Monday, August 30, 2010

Traffic in the Sky – We Survived!

“There’s traffic in the sky

And it doesn’t seem to be getting much better…” – Jack Johnson


All in all, it took about 28 hours. Starting in Rexburg, we drove to Idaho Falls then flew to Salt Lake to Atlanta to Dubai and then a drive to the Hotel in Sharjah. We had been dreading the flight. I mean, who really wants to be enclosed in tight quarters with a bunch of strangers for 27 hours while trying to keep two 2-year-olds and a 10-month-old entertained so they don’t cry and annoy everyone around them? Would anyone enjoy that prospect? I didn’t think so.

Things went pretty well on the first two legs of the journey. The kids got a little restless on the second flight to Atlanta, but it wasn’t too bad. We were really worried about the big 15 hour flight from Atlanta to Dubai. At the airport, it was interesting how obvious a difference there was in the atmosphere just waiting at the gate for boarding to begin. Everyone waiting for the flight was a lot more serious… there were no other kids waiting to fly and all the passengers would look at us with a look of “I sure hope I don’t have to spend 15 hours sitting next to that family” We tried to smile and act like it was no big deal. Then, while trying to move a huge stroller, 3 kids, and 5+ carry-on bags, Abigail tripped and did a faceplant on the tile floor right in the middle of the gate area. Of course, she started screaming like a banshee and it took several minutes to console her. During that time, you could feel every eye on us… and everyone’s dread that they would have to listen to Banshee Abi the whole trip. …. Definitely NOT the way you want to start a long flight.

In the end, it was an exhausting trip, but the kids did remarkable well. They are kids, so it wasn’t perfect (or easy) but we survived and didn’t make any enemies. In fact, most the passengers around us made comments about how well the kids did. We were just happy the flights were over and we weren’t trapped in an enclosed space anymore. J

Fortunately, my employer had organized the Marhaba service for us. Basically we were met by a guide that helped us fast-track getting to the baggage claim, through customs, and off on our shuttle to the hotel. We were soooo grateful. We were tired and somewhat lost with all the lines, and Arabic. It was a bit overwhelming when we reached the LARGE customs processing room to see dozens of lines filled with hundreds of people moving very slowly. We had TONs of luggage with the kids, carry-ons, etc and it looked like a nightmare to have to wait in a line for what appeared to be a LONG time. Luckily, our speedy little guide moved us past all the lines to a VIP section and we were out of there in 5-10 minutes. We now LOVE our Marhaba guide.

We stepped out of the airport… it was almost midnight, and we were HIT by a wave of humid heat.. It was HOT. We had to sweat a little while we waited for the shuttle, but not for too long. The shuttle was big, nice and very well air-conditioned. We had about a 20 minute drive to the hotel and got our first glimpses of the city, the buildings, and all the Arabic road signs. We were tired and it was night time, so it was a little surreal… like we were dreaming. Of course, we were so tired that maybe we were dreaming a bit. It was like a dream come true though when we reached the hotel and we knew that the end of the trip was in sight.


  1. I feel quite privileged to be the first to comment on your blog. Now, lets be completely honest here, I actually haven't read one word of your posts; ALTHOUGH I did want to comment on the layout of it. Joe practically covets it. He thinks it is a breath of fresh air to the blogging world. If our background looks exactly like yours in the next few weeks you'll know why:)

  2. No doubt you were glad to arrive. I remember those looks from other passengers at me when I bought the 3 kids back to Australia. You are right the look of, I hope they won't be sitting anywhere near me.
    Lets face it, it's no fun for anyone, those long flights. Yours was an extra hour on the last part 15 instead of our 14 hours. Man I was done by that point. Thankfully my kids slept for most of it.
    Glad you made it there safe and sound, ready for your new adventure.
    I took me years to get into the Fahrenheit groove in America. Put it this way if it's 40 Celsius we used to get sent home from school back in the days of no a/c. It's hot! Best to stay inside. On the up side it's a great way to loose weight!
    Sharole :)

  3. We loved reading your blog! Blogging is the best way to go! It is so easy to keep in touch and have an idea of what is going in other's lives.
    I'm glad things are going well for you guys. You're amazing for taking on such an adventure. We've always known that Yvonne was superwoman but I guess you would have to be superman to keep up with her. :)
    The kids look so cute and so happy. And I think the pool looks awesome!
    Good Luck and we look forward to reading more posts!

  4. I have been reading ALL of your posts as well as watching all of your videos today and I am in complete awe of BOTH of you (well, all of you)! Nothing but admiration coming from your Missouri friends - you guys are AMAZING!
    Love your faces off!
    Em, Jeff & the girls