May 24, 2009

Traveling :)

Here is a free tip: If you have a baby/child with sleeping problems, don't expect an easy transition into a different time-zone. With that in mind, let me tell you how brave and good Sebastian is being about it. Not only are we in a different time-zone, but we are in a totally different "home" too. He is showing signs of distress, but as long as he can stay in Mom's or Dad's lap he stays fairly happy. Today, however, he is back to his normal self, and exploring the living-room floor at aunty's place. We had read warnings about this before traveling, and I can only relay the warning: If you have a baby, and you plan for a long trip. You have to really think things through before "take-off". Is this trip really necessary, should be your most important question :)

Now, that was all the advice you'll get in this post. Here is a brief summary of our trip so far:
Since we have a baby with us, we figured it would be smart to split the trip in two legs (and we are very glad we did too) by staying overnight in Amsterdam the first night. We did this for two reasons. First of all, if we didn't, we would have to get up at 3am to catch a connection that would take us all the way to LA. Second, we thought we would need the extra time at the Amsterdam airport we would get by sleeping there. Both came through as good ideas. The 11 hour flight to LA was long enough :)

We stayed at the SAS airport hotel, which is 10 minutes by shuttle from the airport. I would recommend this hotel to anyone who needs a sleepover at the airport. The hotel was nice, the service was good, and the rooms were quiet enough for us to sleep well through the night (even Sebastian slept well through the night).

Flight to LA:
Let me begin by thanking KLM, and especially the crew of KL601 the 22. of May. They were great. I have never been impressed by the service aboard long haul flights. But it has never bothered me, as I know I am flying coach and I know the crew is usually very busy and doing their best. Traveling with a baby has altered my perception a bit though. The crew member serving our row was outstanding. Not only was he always helping us with the little things, there was never a no in his mouth, and he always did it with a smile (which is more than I can say I have experienced elsewhere).
We were a bit worried about the long flight, as we did not have a seat for Sebastian. But all our worries were laid to rest as the gate could confirm an empty seat next to ours. Once in the air, we were also provided with a wall mounted cradle for Sebastian (even though we were told he was to old/big for this when we booked the flight).
The only real challenge on the flight was Sebastian's reluctance to sleep. He did not care if it was past his bed time. There was too much going on in the cabin to fall asleep.

We arrived in LA with all our suitcases, and were pleased to learn that the efficiency of the security in LA (immigration) was good. It did not take too long for us to get through both security and customs. Well on American ground, we were greeted by Aunty and Uncle at the airport.

We all miss Luna, and wish she could have come with us. But we want to thank Farfar and Besta for taking care of her and the house while we are gone.

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