Start Point: North Shields, Newcastle Upon Tyne
Destination: Houston, Texas
Totally Journey Time: 21hrs
Number of Flights: 2
Route: NCL - Heathrow -Houston
Start Time: 5.30am
When people used to say they "couldn't sleep" I literally thought they were being dramatic, I had on the odd occasion woken up in the middle of the night and couldn't get back to sleep easily but the thought of getting out of bed to make a cup of warm milk or something would put me straight to sleep...or trying to remember each Big Brother winner in order (try it, it works!). However out of nowhere I have started to lay away at night even if I am exhausted, just worrying about things??!! It has now escalated to "Big" occasions though where if I am lucky I will get a couple hours kip, I had reserved this for things like the night before my Driving test, My Wedding etc but now its all the time, the night before Archie's Birthday party I only got 4hrs because it took me so long to fall asleep churning about equal party bags and safe cake transportation, I then woke up a few times to decide if I should cut the crusts off the sandwich's. Chris made me leave the crusts on because if you don't like them just leave them...honestly couldn't see that at 2am and yes I know I sound insane.
Anyway this is the start of the epic journey, I think even complete strangers know I was absolutely dreading this day and getting a 4yr old, a one year old across the Atlantic solo, so on Wednesday night I didn't get much sleep then on Thursday I slept at my Mam's because we had to get up early... and I don't even remember sleeping, you know that thing you keep checking the clock and then the more you try to go to sleep the less you can *grinds teeth* but I must have got an hour as I was woken up my Mams crazy neighbours having a party at 3am on Thursday?... I then decided to just get up 5am so I wasn't exactly fresh as a daisy. I can honestly say I have never been as worried about something in all my life, I had the most upset stomach, I felt a bit faint and my heart was beating so fast it was jiggling my boobs, I know its stupid, embarrassing and it really annoyed me because in my brain I was thinking "I CAN DO THIS" but my body was thinking..."Yeah lets not". I knew I was in trouble when I didn't even fancy a brew, then I tried to eat a banana but it was literally like chewing cotton wool so much so I had to spit it out. After humouring my neighbour the day before and accepting a pack of "Kalms" off her I necked two, two Ibuprofen AND two paracetemol... no medical reason just to take the edge off! I somehow managed to get dressed and the boys with help from my Mam, I had done all the prep I could, buying loads of new "little" toys, sweets, snacks, I pad fully charged etc and the boys had bright matching outfits and ID bracelets on for tracking reasons, then at 6.30am the Grandparents arrived to take us to the airport and it was time to go! *still got butterfly's thinking about it*
How do I feel?!
Somehow got to the airport and my brother surprised me which was nice having a little gathering waving us off...que tears though, I think my brother got a shock when I clung to him like a tree well he is nearly as tall as a tree... and I really was thinking don't leave meeee but he pried me off and that was it solo time. Oh and totally random *I need to somehow confirm this* but I saw the Rapper Fat Man Scoop if I didn't feel like I might faint I would have asked him for a bit of "Be Faithful" holler Malia Summer 2002!... but he's also got a broken leg so I just left it. I got through security easy enough, went straight down to our gate and asked to board last which was great as the boys had a good run around, I got on the plane, Oscar had a spare seat which was brill he then promptly went to sleep and I had to wake him when we had to get off again!... I don't know if the Kalms were kicking in but I was thinking I might actually make it now. Terminal 5 was heaving but I promised Archie a McDonalds so we went looking for one but no luck, I passed two pray rooms?! but there was no Golden Archs and I was just beginning to think somebody better pray if there isn't a child area but then I found a soft play... erm Amen.
Bought this but I didn't even open it Obvs!
Bacon Sandwich always = Happy!
I knew it was going to be 110% hard graft on my own so I didn't mind that part but everyone said "people will help"...but FYI they don't! I always get a culture shock going to London but A LOT of people really are ****s (add your own swear word). People were just bumping into Archie as he tried to walk next to me, a man walking in front of me just sneezed to the side without covering his nose and didn't even stop walking 9who does that?) and then when Archie dropped his packet of crisps in the Boots que and took a nano second to pick them up a woman actually tutted! It is so hard to do anything dragging the two of them around with a buggy and your luggage but not one person throughout the day offered to help even the security staff watched me struggle to hold Oscar and unfold my buggy with one hand. So if I needed help I had to ask but its like when you have forgot your trolley pound at the supermarket, first your scoping who you are willing to speak to, who will likely help and then who you would accept a pound off...don't even start me on how dirty money is. The only thing I would say in T5's favour is the toilet facility's were brilliant, we all fit comfortably in the disabled loo buggy and all...its the little things *what has happened to my life?!*
Ahhh would have loved a quick neb around here on my own!
