Monday, July 28, 2008

Jetlagged Jet-Setters

Ok, wow. It's been 9 years since my last international flight, and I had totally forgotten how much being 7 hours ahead really stinks that first day. I am typing this going on about 4 hours of sleep- 1.5 in the plane, 2 or so in the hotel this afternoon. So, thsi should be filled with spelling errors, totally random non-sequitors and general idiocy.

So, like every other one of my posts, basically.
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But, I digress. WE'RE HERE! We are actually IN the Netherlands, it's no joke, no kidding- and wow is it amazing. But let me tell you breifly about our adventure getting here.

Sunday Kip, Megan and I fought for about 7 hours getting packed. Om a scale of 1-10 I would say our stress level was a 47 Kajillion. I packed and re-packed at least twice, I have a tendency to overpack (understatement) and I was the main packing agent for Megan, too, so it was insanity. Megan was altered to say the least- she was wigging out all day, one minute jumping on the bed all excited, the next crying and wailing, "I DON'T WANT TO GO TO THE NETHERLANDS!!" At first we tried to be very understanding, after 6 hours we were pretty rude and dismissive of her, saying lovely gems like "There are lots of kids that would LOVE to go to the Netherlands" (lie) and "I guess we can just leave you here, then. See you in a week!" (That should account for a year or more of therapy in her 20s.)

Dear, sweet Grandmommy and Granddaddy Noser drove us to the airport, and Megan listened to her new iPod Shuffle in the car (another source of drama- at the Apple Store she picked out the color, then said, "Oh, but I don't want an iPod" and cried a few times. Stress city). I explained to her the night before that there was going to be lots of rushing around to stand in lines. She took it very well- fortunately the lines were very manageable, and we were through check-in and security in less than 30 minutes. She asked so many questions about security, why they x-ray everything, why we TAKE OFF OUR SHOES- we tried to explain... there are some things you just don't want your 5-year-old to understand. Terrorism is on that list for me.


After some chicken nuggets (stress caused us to forget meals that day), we hopped on the plane and got all situated. Megan listened closely as the pilot spoke over the intercom, and was really the most well-behaved kid I have ever seen on an airplane. She colored, watched the in-flight movie, picked at the dinner they brought us, and managed to fall asleep for 4 hours.


Oh, to be less than 4 feet tall on an international flight. She had her head in my lap, feet in Kip's lap, totally comfortable. Kip and I, however, could not get comfortable. I have a notoriously bad back due to a pinch of scoliosis, and I would doze off and startle awake when I couldn't breathe, I was hunched over so awkwardly that my lungs couldn't fill. I finally managed to lay down next to Meg and get about an hour and a half of sleep.

Pretty much the most dramatic thing that happened on our flight was Megan dumping an entire glass of apple juice on me and the floor when she was finished with her dinner. Even the landing wasn't too terrible. We were just glad to be finished with the flight, and get on to more exciting things.


We got our bags and wandered over to the rental car desk in the Schipol Airport, looking like total freaks- there are these free carts to load with all your luggage- we, being jetlagged and stupid with exhaustion didn't grab one until we had carted our luggage out of the airport, headed towards the rental garage. The carts were EVERYWHERE, and were totally free, which I think is such a nice thing. We had 3 suitcases, a car booster seat, my camera bag, Megan's backpack and Kip's laptop backpack- we were heavy laiden. Mostly due to overpacking on my part, but I have already admitted to that, so don't judge me.

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Seriously, she's heavier than she looks.

We hopped in our rental VW Jetta and zoomed off to the hotel- unfortunately the city our hotel is in wasn't on the map, so we ended up taking a 45 minute drive to find the airport, which should have been a 15 minute ordeal. We did find one of the neighborhoods we will be house-hunting in this week, and I ADORE IT, so it was time relatively well spent (unless you are Megan "I have to go to the bathroom!" Noser in the back seat.)

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Kip had a meeting at his office at 4, so we checked-in, ran upstairs where we ordered room service while he got ready to go to work. Here's my take on Dutch food so far- um, it's different. Some of it BAD different (hot Tuna pizza, complete with egg on top) and some of it just different (watermelon, beef, salad- not bad, just not the same). After Kip left, Meg and I started a movie for her and I found myself dozing off. Poor kid- she entertained herself pretty well for having a lump for a mom this afternoon.

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Kip came back to the hotel around 6, and we ran back to the airport for YET ANOTHER round of identification photos, these for our residency applications. Megan had fallen asleep before Kip arrived, and she slept on his shoulder through the wait for the shuttle, the 15 minute ride to the airport, and our wandering to find the photo place.

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She woke up moments before they took her photo, and looked it. I will no doubt call her "Poor Kid!" a million times in this blog. Poor kid.


We grabbed some sandwiches (and ate them with our hands as we watched the Dutch around us use silverware to eat sandwiches. weirdos.) then hit a chocolate shop, then hopped the shuttle back to the hotel.

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Kip is now SOUND asleep, Megan is playing dolls next to him, tucking in her Cynthia and her coloring book. As soon as my photos upload, I'm going to take a HOT bath and call it a night... more tomorrow- we go to the Hague and then house hunting!

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Jesse said...

Wild. What a crazy 2 days! Glad to hear you made it alright - we've been thinking about you guys. Y'all came up in conversations several times already. Sigh. Can't wait to see pictures of your new 'hood!

BTW - Flickr accepts RAW uploads, then you can redownload them as JPGs and do some minor tweaks. Not perfect, but it works.

Have a good night - what day is it there, anyway?


CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! i'm glad to hear you finally made it, even tho i haven't backtracked thru the blog far enough to find out why it is only for a week.

was too busy falling off my chair laughing at the interchange with the Dutch Consulate.

gotta go to work. hope all is well. can't wait to hear and see more soon.

y'all come back now, ya'heeer?!?!!!

JM said...

Yay! You guys made it in one piece. Sounds like a fun time so far (yah). Looks like Megs can still sparkle even with lack of sleep. You guys on the other hand...just kidding. Hope all is well. Blog more pics!!!

Anne said...

I'm glad the flight over went well, even if you didn't get much sleep. I can't wait to hear more about your trip! I looked at some of the pics on flickr and am looking forward to seeing more.

Have a wonderful week and we'll see you when you get home.