Monday, November 19, 2012

Traveling with children, the first part of our trip

Traveling from Oslo is a little different than traveling from the US.  In Texas we would have driven our car to the airport and paid to park our car and taken a shuttle to our terminal.  Here in Oslo things were a little more complicated.  
We had to return our rental car before we left town so Jon took Ben, Garret and me to the local train station.  We took the train into National Theatre and waited for Jon and Addie while they returned the rental car downtown and walked to the train station.  We met up at National Theatre and got on the Flytoget train that takes you right to the airport.  The drive to the airport takes about 45 minutes while the direct express train can take as little as 15-20 minutes.  The train took us right to the airport where the kids got to play on this fun airplane.  Did I mention we left the house at 6:30 AM?  

 They played while Jon and I got to have Starbucks!  This is the only Starbucks in the whole country.  The only disappointment was they didn't have Pumpkin Spice.  The coffee still tasted just like Starbucks in the US.  Norwegian coffee isn't bad, just a little different so it was nice to have familiar coffee.
I don't think we would have considered traveling without a stroller if we were going any where else, but Venice is not a stroller friendly city. This backpack was perfect, Jon didn't mind wearing it and Garrett seemed to enjoy being in it.  
 Thankfully the airport wasn't that busy so we were able to get checked in and our luggage checked.  This was the last time Garrett will be able to fly as an infant in our lap.  In security I did have to have my bag searched, the wipes looked suspicious.  While I was going through security Jon was keeping the kids entertained.  
 When we got to the gate we settled down to have breakfast.  Baby bell cheese, pretzels, ritz crackers, apples and juice.  Waiting for our first flight of the day, to Amsterdam.
 I knew we were not what people wanted to see as we got ready to board the plane. As soon as we were seated there was an announcement that we would be sitting on the runway for 30 minutes. Conditions were foggy in Amsterdam and that was slowing down traffic there.  That was not good news for us, but the flight attendants did bring us some coloring books and colored pencils for the kids.  That was a huge help.  Thankfully Garrett slept through the whole first flight.  I didn't get any pictures because I didn't want to disturb him or Jon. 
The second flight Addie and I got to sit together.  
 This was the view from our window.  KLM was a great airline to fly.  They had really yummy cookies.
 Garrett did not sleep the second flight.  He was strapped into Jon's seat belt so he couldn't run around the airplane.  He is enjoying one of the yummy KLM cookies in this picture.  
 Jon and Ben slept from Amsterdam to Venice.  
 Garrett did not, but he was still good.  
 In Venice we collected our bags and walked to the Alilaguna Ferry.  We could have bought our tickets near baggage claim, but we didn't have any Euros yet and the ATM was broken.  The Alilaguna ticket machine only took Euros.  We should have gotten some Euros while we were in Amsterdam to be more prepared.  We were able to buy tickets at the counter outside, but we did lose time doing that.  We missed the 17:15 ferry and had to wait for the next one, about a 25 minute wait.   
 We had a beautiful evening to wait and the kids were captivated by the moving dock and the playful sea gulls.  
 We were so excited to be back in Venice!
 The sunset was so pretty.  
 This is what the Alilaguna ferry looks like.  They have enclosed cabins so you don't have to worry about the wind and plenty of seats.  They keep the luggage on the main landing area so you don't have to worry about it during your trip.  The tickets were 15 Euros each for Jon and I, children under 6 are FREE with a paid adult.  
 The ride from the airport to Lido, where we were staying, was about an hour.  The kids were down with traveling for the day.  Unfortunately it was completely dark at this point so we couldn't see any of the sights around us.  I think that would have helped keep the kids more occupied.  
 Jon tried to catch a little nap while we waited for our stop. 

Once we got to Lido island we found a taxi that took us to our hotel.  We could have walked, but we were not entirely sure where we were going and we were all tired.  The taxi ride was another 12 Euros, but they dropped us off right outside our hotel.  
Our travel day started at 6:30 AM and we were in our hotel by 1930, or 7:30 PM.  It was a long day, but we didn't have to change time zones at all, that was very good for the kids.
The kids were great travelers and everything went very smoothly for all of the different types of travel we did.  
A car to a train, to another train, to a plane to a bus to another plane, a short walk, a ferry, and a taxi.  

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