Friday, June 4, 2010

Our 23 hour journey to Toulon, France

Considering we had no experience traveling with a toddler, our long journey to the South of France was actually not that bad. We boarded the plane around 12PM and remained on the plane for 12 hours. It was nice being one of the first ones to board for a change. When we first boarded, Tristan fussed a bit because he didn't know where we were and it was a bit hot. We sat in the middle of the plane but had an aisle seat. There were three seats in the middle so a lady sat next to us. When Tristan fussed, I noticed the lady glared at us and I am pretty sure I could have guessed what she was thinking. Long flight and I'm sitting next to people with a baby. Crap. I'm sure that was it. Hours into the flight, we proved her wrong. She was French. She ended up telling Jean-Louis how good Tristan has been on the flight. Sure Tristan poked her a few times while she was sleeping and even tried to grab food off her tray but overall, he was well behaved :)

Tristan is your typical toddler. He always has to be doing something and is always moving. I had prepared lots of wrapped toys and snacks for him to have throughout the trip. Thank god for the different toys. We brought out a new toy every few hours and then rotated them afterwards. We also walked him up and down the aisle a few times for exercise. We sang to him, we read together, we tickled him etc. We did everything we could to keep him happy. Unfortunately, we sat right underneath the tv screen and when we would look up and watch every now and then, he copied us. He has never really watched tv before so he was obviously fascinated. It didn't happen a lot since he had toys to play with. He probably watch a bit of tv for something like 10 minutes. But still. Another annoying thing was that the people on the left side of us had their window shade up most of the time and there was a lot of light in our direction. That didn't help with getting Tristan to sleep at all!

Thank god for the snacks! I had to throw away most of Tristan's lunch since he managed to put his shoe in the bowl and then I realized I forgot to pack his dinner that I had in the freezer. Basically, he had no meals for the next 20 hours. It sucked. I did have lots of fruit packed, cereal, and Mum-Mums. We fed him some of our dinner too. He drank lots of milk and water and it turned out just fine in the end. Food wasn't the problem. Sleep was.

Nap time for Tristan was a breeze. He fell asleep over us on the pillow I brought when we laid him down and rubbed him a bit. He was pretty much on schedule for the nap so that was perfect. He slept for an hour, which is more than he typically naps for too. The night sleep was a mess. He tried to get comfortable and we tried to help him but nothing worked. An hour before we landed, 11 hours into the flight, it was 2 hours passed his bedtime in Vancouver. I think it was something like 11PM time back home and by this time, he was overly tired and ticked off. He basically went insane on us for 15 minutes or so. I had to get out of my seat and carry him over to the bathroom area to calm him down. Of course at this point everyone was staring and probably pissed off too since it's been a long flight and they were all tired too. I felt embarrassed. It felt like time stood still. This was exactly what I feared and it was happening. When Tristan finally passed out, I sat back down and he had a good 30 minute nap before we landed but then he woke up screaming again. He was so tired and scared of the plane noise. Man, I couldn't wait to get out of there. When all the people stood up to get their stuff, Tristan freaked out again. Man, there was no place to go. It was hot and everyone was tired and we were trapped. It was a terrible feeling. He basically freaked out on and off until we arrived in the customs line. It sucked. We had no sleep at all on the plane, but that is nothing new for me.

There were maybe 5 or 6 other babies onboard. There was this one baby maybe 20 rows down from us who cried a lot. The baby was maybe a few months old and haven't been able to sleep much. The stewardesses were often crowded around the mom trying to help out. The mom was tired and frustrated and the baby was crying for hours. I felt so sorry for them :(

It was morning when we arrived in Paris. When we stepped outside, there was the smell of cigarette smoke. Ah, the memories! Then we had to pay 0.50 Euros at the train station so I could pee. Again, great memories! :( Because of the sunlight, Tristan was wide awake but then he became overly tired again about an hour or two into the train ride. Luckily, there was a compartment I could take Tristan in between the train wagons where they normally store food and no one sits in. I walked and rocked him there for probably 20 minutes or so before he passed out. He then slept for maybe 2 hours.

We timed our journey from the time we left our house to the time we arrived at my parent in law's place. 23 hours! But we left 2 hours after Tristan woke up that morning, which means in over 24 hours, he only slept maybe 4 hours. I maybe slepted on and off for maybe 30 minutes during that period. It was definitely rough for the little guy :( I felt so bad putting him through all this. Tiring for us but maybe worst for him, I think.


harriet glynn said...

Poor little dude :( Poor you guys - that is just so hard to take. We're heading to Toronto in a few weeks with T, who will be one by then. It should be interesting but not nearly as long.

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