We had movers at our house on Thursday packing up most of our belongings that we wanted to bring to Switzerland but wouldn’t need right away.
Of course, we missed some things that we wanted them to pack, and they missed some things that we told them to pack, so we also had to ship some things to ourselves via Andy’s office on Friday morning.
On top of all that, we had 8 suitcases of various sizes plus a Pack-N-Play to be checked, so we asked Chris and Emily to accompany us to the airport because there was no way we could fit that many suitcases in our car.
And then you know the carry-on rule, one carry-on and one personal item? We each had a carry-on suitcase and a backpack. G also had two stuffed animals (which was fewer than she wanted to bring on the airplane with her) and her Hello Kitty neck pillow and I had my purse and my camera bag.
We made quite the impression at the check-in counter.
For various reasons, we ended up not flying on the airline where Andy has platinum status, so we had to pay for all those extra bags. If we had been on the other carrier, we would have each had three bags checked free plus the opportunity to upgrade to business/first class with Andy’s miles. Oh, well.
Along with Chris and Emily, Dannie and Nolan met us at the airport to say goodbye. I think G finally started to grasp what was going on because she pretty much let everyone hug her. (She had been fighting goodbye hugs all week.) Dannie and Nolan had to leave so Nolan could get to school, but Chris and Emily stayed until we checked our bags and were headed back to security.
The flight from Peoria to Chicago was uneventful, other than the fact that Andy got moved to a different row than G and me.
In Chicago we had just enough time to get to our new terminal, grab something to eat, and then find out why Andy had been moved to an entirely different part of the plane than G and I were going to be in.
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Layover in Chicago. #lavieve strapped to my back in the @ergobaby, camera bag 📷 and purse 👜 around my neck, carryon and backpack 🎒 at my side. It takes a lot of luggage to move to Europe, and a lot of perseverance to travel around the world with an almost-three-year-old when you're running on no sleep. #lovecarrieson #switzerlandprep #switzerlandbound #movingday #ORD #latergram #waylatergram #butfirstletmetakeaselfie #momstaysinthepicture
Andy and I had personal sized deep-dish pizzas and G had a cheezborger from Billy Goat Tavern. Everything was pretty tasty.
At the ticket counter, we found out that Andy had been bumped up to Economy Plus and that’s why he was so far away from G and me. The very nice man at the ticket counter moved us up, too. Which I was excited about regardless (I mean, it’s not business class or first class, but on a nine hour flight, I’ll take all the extra inches of room I can get), but when we boarded the plane, we found out the reason it was so easy for him to bump us up was that the flight was nowhere near full. When we came to Basel in October, our flight had zero empty seats from Detroit to Amsterdam; I was expecting something similar for this flight. That was totally not the case, and it was really nice. I haven’t been on a flight with that many empty seats in years, actually.
The in-flight entertainment left a little to be desired. All the channels ran on one loop. So before the one kids’ movie could start over (Planes 2), all the other movies had to get over, too. Luckily, we had Brave on the iPad, plus Endless Alphabet and Endless Numbers, so we were able to keep Miss G happy, entertained, and (possibly) educated. And (thankfully) we all slept some on that flight, too.
When we landed in Frankfurt, it was like 5 in the morning. (Maybe?) Really late/early, depending on how you look at it. We went through security and customs and then headed to the Lufthansa terminal, where they had a spielplatz.
I never really woke up the whole time we were in the Frankfurt airport. G was totally awake, though, so Andy took her back to the playground a couple of times before it was time for us to board.
Eventually it was time for us to catch our shuttle bus to the airplane. As we were pulling up next to three planes in a row, I was really hoping we would be getting on this bad boy.
We got onto our plane and I started to install G’s CARES harness when the flight attendant stopped me and said it wasn’t allowed on that flight. Which kind of weirded me out because who has a problem with a thing that makes kids safer on an airplane? But on the other hand, it was certainly easier for me not to have to set it up. Instead, she brought me a small pillow to put behind G’s back. I don’t know what amount of safety that adds, but OK, I’ll put a cushion behind her back.
G also got a coloring book, colored pencils, and two small bags of mini-Goldbaren. I handed her the iPad and fell back asleep, though.
We arrived in Basel just after 10 AM local, which is “24 hours” from when we left the Peoria airport. We flagged down a minivan taxi (due to the tons of luggage) and headed to our apartment. One of Andy’s coworkers met us here with the keys and groceries to help us get settled and graciously helped Andy get all our bags from the street up to the apartment. (We have an elevator, but it’s very small, so it took a lot of trips to get everything up here.)
The first couple of days, Saturday and Sunday, are pretty much a blur of sleepiness and children’s programming on Netflix. On Monday, Andy headed to work and G and I started settling into our new Swiss routine. But that’s a topic for another post.