Well the day finally came to head home. We had been gone for 52 days now and it was bitter sweet. We were excited to return to familiar grounds and plan our next adventure but also could have continued on with our travels into the next country.
Everyone probably wants to know how traveling with two babies really is. Well, it is what you would expect it to be. You have to adapt your plans, adjust your schedules and find a way to make it work. Yes it is hard but just like everything else in life, if it is important to you you will find a way to make it work. Our travel days were not as long, our accommodation was a bit fancier and there was no party nights to the wee hours of the morning. We did so an 8 hour bus ride that the girls did great with though. Our activities that we normally would do together like SCUBA diving was now separate and other extreme activities were off the books. Packs were larger and sleep was shorter. We also selected our visiting countries and activities that would complement our new additions.
When we started out the girls were just 7 months old and not mobile yet. They were great sleepers and calm tempered. They loved being in the Onya baby carriers and slept most of the time in them. As the time went by they both started becoming more active, from crawling to even starting to stand and walk around items. By the end of our journey the girls turned 9 months and wanted to be out of the Onya baby carriers more than in them. They still tolerated them but would prefer to be moving about on the floor on their own. We did have car seats for our final 2 weeks in Israel and they were never a fan of those.
After a casual morning and checking out of our accommodation we had a short walk to a city bus stop. After a short 10 minute ride we then switched over to some tracks and quick and conveniently we were had made our way to Ben Gurion International Airport. We boarded the plane in Tel Aviv at 3:15 pm and flew the 3ish hours to Kiev, Ukraine via Ukraine International Airlines. Once we landed in Kiev and walked into the airport we were greeted by a soldier and a German Shepard followed by an official man with tinfoil squares. Every carry on bag was being sniffed and swabbed and our bags had passed the test. Once we got the all clear we proceeded to find a bite to eat. The only place on this side of security was a fancy looking place with white table cloths and loads of wine stacked behind the bar. After consuming our two servings of pasta our credit card took care of the bill and even to this day we still don’t know the price as everything was listed in the local currency. We had a quick 2 hour layover there then continued the 3.5 hour flight on to London, Gatwick where we landed at 10:30 pm London time, 12:30 am Israel time. After changing what ever left over currency we had we hopped on the shuttle to our hotel. By this time the girls had slept most of the flights so they were wired and didn’t want to sleep. Finally after lights out they settled but 7 am came quickly.
The following morning with the girls all fed we boarded back on the shuttle bus returning us to the airport. Having checked in for our flight 3 hours ahead of boarding we then proceeded to find a lounge. Courtesy of Tyson’s work and all the flying he does he has earned a handful of free lounge passes. We arrived at Lounge No. 1 (which allowed kids) and got settled down on a plush sofa. Tyson ventured over and grabbed us some breakfast and I proceeded to order a champagne. Let’s face it, I felt I was going to need this on our next 9+ hour flight from London to Calgary then on to Kelowna. I was relaxing while sipping my champagne, Lidija practised her standing on the couch edge, Bexley ate the cover off a magazine and Tyson mingled with strangers on the sofa across the way. The time came to wrap this luxury up and board our 250+ passenger plane.
When flying with two on lap infants we are not able to sit together because their are only 4 air masks in a row of three seats. This was a challenge on each and every flight we have taken so far. We are forced when booking seats to book an isle/isle seat to be as close together as possible. With this flight, even with being right on time ahead of schedule, all that was left were one seat in front of the other. I wasn’t too happy with this and the Westjet lady and man both said there was nothing they could do. I was now dreading our 9+ hour flight home. Once we got onto the plane the lovely flight attendant noticed that no one was sitting in the middle seat on Tyson’s row and asked the person sitting on the next seat if she would be okay moving so we could be together. This was almost like winning the lottery for us. It was a small thing but believe me this was winning! We were now all sitting in the same row with an empty seat in between for the girls to sit and play.
The plane had some how lost its flight plan so we were boarded and grounded for about an hour and forced to entertain some cranky babies that needed naps. Right after takeoff the little ones fell fast asleep so we put them back in the carriers and proceeded to catch a little shut eye ourselves.
About an hour had passed before we both adults were awake so we decided to take this time for a little in flight entertainment. We got about 45 minutes into the movie “Tag” before the food was being offered and the girls were waking up. Over the next 7 hours the girls did what babies do and we did our best to extinguish loud noises and prevent them from taking the plunge off the middle seat to the floor below. The girls had a couple naps and we managed to finish our movie in multiple instalments as our ear buds would be plucked from our head by pudgy little hands if they were ever awake.
Once landing in Calgary International Airport we only had a quick 1 hour lay over before we were whisked back into the air for another 46 minute flight to Kelowna. Now with all the air travel out of the way, Shannon’s brother picked us up from the airport and a 35km drive later we were back at our own doorstep. We were greeted by Tyson’s parents who had cooked us dinner and even stocked the fridge with the basic groceries to get us through a couple of days. We had a quick visit before all of us fell fast asleep and enjoyed every minute of it.
The time change difference from Israel to British Columbia is 10 hours so as you can imagine by 3:00 am the entire house was awake. By 6:00 am we had our bags unpacked and put away, 2 loads of laundry washed and folded and even baby proofed our house with the new mobile children on hand.
The 2 months on the road with babies I will not say was easy all the time. Our girls are by no means angels and tempers were tested indeed. But as I see it, as new parents these situations would happen whether you are on the road exploring new places or staying at home hiding from unfamiliarities. So my best advice to not only parents but people in general is to set your goals and follow them, because the only difference between goals and dreams is taking action.