[Note to our readers: While we were home we got a lot of good feedback about our blog. However, one point of confusion voiced by some was that I, Joseph, typically write about a picture above the picture itself and Elizabeth does so below the picture. In this, Elizabeth has committed to ezer* me by following my pattern.]
My parents drove us to the Atlanta airport on Sunday at about 2pm. (You can tell they were there because you can see my dad’s finger across the top of the picture.) Despite the smile on my face, I was already frazzled at this point, but thankfully the trip was great.
Everett was pretty excited when we boarded our first plane and enjoyed telling me about every plane he saw outside the window.
Once we started moving, he was a little more nervous and spent a lot of time in my lap on our first leg to Dallas.
In Dallas, the lady checking us in was able to check our bags all the way to PNG instead of just to Brisbane so we didn’t have to go through customs in Australia which was a huge blessing. Then we boarded the 747 that Everett was convinced was orange because of the lights outside.
The kids acted like old pros as soon as we boarded.
We were really thankful to get a seat with a bassinet for Sylvie, where she spent the majority of this sixteen hour flight. We got to board this plane, as well as the other three, first because we asked (this was a lesson we learned on our first trip over.) In the picture below, the other seats are empty because no one else was on the plane yet, but it turned out to be a sparsely populated flight. Most people were sleeping across three or four seats back in low-class with us. We did not have that luxury since we were traveling with four children.
Everett didn’t seem to mind the limited space provided by a single seat though. He and his sisters were all asleep before we took off at about 10pm and slept for 8+ hours. And when they were awake, things continued to go very well.
On that sixteen hour flight, we forgot to put a pull-up diaper on Lucy and she wet her seat while sleeping. Whoops. (Before I continue, I want to say that the crew on this flight was really great and really kind, but…) I told one of the stewards about the accident and asked if they could switch out the seat cushion thinking that if they come off so easily to serve as flotation devices, it couldn’t be too hard to swap in a spare. He said, no, they would have to have an ENGINEER in Brisbane take care of that. Then it took me less than ten seconds to unvelcro the wet cushion and trade it for the dry one in the empty seat next to Lucy without an engineering degree.
Here we are in Brisbane–you can notice Lucy’s wardrobe change.
Another lesson we learned on our first trip over was that the only thing we need for the kids is an iPad.
When we landed in Port Moresby (the most stressful part of our first trip over,) an airport employee helped us with our carry-on bags as soon as we stepped onto the jetway. He led us through the crew-only line at immigration and then he and another employee pushed two of our three luggage carts through customs bypassing another line. Then he led us past the transfer desk where everyone else was lining up for their next flights and to another check in counter with no line which wasn’t really meant for us. Then he walked us all the way to our next gate and made sure we could board first. So, if you were praying for us while we were traveling, thanks.
Even though our last flight was only 50 minutes, Everett had no problem sneaking in a 48 minute nap.
When we finally got to the base, we enjoyed dinner with another family, but Belle and Lucy slept on the couches and then in the stroller as I rolled them to our new home.
We were all up at about 4am to unpack Everett’s train.
*If you aren’t familiar with the term “ezer,” you can consider moving to Greenville to attend Grace Church.