Today is officially our one week anniversary of living overseas - and what a week it's been! Where to start? The traveling portion of the trip deserves it's own blog! Nearly 20 hours on an airplane with a ten month old and a five year old makes us qualified for some sort of an award, sainthood maybe?
We traveled from Dallas straight to Amsterdam where we endured a six hour layover while suffering some SERIOUS jet lag. Here's a travel tip if flying through Amsterdam with kids: look for the Infant's Lounge. It was there that we found a shining beacon that we called our "baby tent" which boasted a crib and two (tiny) bench seats enclosed with a mesh tent. The facility was very clean and offered sweet water for bottles, a microwave oven and two baby bath sinks (caution: the water for the bath is lukewarm). While there Paul purchased the most refreshing beverage of his thirty three years: the $5 can of Coka-Cola, it tastes better when you pay a small fortune for it, right?
From Amsterdam we flew the seven hour trek to Kuwait. In Kuwait we had an hour layover on the same plane than an hour or so flight to Bahrain. We flew KLM Airlines the entire way and received wonderful service. However, next time I make the flight, an upgrade to Business Class would be PRICELESS (think flying in Southwest seats for nearly 20 hours, OUCH!)
Upon arrival to Bahrain we went through customs which was a complete breeze, I don't recommend the restrooms before customs, trust me, WAIT UNTIL YOU GET TO YOUR HOTEL! (Hollie do you hear me?!?!?!) We found our luggage, all 8 pieces of it which was hauled away by some He-Man Porter on a cart with only two wheels. Geeez, talk about service! Two of Paul's buddies from our new squadron picked us up and somehow we got 8 pieces of luggage, 5 carry-ons, a stroller, a car-seat and the 6 of us in a Mazda and a Jeep! I'm sure we broke at least 17 US laws, shhhhh... don't tell!
We checked into our beautiful hotel apartment at 2:00AM local time and began the jet lag transformation process. The apartment is great and the staff here is out of this world with SERVICE (which I think is the true "Pearl of Bahrain"). Our Housekeeping staff hugs Tanner and kisses Gavin on a daily basis, which I have to admit weirded me out a little in the beginning but I quickly got over it and now it's one of the favorite parts of my day!
The view from our apartment living room is hands down the BEST view of Manama (the Capital City)on the whole island! The washer & dryer is actually one unit and it only took me a week to figure out how to do a load of laundry, the first load I did took about 36 hours. I couldn't get the drying cycle to dry the clothes, but this morning I finally saw the bottom of the hamper - Hallelujah!
Happy Christmas Eve, more stories to come later!