What is a sensible ratio between travel time and time actually spent on your vacation spot? I am not sure what the answer is but 48 hours after we left our Harlem pad, and some royal screw ups from our airline company, DH angrily said: we have just lost 12 hours of vacation time. Almost as depressing is the fact that we already had 3 leaks per child meaning that after just 48h of vacation I already had to do 2 laundry washes. Vacation, my ass…
Things had started swell. With Thor’s help, we took some well behaved kids to the airport by public transport. We then managed to not only smuggle some fresh milk but also buy some additional stash from McDonald’s. Yeah!!!
We felt it was just our lucky day: families with babies had priority boarding on the XL airways plane (it was our first time using this low cost airline – more on this later) and we managed to have a beer in a quite civilized way by the waiting lounge. All was goos. At least it was until we realized with horror that half of the passengers were families with very, very young children. In average, there was at least 2.5 children per family. My entire face just melted like cheap wax on flames. The entire aircraft was like fucking Disneyworld. On ecstasy. One tantrum away from a general meltdown.
I did not close an eye during the whole flight and even gave my seat to my high maintenance little G. I tried to ‘sleep’ on my bended knees on the plane’s floor patting his majesty’s ass. What devotion…And as I thought we handled the flight delay and the 7 hours New York-Paris flight pretty well, I was reminded on landing how delusional I had become as a mother. Indeed while I was trying to locate G who was ‘playing’ Hide and Seek in an empty plane – yep we were the last ones to leave, no surprise there – I was told by a flight attendant ‘G, G, G…this boy is so fuuuulllll of energy. He neveeeer sleeps, does he? G…it is the one name I kept hearing during the whole flight. G, this. G, that.’ Me: fake ‘hahaha’ and thinking ‘G, if you don’t get out of your hiding spot now….I am going to skin you, I swear!’
It is true my boy is like a mad dog: when about to board the first aircraft, god knows how, he found a button to release the connecting bridge and the whole thing started to fucking shake. On the second aircraft, he tried to pull the emergency handle of the plane’s back door in front of horrified stewardesses….The only thing that keeps him steady is the Ya-Ya, code name for the IPad. And after a 5 hours flight delay (on the Paris-Ajaccio leg), I was not going to remove the Ya-Ya from him whatever the air regulations were. I mean, we have been that the delay was due to the plane being stuck in Stockholm first, Bangkok then and New York finally… What the hell???? S-U-R-R-E-A-L. We also got stuck boiling for an hour in a cramped bus on the tarmac. Yep. For real. So when the flight attendants told us to switch off the Ya-Ya on take off, I basically ignored their order. I, usually obedient and civil citizen, looked at them with a blank stare exhausted and had that answer fully formed in my mouth, ready to lash out: ‘I am paying for a full price air fare. The ticket is under his name. You deal directly with him, see how he takes it’. Well, they knew better and sheepishly pretended not to see…Yeah, that’s what I thought.
PS: we finally arrived and here’s the view from the villa’s garden.