We did something different this time and did a direct flight from Dubai to Seattle (15 hours) instead of going through Europe with layovers. We talked A TON about how to make this a positive experience and all our planning worked out amazingly. I decided to fly to Dubai the day before our flight so we were not flying through the early morning to make a connection. My plan was to spend the day and night at a the Grand Hyatt Dubai and let the kids play in the pool, relax and then wake up the next morning for a 10:00 AM flight as opposed to flying from 2:00 AM to catch that flight. My thought was that the kids would be well rested, less stressed and we would have a good flight. It worked out that John was able to come with us to Dubai as it was a long weekend which was even better! We spend the day as a family hanging out at the Grand Hyatt Dubai and playing in the pool.
We then met my sister and her boyfriend at the Dubai Mall for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory and then ice cream which made the kids super happy to see their Auntie!
It was so nice to have John with us for check in and waiting at the gate. It was a nice treat!
When I boarded, I realized that we had three of the four middle seats. I really wanted the three window seats as I hated the idea of someone having to sit beside us for 15 hours and me be stressed about bothering them. We sat down, I resolved to make the best of it and then I realized that the man sitting next to us had his wife and two kids next to the window. I asked if he wouldn't mind switching so his family could all sit together in the four middle seats and I could have the windows and he agreed. Problem solved! We all got settled and off we went.
Graham immediately fell asleep and had a nap (one of three during the flight), Peyton watched movies and eventually napped (and even at the same time as Graham so I was able to sleep), I watched two movies (never happened before) and the entire flight they entertained themselves, each other and were amazing! I never once heard "are we there yet," or had arguments about buckling the seat belt for Graham and they were just awesome. We made it through customs, got our bags and took the shuttle to the airport hotel and after showering, ordering lunch, we crashed! We slept from about 6:00 PM to about 5:00 AM which was amazing! We then headed to the airport, picked up our rental car, drove to the hotel to load everything up and then met my parents at Ikea.
I didn't realize how hard it would be for the kids to not see my parents in the airport when we landed. They both asked constantly even though I had prepared them about what was happening. The plan was to meet at Ikea the next day because the car rental was cheaper in Seattle, I needed to go to Ikea for stuff for the new house and I didn't feel safe driving two hours after a long flight. It was the safest and most practical decision but I don't think we will do it again because it was hard for the kiddos and it was hard to not have the carrot of seeing their G and Papa at the end to use as a bribe :)
|Hanging out at the hotel and the one toy that provided endless entertainment on the plane! The best thing I brought for him to play with! He didn't even eat any of the candy :)|