Good-bye Sydney, Good-bye Australia, Good-bye Malin's!
It was SO hard to say good-bye - so many tears!
We had an absolutely incredible, amazing, fantastic, out of this world time and we all could have stayed longer. We were not ready to go....but of course we packed their SUV to the brim with our 3 suitcases, 3 carry-ons, a carseat, double stroller, 2 children, and 3 adults. Raquel and the kids had to stay at their house, there was simply no way they would fit. We drove to the airport seeing the Sydney Opera House and Harbor Bridge one last time. We arrived at the airport and unloaded and headed to the ticket counter with 2 hours until flight take off...we thought we would have plenty of time. But as we waited and waited and waited, 15 minutes went by in line then 30 and finally 1 hour of standing in line (and mind you there were only 15 people ahead of us)...Scott and I began to sweat at this point because we still had to clear customs...we left the ticket counter with 50 minutes to take off...Scott took our oversize luggage (aka the stroller and carseat) to a special counter and then we ran to customs where we HURRIDLY filled out our immigration paperwork (we should have done that in line :)...we (PTL) made it through customs in record time and were ready for security...thankfully they saw we had kids and let us skip the line and we ran to our gate as they started calling for families with small children...that was a close one. Luckily the ride from there on out was pretty smooth. The flight home is more challenging because you are flying in the daytime so Solon really only slept 2 hours (naptime) but Qantas had Disney Junior on Demand, we walked the plane a couple of times (our plane was a 747 - so there was some yardage to walk), used the restroom, had a couple of meals, played trains on the bulkhead floor and hung out - he was a trooper. Miss Vera slept for about 7 hours and otherwise hung out. They were such good travelers for 2.5 and 5 months! We were not as lucky this time and Scott had to sit across the aisle so another family with a baby could have the 2nd bassinet in the bulkhead but they were very nice and it all worked out. When we got to LA we had breakfast again on our 48 hour Saturday and then all slept on our LA to Chicago 5 hour flight...we were so glad to be home, shower and hit the sack at 8pm - NONE of us got up until 11AM the next day and only because I MADE us....we were beat!
It was a trip of a lifetime and we were so worried if we could, should or dared but we are so glad we did and wish we could go again. It was worth every dollar spent and every hour worked by my husband...the memories will last a lifetime. Thanks Malin's for your hospitality and letting us have a glimpse into the life of Australia! We are so blessed and thankful...