Sunday, January 30, 2011

3 out of 4 ain't bad

We finally made the trip down to Lisbon to the French Embassy to apply for Tristan's French passport. It was a pretty straightforward process. Since they are only open until noon Dan had to take the whole day off of work , so we decided to make a little trip out of it. We stayed over Friday night and had a relaxing lunch and an afternoon in the little indoor hotel pool, followed by a nice sushi dinner. Then Saturday morning we were off to the Lisbon Zoo, where Amelia had us make a beeline for the giraffes before we could pay attention to any other animals. She was also pretty excited about the gorillas, until one of the big ones pushed a little one out of the way right in front of her and she got pretty upset by it. She recovered well and enjoyed elephants, the antics of the orangutans, the big cats, and the little children's farm. Tristan slept his way through nearly the whole zoo, and Amelia slept the whole drive home, and now we still have another day with Dan home. Aren't 3-day weekends nice?

As a result of this trip, everyone in the family but me has two passports, and in order for me to get mine they require me to exhibit some proficiency in French. Judging by how long Portuguese has taken me it may be a while before I hit that landmark, but at least the kids have options for work and travel in the future!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

We're Home!

Happy New Year Everyone!

After a long and exciting trip to the US, we are now back in Portugal. It was wonderful to see everyone, and we know we are lucky to have such great little travelers. They were amazingly pleasant on the 11 hour flight from London to LA to start our trip, and I don't know how they transitioned the 8 hour time difference almost immediately. We hit the beach and Sea World in So Cal and spent some quality time with her cousin Coco, who is just a few months older than Amelia and visiting my mom's house. We then went up to Oregon and spent a week with my family and friends there, and Dan was amazed that the sun made a few appearances and we had surprisingly little of the wet stuff falling from the sky. Finally a week in Vermont with Dan's family and visits with many more friends.

We started thinking three weeks was a little long to be away from home, when about halfway through the third week Amelia asked for the "red car take to Mia's house." But she continued to be a trooper the whole way through. Visiting lots of people she didn't know or remember, having tons of fun with her cousins, grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, and everyone else. She even decided she wanted to go to the circus with our friend Beth without Dan or I, and she loved it and apparently didn't miss us at all!

I knew the trip home would be the hardest part. An overnight flight to Europe followed by a few hour layover and another flight from Frankfurt to Porto, after a long (but fun) New Year's Eve party. It was looking dubious when on arrival to the airport they couldn't find Tristan's ticket in the system (though he had been on all of our previous tickets). After 30 minutes of waiting we had to rush to get through security where we watched them finish boarding our flight (thank goodness Burlington is quite a small airport). We were the last to get to the gate, and things started looking up when I handed the agent our boarding cards and she took one look and said "Oh, we've upgraded you all to first class for your flight to DC." We had a nice flight until the descent when Amelia turned to me and without a word threw up all over herself for the second time in her life. The flight attendant helped me clean up as best we could, and again in DC we were one of the last to board after hiking through Dulles and getting both kids cleaned and changed.

Luckily we had a row of 5 seats to ourselves and all got some, albeit limited, sleep on the flight to Frankfurt. Amelia waited until we were on the ground waiting to deplane before she threw up multiple times as we exited. Nice. Sorry United clean-up crew.

We all slept through much of our final flight, and made it home and since with no additional incidences. Dan managed to get up and go to work the next day while the kids and I collected the dogs and stocked the fridge. Now we just need to find places for all of the extra toys we brought home and our lives will be back in order. And after all that, Dan and I started planning out our next vacation last night, so I guess we weren't overly daunted after all.