“He is truly wise who gains wisdom from another’s mishap.”
- Publilius Syrus
Not everything in Ireland and Paris went smoothly. I remembered to pack everything, no luggage lost, the weather cooperated, and my children behaved better than I’d hoped, especially since we walked constantly everyday and stayed up late every night. That said; there were a few mishaps.
Our seats weren't together for our flight from Boston to Dublin. My daughter and I took the two seats together in one row, while my husband and son were going to sit apart in the next row. A raucous crew of friends was visiting Dublin for a golf trip. They shifted so my husband and son could sit together. The drinking buddies kept it up during the flight.
At some point, the man next to my son and my son fell asleep. They wound up leaning on one another. Near the end of the flight, the man awoke and kissed my son on the top of my head. Realizing it wasn’t his own child; he made a sheepish smile to my surprised kid.
My daughter brought a few items to play with, while my son only brought his Nintendo. She packed Kelly Dolls and Playmobil people. My son and daughter saved up more than twenty dollars before the trip, so they could buy souvenirs, and my daughter also planned to buy more toys. We found a toy store in Dublin. My son bought a couple Lego Mini figures that came in a wrapper so the contents were unknown. I dubbed these “Russian Roulette Legos”. My daughter bought two Playmobil sets.
A couple of days later, we went to the post-wedding brunch. My daughter and a girl her age happily played with the Playmobil figures in the living room. At some point, one of the horses became wedged behind the radiator. The playmate kept saying, “She lost it and now she can’t get a new one.” (I guess that’s the rule at her house.) After several people attempted to retrieve the toy, my husband was finally able to save it by using a bamboo stick.
That night we ate dinner at a pub. When we returned to the hotel, we realized my daughter’s toy bag was missing. (And yes, the same bag holding the horse we spent 30-minutes trying to fish out of the radiator.) I called the restaurant, but they couldn’t find it. Thank goodness my daughter’s Nintendo wasn’t in the bag.
The next day, while I met the Irish bloggers, my husband returned to the restaurant, but couldn’t find the bag. He took my daughter to the toy store to buy new figures, with the understanding that whatever she spent would come out of future allowance. I bit complained when I saw the majority of her purchases were Lego sets. More pieces to lose!
That night, we took a taxi to Dublin Airport. As soon as we checked in, I noticed we were near a MAC counter that had a limited-edition blush I’d coveted, which would be duty-free! My husband took the kids so I’d have a few minutes to shop. The salesperson asked for my boarding pass to buy it, so I spent several minutes looking for my husband, who had the boarding passes. When he finally came back, I got the boarding pass, and he told me to meet them at the gate. I was only going to take a minute to pay, but I assumed he was annoyed (even though it wasn’t my fault) so I let them go without me.
When I looked at the boarding pass, the number of the gate was hard to read because part of it printed in the perforation. (Did I mention when I’m under stress I make all the wrong choices?) I found a list of flights. The flight number didn’t match, but I saw a gate and made my way over. I got there, but it was empty. I walked back up the stairs and looked again. I tried asking a few people, but nobody viewing the screen spoke English. (Where were all the employees right when I needed them?) I went back down, but it was still empty. What time was it? I began to panic. After running back upstairs, I found someone who said I was probably in the wrong place, and he told me to head down another hall.
I RAN. I checked that screen and found the correct flight. Then I headed towards the gate. Soon it became apparent it was a L O N G C O R R I D O R. Did I mention I hate running? I had no choice because it was late. By the time I arrived, most of the plane had boarded. When I reached them, I began tearing up. My poor son, who gets nervous about being late or in the wrong place, was full of anxiety. Soon, I was blubbering. So embarrassing.
When we landed, it was LATE. We took the train into Paris, getting off at the Les Halles stop. My husband (who says I’m embellishing and denies this was his idea. He’s in denial.) suggested we walk so the kids could see a little of Paris. Foreshadow. The long escalator was broken and reeked of urine, so we hefted our bags up many steps while trying to hold our breath. When we got outside, it had rained and was misty. It was after 10:00 pm, we were all tired trying to read signs and coordinate it with a map. One by one, we had a meltdown.
Schlepping our bags down the Rue de Rivoli seemed to take forever. By the time we reached the hotel, it was nearly 11:00 pm.
Speaking of urine, we decided to take a leisurely stroll by the Seine River, which had been so romantic the last time my husband and I strolled. Apparently, we chose the stretch where people sleep overnight and use the area to take care of certain needs. All needs, apparently. We ran back up the next set of steps. My daughter and husband mimicked the idea of the Fancy Nancy books, saying, "The fancy word for poop is feces."
My sister requested a specific Le Roche Posay sunscreen they don’t sell in The States. I almost bought it in Dublin but worried the longer I had it, the more likely something would happen to the bottle. Why I worried, I have no idea. French company, I’ll buy it in Paris. Small problem, all the bottles in Paris were in three languages, none of them English. I found an employee who spoke a little English and said; yes this particular bottle was the one for oily skin. I had to take her word for it.
Me in Paris, before make up and coffee.
Our return flight to Boston had a five-hour layover in Montreal. We sat at our gate an hour before boarding. It was about 1 am Paris time at that point. Everyone crashed. My husband fell asleep while children quietly read and lounged:
About thirty-minutes before boarding, I gazed down at my daughter propped against my arm, and realized she’d fallen asleep. When it was time to board, my husband carried my napping daughter. I belted her in. We flew. She slept. We landed. She lost a shoe as my husband carried her off the plane, but the flight attendant retrieved it. My daughter woke up at the baggage area unaware we’d been on a plane.
We called our friend, who was kind enough to drive to the airport and take us home. Thanks, Corey!