Tuesday, May 26

Last Days and Travelling Home ...

We spent our last days in San Diego in a low key way...

Saturday we caught the trolley out to Fashion Valley mall in Mission Valley... turned out to be a bit pointless for us because it was full of designer and high end shops and department stores (think Tiffany & Co, Abercrombie & Fitch, Burberry, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, A|E, Guess, Hugo Boss, Saks 5th Avenue, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales... just to mention a few) and Phan and I are neither into that stuff (nor do we have the money to spend on it!)

So we caught the trolley a couple of stops down to the Mission Valley Westfield, which also turned out to be fruitless... our planned day in shopping ended up with us hardly buying anything! We had walked quite a lot too, so we were really tired at the end of the day.

Sunday morning, we had our last breakfast at the hotel and packed up all our luggage in the morning and checked out at 1pm. We went and let Beth have one last play at her favourite park & playground and then we had our last American burgers at the Yardhouse for lunch. Beth devoured some fish and rice for her lunch. A stroll back to our hotel (where Beth grabbed a quick nap in her stroller) and then we went to the airport early at 3:30pm, even though our flight wasn't until 6:30pm... we were hoping to grab an early flight back to LAX... which we actually did... So after checking in our baggage (which was going straight through to Brisbane, no need to go pick up our luggage LAX and have it screened, thank goodness!) we caught the 4:30pm flight to LAX. Our flight from LA -> Brisbane wasn't until 11:20pm... so we had 5 hours to kill at LAX, until boarding time... The advantage of getting there so early was that there were no queues or hordes of people to contend with. Picking up our tickets to Brisbane and going through the security checkpoint was a breeze. It's actually amazing, the things you can find to do at an airport to amuse yourself... We browsed a bookstore for a short time (and read all their kids books) and then got Beth a croissant to snack on... then we played hide and seek in an empty part of the terminal for an hour... Beth thought it was hilarious and the best fun... it's so simple the things that can amuse her... and then we played catch with a soft toy beanie bear I had in her amusement bag. A snack from Burger King (the weirdest, dodgiest "chicken nuggets", I've ever had!) a few toilet stops and 5 hours passed... it was a bit of a wait, but it passed by faster than I thought.

Our flight back to Brisbane was completely full... We didn't have as good a flight back as we did on the way to San Diego... Beth was exhausted from her day and fell asleep at about midnight, but proceeded to wake up in an angry/annoyed mood every hour taking about 10-15 minutes to settle from midnight until 5am... that was tiring and trying... she would only settle if I was cuddling her and singing in her ear... At one point, she was asking to "Go back to hotel room", just because she wanted to be in a bed to sleep... poor thing. But then suddenly at 5am, she was happy to cuddle up in Phan's lap and slept for 2.5 hours straight... thank goodness. Phan and I only managed to have very broken sleep on the plane... maybe totalling 3-4 hours in total... and Beth was awake after having about 7 hours sleep (a pretty good effort in the end!). Unfortunately, Playschool and the Wiggles did not have the same effect of mesmorising her and entertaining her as it did on the way over to San Diego... so after 1-2 hours of watching TV shows, she'd had enough and wanted me to play with her and entertain her... so we played with stickers, post-it notes and playdough and then had breakfast served and finally at 6am, our 14 hour journey on the plane was over. We survived the flight and I was so relieved. Considering Beth was really only bad for 5 hours of our 14 hour flight, we were really very lucky and Beth really did very well on the whole... I guess those 5 hours just felt *really* bad because I was exhausted and tired and trying to rock a 2 year old to sleep in the confined spaces of a plane is hard work.

One last little hurdle to get over at Brisbane Airport... We had to go through quarantine becase we declared that Beth had had a small cough in the last 7 days while we were in San Diego (in line with the regulations and scans occuring due to swine flu)... She'd had it for about a week and is basically at the end of it and she'd not coughed on the plane. I was expecting this process to be a huge headache, but it actually turned out to be a blessing... we were escorted off the plane by a quarantine officer (complete with surgical mask), so we got to get off the plane first, and then got taken through an express line at customs. The quarantine process was very simple and straight-forward and Beth was cleared of having any sign of swine flu after we went through a thermal imaging machine, answered some questions and had her temperature taken. The only process probably only took about 10 minutes... and after we were cleared (we don't need to quarantine ourselves), we ended up having to wait for our luggage anyway, so it didn't add any time to the process of getting out of the airport.

All our luggage came through, getting our luggage through quarantine was painless and before you knew it we were in a taxi and on the way home. We had a lovely taxi guy too... he told us a funny story or two about the odd people he'd met while driving taxis. We had an awesome run with the traffic and we were home by 7:30am!

It's soooo good to be home... Beth was a little stunned at first about being home... but in no time, she'd pulled out almost all her toys and was so excited about having her toys to play with she couldn't decide what to play with first!

She also loves having her "teapot" bed back again... We had a 2 hour nap this afternoon... and we tried to wake her up after 2 hours (didn't want her to sleep too long) and I took her out to the lounge room but she (as Phan puts it) had a spastic and just kept saying "Sleep... Bed... Want to sleep" and then crying and throwing a tantrum... and when I stopped cuddling her, she just bolted and made a run back to her bed and climbed back in and asked to be tucked back in... it was so sad and hilarious at the same time. So we let her have an extra 30 minutes sleep and then manage to perk her up and get her out of bed with the offer of Playschool and Natural Confectionery Snakes... (yes, bribery works on sleep-deprived children).

And on that note, I'm badly in need of some sleep myself... Beth reached her breaking point at about 7:15pm tonight, so she's in bed and in lala land, so I should take advantage of that and get an early night myself.

Stay tuned for posts with photos soon...

No comments: