|My little sardine in the bassinet on our|
Air France flight from Singapore to Paris.
It all started Tuesday when Linna and I arrived at the airport to fly back to Minnesota from Singapore. We flew Air France, and I was so excited about making a stop in Paris on the way home. When I was checking into the airline's lounge in Singapore (about an hour before the flight), I approached one of the Air France employees about Linna not having a seat assignment yet (I had a seat number on my ticket, but Linna's just read "infant"). The Air France worker simply said, "she doesn't have a seat".
Every flight we've EVER booked between Singapore and Minnesota, Linna has ALWAYS had her own seat. We bring her car seat, strap her in, and the flight is better for everyone involved. Now, this Air France lady was telling me I would have to hold my almost 2-year-old on my lap during a 13-hour, then 8-hour flight?! Of course you can imagine the tears and words exchanged, but to make a long story short, something got messed up in the booking process, and a seat for Linna was not reserved on the FULL flight. I cried on the phone with AJ, and was so close to getting in a taxi to head back to our apartment in Singapore. I was going to have to fly with Linna on my lap, AND the Air France workers were trying to tell me that it was too late to check our stroller at the gate so I couldn't use it in Paris. Could ANYTHING ELSE go wrong?! How was I going to do a 13-hour flight with a toddler on my lap, and then NOT have a stroller to use during our 1.5-hour adventure into the center of Paris?!
|Keeping herself entertained in the long line |
at customs in Paris.
Our flight to Paris was completely booked (even though a crew member told me there were open seats in first class - but whatever), so Linna ended up not having her own seat. The crew did set up a bassinet for her to sleep in... a bassinet with a weight limit of 22 lbs. (10 kgs.) that Linna was CLEARLY too big for. However, in my desperation, we ended up using it. Linna snuggled into the little basket for a couple snoozes. I'm very happy the bassinet didn't buckle under her weight, and although it was nice having a few hours with Linna off my lap, I didn't get to sleep because I was so worried about her waking up and falling out of the thing.
After a 13-hour flight, we arrived to Paris on time. We had a 7-hour layover, so I was determined to make it into the city for a couple hours. We made it through customs in about a half hour, took about another half hour to find our stroller and a taxi, and finally made it into Paris... after a 2 HOUR taxi ride!!! Traffic was so bad on the way into Paris. While Linna snoozed in the cab, I watched the meter run and our time to spend in the city tick away. A $120 (90 euros) taxi ride later (I knew it was going to be expensive, but this fare was hard to swallow), and we only had about an hour and a half to spend in Paris. Here's what we did...
|My love bug with the "love locks".|
|Checking out the "love locks" on the Pont de l'|
|People waiting to get into Notre Dame. We were crunched for time, so we didn't make it in.|
|Waiting for her crepe at a little cafe in Paris.|
|Our first chocolate crepe at a cafe in Paris. Yummy!|
|My first cappuccino in Paris. So good on a chilly day (about 50 degrees/10 degrees Celsius).|
Linna and I were in shorts and short-sleeve tops... completely under-dressed. Oops!
|Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel from afar. We had to get back to the airport.|
I feel incredibly thankful and lucky to have been able to visit Paris with Linna, but we are very happy to be home in Minnesota! Our flight from Paris to Minnesota was a little bit better, as there were open seats on the plane so Linna could have her own. However, she wouldn't sleep in her seat without her carseat, so Mama Saigh got to hold her sweaty, sleeping babe for 6 our of the 8 hours of flight time. Linna wouldn't let me put her down, and without AJ there to help me, I even had to carry sleepy Linna to the restroom with me. Talk about a challenge. Other than being a cling-on, I am so thankful that Linna was seriously an angel on both flights. She was SUCH a good girl which made this experience "do-able".
I feel like this trip challenged me in many ways. My patience was tested, I was exhausted at the end, but I feel pretty good about making it through my first flight alone with Linna. Seeing the happiness on my parent's faces when we got off the plane made the experience totally worth it. I have a feeling that there's a reason I had to get through so many challenges during this experience. I NEVER thought I would be able to make it through 20+ hours on a plane with a toddler on my lap. Flying alone with a child in their own seat is tough enough. But I did it! I'm really proud of myself, and a little shocked at being able to handle it all. Can you imagine how "easy" all of my other solo flights with Linna will be after this experience?! We are so happy and thankful to be home.
Oh and yes, on future flights we will be CERTAIN that Linna has her own seat:)