It’s been a long road, but spoiler alert: we made it. The journey was long and stressful, but we eventually did make it to Dublin.
Let’s go back to the start of our journey and work our way to arrival.
Paperwork: there was so much paperwork to deal with before we could even leave. Paperwork that included: passports, obtaining a Work Visa for Kevin, documents for immigration, and documents for customs. We have two big shipments heading over to Dublin and in order to avoid import taxes there is a mound of paperwork to do; to prove we are “permanently moving” to Ireland. I had the pleasure of gathering documents, scanning, copying, and making folders to separate all the documents; I’m a little over-organized you might say.
Shipments of our things: Microsoft paid for two shipments of our things to Ireland. The first shipment was by cargo land/sea and could be up to a 40ft container; this would take a minimum of 30 days to reach us. The second shipment is by air freight and is about a 4ft x 4ft box; this would take a week or two to reach us. The first thing we had to do was decide what to take and which shipment it would go in. I have a large stockpile of kids clothes in various sizes, so of course, I wanted all that to go as well as a large assortment of toys and games and books. It was difficult to narrow down the shipments because everything that goes to Ireland won’t necessarily be coming back and I had to plan for two years out. Needless to say after several weeks of packing and moving things around we figured out what to airship and what to send on the slow boat. Everything left over, minus the furniture and kitchen stuff, went in a container on our property.
Packing our Bags: Knowing that we wouldn’t have any of our stuff for a few weeks, we had to take enough things to last us the first week in Ireland on the plane with us. We had one large Checked Bag, a Hiking Backpack, two rolling suitcases, and a backpack for everyone. The large Checked Bag ended up being full of the kids blankets from their beds, so they would at least feel more at home upon arrival. One rolling suitcase held all our electronics which included 9 laptops, 4 iPhones, 2 Surfaces, 3 Kindles, and all the chargers. Let’s just say going through security was quite an adventure. The kids each had their own backpacks, which they filled with treasures for the flight; except Roxi who had a diaper bag I carried. Needless to say, we were quite the sight and it was quite the adventure.
The Flight: Ten hours trapped on an airplane with 4 kids seems daunting; I’ll confess I was nervous about that part. However, the kids did great. They each had several activities in their backpacks, but I don’t think anyone touched their toys. The kids were fascinated with the in-flight entertainment systems in front of them. Movies, games, and TV shows at their fingertips and since we don’t watch a whole lot of TV at home; this was a dream come true for them. They each spent the entire 10 hours watching movies and shows, and only a few hours sleeping. We got three meals, though they called one meal a “snack”, and drink service was offered constantly throughout the flight.
Adventures in Flying: To limit the amount of bag we had on the flight, I took a few diapers out of the diaper bag and stuffed it into my checked bag. I forgot to grab the wipes (save that info for later); I also check the kid’s Tylenol because it was a liquid and I didn’t want to deal with problems. Halfway into the flight, Maddex started crying and told us he had a major migraine headache. I had no medicine to give him, except Excedrin Migraine, my must have, I was busy trying to break up a pill to give him when he decided he was going to puke. Good thing they still have puke bags on the flight, we ended up going through four of them. Poor boy. I gave him some crushed up medicine and some Coke (caffeine), but he puked a few minutes later so we had to do that all over again in the hopes that he would get some medicine in his system. He finally ended up passing out for an hour, woke up, puked again, and then felt better. It is so hard to watch a child in pain, I have migraines and they are not fun; to be trapped mid-flight had to be awful for him but he is such a trooper; he did great.
Roxi decided to take a major dump and, as mentioned above, I forgot the wipes. Kevin had to figure that one out as I had two sleeping children on me at the time (darn it).
Khaleesi took a short nap mid-flight and Mila tried to but she only made it a few minutes before food service came around.
Roxi fell asleep before the plane took off and slept for about three hours, but that was the only time she slept during this flight. Then she had a major blow out just as we were starting our decent. Mila cried as we descended because it hurt her ears so bad. I gave her gum and eventually the pain stopped. I changed Roxi as we taxied on the runway to our gate.
Arrival in Paris (CDG) Airport: When we left Seattle, we gate checked our child carrier backpack that we used to transport Roxi around. Upon arrival in Paris, the backpack was nowhere to be found. We asked the flight attendants but they were told by baggage crew that the pack had been loaded with the checked bags and there was nothing they could do. Needless to say, we now had to carry around Roxi and all our luggage from the flight. We got a little turned around in the airport and ended up getting lost and backtracking; all while carrying a baby, a lot of luggage, and everyone being exhausted. It was about 11pm Washington time, but morning in Paris. When we finally got ourselves to the correct terminal, we had to go through security check again with our carry-on bags. By the time we reached our gate, Kevin and I were ready for a nap, but all the kids were in that super hyper “if we stop moving we’ll fall asleep” phase. We still had a two hour wait for the flight and a two-hour flight in front of us.
Roxi ended up passing out for a bit while waiting for the flight. We were more than ready to go at 1pm, Paris time, when our flight was supposed to take off; only to be told our plane hadn’t arrived yet and we were delayed another hour. When we finally loaded the plane, a small regional jet, I just wanted to take a nap. However, the adventure wasn’t over yet. We had bought a seat for Roxi even though she is only 1 year and she can be a lap baby. The rule in Paris is that if a baby has a seat they must have a car seat on the plane, which we didn’t have, not a rule in the US I guess. So, I had to hold Roxi the whole flight, with a special seatbelt that went around both of us, and I had to seat in a particular seat because of the oxygen masks. It was slightly annoying, and you know when you are over-tired everything that is annoying is multiplied by 100. I had to sit in the window seat, which was a bummer because Maddex was really looking forward to that. In the end, it didn’t really matter because everyone fell asleep before the plane took off; everyone except me that is. I think I ended up sleeping a little in there somewhere. It was a pretty quick flight for all of us though, everyone was asleep the whole time. They needed it.
Dublin, at last!!: Finally, after what seemed a lifetime of traveling we made it to Dublin safe and sound. The view flying in was gorgeous, pictures don’t do it justice at all, but I love the view coming in.
Made it into the airport, through customs, and onto baggage claim. Unfortunately, our kid carrier was nowhere to be found. Now, we had all our luggage and no way to carry Roxi except by hand. We still had to find our air coach transport that would take us to our temporary digs. Luckily, as we made it out of the baggage claim area I saw a man holding a sign for Kevin Miller. I was like, is that for us? So, Kevin went over and talked to the guy who said he had a car for Kevin part of 6, cool. He helped us with our baggage and took us to the parking area, where a large taxi for 9 was waiting. I thought I had purchased shuttle service, but it may be that our relocation experts booked transport for us and I didn’t know it. We were taken directly to our apartment buildings, checked in, and finally we were home (for at least the next month).