After a very late night packing, cleaning, scrubbing fish tanks, sorting out alpaca food and all the other million jobs that need attending to before a few weeks away, Anto and I managed almost 4 hours sleep before the alarm went off at 5 something AM. Kids were awakened, dressed and bundled into the car for the early and dark trip to Canberra airport, with chauffeur Uncle Mikl.
We met my Mum (aka Granny) at the airport, checked in, dumped bags, and headed for Qantas club where we tried to fuel the kids up for a long day (and night) of travel. Astrid and Soren are extremely familiar with the kids zone at the Canberra Qantas club and knew exactly what they wanted for breaky and what toys and computers they wanted to play with. Breakfasted up we watched the pretty sunrise and barely kept Soren from destroying the joint before we headed for the first of many flights that day.
The hop from Canberra to Sydney was fairly efficient and painless as usual. Despite the early start Astrid was not too tired to ask her nine million questions throughout the flight. Soren refused to sit still and was not happy at being confined. Normally he is a good flyer but he is at a bad age for it and it was looking like a long day of wiggle worm boy on my lap.
By 9am we were off the plane, straight through to the international transfer bus and zooming across the tarmac to the fun side of the airport. We just about always miss the bus connections but this time it was very efficient. Soren already tired, tried ergo napping during the transfer, but promptly woke up when it was time to get off.
We decided we didn’t need any duty free until we hit Singapore and headed straight to Qantas Club. We managed to get Granny in for the second time that day and found the temporary kids zone area that conveniently kept all the small people away from the important and tired looking grown ups. Astrid and Soren happily busied themselves playing with all the toys. Astrid doing a fine impression of a Ninja Turtle. Soren ate all forms of egg put in front of him, and I scammed some really nice goats cheese tart in case the rest of the days food offerings were not up to standard.
We couldn’t pass up the gelato, which is normally pretty good. A whole heap of sugar pumped into the kids just before a long flight probably isn’t the best idea but it’s always nice gelato and they were being good! Neither complained about the quality of the gelato, that is for sure…..
All to soon our flight was called and with one last leg stretch we headed to the plane. Travelling with small kids we were boarded first. We had split across the aisle deliberately in the hope that we might have a better chance of getting a spare seat next to one of us. As everyone slowly filed onto the plane it looked like our plan had worked. Astrid and Granny had a spare seat between them and a gentleman who looked less than enthusiastic about spending many hours with 2 small kids near him. I had Soren with me on a window seat, but he seemed determined to play with Granny prior to take off.
This is where things went downhill for the day. The plane all loaded up, instead of pushing back they announced a ‘short’ delay due to an issue with a wheel. It turns out the short delay was 1.5 hours. Yes, we had to sit on the plane for 1.5 hours before we even got to take off on an 8 hour flight……. They did leave the air conditioning on and the entertainment system running, so thank goodness for small mercies but it wasn’t a good start to the flight. Soren was getting very over it but there wasn’t much point enforcing a sleep before we had even taken off.
Finally we took off and not long after Soren gave in and was asleep on me. Astrid happily watched endless TV. Anto and I almost got some movies watched, which was flying luxury. Sadly, Soren only slept about 40 minutes. Luckily it was then time for lunch, so that filled in some time. Then there was several hours of keeping him entertained on one lap or another. Granny was pretty popular, as was walking back and forwards between us, doing laps of the plane and scamming lindor lindt balls off the hosties (both kids got several during the flight). This is where even the toys you bought on board become boring and glasses cases, water bottles and anything else you find gets played with.
Astrid thoroughly enjoyed endless Peppa Pig episodes and a large serving of chicken pasta and creme caramel. About 7 hours into the flight we finally convinced her to nap for about an hour and a half. It was pretty much her bed time back home so she should have been exhausted. Soren was strapped into the ergo and made to sleep on me for a couple of hours (not comfy for me) but it got us through, with only another few hours to fill in. He was pretty much ready for another nap by the time we were about to land. The last couple of hours really dragged and this is where the delay at the start of the flight really started to bite!
Eventually, 10 hours after boarding, we landed, almost an hour an a half late and finally escaped the plane and into Changi airport. We have been to this airport many a time. We were originally meant to have around 4 hours in Singapore but it was only a little over 2.5 with the delay. With both kids in the ergos we walked down towards duty free and stocked up on duty free drinks for our couple of weeks away. We then headed to Qantas Club to let the kids run free and have some dinner. We managed a ‘Granny pass’ for the third time that day. Maybe the staff were taking pity on us. Astrid was batting her eyelids pretty hard too…..
It was now around 9.30pm at home, and well past their bed times, but some playing and some food and both kids were doing pretty well. We love the Singapore Qantas Club. The food is always really good and the staff are very helpful. We got some awesome pasta made by the chefs, which the kids and Anto enjoyed. I found more than enough vegie things and then we managed several platefuls of dessert to power us through the next flight.
After all that eating and playing there was time for a shower and change of clothes before we had to face up to the next flight. It was 11.30pm according to our body clocks when we boarded our Jetstar Asia flight to Phuket. Both kids were exhausted. Soren was asleep in my arms before we even took off. Astrid, despite being urged to sleep, chatted non-stop for quite awhile. She is always obsessed with the emergency procedures and loves to read the emergency cards on every single flight. We tend to gloss over the whole ‘if the plane crashes’ part and focus on the ‘if there is an emergency, this is what you do’ part. She cracked us up with a discussion about how if the plane landed on water ‘we would have to take the opportunity to deploy the slides and which would alloy us to spend some time having fun in the water.’ Oh to be 3!!!
She eventually gave in to the sleep gods and both kids were out to it for the whole hour and a half flight. Not so much the adults though. On landing, we managed to get both of them back in their ergos without waking them too much and made our way down through immigration and to collect our bags. Astrid was awake but rather sleepy, enjoying her ride in the ergo. Soren remained entirely comatosed and did not want to be awake.
Without too much delay we found our driver who went to pick up the van. With 2 sleepy kids and it being the middle of the night and 29 degrees, this seemed to take forever! The van eventually turned up, and even had the car seats we had booked, which was a relief. All strapped in, Soren didn’t even really stir and slept the whole trip. Astrid chatted for about 10 minutes and then was off to sleep. The adults managed the odd doze, but the 1.5 hour trip to Khao Lak didn’t go quite quick enough for our liking.
We eventually made it to the resort and while we checked in, Astrid cuddled up with the big blue reception bear. Obviously exhausted it took some prying to get her away from her bear friend.
We did eventually make it to our rooms at 11.30pm local time or 3.30am body clock time. Only 22 hours after first setting off for the day. The kids had perked up at the sight of the enormous pool. Our room opened onto the pool and Soren ran around excitedly yelling ‘pool, pool’ while pointing at it. We did convince them they had to go back to sleep and in the morning this is what we all had to look forward to……….