So fed, watered, toilet break and soft play done we headed down to the part of my day I would have rather have given birth than do....in fact that's what I would liken this to Labour! I didn't want to do it, but I had to, it was 10hrs of being uncomfortable, lots of hard work and I still feel a bit traumatised a day later. I didn't realise but we had to get a tube to our gate it was that far away, again there was more rudeness, people sprinting in front of you for everything, one person fine, maybe they are late to board but it was a bit like a stampede the amount of people then the train took ages to go? I had enough now and had to let a bit of my Geordie Warrior out when someone nearly knocked Archie off the tube at the wrong stop, "Hey don't worry he's not a dog he responds to excuse me!"...well nice bit of space cleared around us. Its the same when you board a plane though people would walk over their Grandma to board first and unless its EasyJet I want to shout "You have your seat and they wont take off without you"...just an observation.
Anyway Its a long story but after being told I would get the bulk head seats, I didn't and I was also told there were two spare seats on board and I would get one for Oscar but that didn't happen either so I had two of the most cramped seats I have every experienced and without sounding like Hyacinth Bucket, I have flown round the world and this was the worst; I was also dreading it for the poor person sat next to us. However the saving grace of the day was I had the nicest person I could have wished for sitting next to us, I am not even kidding here, his name is Ronald and he is a genuine Texas Sheriff so he is used to dealing with "bad situations" and when he told me not to worry he has a 4 year old Grandson I knew we would be sound. I seriously couldn't have done the flight without this man though, he held Oscar several times while I went to the loo or took Archie to the loo, helped me fill in my customs form, provided some light conversation and even showed the boys his badge and gave them Sheriff stickers. The flight was made a million times worse by the man in front putting his seat back as soon as he could which slammed into Oscars face and from that point on poor Ozzie couldn't even sit up straight on my knee, I couldn't even have my meal because the tray wouldn't go down. I would have asked him to put it up but my Kalms were wearing off now and I really felt like having a good cry instead, I literally couldn't even reach into my bag at my feet to take a picture... I've done a little doodle you might enjoy instead.
Amazing Cartoon boobs.
Amazing Cartoon boobs.
I know I have gone into a lot of detail on everything else but there is not much more I can say for the next 10hrs (or my brain has blanked it out) I am just going to point out the obvious though and say, I HATE flying. I have yet to meet someone who loves it but seriously lets put aside that at any second you could fall out of the sky but its not natural. Your squashed into a metal tube with complete strangers who are always weird, its dirty (take it from me NEVER put your hand in the pocket in front and ALWAYS wash the tray table) it smells, the person in front of me was a cloud of BO and it was like being behind a brown arrow, Its hot then cold then hot (you get the picture), the food is strange and you really can feel every germ entering your system, thanks general public; after the flight I wanted to burn our outfits, I felt so sticky and disgusting. The boys were as good as could be expected and I had hoped they might sleep half of it as we were entering their bedtime but they couldn't get comfy and the arm rest didn't go up?! They both had a nap though and although I promised myself I wouldn't check the time I had the "Skymap" up the entire way and literally counted down every minute ha ha. Even though I was convinced at one point the time went back we eventually arrived. The lovely Sheriff helped us off the plane and we got through security no bother, I have waited 2hrs before but this only took 20mins. We grabbed our luggage and Archie thankfully decided he would like to push it while I pushed Oscar ...and I have never been so happy to see the husband in all my life!
My first impressions of Houston are WOW, it is literally like walking into a hairdryer or a sauna fully clothed. I have been a bit worried about our Condo as we are used to our lil house with our things and with a garden, I was imagining Monica's place on Friends but this is huge and so modern...in fact I feel sorry for the place. Its all granite and white walls, it has no idea that the sticky brothers grim are coming. I don't know why but the sink did make me laugh, its a only a two bed and has a dishwasher but the sink is big enough to bath an Alsatian. I cant tell you how nice it was to have a scolding shower, a glass of wine and both my hands back too.
So we made it, we have arrived, I nipped to get a smoothie when we landed and the guy serving me said "OMG your accent is so cute!" so I think we will fit in just fine for now.
Can take a lass out of the Toon....
Actually worried to open this lot! *lump in throat*
Jet lag is killing Archie...and us!