Anchorage, AK to Kona, HI: Travel Day

So Ty’s quite the cyclist. He’s ridden across the US, Florida, and recently did a ride with a buddy from Croatia to Greece. So he decided it was time to drag his family along with him. πŸ˜‰

We knew we wanted to spend Spring Break somewhere, he found a good airfare to Kona and started researching if we could actually ride our bikes around the island. Thanks to Alaska Airlines great baggage rules we figured out how to make this happen! One kiddo will be riding a trail-a-bike behind me. The other kiddo can take a break in the Chariot behind Ty. Everyone seems excited for this adventure, and let’s hope it goes well, Ty already has another ride planned for us across Europe this spring! πŸ€ͺ

So we left the Monday of Spring Break, in the afternoon. It was such a nice time to leave. No red eye flight. Not waking the kids up or keeping them up late. But we did have to arrange my mom to drive Ty’s truck to the airport so we could get two bike boxes, a chariot stroller, and four small carry one suitcases in one vehicle. It sounds like a lot but we will manage to carry all our stuff with us in 4 paneers on our bikes. We will leave he suitcases and bike boxes at our hotel and get them when we come back around the island.

Testing out the chariot capabilities at the airport. Felt funny to travel with a stroller again. R basically squeezes herself into it. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Also should note that of course, L went to bed Sunday night and suddenly developed a cough. πŸ™„ It didn’t seem too bad, just this annoying dry cough that nothing seemed to help.

The flight was fine, 6.5 hours of uneventful flying. Always what we hope for!

Landed at 9ish. Got our bags, and Ty scored free mileage for the baggage delay, like he always does! I was so glad we had arranged a van to meet us at the airport. It made traveling with giant bike boxes a breeze. Dropped off at our hotel and threw everyone into bed.

Tomorrow Ty works on putting all the bike pieces back together again. While the kids and I enjoy the beach and the pool. Life is good!

London, England to New York to Alaska: Travel Days

Our flight out of London was early morning. We left the hotel about 6am after a few hours of sleep. Security and checking in was no big deal. So we had a bit of time to find a lounge. It wasn’t anything fabulous but as always they’re so nice to get away from the hub-bub of the main terminals.

We got onto our flight and that’s when we got the best surprise. It was such an empty flight! Ty’s seat was in the middle three seats and no one else was in his row. So I moved over and the kids had three seats to themselves while Ty and I shared three seats. It was glorious!! Just not feeling crammed or confined made it such a delightful flight. Best international flight we’ve had!

We made it through customs quickly due to Ty using MobilPass. It’s such a great app! Our hotel in New York which Ty booked specifically because it had a pool, however the pool was closed. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈ why they closed an indoor pool for the season makes no sense.

So instead of being able to burn some energy we had two kids stuck in a hotel room. We resorted to taking the kids to the hotel gym and working them out. πŸ˜„

We ordered some room service for dinner and crashed early. The past few days our schedules were so crazy so we were ok with extra sleep.

We also had to get up early, again, for our flight from New York to Portland. Thankfully the flights were easy and we had no issues.

Enjoying the lounge before our flight.

We flew New York to Portland to Seattle to Anchorage. Which sounds more miserable than it was. It really only added about an extra two hours to our day.

There really was nothing better than arriving back home. Even with all the snow and cold back in Alaska!

Fez, Morocco to London, England: Travel Day

So I’ll start off by saying, Fez wasn’t how I would have liked to end our time in Morocco. We loved everywhere else we went. We would have scheduled less driving, but we were so pleased with all that we saw. The Medina in Fez was just a really difficult place to end our time in Morocco. I don’t want it to seem like we/I didn’t fully enjoy our experience. Fez was just truly difficult to navigate, to tolerate due to the noise, the smells, the constant barrage of hassling on the street. It was just completely different from every other place we stayed in Morocco. It didn’t help 3/4-1/2 of us were having stomach issues by this point, and food was very difficult to come by.

