Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Our flight left from San Francisco at 7:00 pm so I took the girls (Genevieve, nearly 4 and Charlotte, age 1.5) to the Discovery Museum earlier in the day to try to tire them out for the flight. We got home, and Mamama and Grandpa came over to get the dog. They were still there when the Super Shuttle arrived to take us to the plane–20 minutes early! Yipe! I hadn’t changed my clothes yet! But we managed to get our act together and go to the airport in plenty of time. Or so we thought before we saw the line to check in! By the time we got to the front, we had just enough time to get through security and get to our gate for the preboarding announcement. Genevieve found a friend her same age to play with in line. Once we were on the plane, the flight attendant installed the carseats in the center of our four seat row, and we were off! The girls were good for the most part–Charlotte fell asleep shortly after takeoff and Genevieve was occupied by the movies. But about five hours into the flight, Genevieve realized that she wasn’t going to be sleeping in a bed that night so she cried and whined for a good 45 minutes until another mom passenger gave us Motrin to give her. I have no idea why it worked, but after we gave that to her she was asleep within a half hour. Once we woke them up for breakfast, we took Genevieve to the bathroom just as the plane encountered some turbulence. She looked at me with a big grin and said “Wow, Mommy, it’s a potty ride!” I guess it’s good she wasn’t scared…. Then we went to see her new friend and found out they live just around the corner from us. Her mom and I exchanged information so hopefully we can hook up. Finally we landed in Heathrow. Fortunately our plane to Milan left from the same terminal so we only had to go through security and then we could go to our gate. I love the way they handle families at Heathrow! We got to bypass the big windy line and go into the middle fat line (a plus when you’re lugging two strollers and two carseats) and go right to the front. And they also didn’t make us collapse the strollers and put them through the x-ray machine which saved us heaps of juggling. After security we had enough time to let the girls play in the little playground there and also do a bit of shopping. I got each of the girls a British book at the bookstore–Noddy for Charlotte because for some reason she loves him, and a “Little Miss Naughty” book for Genevieve. They finally posted our gate and we sprinted to make it. This time we gate-checked Genevieve’s carseat. The plane was full of Italian business people (by now it was Thursday). There were a bunch of young Italian men who I swear all looked like suit models. We got to Milan just as it was getting dark and rented the car and got to the Best Western Hotel Galles without too much hassle. We had to call to get the crib, which looked kinda like someone’s Eagle Scout project–an odd contraption of twine and wood. The girls weren’t too happy with the prospect of taking a shower and not a bath, but they got over it. Finally we got them asleep but they woke up at 3am for about an hour, which we were expecting based on our experience going to London with Genevieve.