at 4am in the morning!
Can you tell we are sweating?? Mr G doesn't sleep on planes, but I managed to catch a good few hours thanks to one of those blow-up neck supporter pillows. I highly recommend those!
Our feet were hugely swollen, so I let the kids go barefoot for a bit... til I noticed lots and lots of disaproving looks from everyone around us. So the shoes went back on. I guess they're not used to Kiwi kids in that part of the world?
Poor Mr G looked like a pack-camel with the amount of bags he ended up carrying. Here we are trying to find our gate in the busy Dubai airport.
And here's Princess posing for me as we waited for Daddy to bring us something to eat/drink. He returned with two giant smoothies for all of us to share (ten bucks each) and we had another moment.
Suddenly it all caught up with Princess who melted down and cried loudly for all the airport to hear that she wanted her own one right now!!
Everyone was staring. I mean when this kid gets going she is (a) LOUD and (b) unstoppable.
It lasted 10 minutes and she lost a token. After cuddles it was all over and back on the plane for the final 7 hour leg.
This is the photo of Princess without her bag. That's right. It was too heavy so she just left it in the transit lounge and walked away. We didn't realise until we were all on board. Panic! Mr G took off to try and find it, but the panic was short-lived as a ground crew member located it and realised it wasn't a bomb and handed it to us. Crisis averted.
Here we are on board. We finally got bulkhead seats with good legroom. For the earlier parts of the trip we were in a normal row of four seats. Scrag slept lying across mine and daddy's knees.
The crew on this leg were wonderful and bent over backwards to help us. They gave us a bassinet to set up on the ground at our feet and eat our dinner in peace! Tired Princess drifted off to sleep too, and so me, daddy and Dash all watched Night at the Museum II together.
Here's Scrag asleep in daddy's arms. So sweet. He was an angel.
And then we finally landed at Newcastle. On time, all connections made, all bags accounted for. Here's Miss Fab beautifying herself as we wait at the carousel for our luggage.
We walked out into the Arrivals area to see Grandma, Aunty Irene, Uncle Allan and lovely cousins Erin and Catherine... all taking time off work to meet us!! Hugs and kisses and banners and balloons, even a few tears.
Since we've been here the kids have been totally spoilt. Everyone they meet hands them some £££s or some sweeties. It's a revelation to me just how much we mean to our family on the other side of the world. How much our kids mean to them. How much they are loved. It's amazing.
So, we have made it. We're here, still dealing with a bit of jetlag (Mr G has it the worst), but off to the coast today for a picnic with Grandma and Co. More tomorrow:)
Click for the next part of the Journey: Meet the Family
OR Here's a a list of all the stories about our trip. Catch any you missed...
- Journey to the Other side of the World
- Meet the Family
- At the Seaside
- A Foreign Country
- I'm Back from Cornwall
- Good Friends, Good Food, Great Time
- Of Beaches Cider and Cream Teas (Cornwall)
- Dash Does London
- Size Matters
- Random Findings
- Out in the Toon (Newcastle)
- Och Aye the Noo (Scotland)
- So Long, Farewell