Anyway, so we start off this day at 4:30am, waking to do our final packing, get the kids dressed and ready so our host can pick us up by 5am. He finally shows up at 5:15, asking ‘am I late?’ Ugh! We get to the airport and then he wants us to pay for our airport rides. This was something that was posted on Air BnB as covered with the rental. We give him was money we have left, then confront about the unexpected cost. Amazingly they were then fine, with what we’ve paid.

Morocco has beautiful airports but their security is crazy! Never complain again about security in the US. We were screened getting into the building. We checked in at the counter, and went through the regular security screening.

By this point Ty was banking on the lounge for ‘real/safe’ food to eat. We were so happy to see it, however, it was the smallest lounge we have ever been to!

Yep, this is, it! But it had free drinks, croissants, and yogurt, so we were happy.

There is a security screening again before you can go to your gate. Ty got flagged but the kids and I didn’t. So we jumped on the plane and had our fingers crossed for Ty. He passed security but they tried to charge him for an extra bag. He had to wait while they verified that there were 4 of us traveling with him. They finally let him get on, and we were so happy to be leaving Morocco. (This is sad to say, since we really loved the country!)

Three hours of blissful iPad, and iPhone time for all of us. We landed in London and it was like a breath of fresh air from the get go. We went to the bathroom without any attendants hassling us for money. There were trash cans, soap, plenty of paper towels! I swear, it’s the little things that make all the difference.

The fun ended soon after our bathroom break though. We hit the line for customs and it was LONG! We waited over an hour before we actually hit the part that was the snaked dividers. This was of course, where three people tried to sneak into the line. The people ahead of us, managed to throw a fit and push them back. Then it became a battle between myself, the lovely woman behind me and the line cutters. Even Ty (my non-confrontational husband) exchanged some words with them! I finally cut them off at a turn around point. The lovely woman behind me pushed right past them to do the same. But they maintained their place in line, an hour ahead of where they should have been. It sounds so petty and minor but I swear it’s one of those moments that can cause a riot.

It took us over three hours from getting off our plane to getting through customs. It was BRUTAL! But the kids survived, and so did we. I was so happy to see that little grocery store they have outside the Underground. So much for us having an early check in and exploring for the day in London.

We found the train we needed into downtown and we thought it was the direct line. Well apparently something had been stuck on the tracks. So we had the slowest train ride. It stopped numerous times, and went so slowly through every stop. It was just like one more thing that wasn’t terrible, but wasn’t going our way.

We finally get out at our stop and it was glorious to be back in London. Even if it only was for two days.

Ty was still feeling poorly, but the kids and I were restless. So I found the British Library on Trip Advisor. I figured out how to get us there on the Underground, and we were off! It was so nice to feel comfortable traveling on my own again.

The library was a bit of a bust for us. We were hoping for a kids area, that we could just relax in, and read some books. This was a bit too high brow for that though, more exhibits, and rare displays I think.

L was starting to fade so we left the library soon after arriving. But we had to go back through Kings Cross station and they have a half trolley there at Platform 9 3/4, along with a Harry Potter store. So we found it and check that out for a bit, before I realized we were going to be late meeting Ty for dinner.

We got back to the Tube, found our train and squished in with all the other evening commuters. Poor Ty expected us about an hour earlier so he was getting nervous for us. But all was fine. We met up and went to an Indian restaurant he had researched. It was extremely fancy, with candles and fine table linens. I was a bit nervous for how the kiddos would do. But it was worth any stress I may have had. The meal was so delicious!! By the end the kids were falling asleep. So we whisked them back to the hotel, and threw them into bed. All excited with the knowledge that the next day we would be visiting Harry Potter Studio for the tour!!!! This was pretty much our whole reason for coming back to London. πŸ™‚

Chefchaouen to Fez, Morocco: Travel Day

After another rough night of sleep. R spent most of the night going to the bathroom so nauseous. We were provided breakfast on the terrace upstairs with the other boarders. Breakfast is simple but good. They have these flat crepe/pancakes that are wonderful with butter and jam. Usually hot milk, that the kids add cocoa and sugar to. Eggs scrambled and cooked in a skillet and lots more bread options. They love their bread in Morocco!

