Overall the trip back to the States went really well. We managed to leave our house at 7am on Friday morning. We got all of our luggage (4 big suitcases, 2 carry on suitcases, 2 book bags, the pack n play bag, the double stroller + case, and 2 car seats) into the XC90 without having to put anything on top. My friend, Taryn, rode down with us and drove the car back at put it in our garage.
I was worried about getting the bulkhead seats on the flight since our flight went directly from Venice to JFK in NY. They have little bassinets they can hook in front of you, so I wanted that so we didn’t have to hold Ben the whole time since we didn’t buy him a seat. They managed to get Abbie and me seats, along with another guy, in the bulkhead row. The guy didn’t want to trade Mark seats (he was back about 6 rows) because he had hip issues and needed more room to stretch out. Luckily, the airline attendant was really cool and she upgraded his seat so Mark could sit with us. Both kids did pretty well on that flight, although Ben and I both managed to get sick on that flight. Abbie was already sick, so I think we both picked up her cold. Not fun.
Mark and I were a little worried about how we were going to get all our junk picked up and on our next flight by ourselves. (Once you go through customs in JFK you have to get all your luggage and recheck it if you come from overseas.) However, it was a lot easier than we were anticipating, which just proves to me once again that Mark and I are the perfect traveling partners. With all our luggage plus 2 kids, it was still easy. Thank God. We had like 5 hours to kill while we waited for our next flight to Atlanta, so we ate at Chili’s, which was I think the worst meal we’d ever had at one of those. It was terrible. Pretty disappointing.
We got into Atlanta around 9:30pm, after a pretty rocky flight. Both kids were crabby because we took off at 7pm, which was 2am our time and Abbie hadn’t napped all day. Ben was just pissy, but the both zonked out about an hour into the flight, which was nice. We plopped them into the BOB stroller when we got off the plane and they both slept while we got all our baggage, walked to the car rental place, stood in line FOREVER to get the car and then finally got our first rental car. We had a bit of a snafu at the car rental place. We had reserved a mid-sized SUV thinking that if we could fit all our junk into our XC90, that we’d be able to fit it all into a mid-sized SUV. Wrong. After us playing musical luggage for 30 minutes trying to fit all our junk into the car, the kind people at Avis upgraded us at no charge to the largest SUV they offer. Thank God.
I was worried about all 4 of us being in a hotel room together and none of us getting any sleep, but it wasn’t as bad as I was anticipating. Abbie did really well in her own big bed by herself and Ben slept in his car seat. Ben woke up a few times, as usual, but Abbie did really well and even slept in until we got her up! Maybe our cruise in July won’t be so bad after all.
We got back on the road around 11am and stopped for lunch at a Chick-fil-a, which was FABULOUS! They have such outstanding customer service and great food. Really made us realize even more why we miss living in the States. We made it to our apartment around 1pm and got all checked in. Our apartment is a complete dump, but more on that in a different post. We went to Ross and Target (!!!!) and had dinner at a Lonestar and really enjoyed our first day back in the States. Jet lag wasn’t bad for any of us, but this is the easy direction to come. Going back will be much worse, but that’s 2 months away!