For the love of Europe 2016

For the love of…

 

Europe 2016

Wow! what a week it has been getting organised for Europe 2016. I’m one of those people who works best under pressure and as a result, I leave everything to the last minute. I had lists for lists of things to get done and felt so good when I crossed my final to do off, which was – Take a deep breathe because your list is now finished – Phew!

Are we completely mad or just silly flying out at 9:30pm? My eleven month old girl, Raffaella – often referred to as Raff is like clock work with her sleeps. Raff is in bed at 7 and obsesses over her cot. Dear Lord give us strength so we survive the next 24 hours with a teething child, no cot and can anyone tell us how to work out when it’s 7pm bedtime – when passing through multiple time zones. Anyways, there is sun on the otherside of all this..

To alleviate some of the angst we get to the airport early, with a few spare hours up our sleeve just incase shit goes pear shaped. That will never happen at an airport though because everything always goes to plan when travelling, right? Especially with flights and luggage and seating and baggage weight.

Departing Melbourne, is my husband Anton, Raff, my brother, Paul and I. Of all the stamps between our passports, my brother and I have never travelled outside of Australia together. That spins me out just thinking about it, both our parents are migrants to Australia and us as first generation Aussies have never been abroad together. We were meant to live together in London about ten years ago but I never got there when he called it home.

The four of us decided to go on this trip when Paul was discharged from hospital mid 2015, just before I was due to give birth. After a motorbike accident that cost him his life for a few seconds and time in a coma, we made a decision to travel together. We saved our arses off to get this far but life is too precious not to make memories.

Thankfully check in goes smoothly and we board the @antlerluggage train with our shipping containers – I mean suitcases. Time and fortune were on our side allowing us to ching a champers in the lounge while singing nursery rhymes to the Raff. No judgement please.

Boarding went well, although the seating arrangements not so great. The champion girl that was meant to be seated next to me happily swapped seats with Anton as he’d been shafted a couple of rows back. For whatever reason Qantas thought it would be clever to separate our booking so Anton and my brother were not seated in the same row as me. Bloody hell Qantas you aren’t letting those boys enjoy a comfy ride with lots of sleep while I deal with a potential screaming kid the entire flight.

We are on a Qantas flight but an Emirates plane, can’t fault these aircrafts – spacious and comfortable and the one perk of taking a toddler on a plane, is front section seating. First seated means first off – Giddy Up!

The usual plane routine takes place – take off – settle in – mealtime – movies on and then gradually everyone’s head starts to drop forward as they doze off to sleep. Not us though, after Raff welcomed each passenger onto the plane, she spent the next few hours making herself known to the new friends (that were trying to sleep) surrounding us, mostly excited about pushing their control buttons and pulling out their headset connection. Not annoying at all.

The bassinets are a great idea, but Raff having been blessed with thighs like her Mama found it difficult to squeeze in. She was able to stand up in the bassinet though and provide free entertainment to the plane, she finally clocked off at about 2am and we all did our best to sleep – for the first leg – on a plane – with a toddler – for the next fifteen hours.

Can’t fault the effort Raff put in; she aced this new experience much easier than we initially gave her credit for. The folk around us seemed happy enough and praised her for not being noisy. Not sure what plane they were on, there were a couple of loud episodes and I’m sure if translated from baby babble, would probably mean – how much bloody longer do we have on this plane.. x

Anna Owens is the founder of ownsit! A mama working in Community Development and Partnerships Education. Anna is a colour crazy, creativity enthusiast who loves to design, collect shoes, eat & travel.. x

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