Friday, October 9, 2015

Flying the Friendly Skies

And now for a brief interruption in our regularly scheduled programming...

In other words, I'm going to take the liberty to pause our rewind of our summer to catch you up just a bit on our BIG move across the BIG globe.

Still I will likely use mostly pictures and far less words with these posts in order to move more swiftly through this catch-up time. :) Hope you don't mind!

And so we begin...

After spending July through almost all of September with family in Northwest Louisiana and traveling to visit other family as well as for our son to attend church camp in Mississippi, some of our family drove us to (&/or met us in) Dallas, Texas in order for us to board our nearly 15 hour flight from there to Doha, Qatar (yes, non-stop!).

You can very well imagine at least a bit of the stress and emotions that went into preparing for and executing this day. Remember, the flight will consist of me, our 10-year-old son, our 9-month-old daughter, and all of the belongings we could possibly fit within our checked and carry-on ("hand baggage") size and weight allowance. (We did ship a few things ahead...fairly small ones...and left a few more to ship periodically as we are ready to pay the shipping fees.)

As far as the luggage, I used a luggage scale throughout my initial and final packing processes and was fully prepared to have to pay weight overage fees for two bags plus one extra bag fee (which for our airline was $250 USD!). I was also prepared (though very reluctant) to have to throw out some things in our carry-on luggage. All I can say is God truly answered my prayers time and time again throughout this entire move process (as He has since way back when the idea of it even started). More confirmation that we are on His path for us. BTW, we didn't have to pay any weight overage fees nor throw anything out. We only had to pay the one extra bag fee. AND we (me & 2 young kiddos) made it through security as smoothly and swiftly as possible. Not without stress, but only due to all we had to juggle in that rushed space and time. I must praise our 10-year-old son for being so obedient and helpful! He truly was amazing! Love him! So thankful for him! :)

Okay, okay, I said less let the pics begin!

Wish I had more pics on my own phone from our goodbyes at the airport, but this is a sweet one that I do happen to have. These are my sweet in-laws who let us live with them from July to September. Very bittersweet moment here saying goodbye to them at the airport.

My mother and one sister and two of my nieces were there at the airport with us also. It was very special and sweet (and, of course, sad) to have them all there! We also had a very nice lunch together with all of them and my other sister at Pappadeaux's in Grapevine, Texas right before we headed to the DFW airport. It was a sweet time as well. So glad we all had that time together.

Part of our voyage through DFW International security...stroller and all.
Sweet, handsome young man helping Mommy and Little Sister :) (You can't imagine how many gray buckets we had to use! Not to mention the items that went through without buckets! We made it though. And no one seemed to get frustrated at us! All were patient and understanding and even helpful! Whew!!!)

There's that sweet, handsome young man making his way through.

I put him in the bright green shirt on purpose! ;) Could spot him from anywhere! It worked!

Waiting on our call to board the plane. Looks like Baby Girl was a bit teary-eyed! ;) Me too.

Baby Girl and Big Brother entertaining themselves while we waited to board the plane.

Baby Girl is excited to fly on a plane for her first time ever! :)

Baby Girl watching the horizon and the sunset and the clouds. Oh, the view!

Big Brother LOVED his built-in TV/Movie Theater/Video Game Station complete with headphones! BTW, Qatar Airways is the #1 airline in the world from what I am told. I must say, it truly was very nice. Seats were very spacious (and we were NOT in First nor Business class, though those seats looked AWESOME!).

NO, she did not really drink Coke! ;) Just thought it was a cute pic of the tiny Coke can with Arabic writing.

Sorry for the lighting. Thought I would edit these but decided not to put off the post any longer for that. So, you get what you get and don't throw a fit! (as my niece would say) But anyway, this is a little pic of the makeshift play area I set up for Baby Girl in my foot space in our bulkhead seating aread. The magazine pockets made for a nice toy holder!

Baby Girl playing with her toys.

I think she may be a Flight Attendant when she grows up!

Beautiful sunset out my window!

You can barely see it but that is Baby Girl's bassinet on the bulkhead wall in front of my seat. When I stand up, it's about chest height. There were two others (one in each of the 2 sections to the right of us). She slept in and on. Plus I had to get her out if there was turbulence. She even sat up and stood up in it once (with me standing up holding her) and gave the passengers a Pat-A-Cake hand-clapping show! :) It was very nice to have the bassinet, even if only to let her stretch her legs sometimes. Also to give me a little break off and on from holding her...for 15 hours!

Hard to see but the TV screen on the bulkhead wall in the center showed us a representation of our plane and where we were flying at the time on the globe. Was pretty cool to recognize map spots from what we have been learning in Classical Conversations homeschool lately! (We flew over, among other things: Africa, the Red Sea, etc. and our son recognized it all!)

I tried to catch a better, quick picture but really missed the full effect. We were surprized with Meet & Greet services by my husband when we got off the plane, so this nice lady met us with a sign with all of our names on it and guided us to a nice lounge where she handled our immigration as well as getting a man to collect our baggage and escort us and my husband to our car and load it! AWESOME!

The kids hanging out in the lounge while we were served hot tea, water, and Coke while we waited on everything to be done.

I had to get my eyes scanned at one of those machines on the counter on the right. Very futuristic!

And there you have it! Please excuse any typos! Until next time...

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