08 April 2011

The Flight...

Was totally uneventful... while in the air.

After spending the early part of Wednesday frantically packing and taking care of the odds and ends that go along with going on vacation (thankfully, no pets anymore), we picked the kids up from school and whisked them to the airport... how's that for jet-set lifestyle?

Taking a trip as a party of 6 generates a lot of luggage. It just does. There is no way around it. Five checked bags and 6 carry-ons... plus a stroller and a car seat. It is SIX people, though. Count up the number of people before you make comments about the amount of luggage or make jokes about traveling light ;-)

We got to the airport 3 hours before the flight's scheduled departure and so had plenty of time to wander around, eat some food, get bored, watch Miss C run in circles for about an hour... then off to deal with security. It was a breeze. Whew. All of my old travelin'-mom skills came back to me. I know the people behind us in line weren't clued into how quickly we were moving for a family with 4 kids, but we zipped through.

The flight was not packed... such a bonus. And the flight crew was very friendly and helpful and professional. We flew on SWISS... two thumbs way up.

Everyone got at least a couple of hours of sleep, which really seemed to take the edge off for the rest of the travel-there phase. Baby X slept on the floor, the two boys shared three seats and curled up in the fetal position, Miss C had her car seat and the two grown-ups slept sitting up. The in-flight entertainment was exceptional. First leg of the journey... successfully complete.

Arrived in Zürich feeling good... except for Big G. He looked a little grey around the edges. He said he wasn't feeling so great.
 We took the connecting tram between terminals...
you can see he isn't very perky.
We needed to walk a bit from the tram area to terminal proper...
Used the bathroom...
and got some love from Daddy...
Assessed our carry-on situation prior to proceeding to the second 
security checkpoint...
As we were loading all the crap stuff into the plastic trays and onto the conveyor belt, 
Big G had the urge to purge...
no pics, luckily.
I caught it all in a ziploc bag I just happened to have handy...
Go, mom!
except for a little bit of splashing on my hands and a few splatters on the floor.
The Zürich security personnel were so sweet about the whole thing...
much more so than TSA would probably have been.

The second flight was only one hour... and it just flew by (hahahhaha!)
We watched the Alps for quite a while.
And finally arrived at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris.
We made our way through the tunnels of moving sidewalks...

Claimed our baggage and found the rental car.

Here is where things finally got 'interesting'!

The beautiful, immaculately-new minivan (so if anything at all happens to it, they KNOW we did it :P) is the perfect size for us and our stuff. We got in and all remarked on how comfortable it is. Oh, and it has GPS! Great! That will be such a help! Except that neither my husband nor I have ever used GPS. I was able to get it to speak English and program a route, but we couldn't hear the lady tell us where to go. And it was really hard to keep watching the little screen and drive at the same time. We got really, really lost and had a little... tiff. 

Finally we figured out the GPS thing and at that point it became very useful :P

When we arrived at the address of our friends' house, we became quite confused. There are often a few variations on an address that ARE quite important even if you think they are not. 'Bis' is important. 'A' and 'B' are, too. And so is 'T'. Our friends had included this important information, but my American brain just glossed over it. My French was good enough to get some help... even though Baby X remarked, "I think they know you're American, mom." Nice vote of confidence ;-)

And we found it...

Such a cool house ...
Les Lilas.


  1. Hooray for a great trip. "I think they know you're American, mom." Too funny!

  2. Darling home. I bet its fantastic inside. Wow, you're family sounds like good travels and no drama. I don't think I could do it. Mostly because I hate to fly!

    Have fun!

    And yes you are right, at least the girls didn't just blow me off! :)


  3. I remember traveling to the US with my family as a kid. Party of 6, just like yours. The immigration line was horribly long (as an American, you have no idea... those European lines are a joke, and you get the shorter citizen lines when you come home). Anyhow, when it was finally our family's turn, they stamped 6 passports in one go (kachunk-kachunk-kachunk-kachunk-kachunk-kachunk!) and the whole rest of the line behind us cheered (Yay! 6 people less ahead of us!)

  4. Oh, and please say hi to Lucie for me!

  5. Oh gosh, you were so lucky to have a stress-free flight with those kiddos - yay! And that house looks so cool, LOVE IT! Lilacs are one of my very favorite flowers...so fun you're there in blooming season!! Enjoy!!! :)

  6. Is that a Sun Devil shirt I see?!?!?! I am from Arizona!!

    That was a cool house too.

  7. I'm so glad it went well for you!

  8. Sounds awesome, except for the purge. And it doesn't seem like you actually had that much luggage for 6. I think we take more for four.

  9. Sorry, read your posts out of order. Happy to hear the flights went well. Hope Big G is feeling better by now. That house looks fantastic! What could be better than springtime in Paris...

  10. "the second flight just flew by" -> much preferable to the alternative I'd have to say.

    Based on the pics, the luggage looked like it was all manageable sizes, especially for the older kids. THAT probably made everything easier.

    I love moving sidewalks!!


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