We were having one of those days, one of those days when nothing goes right and everything feels like the end of the world. All winter I had been wondering if we would have the chance to leave the country, looking for airline deals, scouting locations. Then when Matt committed to a stateside conference in February it seemed like a trip for me and the kids just wouldn’t happen.
But on this day it felt possible again and I burned off some mental steam on airline websites searching, comparing and scheming. With guests coming to visit at the end of February the only time for us to go was now. It seemed crazy, like something I would say but never really do, but when I mentioned it to Matt he thought it was a great idea! I told some other friends, called my dad, and kept debating. I was waiting for someone to tell me taking two little kids halfway around the world was a terrible idea, but no one did. So the next day we bought our tickets, for that very night! I spent the day packing and preparing for our journey.
Kurdistan doesn’t get priority on flights so most of them leave in the middle of the night. Waking your kids up at 1:00 AM to go to the airport is the worst. I couldn’t sleep at all before we left so we were all tired, a rough way to start our 30 hour journey.
Jack was excited about the trip, excited to go see his grandparents and cousins, but I don’t think he knew what he had signed up for. We were on our first of FOUR flights when he said “I just want to go home” Oh boy, so long to go!
We stopped in Istanbul, just long enough to go to the bathroom, pay 4$ for two pieces of fruit, get our boarding passes for the next flight and get back on the plane. Our next stop was Frankfurt which is a huge airport! We took a train to our terminal and had to walk as fast as three year old legs can go to get to our next plane on time.
This was our long flight and to our shock and disappointment there was no personal entertainment! I had brought a few activities but of course the kids were not interested. They only slept for about 45 minutes so we had a LOT of time to kill. We spent a few hours crumpling up paper and poking it into used water bottles, each trip to the bathroom was a whole ordeal, we finally met some other little kids to talk to… oh, it was a long flight!
Finally we made it to San Fransisco, another huge airport. Luckily someone got us to the front of the customs line because we would still be there if we had waited. Security took a long time too so we were again running to the next plane. Finally the last plane! Jack fell asleep and slept the whole time, Faye played peek-a-boo with anyone who would look at her and then fell asleep. If only I could have left them there, sleeping so soundly. But no, the plane landed and we were actually finally there. I woke them up and had to carry both of them off the plane and through the airport, SCREAMING. So glad they had made me gate check our bag because there would have been no way.
We had told my dad we were coming but no one else. Surprising my mom made the whole trip worth it. It was kind of like the pains of childbirth, so excruciating while you are in it, feels like it will last forever, and then when it ends and you get the prize it is all forgotten, or at least doesn’t seem so bad anymore.
Our visit has been so nice so far. Friends, family, good food, sun! I’ll post some pictures of us in California soon but first here are some from the long journey here:
Faye made friends with another family in the Suli airport, I think they were ready to adopt her!
Here we are in the Istanbul airport. I had to search for it but that cart made all the difference!
Here is Jack enjoying his movies and plane food on our second short flight. Food service with a grabby baby and a picky toddler was a challenge each time.
Faye pretty much spent the whole trip making friends.
It didn’t last very long but at one point they were both asleep!
And a classic window shot, in a rare moment they weren’t fighting over the same window, pushing each other or just falling off the seat onto the floor.