Friday, July 4, 2008

What a Trip!

I never did finish telling you about my trip back from the US last month, so in honor of America’s holiday, here is the last serial installment.

We ended up back at “our” house near Roseburg that last Saturday night in May, madly packing and sleeping little. And all those clothes from my cousins? We managed to squeeze them all in on the tops of our five HUGE suitcases.

So once again we rushed to the airport in Eugene half thinking we would miss the plane and need to drive up to Seattle to catch our flight there. (And Mommy takes full credit for being late this time, unlike all the other times.) But we made it on the plane.

And once again we had a teeny flight to Seattle, a loooooong flight to London, and looooooong flight to Johannesburg, and a teeny flight to Maputo. Obviously it wasn’t too bad, because we don’t remember much of the details. Or maybe it was so traumatic we’ve blocked the details out of our minds.

We DID have more toys in carry-on this time. Mommy had skimped on the way to the US so we could bring more stuff back. And we had a middle seat free on both long flights, so I got to sit in my own spot. And we LOVE the service on British Airways international flights – “free” food, packs for the kids, assortment of snacks and drinks available anytime during the flight, individual monitors on which you can pick from a big selection of movies and watch at any time, etc. And no charges for 5 check-in bags up to 70 pounds or for extra baby carry-ons.

Thumbs down on London Heathrow airport, though. It takes eons to get from the arrival gate to the departure gate. Imagine trying to navigate from one end of Manhattan to meet someone at the other end, using bus and subway, without knowing your destination (you have to keep asking people) and without a map. Lots of helpful people, at least, and they do speak a form of English.

But security?! Ugh. First whine – they wouldn’t let us carry on the bag with the skateboard. No logic – just “it’s against the rules.” Never mind that they had no problem with it the last time we were in Heathrow (or any of the other airports except Maputo). The security rules are so arbitrary. So I didn’t get to ride at all on my long layovers.

Second whine – they threw away my Pedialyte. I had diarrhea the day previous, so Mommy had brought along two unopened single-serving containers of Pedialyte. She’d been thinking we might have problems with security, but at both Eugene and Seattle, security waved it right on through, saying it was classified as baby medicine and was no problem. Yeah for America!

I still had one bottle left in London. The container is a snap-top – once it’s been opened, there is no way to close it again. So when we tried to get it through security, they told us Mommy had to drink a sip before they’d let it through. We showed how it couldn’t be closed if we opened it. And we explained my diarrhea problem (nothin’ like airin’ dirty laundry in public). But the security lady didn’t CARE! She rudely informed us that it wasn’t medicine – it was just a drink. And since Mommy wouldn’t drink it, the lady threw it away. Fortunately I wasn’t dying of dehydration or anything, but if I HAD been . . .

End of whining. We arrived safely in Mozambique and had to go through customs. The customs man opened the first suitcase. Baby clothes. The second suitcase. Baby clothes. The third suitcase. Baby clothes. The fourth suitcase. Baby clothes. The fifth suitcase. Baby clothes. He never bothered looking under the first layer stuffed on top. So he thinks I am one mighty privileged bebe! Fortunately he didn’t charge us anything for it.

So now we’re back in the land where the 4th of July is not a holiday. But happy holiday to you, anyways!

And now a few photos of Americans that were key people on our visit, but we haven’t put them on our blog yet:

Unca Robnotbob
T. on the right. She gave up her bed for us a few nights . . .
Mr. Jeron and his girlfriend - finally reunited! We left him in Mozambique and then he followed us to Roseburg, but he got to stay.
Auntie Delia and her daughter R., who's gonna have a little girl in a few months.
Auntie Cindy


KathyLikesPink said...

I fly from Boston to Eugene once or twice a year, and the only time I ever have a problem with security is in Eugene!

Janelle & Ella said...

When I wrote you back from your comment I didn't realize that you guys LIVE in Africa!! That is amazing! I need to be asking you questions about our upcoming trip. I am so excited to know about your blog!