I have finally got hooked up to internet after being here for four days. I have been keeping a journal of sorts on my computer though. So I thought I would post the first entry entitled Flight.
We decided to leave early for LA so we would not have to sit in the dreaded traffic. We went to the Santa Monica Pier. It was a nice place for us to kill some time. It was chilly on the water, but we walked around quite comfortably. We even saw some church members from our area that recognized us. The best part for Bella was the swings on the beach, of course. She can swing forever.
We left 30 minutes earlier than intended for LAX; which we were glad for. It took an hour to drive 8 miles! (You gotta love California traffic!) At the Virgin Atlantic check in counter the line was LONG. So Tyler went to the premium economy line (which was open) to see if we could get an upgrade. (On the return flight, we will fly premium economy. The man who helped us get the tickets arranged for those seats at economy prices. The nicest seats are upper class, they lay down flat. Premium economy is like first class on Alaska Airlines.) The Virgin Atlantic worker would not/could not upgrade without charging an exorbitant amount of money. Plus, we learned we needed to pay a tax fee for Isabella, a lap infant. It took 1 hour for the lady to find out exactly how much that fee would be! Can you imagine chasing an 18 month old around the check in line for 1 hour? Not fun, to say the least. It didn’t help that the stairs and escalator were right next to us which led up to the security screening. (“Only ticketed passengers beyond this point” signs were posted everywhere. No stairs for Bella!)
After making it through the screening process we had about 30 minutes to eat before boarding. We envisioned LAX to be this huge mall-like airport. There was nothing in our terminal. Burger King did not even have the BK Veggie! We lost Isabella’s shoe (luckily daddy found it), and no changing table in the family bathrooms. The plane boarded late and left a half our late, about 9:35 pm. We were in a bulkhead area which meant more leg room, but unfortunately the arm rests do not move. We all had individual televisions which was nice. At 10pm the lights came back on (after Isabella fell asleep) and they served a meal and drinks. It was very strange, loud, and not conducive to sleep. I was not ready to sleep but Tyler and Bella were. The lap infants need their own belt which attaches to the parent’s belt. That was not comfortable for her. She woke up about three times crying to take that off. She didn’t want daddy to hold her, just mommy, which meant my legs and bottom fell asleep and ached most of the night. She did sleep pretty well though. I might have slept 1 hour the entire flight (not at once but all together). I suppose by the early morning I was not in a great mood. I did watch 17 Again and the Hannah Montana Movie. Both of which were very cute. Time flew by when I was watching a movie.
When we landed we had to wait 45 minutes on the runway for a gate to open. (Can’t anything go right?) After walking through the Heathrow Airport to get to customs we were sweating BIG TIME. London is having a heat wave, and the airport did not have air conditioning. When we see the line for customs and see the sign that says 45 minute wait, we were disappointed to say the least. A long line was the last thing we wanted to see. So Tyler asked the attendant if we could go to a faster line (not that we saw one, but if there was one, we wanted to be in it). He opened a line just for us and we walked right up to the front. No wait! Praise God, he definitely answers prayers! Our entire luggage arrived, which is always a nice thing to happen.
Pray for us. An 8 hour time difference is difficult for anyone to adjust to, let alone an 18 month old. We will keep you updated on how things are going here.