Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Car. Plane. Bus. Boat.

A lot of people said we were brave taking our four kids to Fiji for Christmas and New Years. We were going with the Geege's Mum and Dad and his sister and her family so the ratio was 6:7 adults to children. We thought it would be okay. We weren't expecting a 'holiday', we are far too practical for that, but a break and a change of scenery. It was loads of fun actually.

Packing was pretty hard work. The Plan A stuff was easy - swimmers, rash vests, board shorts, it was the contingency planning that was trickier. What if it was unseasonably cold? Throw a jumper and a pair of trackies in. What if there is no washing machine? Throw in some extra shorts and T-shirts. What if you need to 'dress' for dinner? Throw in a collared shirt and some enclosed shoes.

Then there was the issue of Christmas and Birthday presents. The questions had been asked by the kids: "Will Santa find us in Fiji?" and the "Of course" that we responded with was not well thought out. If only we had thought to get Santa to come early or late this year so that we didn't have to lug all the presents across the Pacific Ocean. Santa kindly brought small, thoughtful gifts this year. It worked okay.

Four giant bags later, we were packed and ready to rumble.

We arrived at the airport at 6am. It took more than 1.5 hours to 'check in'. I couldn't believe it! There was a massive kerfuffle about the twins being 'infants' (their birthday is Christmas day and we were travelling on Christmas eve) but had their own seats booked. Note to self: Never travel on the eve of a child's 2nd birthday again.

They weren't allowed to have their allocated seats (although we had paid for them) so had to sit on our laps (side by side) which meant we had 5 people in three seats. Lots of fun for the four hour journey!

We rushed to board the plane after grabbing a bite to eat for some exorbitant cost. Next note to self: Never buy food at the airport again.

As we walked through the plane looking for our seats, you could see the people in the rows we passed doing air punches. Celebrating that we weren't sitting next to them. We were quite a spectacle I suspect.
The aeroplane entertainment got quite a lot of consideration in the packing stage. Things that are light and can entertain children for four hours had me stumped for some time....hmmm...the 1001 Things to Spot books were a winner, as was 50 Things to do on a Plane. The toddler naps were a saving grace as was, dare I say it, the DVD player we hired from Virgin and Cousin A's DS. The trip went surprisingly smoothly. That is until we hit crazy turbulence and the storm that was over Fiji as we were arriving. Nugget thought it was cool, like a 'roller coaster'. Doo Dah freaked. The twins just held on a little tighter.

We were picked up at the airport and taken by bus (in the rain) through the Christmas Eve traffic in Nadi to a boat at the marina. I wished that we could have stopped at the local markets - the pineapples looked amazing from the bus window - but there was no time for tourism.

The boat was quite scary. A little tinny that didn't look equipped to tackle the unsettled waters and allowed the rain in. We were soaked before we even took off. The driver was however gifted and managed to get us all to the Island with only a few audible inhalations and squeals from me. I couldn't help but think we would all be doomed if we capsized because all four of my children are non-swimmers. The travel sickness tablets I had taken didn't help me fight this feeling of doom. I felt like I was tripping on mercury and had to concentrate to keep my eyes open. I doubt I could have swum for my life let alone saved anyone elses. Note to self: Just the one tablet on the way home.

But we arrived safely. Car. Plane. Bus. Boat. It had been a long day and it was only 4pm.

Have you travelled overseas with your children? How did you find the experience? Any tips for young players?

Tune in tomorrow for more on the Fiji adventure...


Andrea said...

Wow...I can't wait to hear about the trip! Love the air pumping comment. There has been many times that I think about my time before kids once being that air pumping person. Now I see how those parents were able to tune the noise out so easier because I do the same. I bet you are still trying to recoup!

Life In A Pink Fibro said...

I'm exhausted already and it's only day one!

Frog, Goose and Bear said...

I'm appalled that you didn't get to use the seats that you paid for - ridiculous! The getting there might be tough going, but I'm sure you'll love the rest of it!! What a great experience to remember as a family.

Sophie {Red Dust Love} said...

Amazing! What a feat!!! We are planning a big trip in 2012 to the US with a 5, 3 and 1 year old. I am daunted by this but very excited too. Hiring a Winnebago style bus for the entire trip. Loved reading that you survived though!

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

You've only taken us through Day 1 of your trip, and I'm already hailing you my hero. :) Can't wait to hear more!

Maxabella said...

I hope you get your money back for those seats. What cheek!

The plane / boat was always going to be the tough bit... I am looking forward to seeing if you found it worth the journey! x

DancingInTheRain said...

Welcome back! Looking forward to hearing more about the adventures!

Suzie G said...

We had a holiday to Fiji. It was a DISASTER. 5 month old & just over 2 year old. Anything that could go wrong, went wrong, right up until we got back to our car and we had a flat battery. I must blog about it one day!! I look forward to seeing how your trip went :)

Busy Working Mama said...

OMG are you kidding? I can't believe they weren't allowed to sit in their seats. Did they refund you??

LOL and airport food is overpriced and often stale :) I've suffered through it one too many times :)

Rebecca said...

Wow...that's exhausting! Glad you finally got there! That is ridiculous about the seats...you get what you pay for (until someone who doesn't know your needs tells your otherwise). Ridiculous! Can't wait to hear more about the relaxing part!

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