Saturday, March 3, 2012

Homecoming

 

It's not until I start traveling again that I realize how much I love traveling...even with kids in tow.  Packing a bag, breaking with the routine, the hustle of the airport.  Many of you will be rolling your eyes at these things I'm sure, and yes, they can be a huge pain.  But if there's one thing I've learnt over the years is that attitude changes everything.


I must admit, I was terrified when my husband and I started planning this trip down under.  All I could see were the challenges, the things that could go wrong.  We tried to plan a trip a year ago, but at that time Thomas was still on oxygen and it was near impossible to make happen...not to mention risky and potentially irresponsible.



But this year everything felt right.  Thomas is stronger, off oxygen, and thriving. Megan entered school and a big trip away in the middle of the school year would soon become harder to do. Hubby is in the off-season at work and time away is not an issue. But mostly, I was feeling pretty overwhelmed by homesickness and simply had to get home to see my family.



So here we are, a few days of Aussie love and hospitality have dissolved all of my travel anxiety and I can now look back at the past week with a self-satisfied smile.  To begin with, my children did AMAZING on the brutal 35 hour transit from Chicago to Australia.  Megan has always been a great traveller and by the time she turned 3, she'd made the trip down under three times, but Thomas was an unknown.  I prepared for the worst, expected the worst and experienced the best.


We flew Air New Zealand of course.  It is by far the worlds best airline and trust me, I've flown on just about every major and minor airline in the world at some point.  Air NZ are without a doubt the most caring, friendly, thoughtful, considerate airline I've ever known....yep, even better than QANTAS, and QANTAS have been pretty good over the years. 



I spoke to the airline in advance of our travel and explained about Thomas and his special needs.  When we checked in they knew all about us, they fell over themselves to allow extra carry-on, make our transit through the gate lounges easy, they even helped us carry our stroller, car-seat and extra luggage on and off the plane.  I can't speak highly enough of them.



But the best part was their willingness to do everything to ensure that Thomas had what he needed during the flight.  They had bought on board a special selection of foods so ensure he had what he needed, they had medication, they had oxygen available, they had everything.  I simply can't speak highly enough of them.  And best of all, they had a contingency plan if Thomas went into any kind of respiratory distress during the flight. 



But to our utter joy and relief, we didn't need any of it...well, the food we did need, but everything else was fine.  Thomas slept almost the entire way and when he was awake, he was content to play with the toys the airline had given him, watch movies, and giggle.  We simply couln't have had a better trip out here.



Unfortunately, I didn't get much of a chance to sketch and draw during the trip, so I'm sharing this page of flowers I did just before our departure.  It's just doodles, done in watercolor and ink. But it was a little daydream I was having a the time...the beautiful blooms of Australia.

It's so good to be home.  Thanks for checking in. xx