R and I battled some more tummy issues and we packed up our stuff, and walked out of the Old Town to our car. Getting a better look at the map and the roads, we decided to take the route that was a bit more mileage but much better roads! We also realized that with upset tummies our 3.5 hour drive might be much longer.

(Can you believe those plastic jugs?!)

We did stop a few times on our own. We were also stopped once by the radar cops. They literally had a radar gun, and a couple of plastic chairs by the side of the road. They nailed us and some other foreign couple for going 7kms over the speed limit. (Rolling eyes) But it wasn’t too expensive and so we paid and went on our way. No idea why, since it was Sunday but those radar cops where all over the roads this day!

We stopped for lunch in some random town. The first place we went to only had fish soup. Which I new wasn’t going to sit easily on our sensitive stomachs. So we walked next door to the large fancy restaurant. This turned out to be one of our worst meals of the trip, and most expensive! I ordered chicken and steak kebabs for the kids and I. The steak was way over seasoned, and super chewy. The chicken seemed to be a bit better at least. Lunch took a long time too. It was about an hour stop.

Back on the road we made it with only one or two more stops. The roads were much improved this way. However, it still took us about 5.5 hours to drive back to the airport in Fez.

Once there, we met the driver for our Air BnB. He took us through the new city, to the Old Town Medina. They have to park outside the wall, and someone gathers all your suitcases and backpacks into a cart. Then someone else showed us the way into the Medina, to our house.

This house is lovely. Narrow, but it goes up about 4 floors to the roof terrace. Best of all, we had it all to ourselves!

They welcomed us with mint tea and some snacks. Then I got R snuggled into her jammies and tucked into bed. She had a bit of a fever, and the aches. Ty and L went out to try and find some food. But with the maze that this place is, all he was able to come back with for dinner was some yogurt drinks, a loaf of bread, some jam, and a bottle of water. It was sparse…

We were all exhausted from the day and settled the kids in to bed. Then Ty and I took the top room. Which the host proclaimed to be the best! We have no idea why, after staying here for a few days. It’s right on the narrow alley. So everyone who walks by sounds like they’re right outside your wall. There’s a leather cobblers shop right next door, and they spend hours banging on the leather with a wooden mallet. They seem to shut down about 11:30pm. Then there’s the call to prayer, five times a day, that’s blasted over their speakers. The excessive cat and dog fights. Are you getting the sense that this place is a cacophony of noise!?

After very little/no sleep the night before I finally put Ty in charge of listening for the kids, while I put in ear plugs, and placed a pillow over my head. I was finally able to fall asleep just past midnight.

Marrakesh to Chefchaouen, Morocco: Travel Day

We bed flipped throughout the night, this kiddo here, the grown up moves there, another kiddo here. It wasn’t the most restful night of sleep. I was telling Ty it feels like we get one good nights sleep for every two that are interrupted.

When we finally got up, we finished packing and then went in search of breakfast. Our driver wasn’t schedule to come pick us up till 11:30.

We got some croissants and walked to the main square for some fresh juice. That’s been delicious! Nothing much was open yet, so we walked around a bit. L also managed to get clipped by a zipping scooter. Those things come out of nowhere so fast. L was crossing the walkway to throw something away and out it came. I grabbed him back as fast as I could but it still got him just a bit. Scared him and I a lot! The scooter guy stopped to make sure he was ok. So did a local shop keeper. Who then started to harass me about watching him more closely. Ugh! So thankful L wasn’t hurt.

By this time, Ty had decided, if L really wanted a picture with the snakes, we would try and make that happen. So we wandered in the market for a bit till we heard the call of the pipes, and the drum of the snake charmers.

At first they just kind of threw this little snake around their necks. But Ty really wanted that photo with the cobra. So we hung out a bit more and finally the guy saw us and pulled the cobra out from the blue drum. He then had L come around and sit next to him. It freaked me out that the drum he was antagonizing the snake with was the exact same color as L’s coat! But thankfully, nothing really happened. My kiddos got some amazing photos, and L was beyond thrilled. He immediately announced he wanted a snake as a pet! Not happening.

