Monday, January 7, 2013

Mommy Mondays: To Russia, With Mixed Emotions

Here we are in the Frankfurt airport, somewhere around halfway through our journey. So far it's been a mixed bag as far as the traveling is concerned, but more on that later. I mentioned last time I blogged that we had switched our travel plans to spend a few days in D.C., and it was soooo worth it. I'm not sure why we didn't think of it before, to be honest. Not only did it break up the journey, but we got to spend time with some of our favorite people.

To our hosts, Mike and Alexis, thank you for everything, from finding us a place to stay to cooking us delicious panettone French toast to being fearless in the face of vomit. You guys are the best. Mark and Lauren, we love you guys so much and hope to see you in Europe some time soon. Otherwise, we're on for Disney World in November, right?? New Jon, you are the best. (Jon is not only an amazing cameraman and all around great guy, but he knits teeny tiny elephants, for Pete's sake!). And Sarah - the only reason I could bear saying goodbye is because I know you're coming to visit me in two short months. I love you so much!

So, what did we do in D.C.? Well, I shopped. A lot. I ate my way through Georgetown. John ran some. We slept wonderfully in a creepy old lady apartment. We saw friends, as I mentioned, I FINALLY saw The Hobbit (review forthcoming), and then I ate some more. And we commented more than a few times on the glory that is 40 degree weather in January (along with good roads, happy human beings, clean tap water, and Target). One thing about living in a foreign country: it sure makes you appreciate home.

And then, because no Rutherford journey would be complete without some hitch in our well-laid plans, Jackie woke up yesterday from his nap looking a bit peaked. My mommy senses knew something wasn't right, but Jack regained color in his face eventually, and what could we do but continue on to our 4:00 frozen custard date with friends? I'm still not sure if the quick stop at CVS was a blessing or a curse. On the one hand, it was awfully handy to have our kid lose his lunch, breakfast, and some of last week's fish and chips by the look of things in the parking lot of a drug store. Still, it would have been nice if he'd actually been standing in the parking lot itself, rather than tethered into his car seat. John was conveniently inside CVS picking up a prescription when all hell broke loose. Fortunately, I had Mike, a former EMT with an apparently very strong stomach, on hand. I managed to contain most of the damage (I'm sad to say Jack's guitar shirt and matching pants did not survive the ordeal, but by some stroke of luck we had put the suitcase containing Jack's clothing into the car just before we left), and we pressed valiantly onward to let our friends know that frozen custard was about the last thing on our minds at that particular moment.

You know what was on my mind (aside from the fact that I may never eat pineapple again)? How the hell we were going to travel with a toddler with the stomach flu just six hours hence. But flights to Yekat are scarce, our free creepy old lady apartment had been taken over by someone who is actually friends with the creepy old lady (in truth, she's a very generous neighbor of Mike and Alexis and probably not creepy at all), and I wanted to get the trip overwith. So, arming myself with Alexis's handy Scooby Doo Halloween bucket, we headed out to the airport. Five minutes later I got nervous and made John pull over, but naturally Jack decided to wait until we were on the airport access road, unable to pull over, to begin round two. All I can say is, Scooby Doo, I love you.

Armed with American Dramamine this time (I'm convinced the Russian stuff was faulty), we boarded the plane and nearly died with happiness when we saw the business class seats. I've flown first class once before, so I knew it was good, but that was pre-child. I didn't fully realize the potential of a seat that turns into a bed, more leg room than I could possibly need, and best of all, a wide selection of movies (including Lilo and Stitch, Jack's current obsession) that start AS SOON AS YOU BOARD THE PLANE. We didn't have to wait thirty minutes to get out the iPad. Jack settled down with his movie, and before you can say "please wait until the fasten seat belt sign has been turned off," Jackie was asleep. And he stayed asleep for the next SIX HOURS!

This is how I looked for pretty much the entire flight:

Finally, right where I belong.
Did you know about the ice cream sundaes???
For some, it's the ice cream. For others, the free port.
But mostly, it was THIS!
Best of all, Scooby Doo remained unsullied for the remainder of the flight. Now, we wait the eight long hours until our next flight, which will no doubt be incredibly painful. Alas, we are stuck in coach once more. But I've made a vow to myself, to never fly coach trans-Atlantic again. I owe it to myself, to my kid, and most of all, to my sanity. Russia, here we come.


Jenny S. Morris said...

Oh wow, what a journey. Glad Jack fell asleep. Good luck for the rest of your trip!

Amy Holt said...

Business Class looks like heaven! It was nice knowing you guys were here even though we didn't get to see you. We're in the midst of packing hell. I'm glad you had a great trip!

Sarah said...

Miss you so much already! But so glad we had our extra time in DC. And not long til I come visit. Glad you guys made it home alive.