It is a beautiful sunny day here in Holland, Michigan. The thermometer in our house is hovering at a gentle 70 F. We left for the US exactly a week ago and cannot believe in some ways that it has only been a week since we boarded the Paris bound Air France flight.
I know a lot of you have wondered how we fared in our trip. Our flight from Bangalore to Paris was the longest leg of the journey. This was also, coincidentally, the most problematic flight for Leila on our way TO India. I was a little nervous but Leila did sleep for about 5-6 hours on this flight (this was a 10 hour flight). I was quite relieved to arrive in Paris. We were hopeful about the shorter (6 hours) flight to NYC. However, that hope vanished in a couple of hours. It was a noisy flight. We had a baby that wasn’t sure what was day and what was night. Needless to say, I walked the aisles of the airplane for almost 3 hours. Now, I must preface all this by stating first that Leila was a really good girl. She just did not sleep. In over 36 hours of travel, our little wonder got maybe 7 hours of sleep TOTAL. That began to wear on her and exponentially began to wear on us.
We landed at the JFK International in New York City. We found out at this time that while all our luggage made it, our stroller did not. This was a pretty big blow because now we had to negotiate 7 hours at JFK with 7 suitcases, 3 carry-ons AND a baby. For as great a city as New York City is…JFK leaves a LOT to be desired. We had to switch over to the domestic terminal which reminded me of a crowded bus station in India. The only difference being that we were hauling a lot of luggage on a rickety little trolley up and down elevators and over floors that were carpeted heavily. (Note: Katy and I try to avoid O’hare Airport in Chicago and Heathrow in London. After this trip, I have sworn to not make fun of those fine cities ever again). Our journey was, however, not over at JFK. We had to catch our connection (2 hours) to Detroit. In all honesty, the passengers (well…one loud mouth and his friend) on this flight were probably the most inhospitable to new parents and a baby. That made the 2 hours extra long.
We were so glad to see Katy’s parents waiting for us at the Detroit Airport at 9:30 PM on Monday night! We spent the night with Katy’s brother Ben, his wife Heather and Leila’s cousin Eleanor. Best sleep we had in a while. Sometime on Tuesday, we loaded up the car again and began the three hour ride to Holland. Leila did well in her car seat.
Anyway, we are still battling jetlag. Our stuff still lies strewn about in the living room as we unpack, do laundry, and get things back in order. Thank you for your prayers. We are glad that the travel went well. How did we fare? I’d say that I’d give the trip back to the US a B-.
Leila is slowly beginning to behave like the Leila we know. We are excited and happy about that. For a little 7 month old she sure is quite the traveler!
We hope to update more now that we are settling in.