Friday, June 18, 2010

Plane ride back to Vancouver

We are back in Vancouver! Hooray! We also live to tell about our plane adventure :) Bring on the champagne!

I already told the tale about our 23 hour travel there. On the way back, we didn't have to take a train since we were already in Paris. That saved us at least 5 hours! We all hopped on a taxi to the airport and then took a roughly 12 hour flight back home. We had to order a taxi big enough to fit all of us since my parents-in-law wanted to see us off. We requested a car seat too but there wasn't one. Big surprise. The taxi sure was big enough and we also paid for it big time at a whopping $80 Euros. Then when we checked in, we found out we had to pay $144 for being excess 12 kg in our luggage. Damn. I knew we were over but that was a lot! The guy checking us in wasn't very nice too. Some times you get a nice person and they end up letting these things slide or charge you less. Nope, no mercy from this dude! They don't even take into account that we did not bring a playpen or car seat, which we could have easily check in at no charge. I guess even though we were not paying for Tristan's airline ticket, we were actually still paying for it through overweight luggage and crammed sitting space. But honestly, 23kg each for Jean-Louis and I was just not enough. I remember a time not too long ago when we were able to bring along 2 x 30kg each! Tristan's stuff took up most of our luggage space too. We barely bought anything. We were transporting tons of gifts back for him.

When we got on, we realized we had no aisle seat. I swear if we had a girl check us in instead of a guy, we would have definitely gotten an aisle seat. With all the commotion about the excess luggage, we totally forgot to request an aisle seat. Luckily, the passenger in the aisle didn't reject too much when we asked if she could switch seats with us. She wasn't very friendly though so we were a bit scared of her. The switch also split her up with her husband who also had an aisle seat across from her. Oops :( She may have been a grouchy senior but during the trip she actually complimented us by saying that "Tristan is lucky to have such nice parents." Grouchy lady was actually a nice lady after all :)

The second plane ride was much better. Tristan napped for about an hour in the beginning and then for about another hour near the end of the flight. When we noticed signs that he was super tired, we started to walk him up and down the aisle. As a result, he didn't go insane on us. He cried on and off but there was no vicious jerking and kicking like what happened on the flight to Paris. Eating was more of a challenge, especially because our airline, Air Transat, was less accommodating this time. They said we couldn't eat separately and we had to take all our food now or there might be none for us later. As a result, it was really crammed and challenging. Every time we had beverages, it was risky. A full glass of water got dumped on my lap and then at a later time, a hot tea spilled on Jean-Louis' lap. No fun at all!

This time around, there was no TV nearby to distract Tristan. There was also no annoying light from window shades nearby :) Once again, we had prepared a few newly wrapped toys and snacks for Tristan. He did so well that we even came home with some of the gifts unopened. In the last hour of the trip when we took off from our Calgary stop, he was in great spirits. We played and let him stand on the seat and he was goofing off with the passengers behind us. Since many passengers got off in Calgary, the lady at the window moved to sit with her husband and we had the window seat too. Tristan watched out the window when we took off and when we landed. He was more fascinated with opening and closing the window shade though :) I have to say the extra seat really made it more comfortable and spacial for all of us. Next time we go to France, Tristan will need his own seat and it should be much nicer. That and the fact that he will be older and more easy to handle :)

Boy, I cannot tell you how happy I am to have survived the trip and to be home. There is nothing like being home, especially when that home is in Vancouver :)

New milestones Tristan encountered on his first trip to France:


Marilyn (A Lot of Loves) said...

Those are a lot of firsts! I think it's cool that he'll be trilingual. If you can survive so much traveling with your son, we can surely survive a flight to LA in October. Easy Peasy.

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