Our upcoming travel day may be the worst one yet, as we return home from Europe, I am anticipating the exhaustion we will be facing on Thursday. I think by the time we make it home late Thursday night our kids should be fully trained for handling all sorts of extended travel. Or maybe our children will have trained us on how to manage two kids for 24 hours straight in a small area. I think my brother/sister-in-law can offer us some words of wisdom about how to manage long flights with kids. They visit us from Australia every 1.5 years and have become traveling experts!

Below is our upcoming itinerary on Thursday.

5:30 am wake up
Breakfast, final packing, lugging all items downstairs to wait for taxi.

7:00 am get taxi to airport.
Keep in mind we have to load the car-seats into the taxi before we can depart. I often feel like we are part of the Amazing Race doing this exercise. How quickly can one load a car-seat into a taxi, while the taxi driver taps his foot impatiently waiting for you so that he can get going. At the same time trying to keep the kids from running into the street, and our belongings safe on the curb. I am normally sweating and breathless by the time the taxi starts moving.

9:30 am flight to London
11:30 land in London where we then need to collect all of our belongings, go through customs, and go back to the next check-in window for our big flight. I’m hoping we can check our luggage early, but I’m not entirely sure. We have purposefully built in a really long layover to make sure our kids have enough time to run around and play.

5:30pm flight to Boston
Trying desperately to keep our kids awake as long as possible, to get them onto US time. (keeping in mind their bedtime is normally 7pm) I have a feeling Tim and I will probably just let them sleep, because by this point, we’ll be tired too.

7:30 pm U.S. TIME landing in Boston (1:30 am Belgium time)
RUN!!!! to get our luggage, go through customs and catch the 8:15 bus to Portsmouth, NH.  If we miss this bus we will be waiting an hour for the next bus. The 9:15pm bus would be 3:15am in Belgium. Game over.

9:30 pm Bus arrives in Portsmouth, NH (3:30 am Belgium time)
Find Tim’s parents car, that they generously left for us at a Park and Ride earlier this week. Load both car seats into the car. Drive 30 minutes to Tim’s parents house in Maine.

10:15 pm Arriving at house (4:15 am Belgium time)
Get kids in bed and car unpacked.

11:00 pm in bed. (5:00 am Belgium time)
At last. Except…
Vera normally wakes up at 5:45am. If we get lucky and she sleeps well during our travels, does this mean we will only get 45 minutes to sleep?

Even with all of this, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Part 1 of our year together has been amazing. We’re looking forward to Part 2 visiting friends and family in the states and celebrating the holidays.

Also included for your viewing entertainment is a list of all of the clothing items we’ve packed. I documented this mostly because I want to use it as a guide for the spring portion of the trip.

Oliver and I had about 1 outfit too many but Vera and Tim’s quantity seemed right on. We changed some of our clothes out in England when we realized we’d need warmer clothing for the cool weather of Switzerland and Belgium. We went to a boot sale in England, which is like a flea market, where people sell things out of the trunk of their cars. We purchased $50 worth of clothes that outfitted us for the rest of the trip. Pretty amazing! This also included 3 warm fall coats for the kids and Tim, and most importantly, Tim’s proper Yorkshire cap. I ended up with a few too many sweaters and pants, but since I liked them I didn’t have the heart to leave them behind.

On the next leg of our trip I’m swapping the sweaters for bathing suits!

An English Boot Sale. We need to do this in the US!

Items we purchased from boot sale. 13 tops, 9 pants, 3 coats and 1 hat all for $50.