And so it begins!

We are in Frankfurt on our layover!  There is a little mini playground here and we are incredibly exhausted but still in good spirits.  We have a four hour stop before moving on for our final flight.  Here’s a little taste of our journey so far!

We ended up with much more carry-on luggage than I was hoping for, because we wanted our checked luggage to make weight.  So that was interesting traversing the airports with two children and four bags plus sweaters and the baby carrier!  Our first flight was pretty uneventful.  When we checked in with security, Jake was talking with the TSA official about our passports and Evie piped up “And we also need a plane,” like we were ordering food at a restaurant.  It gave us a good chuckle.

She did stickers and nook books on the first flight.  I tried reading her a “real” book, but it was a tiny airplane and so loud that she could barely hear me talking right next to her.  Stephen slept the majority of the way, which helped everyone’s mood for the duration of the afternoon.  They both really enjoyed watching take-off and landing and being “in the clouds”.

The Chicago airport was way bigger than the first, it’s like a little city unto itself!  I had never flown through Chicago before and I just didn’t know what I was in for.  I am pretty sure we walked about half a mile to get to our connecting gate.  That was quite the adventure.  Jake carried all the bags (my hero!) so I took the kids to the first bathroom we spotted.  I had Stephen in the Toddler Tula carrier and held Evangeline’s hand.  There was a line in the bathroom and several gracious ladies skipped us ahead upon hearing the little one’s plea that she needed to go!

So we squeezed into the first open stall rather than waiting for a handicap to open up and when we came out a very surprised woman asked “How did all of you fit in there?!”  I just laughed.  Not sure how to answer that question?  Haha…

I then opened up my laptop to post some pictures from our first airplane ride only to realize that we didn’t have the right cable to upload pictures from my camera.  Oops… one of the airport staff directed me back to the previous terminal to an electronics store, so I took the kids and we started making the five-ish minute trek back when Jake calls and said they were starting passport checks.

We should have turned around, but we started running!  (Which the children quite enjoyed, I might add.)  We got to the store, were told that no one in the airport had such things, and ran back to our gate.  I am really, really hoping our facilitators can direct us to one once we get to Kiev.  I will be EXTREMELY disappointed if I have to wait to share all of our pictures!

Once we rushed back to the desk at our gate, Jake was waiting while they seemingly did nothing with our passports in no sort of hurry while the lines piled up to board.  They told me I could go so I took Stephen to go get our bags (all of them) and just made the decision to get in line.  All Stephen wanted to do was ride the flat escalator walking thing that was right next to us and run in front of every “truck” that drove by.  When that didn’t work he started trying to ride the suitcases.

I, on the other hand, only had one hand to wrangle him and that arm was weighed down by two bags.  It ended with lots of screaming and pitiful looks from everyone in the airport.  A sweet German lady standing next to us gave him a few stickers which cheered him up just long enough for Daddy to finally get back with our boarding passes after standing at the desk for Stephen’s boarding pass.

Of course that wasn’t the end of it though.  After having spent ten minutes at the desk trying to get Stephen’s ticket accurate in the system, we were about to get on the plane when they told Jake that his boarding pass was now not right.  I was determined to get overhead compartment space so I went ahead and boarded with Stephen (and all the bags… again….)

Let’s just say that must have been an incredibly comical sight.  One passenger asked if she could help, and I said “Sure!” but Stephen was running in front of me and I couldn’t stop to ask her what she’d like to carry so I kept moving and she never got up.  Lol… A flight attendant eventually helped me get everything together after asking incredulously if all those bags were just for me and the baby and me pathetically explaining that we were travelling with my husband and daughter who they wouldn’t let on the plane.  Haha… yeah…

Stephen and I were finally situated, but then there was still the issue of my husband not being able to board the flight.  I called his cell phone trying to make a game plan in my head for getting our travel agent on the phone with the airline and telling myself that I could NOT cry because that would not be helpful, when who appeared behind me but my dear husband.  I was so incredibly relieved in that moment!

He said that they finally let him board.  He didn’t know if they actually got it fixed or if they were just tired of messing with the computer.  Either way it didn’t matter, we were on our way (all four of us!) to Germany!  We also had some added bonuses on the plane: free movies, TV and games for the kids on the seats, realizing it was only an 8 hour flight and not a 13 hour flight, and another sweet mama who shared her kids’ snacks with our little ones.

So yes, we are certainly having an adventure, and we’re not even there yet!

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