Well folks, we did it. We flew with our one year old and our two year old from California to Norway, and SURVIVED (yep, it was touch and go there for a while).
Wondering what Norway is like this time of year? Here, I’ll show you:
Quite the antithesis of home in California! It was freezing, but fun to see ice and snow after 4 years. I have decided that Norway is a lovely place and I would like to go again. The people, food and culture are great. I can see why my brother in law moved there (besides his other half being there obviously).
I can’t lie though… The flights there and back were ROUGH. Emotionally, it was hard flying over England, knowing I was passing so close to home. I definitely shed a few silent tears as I watched the little airplane and its’ dotted line, pass over the UK on the inflight TV. Lack-of-sleep-wise, going forward in time was worse than coming back. We even gave the kids (and oursleves) many a melatonin gummy over the course of the week (ok’d by our Pediatrician and purchased at Costco if you’re concerned), BUT they only seem to work if the individual is sleepy but having trouble actually falling asleep. They do not work if the person you are trying to knock out is wide awake. Jet lag is the worst!! Especially when you are sharing a small hotel room with 2 jet lagged toddlers who want to be asleep and awake at different times to one another…
Anyway, when we finally got off the plane it was wonderful being back in Europe. Can you believe I haven’t left the US in 4 years?! Bread. Cheese. Pate. Chocolate… Need I say more? Missed the food big time. And, the people. Yep, I love (most) Americans, but boy was it refreshing being around Europeans.
Best part besides the wedding, was that our kids also got to meet their uncles and cousins for the very first time! The cousins played together great and were really sad when it was time to go home.
The wedding was beautiful. In fact, it was stunning. The Ceremony had that very special blessed feeling. I loved it. Right next to the water. It was gorgeous. A very well thought out and fun wedding. Unfortunately, I only managed to take a few photos before my youngest decided to get fussy. But here are a few snaps that I took:
So yeah, was the crazy 15 hour journey with the kids worth it? Heck, yes! Will we be doing it again anytime soon? Heck, no.
P.s. I will never again complain about the 6 hour drive to LA.
…Keep reading if you’re interested in my 4 tips for flying with little kids.
1. Have zero expectations of their behaviour. Then you can’t be disappointed with whatever meltdowns happen. Also, if meltdowns do happen, don’t apologize to the people around you. Who cares what they think.
2. Prep well and be willing to spend a lot of money in the airport on food and toys. If you don’t have one already, purchase a diaper bag backpack. It’s so versatile. Get a few new (quiet!) toys they’ve never seen before. Like those 6inch plastic animal figurines… Activity book… Reusable stickers… A spare outfit for each child. Pack snacks and a sippy cup in your hand luggage. Avoid giving the kids candy. Take a Chap Stick. Consistently stow passports together in one secure place/hidden pocket all throughout your trip. If you need to spend $12 on a small box of fruit, just do it. Plane food is poison. So eat as much as you can in the restaurants or newsagents.
3. Accept that you’re not going to sleep much. And that you’ll be ok despite the fact. The human body is remarkable. I thought I would lose my mind during the first flight from San Francisco to Frankfurt. My kids were going crazy. And when my 2 year old finally fell asleep it had to be on me in a back breaking position (did I mention she’s the size of a 4 year old?). Over the week being in Norway, I slept on average 3 hours a night. But you know what? I still managed to enjoy myself, and I lived to tell the tale.
4. Be kind and positive. The travel has to happen. So, you might as well enjoy it as much as you can. Indeed, you may come across obnoxious people(like we did), who may give you mean looks or say something rude. Take for instance, on our return flight, the lady sat in front of our two year old turned around and said “please don’t let your little girl kick my seat again.” I responded “oh, sorry, but she didn’t kick your seat. I just put the table down to put her drink on for a minute.” And the lady raised her eyebrows at me, in quite a disbelieving fashion, and retorted “yeah well I haven’t slept for a looong time, and I’m really concerned about the whole kicking thing. I had little kids once too…” Wow…Cue instant knot in my stomach and angry words on the tip of my tongue. Thankfully, my kind and eloquent husband stepped in and wrapped up the conversation. I probably would have been very rude if I had answered her in that moment. Don’t worry, I soon calmed down, once I saw that it wasn’t just us, she was being rude to everyone. So, I decided she must be delirious, and I let it go. By the way, did our 2 year old ever kick her seat? NO. Not once. Her legs didn’t even reach the back of the woman’s chair! Grateful for my Better Half being a good example in my moment of weakness.
What a busy week.
Here’s a virtual non-alcoholic *cheers* to having survived. Happy to be home!