Friday, January 21, 2011
This is everything we took on the plane. It is also everything we own now. We sold our car the week before we moved. We technically still own our house, but have signed a purchase agreement with buyers. We didn't get a storage unit or save anything except for scrapbooks and art work by the kids that are at our parents' homes. It is very odd to carry everything you own through an airport.
We had to take 3 cars to the airport to transport all of us and our stuff. Thankfully, our friends also helped us until we got our bags checked. As I said before, we had a total of 24 bags (12 checked bags, 6 carry-on suitcases, and 6 backpacks). We also had a car seat and 2 booster seats. I was so nervous about checking in and our luggage weight. We were so careful weighing everything at home, but what if our scale was off? Plus we were cutting it close on so many bags and even over a little on a few. I was actually shaking at the counter (also caused by the magnitude of what we were doing that day). The airline we were flying only allowed one free piece of checked luggage per ticket. We choose to fly them because paying for a second bag was still cheaper than flying any other airline. Blake had confirmed on the phone that we would need to pay for the second bags, but when we got to the airport the lady checking us in told us we would get all 12 bags checked for free! I was immediately put at ease and felt that it was a God's way of saying, "I got this. Relax."
We had a very tearful good-bye with our friends. I may have even said, "I don't want to go." But I also was starting to feel excited. The task ahead of us felt huge, but I was ready to rise to the occasion.
Let me just say this about our day of traveling: we were a clown show. It took us forever to get through security with 12 bags, car seats, and 4 kids. Taking off shoes, taking out all of our electronics (there were lots of them!), and liquids. We finally got through security and felt pretty good about the situation. Getting on the plane was interesting because we had to ditch the stroller at the gate and each kid had to carry a few bags onto the plane.
Our layover in Mexico City turned out to be our biggest task. We had to go through immigration and then get our checked bags and take them through customs. Hmmm, 24 bags and 2 adults. How in the heck do you do that? We paid for 2 of those luggage carts and the rest was seriously a clown show. Everyone (and I mean everyone) was staring at us. Many people were laughing at us. At customs we had to put each piece of luggage through an x-ray and then they individually searched each bag. Next we had to take the bags to be re-checked for our next flight. They decided to individually search each foot locker (we had 8) again. We finally got rid of those bags and had to go through security again. They individually searched almost all of our carry-on bags. Mexico City really put us through the wringer. Plus this was all happening during dinnertime for our kids. So, you can guess how that worked out. Meltdown central. I had to keep reminding myself that I was the adult and had to hold it together.
We had a 5 hour layover, so after the luggage fiasco we still had 3 hours to kill. We ate, played a little, and then conceded defeat and put on a movie.
Our second flight left at midnight. We were beyond grateful to find out that the plane was practically empty. So everyone spread out and the 3 big kids slept the whole 6 hour flight. Tyler won't sleep anywhere except her crib for longer than an hour so she spent most of the night watching Dora. We finally landed at 7am (which was really 4am to our bodies) in Lima. The kids were so excited. We breezed through the Lima airport. Luggage carts are free there so we loaded them up and had each kid push a cart. Customs let us right through without x-rays or searches. It felt so freeing to finally be done with traveling and have all of our luggage make it.
Our friends, Nick and Kristen, are letting us stay with them until we find a place. Yes, they are incredibly generous and brave people. We got to their house and all 6 of us took naps almost immediately. Tyler actually slept all day to make up for not sleeping at night.
We truly are so thankful to be here. We are overwhelmed also. There is so much to do just to get settled. Our main goals are to find a car and apartment. We are also trying to get the kids enrolled in school. I have more pictures and stories to share from our first few days here soon.