We packed up the last of our stuff, dressed the kids in their matching neon shirts and we made it to the airport two hours before departure. Which was good because four of our six checked bags were too heavy and we had to do a lot of shifting of belongings. We didn't have to leave anything behind except a few bags of extra bathroom essentials. I would have been really embarrassed by having my personal belongings unpacked and repacked in front of a long line of travelers but I was too stressed to care.
We got everything squared away, said our final goodbyes to my mom and Richard's dad (who have been our personal assistants these last few weeks, the thankless job of a parent) and went through security with no conflict.
We had some time to spare so we ate breakfast (which turned out to be our only meal until 10:30 at night) and watched planes take off.
Our first flight was quick and exciting for the kids. But we landed with just enough time to shuttle around the Seattle airport and get to our next gate just in time for boarding. Delta gate checked our carry on bags with no charge which was a huge blessing with all four kids in tow. They also had already switched seat assignments so we could all sit together. The flight from Seattle to NYC went well thanks to in-flight entertainment at each seat. At one point Simon was sleepy and a little restless and he asked if we could just go home. As if riding an airplane was something we were just doing recreationally.
JFK airport was a repeat of Seattle airport but with less luggage thankfully. With such short layovers we felt so blessed that none of our flights were delayed. But our luck ran out when we boarded our flight to London and due to various issues we sat on the Tarmac for two hours. Once we reached our cruising altitude of 10,000 feet they served dinner, but I had given the kids melatonin before take-off and they were all asleep (except Mim) before they could eat.
The kids were troopers. Simon had his moments of just a general unsettled feeling of confusion and restlessness but they all slept most of the flight to London. They never complained about anything and they carried their bags and no one wet their pants. Now I call that a success.
It was so strange because the sun was setting as we boarded in NY but it was only a couple hours later as we crossed the Atlantic that the sun started to come up. Talk about a short night. After we landed we made our way wearily through the border authority with no issue except Eli's fingerprints not matching, but they let us through anyway.
The luggage porter who helped us with our bazillion suitcases was so kind as were the two gentlemen sent by the relocation agency to pick us up. They must have been waiting forever because our flight was so delayed and customs took so long. The driver was trying to point out famous landmarks on our way to our apartment but all of us could barely keep our eyelids up. We made it to our temporary apartment and the kids and I napped while Richard set up a bank account and bought some groceries.
There are so many little things to get used to, like cooking a frozen pizza in a Celsius oven and just figuring out how to open the windows and run the shower. I don't know if some of these things are strictly British or if I've just lived a generally sheltered life. Probably both.
The view from our apartment is amazing. I really can't believe I'm here. Although I feel overwhelmed and intimidated by all the things ahead of me, I just feel so grateful for everything that worked out for us and for all the people who have helped us get here.
**P.S. I am new to Weebly and still trying to figure out formatting issues.