We walked back to our house, and saw a few turkeys on the way.

Our driver came and got us, we made it to the airport without and issues. We were a few hours early for our flight, and hoping to get some food in a lounge. However, those were only in the international terminals. We were dismayed when we went to check in for our flight, that not only was it immediately delayed by an hour, there was also no staff at the counters. Ty lined up and then he and I took turns waiting in line with everyone else on our flight for the next hour.

Staff finally showed up and we were able to check in for our flight. Security was pretty intense as well. They took your passport, and stared into it, then your face. Asked if that was you. It was no joke! It was nice to get all that over with, but then we just sat in the waiting area. That thankfully had food! When staff members finally showed up (again!) to start boarding people for the flight, there was a total rush for the door. Then some rapid French started happening and we could tell there was mass confusion about the flight. The flight crew was asking the crowd who was going to Fez, then some passengers started shouting about who was going to Paris. It’s like there was a fight over the plane and where it was going. It was totally bizarre, and we didn’t understand most of it. It seemed decided that the plane was going to Fez so the Paris passengers were routed away from the doorways. We got through, and boarded our plane. The strange thing was before we took off we noticed those Paris passengers getting onto our plane as well. No idea how all that was worked out!

Also apparently our flight was scheduled for 3:10 instead of the 2:10 that we bought our tickets for. We chatted a bit with some other passengers before boarding. Apparently some had bought the 2:10 flight like us, but most others bought the 3:10. No idea if they just combined the flights, but we were never notified of the change in flight time. This Air Arabia was so bizarre! We fly them from Fez to London so we really hope this was a one time issue, and not a regular occurrence.

Thankfully it was an uneventful 45 minute flight. We landed safely in Fez.

Due to staff issues it took us about 45 minutes to get our car, and leave the airport. But then we seemed to be back on track and headed out of Fez. Our destination was Chefchaouen, a city about 3 hours north of Fez. It’s renowned for its blue Old Town. Everything has to be painted these few shades of blue. The pictures seem incredible!

Due to the flight delay and the car rental delay, we were going to be driving in the dark again. But thankfully the road seemed a lot less curvy than what we had been driving.

Fez seemed like a large booming city. Right before we left the edge of town, we drove on the craziest street. It was like 1/4 road, 1/2 walk-way, and 1/4 market! I can’t believe we didn’t hit someone!

But right after we got through this chaos, the hillside opened up and the countryside was beautiful!

This was about the last photos I could take before sunset. After this the road, was hit and miss. The directions took us off on a 5 mile detour, through a partially constructed road. Then we added about an extra hour to our drive time by taking this road that was about half way there. Each lane was halfway eroded. So if someone was coming from the other direction, Ty was driving with two tires in the dirt.

I can definitely say, I was praying for our safety, several times during this drive. There really wasn’t any where for us to stop and eat, or get the kids dinner. About 8pm we found a little quick market. These are basically small rooms, that are filled with chips, a small refrigerator for drinks, and crackers. So we bought the kids some sort of fruit/milk smoothie, and some crackers, while Ty and I each had a snickers bar for dinner. Then we hit the road again. Thankfully L fell asleep. R was just starting to get car sick again, when we pulled into Chefchaouen. We were so thankful our host was organized. He had someone meet us, at this square. They showed us where to park, since there is no parking in Old Town. Then he guided us to our house. It was so nice to get settled in! From what we could tell at night, these streets are beautiful. We couldn’t wait to see more in the morning!

Sahara Desert to Marrakesh, Morocco: Travel Day

Ty woke up bright an early in the desert, about 6am. He worked the rest of us up about 8am I had pulled all the covers over onto my side, trying to stay warm. Have I mentioned it was freezing!!

