I’m running on about two hours sleep as I write this so if you want a meaningful, reasoned, intelligible blog post you’re out of luck. What I can give you is tired and emotional. Will that do?
The Australia trip isn’t out of my system. I’m still on Sydney time (oh jetlag!) but there’s so much more suckiness to tell you about. It should be said that nothing tops our 2014 trip with Finn and Bennett when two herniated discs in Rob’s spine made themselves known on our first day in Sydney. He was in pain the entire trip and for months after the trip until he had back surgery in June, a good six months later. It was more comfortable for him to sleep on the floor than in a bed and he couldn’t sit for longer than a few minutes. On the plane home he lay down over three seats. If Virgin’s ground crew were aware of how bad it was, we wouldn’t have been allowed to fly. I had to wrangle both boys and my disabled husband plus all of our luggage for two days between Sydney and Boston. I said then that I wouldn’t travel to Australia again until the boys were five years or older. And then less than two years later, like a madwoman, I decide it might be time to book another flight to Sydney. With a baby.
I had to go. My dad doesn’t fly so there’s no way he’d meet Jules unless we somehow got ourselves to Australia. I left Robbie with Finn and Bennett and did it. The flight over suuuuuuucked. Jules was an angel baby. Didn’t cry once. I’m not even kidding. But I was a wreck. I am nursing exclusively because Jules won’t take a bottle. And nursing on a long haul flight is horrible. There’s a whole “nursing while flying” blog post in this so I’ll spare you for now.
When we got to Oz, Virgin had lost our bags. We waited for them for two days wearing our pajamas. And maybe I’m the bad joint omen because my travel partner’s knee started to cause her pain on the first day of the trip. She got to the bottom of the Opera House steps and apparently just from looking at the stairs, her knee gave out. They are steep, I tell you. As I write this, she is in a hospital bed having knee surgery.
There are a few givens that happen on every Australia trip. I don’t see enough of my family. My allergies flare up. I eat too many Australian lollies (re-living my childhood). I get annoyed by little things. I feel guilty about uprooting whichever kid I brought. I dread the return flight. All of those things happened as expected, but this time a few extra issues were going on. My planning was crap. My brother was running a marathon in Sydney and could only get one weekend off to come to Sydney. My other brother’s Fiji trip coincided with the marathon and my dad had booked tickets to Sydney for his return. So in the two weeks I was in Australia I only saw my dad and brothers for about 6 hours.
The return flight was even worse than the way over, because it spanned 40 hours. It was easier for me and Jules than it was for my travel partner, whose knee was so bad we needed a wheelchair to get around. Rob Lowe was sitting one seat away from me on the LA to Boston flight. Rob Lowe you guys!! Rob Lowe heard Jules cry and if he had looked over at the right moment, Rob Lowe may have caught a little side boob (more about nursing on a plane later). At the end of the flight Rob Lowe talked to me. He said Sydney is beautiful. Rob Lowe seemed impressed by how long we had been traveling and what a trooper Jules was. He said Jules was “a flyer”. Yup – Rob Lowe thinks you’re a flyer Jules.
When we finally got to Boston, Virgin had lost my bag. Again. Sitting a seat away from Rob Lowe can’t even guarantee that you’ll get all your stuff back.
So if you see me contemplating another long haul trip before 2020 send a psychologist because you will know that I am out of my mind.
PS – I loved seeing my mum and dad and brothers. I loved seeing my friends. Tasmania was beautiful. Maybe after I get some sleep I’ll write my ‘positive’ travel post. After I sleep.