Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Crossing the Ocean Take 6

We completed our SIXTH 10+ hour flight across the ocean between China and America. Pretty crazy how far we've flown in the past two years... And this one took place exactly 2 years and a day from our first one. Pretty cool.

We learned our lesson and got to the airport quite a bit earlier than needed, allowing us time to relax. And to make things even better, this time we were going to Seattle, with a flight time of just 10 hours 40 minutes (instead of 14 hours). And to make things spectacular, just one row up from our 3 seats in the middle there happened to be 2 empty seats. And the flight attendant gave them to me because I had a baby! So Hadassah had an extra seat to lay on, and Ellie (who was traveling "infant in arms") got a seat to lay down on. It made a huge difference!

 Hadassah enjoyed the sticker books and activities! She also had a short nap (as we left just after noon) and slept a few hours at night before taking a dive off of her seat. They were bringing a meal through and turning up lights, so it was bound to happen anyway. Amazingly, after an initial "why am I awake in the middle of my night" cry, she had amazing attitude. The promise of seeing her grandparents held amazing power.

Ellie slept about 45 minutes at a time in arms or in Ergo. She cuddled with her little lamb which was the cutest thing. :) I could tell she was tired with no long naps, but she too was an amazing traveler!

As for us, in the snippets of children sleeping, I got in one 2 hour movie in the 10 hours of flight. ;)

 We flew into Seattle, arriving around midnight body time. But we had a nice layover (3 hours) and there was a kids play area in the terminal we were in. After containing Hadassah for so long in a small space, it was so nice just to let her go and climb and crawl.

 Eliana was thrilled to watch other kids run around and smile and coo at herself in the mirror.

 As the hours continued, with a 5 hour flight Seattle to Atlanta, we were tired, but the sweetie still smiled! Thankfully both girls slept at least half of the flight - watching "Happy Feet 2" with no sound finally put Hadassah to sleep on Ryan's lap after the usual singing and snuggling ni-night didn't work. Though I didn't sleep, I at least got some time zoning out with my eyes shut!

Finally, after a short 30 minute flight from Atlanta to Montgomery, Hadassah got the moment she'd been waiting for. Suddenly 21 hours of travel time was worth it in the joy in her run...

...and the light in her eyes as she hugged her Grandpa tight.

Ellie was pretty enamored with him too.

 Hadassah was excited to show her sister the joy of grandparents.

And, though the airline lost one of our bags so we had to stay and fill out paperwork and not get home 'til nearly Midnight the new time, we had energy and joy. Amazing how the body can still function on 30+ hours of no sleep. But Hadassah incredibly slept 7 hours straight that night, though Ellie was up every 2-3 hours.

 Walking the road made everything better when it felt like night body time. And it was so good to be in before my sister left for the summer.

 It was Ryan's 32nd birthday too! So though it wasn't the best day with jet lag exhaustion we did get to celebrate with a trip to a Mexican restaurant! It's hard to find the real stuff in China, and this was good to the last bite!

 They were even nice enough to give me some plain avocado for the little cutie!

And seeing our daughters loved on by grandparents does make the long flight worth it!

Though sometimes I do question myself by the 70th hour with only 7 hours of total (interrupted) sleep in that whole span... Though the next post will be about the crazy, not to be repeated thing that seemed to cure jet lag this time around...

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