In short, what a great trip. From being blessed with perfect weather to being surrounded by family, ones we knew and new ones to us.
The transitions of travel are always the worst.
Most difficult: leaving Rex. My beloved sister Cecily showed up at 10am. We were going to go to the airport at 11am. I wanted him to feel he was leaving us, not the other way around. We had gotten him ready with lots of “how fun for you, you are going on a sleep over.” Vivien was very good at helping with this. As I put him in Cecily’s car he said, “I’m lucky.” Little crack in my heart. I started to choke up and Mark said to hold together till he left. They pulled away and I sobbed a bit as I walked back into the house, but I stopped myself because I felt if I followed that path I would never stop. Cecily had wisely planned to drive him straight to a fun play space. Before we got on the plane she sent me this picture of him hamming it up in a ball pit. Relief.
Sitting around, sitting around.
Later when we were crammed in the plane to begin a ten-hour journey I had my first of many “better Rex is NOT here”. Anytime we were waiting around or in a crowd I thought the same as he would bolt. I thought KLM would be a tad better than it was. It was fine and the attendants are much friendlier than US ones, but my big beef was their stupid entertainment system and the arm rests that don’t go up beyond a couple of inches. We were three to a row, so Vivien should have been able to stretch out across her parents laps and get some shut-eye, but no. The arm rests don’t go up, they can’t there is no room for them to tuck into between the seats. I am taking this to the Hague. Back to the gripes with the in flight entertainment.
1) the control looked like a an old game boy and if you accidentally hit it with your hip (which I did over and over again) you have to start the movie again and then fast forward to your place. I was watching “The Vow” a Channing Tatum romantic weeper. Because of the bump breaks I became fixated on finishing the movie. Mark would start to talk to me. “I can’t talk, I have 22 minutes left of this damm film, and by God, I’m going to finish it.” I also am now a tad obsessed with Channing Tatum.
2) non glare screen. What a lousy screen. I love flying Virgin to NYC as I catch up on movie watching. But, on that flight I can see the movie. On the flight home I gave up as the dude behind me would not put his shade down. I think the international sign of pointing to his window and gesturing downward didn’t work. He smiled, but didn’t do anything. Maybe he thought I was telling him I was saying goodbye to Holland.
3) Have there been no good movies out in the last few months or does KLM have a lousy list? Going to Europe for my second film I watched, “21 Jump Street” further cementing my Channing Tatum fixation. I held the control in front of me for over 90 minutes so I wouldn’t hit the button and end the film. My right arm muscles got a work out. Actually, “21 Jump Street” was much more amusing than I had anticipated, but I thought there might be one of the Oscar nominees on the flight.
However the food was fine. We easily moved to a cab in the Amsterdam airport. All five of us. Mark’s oldest son Ben, my Mother in Law, who had been stretched out in Business Class, Mark, Viv and I. We got a large cab and every single cab we had it Holland I could live in. They were immaculate. The drivers were gentleman, often in blazers who spoke perfect English. NOTHING like cab drivers in NYC or LA that’s for sure.
When we got back to the States at the end of our trip we were wrung out. Viv and I couldn’t sleep a wink on the plane. The bags took forever and when we went through customs I was sweating like I was in “Midnight Express” I had some Gouda buried in my bag and I thought I might end up in the hoosegow. Maybe I could have shoved it between my butt cheeks like a drug smuggler, but it was a big hunk of cheese. I have had enough butt problems. Fortunately once we said we had no tulip bulbs ( we did not) we were fine. Fine until Mark got us on the wrong shuttle to our long term parking and we were driven to a neighboring city– not kidding. We got back on while three rather uneducated young people screamed profanities at each other over Vivien’s head. “hey watch your mouth” I said, risking being stabbed.
We finally got to the car. The only thing keeping me going was seeing Rex. I had called the baby sitter when we landed. She said this was the first day he was getting anxious. “Where is my mommy?” We pulled up and he was outside. Viv and I ran to him. I swear he had changed in a week. His hair was blonder, his features more defined.
” I talked to you mommy on Dolly’s phone.” We had the day before. “Yes, baby.” He was happy. Twice he said, “mommy, I didn’t cry.”
I buried my head in his soft, sweet skin. Later around 5pm I told the kids eat now or forget it because I’m about to pass out. Mark had gone into work.
As Viv slept and I tried to Rex was jumping on me like Hulk Hogan. I called Mark, “Please come home.” Later when Mark brought a sleeping Rex into our bed. I held Rex’s foot.
I held his foot all night.
More posts on our great trip to Amsterdam will be forthcoming.