We have arrived!!!
The flight was, for the most part, uneventful. We raced to the airport having visited with the last couple of people that we were able to connect with and we had one more visit on the way. Driving over the 17, Alan was taking the corners at a healthy clip – which makes it enjoyable until… “that” cough. Uh oh…
We quickly pulled over and raced to the back. Eamonn, and his car seat, were covered in vomit. He’s NEVER done that before. Actually, because he generally manages to stay so clean-ish… I didn’t even have an extra set of clothes handy. Just pj’s.
Is this a bug, or motion sickness…?
We were just about to go and visit a 5 day old baby. Oh oh. We called the parents and let them know that we’d just had a tummy accident and, not knowing if it is bug related or motion sickness, offered to NOT come by. After some discussion, it was decided that we would ‘drive-by’ and peek out the window of our car to ‘meet’ the new baby. She was so adorable, I just wanted to snuggle. But alas, I just waved from the back seat, while telling the parents to not come any closer. :-/ She was appropriately admired.
We then continued on our way to the airport, arriving with enough time to go into the lounge for a small snack and then to head to our gate. We’d been given 3 seats together and then 1 centre seat a row away. We asked the gentleman next to the 3 if he would trade seats and he was VERY uninterested in a centre seat. I suddenly felt teary. The idea of an 11 hr flight with Alan a row away and not having him available to help with the kids made my heart sink. It felt like a recipe for disaster. While Alan and I were frantically trying to figure out what to do, a woman in an isle seat asked what was going on and, once it was explained, offered her isle seat to the gentleman and took Alan’s centre seat. Bless her.
We quickly took off and entertained Eamonn with books easily. Maisie was entertained by pretty much anything, really.
Once we were in the air, dinner was on it’s way but… given that it was now almost 8:30pm… Maisie was DONE. I grabbed a squeeze tube of baby food (Thank you Michelle for the healthy selection), got as much as I could into her and then put her in her car seat, covered her up and put a blanket over the car seat. She was very shortly down for the night. Eamonn ate dinner with Alan and I and then he too was down for the night. The smart thing would have been for both of the adults to go to sleep immediately, Alan appeared to be successful, while I needed to read for a while to relax. Even then, it was a rather disjointed sleep. I didn’t want to put earplugs in because I wanted to make sure that I could respond immediately should one of the kids awake… but that meant that I heard all of the noise on the plane. Oh well. I wasn’t wearing a watch and so every once in a while I would turn on the seat monitor to see how much time we had left in the flight. 6hrs 45 mins… Ok – I can do that. So off to sleep I went (or rather, tried to) and when I woke up again, I checked the monitor again. 6hrs 45 mins… Hmmm. Ok, I must be remembering wrong. The next time I checked, though… 6hrs 45 mins – I was pretty sure that the thing wasn’t updating. I toggled a few switches and it updated – 2hrs 45mins. Much better!!! Whew! Both babies were still sleeping and that meant that I could try for a little bit more.
Finally there was only an hr left in the flight. We fed the babies and got ready to land. For a few reasons, there were some delays, so Alan needed to pull out a few of his ‘entertaining Eamonn’ stops, while Eamonn signed and repeated loudly, “All done! All done!”. He managed however, and we got to the gate with everyone intact.
Getting through immigration was easy peasy. Given how much paperwork and waiting we needed to do for the actual visa, entering the country was a snap. The immigration officer had a sense of humor and, after fingerprinting us, eye scanning and pricking our fingers for a drop of blood… warmly welcomed us to the country. (Ok – I was just kidding about some of that. )
We were then supposed to be met by a driving company who would then take us to our temporary housing. Alas, there was no one there AND there was a message from the temporary housing people to get back to them urgently. Uh oh.
Alan made the phone call and we found out that the hot water and heating in the building that we were going to was not working and they wished to put us in a different place an hour away. Alan pushed back and they agreed to put us in a place not far from the original place, and to move us as soon as possible to the original place. Ok – but we still had no way to get there… Taking the train was not going to happen, we had too much stuff. Taxi…? Our next best option. Thankfully, when Alan called the driving company they apologised for losing the reservation and offered to send someone within 10 minutes.
Our driver arrived and then took us on the most harried 1 hr trip into London. No – he was not going fast, quite the opposite actually. He drove like my grandma, with the same inattentiveness to the road that she displayed in her later years. He narrowly escaped being in 2-3 accidents along the way, ignoring the lines on the road, all the while regaling us with tales of how much the speeding tickets are if one should get their picture taken by one of the roadside cameras. Honestly – no risk there.
We drove past Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Parliament, the London Eye and much more… The kids had fallen asleep so I was unable to broaden their horizons just yet.
We arrived at the building, only to find that we were on the 2nd level (3rd floor) and the lift (elevator) was not working. The fellow who met us shlepped all of our oversize and heavy bags up the stairs. Whew. He then explained the amenities of the unit to us, while sweat dripped down his forehead.
We were alone.
Our new home city.
The kids have done well with their first night. Eamonn had only one wake-up and Maisie had a few. She ended up in bed with us, snoring her little adorable snore.
We are moving over to our ‘permanent temporary home’ in a few hours but, until then, we are chilling and acclimatizing.