30 September 2005

The Return - the flight home

At 6:20pm (about 10 minutes before the 4 hour outer limit for checking in) we presented ourselves and checked in our bags. Then we once more did the security thing (no extra screenings this time) and found ourselves in the International area.
We had some Mexican food after taking over a number of tables and took our time. Whilst Lana and I sat and reminisced, the children went for a walk, mostly the wrong way on the travelators/automated walkways. No-one had a problem with the children wandering around as they knew we were in for a long 15 hour flight. We finally made our way to the correct gate and rested.
By the time it came to 10:30pm, the children were pretty tired. It had been over 19 hours since we began that day. Peter fell asleep and James soon followed. Eric's eyes also began to droop. I spoke with the airline staff to see if we could board early considering we had a number of children. They said they would, and then announced that boarding would be by row number - ignoring my request.
It didn't matter. We went up anyway. But first we had to wake the fast asleep Peter and James because we couldn't carry our on board baggage and them.
We finally found our seats and the boys sat down, instantly falling asleep.
Clare's first step was to read the flight safety sheet. Just like Peter did when we had our original journey two years ago. It must be something to do with four year olds!
We all slept for about the next six hours. None of the children remembered the takeoff, even though the takeoff was very bumpy.
Unfortunately, the plane we were on did not have individual video screens, just central screens showing child inappropriate movies and limited audio selections.

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