Overall, the trip back to Italy was pretty easy, thanks, in large part, to my mom helping me. I was most nervous about the check in process, since I knew that they could charge me an arm and a leg if they wanted to. I ended up having 16 items of luggage total between my and Abbie’s stuff, the dogs, and my moms stuff.
Luckily, we were helped by two very nice guys at the airport. I explained to the check-in agent at the United counter that my husband was in the military and deployed and I was going back to Italy, but I wasn’t on PCS orders so I knew I technically didn’t get any extra baggage allowance. He pretty much cut me off and said, don’t worry about it. I’ll take care of you. And he did. He only ended up charging me the $500 for the dogs, which was unavoidable since the 2nd flight we had was with Lufthansa and they have to give Lufthansa their cut of the fee. He could have charged me $50 for the 2nd bags for Abbie and myself and $70 for my mom’s 2nd bag, and then $200 for our 3rd bags if he wanted to. Thank God he didn’t. So after that I was so relieved that I wasn’t too worried about the rest of the trip. He even gave my dad a guest pass so my dad could go all the way to the gate with up and we ended up having one last meal in the airport with my dad.
The plane was really nice. It seemed to have more room than most planes I’ve been on and the seats were pretty comfortable, even for me at 7+ months pregnant. Abbie did really well on the 7.5 hour flight to Germany. She didn’t sleep at all, but I didn’t think she would. Some lady in front of us turned around and asked pretty rudely if Abbie was going to go to sleep at all because she wanted her to be quiet so she could get some sleep since she’d been up since early and had more flights to catch. I told her that no, she probably wouldn’t sleep at all, but she wasn’t being loud or kicking her seat or doing anything disruptive to her. The lady apparently didn’t want her to talk at all. Yeah… Good luck with getting my VERY talkative 2 year old to shut up for another 5.5 hours… The lady even had an open seat next to her so she was laying down the whole flight too, and was still complaining.
We had a couple hour layover in Frankfurt and Abbie fell asleep in the stroller as soon as I put her in it about an hour before we took off from there, and then she slept next to me on the flight to Venice and slept the whole way. I woke her up when we landed because it was really hard carrying her and all our junk onto the plane. We managed to get all of our stuff collected on to three normal sized luggage carts in Venice, including the dogs. We got a few funny looks from people, but most people smiled and were friendly. My mom and I managed to push all of the carts by ourselves, while wrangling Abbie at the same time. She was pretty good about staying close by us and she was pretty worried about the dogs so she wanted to “help” with them.
Overall, the trip went really, really well. I wish Abbie would sleep more than she does when we travel, but she usually just gets giddy when she gets really tired so it’s not too bad when she doesn’t sleep. I hope baby boy is as good of a traveler as his big sister is.