Monday, September 10, 2007

i think i'm crazy... contemplating travel

i just need to write about this... just kind of a mental blab that i need to do in order to get my thoughts in order...

so a few weeks ago we found out that chris will be heading to london this spring with this department. well, initially i was really bummed that i wouldn't be able to go with... since i'll have max and baby r ii who will only be 4 months...

but after talking in more detail with chris about it i think we've decided that if i can find a direct flight then i'll come too. i won't stay for the entire time he is there. just 5 or 6 days instead of his 15. but that means traveling by myself with the two kids... i will only do it if i can find a direct flight... and even if that means if i have to drive to dc, stay with my cousin or by best girl friend (yes that's you val - i'll be talking with you in much greater detail about this soon... and of course asking if you even mind *wink*) and then leave from there. it also means some time in london-town by myself with the kids too, which i wouldn't mind too much. there are things i want to go and see that i'm sure chris could do without.

but my main reasons for wanting to go are duh the obvious one, it's london, who wouldn't want to go there with their spouse... but two, chris and i want to travel with our little family and we don't want to wait until the youngest (who isn't even in gestation yet) is at the very least over the age of 6... that's a long time from now and frankly we want a family and we want to travel so that means that i need to strap on my boots and make a go at it. i figure that london is pretty tame in terms of the "european metro city" i think my major travel abroad worries are fairly non-existent with traveling to this city because of the lack of language barrier. thus i figure if i'm going to internationally travel with young children then this would be a perfect first time location. i am currently just worried about the particulars... getting max, and the new baby on and off the plane. keeping max entertained while holding the 4 mo. old. not totally annoying all the other passengers on the flight with me and my mothering ability, my toddler and a possible wailing infant who wants nothing to get some boob.

then i wonder would it make more sense to take an overnight flight? would max be sure to sleep if it were sleeping hours? would i get any sleep? i'm thinking that an overnight flight would be a bad idea for all parties involved...

then upon my arrival, are strollers something that is able to be rented? it's a big metro city... i would THINK so... but i guess you never know... then, packing reasonably for a toddler, an infant and myself... how does one do that? can i plan on just purchasing item there? would that be a hassle?

needless to say, i think i have a few lists that i need to create and compare. and some googling that need to happen so that i can make my decision.

any outsider thoughts are more than welcome. even if they are to tell me that i'm a complete loon and that i shouldn't in a million years consider traveling to london by myself with two children under the age of two... i'm a big girl, i can take it :)


Melissa & Jon said...

After hearing more details now, and talking with you some the other day about it, I still think it is a GOOD idea. I just think it's a great idea to travel with your kids as early and often as possible. Even if they're too young to remember the trip, it helps them grow as people to have the experiences and be comfortable in a variety of situations. I think taking a friend/family member is your best bet for a less stressful trip (and an opportunity for you and Chris to maybe even go out sightseeing or to dinner as just grownups :-) Me, I'd take someone with me, and just choose flights that seem to coincide with the kid's 'best' time of day (some of that you can't know, but I'd definitely avoid the redeye flights). I think redeyes + babies + time differences = no fun for anyone for days after... So, if you were looking for someone to tell you that you were crazy, it's not me :-)

Amanda said...

I think you will be dealing with messed up sleeping schedules no matter what time of day you fly. When I went to Ireland we flew out of PGH around 3ish I think, and then changed planes in Philly for the trans-atlantic flight. So it was technically an over night flight. I tried to sleep but I am not sure I did. Just had to stay awake the first day in Ireland to keep from messing up my sleep totally. I certainly won't call you names for considering a long trip with two little ones... I still think you are a loon for having a second so soon! HA! Kidding aside, I am sure it would be a challenge, but sounds a heck of a lot better than sitting at home resenting Chris for being able to enjoy this trip alone! Certainly worth entertaining the thought.

jen said...

Well, I think the obvious answer is that you take me and Finn along. The boys can entertain eachother and I can certainly watch the kids if you and Chris want a night out alone. Just sayin'. You should go!

Amy said...

I think taking someone with you makes a lot of sense and would make the whole thing easier. And the idea of you and Chris getting an evening out alone makes the trip that much better.

When I went to Spain, the only option was an overnight flight. We left Philly at 7pm and arrived in Madrid at 9am.

There was a baby on my flight. They sat in the bulkhead row (lots of legroom) and there was some sort of bassinet or fold-up bed that the baby slept in at her mom's feet. She wasn't perfect the entire flight, but I thought she did fine and she seemed to sleep longer than I did. :-)

Anna said...

If you do this, you can borrow my GoGoBabyz for Max, and that would make things a lot easier for you if you're alone.

I agree with the thinking that London is really the city to do this in if it's going to happen. I'd do an overnight flight and hope everyone passes out.

I'm going to throw this idea out there as well, although it might run counter to the spirit of the trip. Would you consider leaving Max with the grandparents and taking the new baby? The new baby is going to be easier to travel with, and Max will probably be in such full blown toddler mode that he might have more fun at home.

Annie and Greg said...

You should definitely go! This is not to say that you aren't a loon, but you should still go. I have traveled with a toddler before so I feel like an expert and I will dispense my advince now.

Keep your kids awake as much as possible at the airport. Even if this means have a cranky toddler on your hands. A crying toddler in a crowded airport is going to cause much less of a scene than one on a plane. This isnt to say that Max will sleep the entire flight which is unreasonable, but it will help to have him sleep some.

Take some new toys with you for the plane for Max. We picked up a bunch of little things at the Dollar Store, things with different textures and shapes, things that he might not get to play with on a normal basis.

Don't be afraid of giving in a bit. Feed Max bad foods if that will get him to be happy on the plane. Bend the rules a bit.

Take a stroller with you. It will really be the only way that you are going to be able to manuever through an airport with two kids and a diaper bag with extras for both of them. We only took an umbrella stroller with us on our trip because the airline said that they would only allow lightweight strollers to be checked. I couldnt believe some of the huge double strollers I saw people gate checking. The stroller will also give you a place to stash your carry on and/or car seat(s) while you are getting through the airport. You will just probably want to use a front/back type double stroller because the wide ones might not fit through restroom doors.

One more thing, if you need company I would happily come along if you buy my ticket :)