After all the rush and logistics of the past few weeks the flight itself was a breeze. Everyone was too excited to be grumpy and we whizzed through an empty London at dawn thanks to our lovely cab driver who had family in Ottowa. Before we knew it we had been whisked through the free entertainment of the duty free perfume samples and boarded the plane with the kids leaving a trail of Hugo Boss and Miss Dior in their wake.
The flight was actually fun, thanks to individual TVs that meant the kids could gorge themselves on Two and a Half Men while I caught up on some of the movies I’ve missed this year – couldn’t quite face watching Argo on a plane, I wasn’t THAT relaxed, but Parental Guidance with Bette Midler and Billy Crystal was the perfect gentle introduction to the North American family life we’ll be living for the next few weeks.
Even the squalling baby count was low – and as none of them was mine (hurray!) I could watch the new dads pounding up and down the aisles with babies exhausted beyond sleep with dispassion. I couldn’t have managed it a few years ago when the memories of a nine-month-old Ella spurting 9oz of SMA all over me and the stewardess as we landed in Washington one year were still seared on my brain. And the joy of not having to hold a squirming baby above your head hoping the passenger behind will be charmed enough to play peekaboo for a few minutes. It was always a game of chicken to see which one you would literally bore to tears first, your baby or the long-suffering bloke (and it usually was a bloke) sitting behind you. So if you’re flying with babies this summer, remember, when they say “keep feeding your baby to make sure their ears pop” they mean sparingly and only on take-off and landing. Water is fine and so much less messy.
And the best $5 spent so far? Investing in the inflight sleep kit so I could see Jack and Katy fast asleep, wrapped in blankets, necks supported by inflatable pillows wearing matching sleep masks like 30s film stars, while I tuck into a glass of vino and a second movie. Now that’s what I call duty free.
Posted by Amanda Blinkhorn