*The following is one of 15 blog posts are about our trip to China. When we were waiting to travel, I anxiously read every blog & article I could about traveling, so I hope this helps anyone looking for info. Of course, it's all us our personal experience, so yours may be different.
Here's the itinerary:
- Fly from Indy to Chicago & Chicago to Beijing
- 3 nights in Beijing
- 5 nights is Wuhan, where we meet S
- 6 nights in Guangzhou
- drive to Hong Kong & fly back to USA
- drive to Hong Kong & fly back to USA
Day 16 - Thursday
4:30 am - Wake up. No breakfast buffet today, because it didn't start until 6:30 am. (and who's ready to eat that early anyway?) The very thoughtful hotel staff packed a breakfast for all of us. No Skyping today either.
5:30 am - YES, 5:30 AM!!! Jump in the van to Hong Kong. A long 2 hr trip. At least traffic wasn't bad and, as always, S was very good in the vehicle - Oh, if only planes had that effect on him!
7:30 am - Arrive in Hong Kong. A lot of other families were on the same schedule as us. So happy that S won't be the only kid on the plane. He doesn't have to be perfect, but as long as he's not the worst, I'll be happy! Is it awful that I'm praying another kid flips out more than S?!?! ; )
11:40 am - Boarded the flight. Why do we have to board so early?? I hate just sitting there, waiting on the tarmac…
12:15 pm - Take off for Chicago - 15 hours - Lord help us! Actually takeoff from Hong Kong was pretty cool. We flew over the ocean and I could see large ships and islands - so beautiful. It was definitely a long ride. All of the kids seemed to take turns crying. S did a little, but no major, prolonged freak-outs, thank goodness! Ob had stocked up on new toys & snacks the night before, so we broke them out as needed. S really didn't get a good long sleep - just a couple 1-2 hr naps.
2:45 am China time/ 1:45 pm Chicago time- (From now on I'll flip to Chicago time.) Arrive in Chicago for a 3 hr layover…or so we thought!! It ended up being more like a 6 hr layover because we were delayed 4 times!! Apparently there were storms on the East coast, where our plane was arriving from. And O'Hara was complete chaos!!! I've never been to a more crowded, unorganized airport (and that's saying a lot considering all of the airports we've been to in the last 2 weeks!!) I will NEVER again fly through there!!! It was especially frustrating because our home is only a 3 hour drive away from Chicago. When our flight first started being delayed we weighed our options:
a) Wait it out & hope it doesn't get cancelled.
b) Rent a car & drive home. But what about our luggage? How would we get that back? And Ob was working on 30 hours of sleeplessness - not ideal for driving!
c) Hire a driver to take us home. Same issue with luggage. And I assume that'd be super expensive!
So, we stuck with choice a) and thankfully it didn't get canceled, BUT by the time it was delayed a 4th time I was in tears! Like the big, heaving, snotty ones = not pretty. The lack of sleep + dealing with a moody toddler + pregnancy hormones + airport chaos + being so close to home but stuck = mommy melt-down. So I laid down & tried to sleep (there were actually many people, all over the airport doing the same thing!) This was one of the times I was so grateful to have Ob there with me. He took care of S while I got some much needed rest.
9:45 pm - Take off from Chicago. By now, S was totally over airports and airplanes, so about 15 minutes into the flight he had a super, screaming meltdown! And it lasted the rest of the flight. There was nothing we could do to sooth him. Thankfully, the flight was only 30 minutes total and most of the passengers were very supportive (except for one grumpy old man that told us we just need to beat him - and he was serious!) One of the other, kind passengers even approached us later and said he was praying for us! :)
11:20 pm Indy time (10:20 pm Chicago time) - Arrive in Indy. I absolutely bawled when I saw the other 3 kiddos! Also there were my parents, sister, grandma, and mother-in-law - all with signs and flags for S. Then, finally, the drive home.
|First pic as a family of 6! :)|
And meeting everyone at the airport...
12:15 am - HOME = GREATEST FEELING EVER!! When we walked in, the house was clean, smelled great, and the fridge was stocked!! So grateful for my awesome family!! Ob & I chowed down on some left over pizza and dirt pudding! Even though it was late we passed out souvenirs to everyone and Ob, S, & I took much-needed showers, so we didn't get to bed until 2 am. After 34 hours of traveling home, we were finally there!