We started our “adventure” by waking up at 3:30am on Monday. The picture below was taken by Harry as he dropped us off at GSP with our seven bags + one double-jogging-stroller to check and four carry-on bags + 4 “personal items” and a car seat. It was hard to tell the difference between carry-on bags and personal items (both in size and weight) but thankfully no one seemed to care (almost.)
We arrived at the airport at about 4:30am and the first order of business was to weigh all of our bags on the official airport scale. After some rearranging we got all seven bags to 50lbs. Once we had checked in and convinced the United Airlines rep that we did actually deserve two bags a piece, all we had to do was get our eight carry on bags and car seat through security and onto the plane (and three kids who did not, at this point or any other point, carry their weight.) Thankfully we had some help up to security from Karen, Kelly, and Molly who came for one more goodbye. After we got through security we carried and dragged our bags/kids to the farthest gate in the terminal.
The first flight was pretty exciting. Belle and Lucy thought it was fun and Elizabeth and Everett got some sleep.
After two hours in the air, we got to spend six in the Chicago airport. While we were disembarking, the crew thought we looked pretty pathetic (not the last to think so) and grabbed a luggage cart for us after helping carry our things up the ramp to the terminal. So we wheeled our stuff around, got ripped of at Chili’s Too, and found out that we weren’t going to be sitting in economy plus with five extra inches of leg room like we had thought–I’m probably the only one who noticed the lack.
We boarded the giant 747 and settled in for the next fifteen hours.
The picture above shows the perfect flight blanket (blue) which was given to me by KLM airlines and a very useful flashlight on a lanyard around my neck–both items were apparently left on this plane.
After this flight we got to spend five and half hours in the Hong Kong airport (pictured above.) During this time we had to get our boarding passes for the next leg of our journey on Air Niuguini. Unfortunately the desk didn’t open until two hours before the flight. This was unfortunate because after waiting in line, then waiting until they checked to see if they had all our bags before giving us boarding passes, we still had to go through security, ride the train across the airport, go up an elevator then down another and then walk/jog a quarter mile to get to the gate in time (barely.)
This leg of the flight was by far the roomiest. With the flight only about a quarter full we used six seats to spread out on instead of our normal four. Plus we had the front row of the low-class section so I got to straighten my legs when I wanted.
When we landed in Port Moresby we had to reclaim our bags to go through customs and then recheck them. This would have been a nightmare if not for a nice young missionary couple who helped us push one of our two luggage carts around. We ended up running through another airport (and out onto the tarmac) in the end. This last flight was only an hour thankfully.
When we got off this last plane (via the stairs) we walked over to the sorting table where the luggage was brought and actually had to show our tags for each piece of luggage. It was all there. Also there was someone to pick us up.
Considering the ordeal, everything went amazingly well. Except for a few episodes (including one when Lucy got so worked up she threw up on herself and Elizabeth,) all the kids did very well. We are extremely thankful that we made it safely with all our luggage and didn’t have to pay any extra baggage fees (which some people do.) Lucy entertained some of our fellow passengers with tricks including standing on one foot. Belle entertained us with the following lines:
- “We’re out of the world” while looking out the plane window and seeing clouds below us.
- “This is a wiggly plane” as we shook from side to side in the tale of the 747 during take-off
- “I think we’re in heaven” again while seeing clouds below us