Leaving home with our bags packed couldn’t have felt better. I wont lie, we didn’t fully pack till the day before we left and that last day was not pleasant. How do you pack for four months for five people on the go in a foreign country? I tried very hard to research as much as possible on websites, blogs and anything I could lay my hands on but I still worry that it isn’t enough. As we drove away from all that is comfortable and known I only felt more relaxed and ready. We have done as much as we could and now the adventure is before us. Let us embark!
The drive to the Anchorage airport took us close to three hours. There are three flights from Alaska to Lima with a stop in Seattle and Miami totaling 30 hours of travel time. I prepared a kid travel case full of distracting games, toys and activities and thankfully it worked well. My boys were too excited to be bored on each flight but Wren was a challenge. Toddlers can go from happy to screaming over the smallest issues and the trick with her is redirection. I had a few new toys, snacks, drinks and what turned out to be truly captivating for her, stickers! On our last flight to Lima I pulled out the stickers and put a bunch on her arm and she spent an hour happily peeling them off one by one. She never tired of it. And the last resort for every issue with my youngest is to just nurse. I’ve continued nursing a bit longer for this trip just because its like a magical remedy to heal her every stressful moment and baby woe. So much is changing in her life that I though the comfort of nursing should remain to give her security when she feels sad or afraid.
We discovered at the Seattle airport that they have a kid area and it was perfect for the kids to freely run and jump their energy away while Russ and I sat on the comfortable seats using the free WiFi. Not only did it give us a break but there was a restaurant a crossed the way that served wine and since I’m on vacation I took a some time to sit over there and relax while still being able to watch the kids run and play.
After we left Seattle we had a very uncomfortable night flying to Miami. My Kids slept pretty well. I had to hold a wiggly Wren while a kicking Rex tried to push me out of the seat all night. I may have slept but I don’t really know. I was pretty happy to land in Miami and when we disembarked I felt remarkably energetic. I suggested using the six hour layover to have a quick trip to the beach. It sounded like such a nice idea…What I failed to take into account was the high humidity, 80+ degree temperature and my husbands inability to deal with excessive heat. When the cab let us out at South Beach I immediately realized my error as he slowly wilted and became despondent. The kids got to splash around in the waves for a spell and chase pigeons. They found a couple coconuts and then we decided to skip eating on the boardwalk and head back to the airport. Once there Russ recovered from the heat and we ate and found a quieter place to take a nap till the next flight.
For quite awhile I slept next to my youngest on the floor and when I awoke I felt much better. Our last flight was the easiest. Wren slept for most of it, there was a delicious hot meal and free wine. The 5 1/2 hour flight went by very quick and suddenly we were landing in Lima. What a wonderful feeling! Finally after all our plans and preparations we are here! Customs was a quick and easy process and getting out of the airport was a breeze. It was much different from the last time I flew internationally and I was very glad. Our first real experience in Lima was a chaotic exit of the airport and finding a cab and negotiating the price(our Airbnb host sent me a nice email telling me to negotiate the price between $20-$30 and we did well considering how tired we were and that he started at $45). After threatening to find a different cab he quickly agreed to our price and what followed was the most crazy cab ride of my life. I’ve never been in a vehicle that drove so fast and zipped around so many cars. At one point we passed a cop on a single lane one way. He just went on the sidewalk and passed him. I was never happier to arrive at my destination in my life. Our host met us at the gate, did a quick walk through and showed us where to find everything and then grabbed the upstairs neighbor to interpret her meaning because she only spoke Spanish. The language barrier will be a challenge but we are trying to learn as much as possible each day to communicate and it seems to be working out. We will stay in the same rental all week and slowly acclimate ourselves to Peru while exploring and slowly figuring out our plan. I’m so happy to finally be here and count myself lucky to have reached this long held goal of mine.