Sorry for the BAD picture quality…we work with what we got right?
We are finally starting to recover from our hours upon hours of travelling. It’s something 40 hours, but who’s counting right? It was overall a pretty good trip. We arrived at JFK at around 8:00 pm with way too many bags. We’d gotten all of our checked luggage perfect to within 1/2 a pound but I’d neglected to weigh our carry-ons. Since they were all over we ended up having to check them and pay for the extra baggage. All in all the counter guy was really super nice about it. I’m glad that we did check them because we STILL felt like we were schlepping around way to much carry-on weight. I’ve told myself we’ll never do that again…leave an extra bag home, only use small duffel bags for carry-ons, etc. Michael is a minimalist so that is music to his ears. I’ll just need to remember my own rules 4ish years from now when we make the trip in reverse.
After getting checked-in and expertly making it through security (the big boy is an old hand at
taking off his shoes, sweatshirt, and putting his bag on the belt) we waited around the terminal. Finally it was time for us to board and so we settled into our seats for the 12 hour trip. The baby and I were next to a very elderly Indian woman who spoke no English and didn’t know how to buckle her seatbelt or open the plastic wrapping on her silverware. Fortunately smiles from a baby communicate in any language so we got on quite well. Michael and the big boy were in the bulk head row so they had plenty of leg room and we even got to put the baby in a bassinet by them for a few hours. Not too terribly long after take off they served us a nice dinner and then turned out the lights. I slept, watched movies, chilled, it was pretty nice. About half way through they served Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, wraps, and drinks to who ever was awake. Nice. A couple of hours before we landed it was time for breakfast and then clean up and get ready to land.
We were pretty wiped by the time we got through security in Doha, Qatar. But the boys had fun playing on the crazy large play structure. After a free dinner, we tried to kill a few hours before we could check into the Oryx lounge ($40 per person for 6 hours)…drank some nice coffee drinks, played games, looked at camel souvenirs…When we were ready to check into the beautiful lounge (with showers!!) they said they were all full. So we had to slink over to a part of the airport that had a quiet room and toss and turn on a reclining seat for 8 hours.
Finally it was time to board our flight to Jakarta. Our seats weren’t nearly so good this time around and the baby slept much less. I ended up holding him for most of the ten hours. But the time still passed and it wasn’t long before we were filling out our paperwork for immigration. When we landed it felt like were sort of back home and like we had never left. We made our way through the customs lines (rather quickly thanks to nice agents). Had several porters help us collect all our luggage, and then wheeled it to a shipping company. After getting our stuff shipped with walked out to the sidewalk to see that our hotel transport wasn’t waiting around. So we tiredly agreed to a taxi drivers insistence and finally arrived at our hotel.
We spent two nights in the hotel and at the first chance I got I went to get a “cream bath.” It’s a deep conditioning treatment for your hair and a wonderful scalp, head, neck, arms, and back massage. Just the perfect way to shake of jet lag. We all enjoyed swimming and sleeping as much as we good.
Early the next morning we took of for another several hours of flying and now we are finally here. We’re enjoying some friends air conditioned house while we get our stuff ready to move to a new place. It has been so much fun to get to see all our friends again and feel the love.
NOTE: if anyone is here wondering about the STPC thing (Qatar airways used to offer free hotel, transit visa, food, etc to people with longer than an 8 hour layover)…you can get still get it, but for economy tickets it’s $125USD per person. The Oryx lounge is nice (I got a tour, and the showers are beautiful after a long flight), but they give first priority to business class passengers and people with reservations…also there aren’t really any reclining seats. Qatar airways does give meal vouchers…its mostly white bread and cheese or some lovely curry and rice.