Saturday, June 18, 2011

A travel top ten

We're here at last.  We've settled into our temporary (for the next three weeks or so) home and are recovering from jet lag.  Here's a quick recap of what I've learned over the past 48 hours.

10)  Scheduled flights and assigned seating are merely suggestions for the airline industry and are not requirements.  All three of our flights were delayed and airlines do not feel that it is necessary to seat an 18 month old near his parents.

9) Per Alatalia policy, children under two "are not allowed" to have their own seats and must be lap children.  Car seats are deemed to be unsafe but sitting on their parent's lap for 8 hours is.

8)  Sidney is like his mamma and does not sleep during transatlantic, overnight flights.

Waiting out the first flight delay
7)  Moving overseas with 8 large pieces of checked luggage, 4 carry-ons, a car seat, and an active 18 month old is quite the experience no matter how much pre-planning one has done.

6)  Mamma's big black purse is actually a diaper bag, important document holder, leftover food storage  container, and generally the most important piece of baggage we have.

5)  As a whole, Albanians and Italians are patient, children loving people.  The only dirty looks we got during our travels were from single Italian men.  On both the flight from Boston to Rome and Rome to Tirana, numerous people, both men and women, offered their assistance in holding Sidney or carrying our bags.

View from main terrace
4)  State Department standards for living quarters are much higher than DOD and we are now reaping the benefits of their higher standards now.

3)  Based on our drive from the airport, all those years of riding the bumper cars is going to pay off.  Driving in Tirana puts a whole new meaning on the term defensive driving.  I'm going to recommend that JMAS adds a one-day bumper car driving program to their curriculum.

2)  From what we can see from our oversized terrace, Tirana is as colorful, eclectic and chaotic as everyone has said.  We are so excited to be here.

1)  I am married to the most patient man on earth.  If an explanation is needed, see numbers 2-10 above.

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