Most of you know that for a while I have had this feeling that we are not a family cut out for vacations - Ireland was a fun vacation that was bookended by disaster and Italy had huge heaps of stress peppered throughout. Although I am grateful for all of the travel we get to do, a part of me has wondered at times if maybe we wouldn't just be happier staying home?
So Friday I had the hugest anxiety attack because I knew that something awful would happen on our 24 hour journey to Kuala Lumpur. Our driver came and picked us up at the break of dawn to take us to Krasnodar. We got to the airport in plenty of time which had been a worry because our flight left at 10:50. I got checked in, and then Nick took Isla with him and got checked in at the business lounge area, which I couldn't go with him to. I sat in the waiting room with my stomach all in knots because I just I knew I would miss the (all in Russian) boarding announcement! Anyway, it was fine. I got on the plane, and then Nick and Isla got on the plane and we were on our way. Isla had her own ticket for this part of the trip, so she sat with me.
We made it to Moscow without any trouble, and got checked in without trouble. From this point on, Isla was a lap infant so Nick had asked the person booking his ticket to put her on his ticket so she could sit with him in heaven, where the seats are huge and the flight attendants are oh so helpful and sweet to a single dad traveling with his adorable daughter! Unfortunately our flight was late leaving Moscow and also got delayed in the air. We had a one hour layover in Doha, Qatar, so again I was anxiety ridden when we landed over thirty minutes after we were supposed to board!
At the airport, they disembarked business class first and took them on their own private bus. Thankfully Nick wouldn't leave the plane without me, and so after a little hesitation, the flight attendants let me go with him. I was freaking out at this point that we would miss our connecting flight. I wanted to book it to our gates, but we were met by QA representatives and calmly taken to a desk where we were offered tea - all I wanted to do was flee to our gates. The representative calmly asked us where we were going and when we told her, calmly called to check on the flight status. When she hung up, she again, so calmly told us that she could not allow me in the lounge with Nick, but said nothing about our flight. I thought this meant we were too late and she wanted us to go there until other arrangements could be made. After asking a series of confused questions we surmised that our flight had not left, so we told her that was fine, we just wanted to get to our gate. So she then nonchalantly walked us over to our gate, WHERE PEOPLE WERE BOARDING, and then pointed to some chairs and told us we were welcome to sit and have some tea there and to board whenever we were ready! Seriously, VIP treatment in the middle east is no joke! Rich people are allowed to basically do whatever they want, or at least that's what it seems like to me. There was no rushing anybody!
Anyway, we got on the plane and proceeded to wait an hour, but at that point I was fine because we were at least on the plane. Little Frances was up with her daddy, and on both flights got her own seat since business class was not full (lucky girl). Nick told me she was out and slept almost the entire way to Kuala Lumpur!
On my own in the cattle car, I read a couple of books and watched Shutter Island. I don't know why I always watch scary movies, and even though I told myself not to watch it and that I would be freaked out for days afterwards, I still watched it (and have been freaked out ever since). I thought it would be nice to have some quiet time, but I was actually kind of bored and missed my sweethearts! Also it didn't help that I packed as though I would be traveling with Isla since I am so used to things that way so I didn't have much to do. I have learned that when you are traveling with a toddler that you had better throw all expectations of doing anything for yourself out the window! It's all about them, so I hadn't packed anything to really entertain myself.
When we arrived at Kuala Lumpur, we found that all of our bags had made it, we went right through customs and immigration and made it without trouble to our hotel. I love to see all the places where I have written "without trouble" in this blog post!!! At our hotel we showered, took naps and got up and walked to the Petronas Towers. We didn't get a chance to go up in the breezeway connector thing, but there was a lot of shopping at the base and Nick spotted a Pizza Hut - a place where he insisted we go, even though I told him that Pizza Hut was "non food" ;-).
We went back to our hotel where we passed put at 8:15. Nick got up for class at 7, but Isla slept until 11:30!!!! That's like 15+ hours!!! Poor little baby was so tired. Isla and I went and found food, and then Nick got back from class at 2ish. We walked to Star Hill where there was more shopping. We had been hoping for some local shopping but it was primarily high end Western retailers. This picture cracks me up! Isla loves her some iPad!
Then we came back to our hotel and swam, and then met up with an old friend of mine from high school, Carolina, for dinner. She lives here and works for Schlumberger. It was pretty fancy and they didn't have high chairs, so Isla sat in Nick's arms. It's for the better because after about 5 minutes, she passed out and slept all through dinner! Of course I managed to get pictures of this and not Carolina and me :-).
Which brings us to the present! I know I rambled, but I am just so thankful that everything is going smoothly and we are all having a blast with nice, relaxing family time. On our agenda for the next couple of days - tomorrow Chinatown, and later on in the week, the Zoo and the Batu caves!!!
Ps. This is the conversation we have been having with Isla the past few days...
Us: Isla, where are we going?
Isla: We go to Thailand.
Us: What are we going to see?
Isla: I see Elephans. (Which makes sense because we have been telling her this all along).
Us: That's right.
Isla (continuing on): I see doll-fins (Which is a little weird because we haven't told her she would see dolphins, but they are right next to elephants in her favorite colors sooo maybe...)
Us: Ok, maybe...
Isla (finishing): I see Jesus! (Totally stumped. I have no idea where she got the idea that she would see Jesus in Thailand.)
But maybe we will! Wouldn't that be a vacation story to tell!?!
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