Saturday, June 25, 2011

Trip home

Weighing in before our flight

We left PNG at 10 am on Sunday June 19th after being seen off by 3 families we are friends with.

They made a special flight of a Cessna 206 airplane that our family and our bags filled up completely. 
Loading into the little 206

Jessica has experienced motion sickness before and was convinced she was going to throw up so she held a barf bag up to her mouth almost the whole trip.  When the pilot was explaining all the safety precautions she would giggle nervously after each one.

Paul got to sit in the co-pilots seat and had a great view the whole trip.  We had to go up to 11,000 feet to avoid some bad weather and Rachel was having bad pain in her jaw so she had to wear an oxygen mask until we could go lower.

We could only fly for 1/2 hour without oxygen at this height

We spent the night at Port Moresby and then flew for 13 hours and arrived at the Hong Kong airport where we ate our first McDonalds meal.

We had a several hour layover there and then left for London.  We arrived at Heathrow airport and collected our 6 bags which were all packed to the 20 kg maximum and then realized that we were flying out of Gatwick and couldn't leave our bags at the airport to pick up later.  We found a place that would store our bags at one of the subway stations.  We arrived at the Kings Cross station where we were going to store our bags but didn't know how we were going to get our 6 bags and 6 carry-on bags from deep within the subway to the street level storage business.  Paul went to check it out and rode up several long escalators and was told that I would have to rent a trolley to get the bags from down below to up the street level and then realized then only took British coins.  I then had to find a place to exchange money and when I finally got the cart was told I couldn't take it down to the subway platform.  So I left the cart and got back to the platform where Laura and the kids had been waiting almost an hour.  By this time it was the height of rush hour and there were huge crowds of people.  We would take each of our bags a ways and then leave Daniel to guard them and then do this process over again several times before we finally got to the storage business.

The subway was loud, super crowded and stressful.  Laura had a bit of a breakdown after waiting for Paul for an hour with the luggage and the kids in one of the tubes - a low point.

We spent many hours riding the buses and subways looking at the sights.  We went and saw the Tower Bridge and the next day went to an incredible science museum.

After having so much trouble getting all our luggage through the subway system we decided to take 2 taxis to the airport.  We allowed 3 1/2 hours before our flight and soon realized that that it was not going to be enough time since going on the surface streets is much slower than the subway.  Jessica got car sick and projectile vomited all over herself, Laura and the inside of the taxi.  (Another low point) Unfortunately Jessica had a lot of scrambled eggs for breakfast.  When we got to the airport we rushed in to check in our bags and ran to the gate to catch our plane with only minutes to spare. As we went through security and Laura removed her jacket she realized she'd thrown away her barf covered shirt and didn't have much on!

After about 29 or 30 hours of flying time we arrived in Orlando and we've enjoyed sleep, swimming and a long visit to Walmart.


Joe Cowden said...

Wow! Sounds like the journey home was as much of an adventure as your mission! Have a safe trip the rest of the way and we'll see you in Renton.

Anonymous said...

Welcome home, Dokkens. I can totally commiserate with Laura's "low points". I'll fill you in on the details later, but traveling from Paris to Seattle involved a couple of break downs for me, too. Thank goodness that Michael is so calm and level headed. Looking forward to seeing all of you soon. We're in Montana visiting parents and will be back by the fourth of July. See you soon.
=Debby Ekness