So we set off on our big adventure today! Shortly after 10 am, three vehicles arrived to take us all to the airport – a large panel van for all the bags – 9 carryon bags each weighing at least 7 kgs plus the check through bags which weighed at over 200 kgs!!! We were each allowed 40 kgs – anyway however it worked out, Luke and Mel still had to pay in about R 11 000!!!! We also had two passenger cars – Mel, Seren and I went in one and Luke and Morgan in the other and so we set off with John taking a video to capture the moment!! I felt sad as we left but also excited and very grateful to be having this time with the family and especially the children.
Mel took care of the checking in – we were very happy to get rid of so many cases and Ghana must go striped plastic bags containing car seats and pram parts!!! What a pleasure to be able to chill in the business class lounge where Luke nuked Seren’s lunch. I then sat on the floor and fed her while Morgan ate the lunch Mel had prepared for her. We had just got it all done and changed nappies when our flight was called. We were able to exchange seats so that we ended up with two seats in the front row on the right and officially two seats in the middle. Fortunately we were able to high jack an extra seat on both flights, so Seren did not have to use the basinet. YAY for the champagne…..The children were amazing on the flight. Seren and Mel ended up next to the window, with Luke, Morgan and me in the middle. Getting on and off the planes with 9 pieces of baggage plus Mel and my handbags which also weighed a ton was no mean feat!!! Let’s hear it for Luke who looked like a cart horse with bags hanging from both shoulders and supporting Morgan riding on one of the wheelie bags. Mel pushed two others while balancing a third, as well as carrying the hand bags. I brought up the rear carrying Seren!! Fortunately we were able to get strollers for both children in Dubai but that meant Luke had to push everything in two trolleys!! We met a friendly woman who helped us for as far as she could before she went off to catch another flight. Once again, we chilled in the lounge while Morgan explored every nook and cranny and I did the proverbial feed and change of Seren. Disaster struck as we were walking to board the Seoul flight when I realised I had lost Seren’s dummy!!! Back I went all the way to the waiting lounge. Thank heavens, I found it on the floor at the point we had checked through from the waiting area!! The flight from Dubai to Seoul was even better as the seats had many surfaces that we could use – the beds were also roomier and even more comfortable! We were on an A 380 which was amazing – lots of places for Morgan to hang out and practice her skills strapping me, bunny and herself in the seats in the bar area so that we were safe!!! Seren charmed everyone and in fact one man came up to us at the end of the flight and spoke directly to Seren saying, “I owe you an apology – when I saw there was a baby behind me I thought oh no!! But I did not hear you once!! You are delightful…..” I told him to tell Mel at which point he congratulated Mel on her baby, adding that Seren was sooo elegant!! Luke not surprisingly went to sleep as soon as Seren had eaten and settled – she was on her own next to the window. I was next to her in the aisle seat of the middle two seats. Luke was on the other side next to me and Mel and Morgan were together in front of us. By this time Mel was like a zombie as she had just returned on Saturday afternoon from her four day trip to Thailand to meet the Diageo Asian team. Morgan watched TV and then fell asleep. I made a tent for Seren with a blanket with the side open so I could check on her. She too slept really well. So all in all – the only way to travel without a doubt!!!
On a reflective note – who would have thought that almost a year to the day, I would be winging my way eastwards again. I arrived back in SA from India and Nepal on the 20th July last year!! What completely different circumstances these are and seen through a very different lens.