Sunday, June 28, 2015

Wheels up!

TSeattle, June 27, 1600 hours

I am pleased to write that the 40 minute flight from Spokane to Seattle went smoothly except for one spilt orange juice.  The three minute train ride to the international terminal at SeaTac went swimmingly as well.

We were momentarily flummoxed when we realized we forgot to bring the cash we had carefully withdrawn, (in crisp new bills since Jeremy tells me Ethiopians are not shy about declining older bills) to, you know, PAY for everything on our month long trip.  After quick call to the bank we realized we can withdraw enough in Seattle and Dubai to be fine, and then a well traveled friend assured me there are atms in Addis that work just fine.  My momentarily panicked reaction reminded me how long it's been since I traveled and how much more weight mistakes feel like they carry when I am traveling with the kids.

Now we await the next and longest leg of the trip.  Jeremy and Hayden are reading, Zeni is curled up with TMNT and I am feeling the same way I always uses to feel before a long flight- like I might die.  Seriously, what if I die on the plane?  You can't land in the middle of the ocean, I doubt they could open the doors to shove my body out, so as if their mother dropping dead at a young age wouldn't be traumatic enough my children would have to sit with my ever more rigid corpse for the duration of our flight.

Monday, June 29, Dubai 0600 hours (what can I say, I find military time satisfying)

Easiest 16 hour flight ever.  


Apparently my children can function sans sleep as long as they are plugged in to an endless supply of games and movies.  We had a few dicey moments, like when Hayden opened the "kids meal" dinner to find that it was lentils and fried rice, or when Zeni's ears were hurting on take off and landing and she was screaming as if being tortured (and believe me, not much is sadder than an exhausted seven year old at her wits end and in pain) (actually, we will probably see a thousand things more sad than that in the next few weeks...) but over all the flight, while not comfortable, was easy as pie.

They slept just enough en route to not completely fall to pieces as we made our way through the opulent Dubai airport but not so much that they weren't asleep within seconds of their heads hitting the pillow at our hotel.  Everyone slept all night and now we are up, the kids have consumed thousands of pancakes and Jeremy and I are both on our zillionth cup of delicious Arabic coffee.

Hayden is enjoying greeting everyone by saying "hola" (we are working on "salaam") and Zeni is overjoyed by the kind attention she is getting from our fellow travelers.

Our flight today from Dubai to Addis is a quick five hours which promises more endless entertainment and after a (hopefully) smooth customs experience at the Ethiopian airport  we will head to our guest house.  I am a little nauseous thinking about the sight of my daughter walking back out of the airport and into the air and beauty and chaos of her homeland, but the start to the trip has been pretty awesome so fingers crossed that our luck, iPad batteries and well regulated moods hold...
The breakfast Buffett at the hotel was scandalous 
The Dubai airport was awesome in the most literal sense
Jeremy bids you to say the words on this water bottle in reverse order and then do the Beavis giggle

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