The Way Back

Published: May 1st 2012
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Well, as you can see from the date, it has taken me rather a long time to get round to completing our happy tale.

Needless to say, we made it home in one piece, and it was an altogether memorable and fantastic trip. I don't think I would be brave enough to do it again with children of 1 and 2 years old, and fortunately we won't have to unless we have more children. Which incidentally is less likely now we have done this!!

The flight home began with a seating cock-up in Wellington, whereby we were not allocated bassinet seats all the way through to Abu Dabi. The flights were very busy, and let's just say we had to dig deep, maintain our cool, and try not to watch the clock. The stay-over in UAE wasn't so exciting the second time round. The novelty had worn off a bit and we were eager to get home by that stage. The kids loved the pool again though and we all need the break. We didn't really appreciate the sand-storm though as we trapsed arounf the Grand Prix track.

We were glad to get on the last leg back to Heathrow. Another busy flight. No bassinet seats avaiable, as most people going to Heathrow were already in transit from somewhere else, so we were out of luck again. It was only thanks to a lovely gent in a seat near Alex, who saw our plight, and offered to move so we could use his seat, that we had any extra space. At least we had 4 seats between the 4 of us. A hot cup of coffee all over Alex just about finsihed him off. I lost my sense of humour soon after that, when food was going everywhere and the claustrophobia had finally got the better of me.

In the arrival lounge, we were expecting cheers and whoops and welcome home signs!!! That's how we felt!! Instead we searched for and found Dad enjoying a well-deserved cup of tea in Costa Coffee before he had to turn around and drive the 3 hours back again.

Mum had stocked our fridge and we appreciated that fact that we had left everything clean and tidy.

Two memorable moments, in terms of how the kids changed during our time away.

Amelia really came out of her shell in so many ways. Her confidence grew and she really made me proud with how she handled the flights, and all the people and adventures we encountered.

Samuel learnt to wave, which brought a tear to my eye in the airport, during the inevitable but dreaded farewell with Nana and Poppa. Distance is such a hard thing to deal with and something our family will be stuck with for the rest of our lives. It doesn't get any easier for anyone, and we will always feel the guilt of separation.

On a more positive note, we have no regrets, about any of it. A warm thank you to Alastair and Jill for making this trip possible. And to everyone in New Zealand - we love you guys. We will always have an open door, and a warm cuppa for you here in the UK xxx

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