We had a good breakfast of rolls, yogurt, eggs, and these pancake/crepe things they make. With hot mint tea of course. Then we packed up, enjoyed a bit of the sunrise, then watched most of the group head out on camels.

Here are a few photos from inside our tent.

Then off we drove. We new we had about 7 hours of driving ahead of us. We also had a terrible experience with R’s car sickness on the way here, so we did our best to prepare. Knowing it was going to be daylight, we were hoping for better results.

We made it to a good lunch stop. It was a hotel near the big movie studios. It had a play area, that we had to buy a ticket for, so the kids could play. Weird, but it burned some of their energy so we went for it. We had been trying to get some plastic bags, for the car ride, but everywhere they give you these fabric bags instead. I finally asked the waiter, and he took a while but brought out this reusable plastic grocery bag for us to keep. It was thoughtful, but we keep thinking there must be a ban on typical American plastic bags here. Which is a good thing! We also gave R some Dramamine. Here’s a screen shot of the worst sections of the road.

(Ty and I keep calling these sections, the intestines!)

We made a stop at one of the passes. Then out of no where, this kid shows up and offers to sell us a box of dates. L was dying to spend this money he had, so the kid sold a box to L for 2 euros. A pretty good profit for him! Then the kid whips a lizard out of his pocket and sticks it on L’s shoulder. So then the rest of us had to have a photo with it as well. It was so chill!

The rest of the drive, though very long was uneventful. Oh well we did get suckered into buying some fake Moroccan geodes. There are all these guys along the road, holding up these brightly colored geodes, they’re incredible! So Ty saw a good one and pulled over. We thought we got a bargain with 4 for $50. Then the next stop, we found out the guy sold them for $10. I looked them up later, they’re homemade out of clay for like .75 cents! Oh well, we keep telling ourselves, they need the money more than we did!

We returned the rental car in Marrakesh and the nice employee, arranged a taxi for us, to get to our Air BnB. It’s tucked into a part of town you can’t drive to. So the guy with with key, met us on the side of the road, then we had to walk through the maze of streets to the house.

It’s an experience like nothing else, these winding, back, side streets.

R was done going out for the night, so us girls stayed in, while the boys went out and got us some street sandwiches and fries.

We were all happy to be out of the car and snuggled into warm beds.

Brussels, Belgium to Ait Ben Hadou, Morocco: Travel Day

Ty has been eager to get to Morocco for a couple of years. So we planned 9 days of exploring in Morocco this year.

Leaving Brussels was relatively smooth.

Security was a breeze. Why can’t we get family lanes in the US?! We enjoyed a snack break in the lounge before getting on our flight.

Ryan Air is very bare bones. You don’t get any drinks or food unless you buy it. They don’t even have pockets on the back of their seats. But it was just 3 hours long, and we had electronics and snacks, so we were just fine.

We got through customs, with some weird flirting over pens. I’m still confused by it, but who argues with a customs official!

Ty checked us in for the rental car, and here’s where the day starts going down hill. The desk agent sends us out the doors, up the stairs, and to the tower. Well we go out the doors, up the stairs, and there is no tower. Just a giant, wal-mart size parking lot. With no rental car signs, or employees in sight! We walked from one end of the giant parking lot to the other. Across to the other corner, in the blinding hot sun, before we finally found someone who knew where we should go. It was INSANE! How is this a large well established city?!

We were able to get out of the city with minimal fuss. Thank goodness for Ty’s app. It’s a marriage saver! (One of our worst fights, may have been Ty driving and me trying to follow some Mapquest print outs in El Salvador. Nothing like trying to tell your driver, turn after 3000 yards. πŸ™„)

There were these interesting lanes in the city. A full size lane, a half size lane next to it with a bike/motorcycle lane sharing it. I tried to get a picture to capture this.

It is so different here, definitely a good culture shock.

Our destination was estimated about 3.5 hours outside of Marrakech. So we anticipated a long drive, hoping to keep most of it, prior to the sun setting. After about an hour, R was getting a little car sick, so we found ourselves a cafe/hotel. Right as we pull into the parking lot, she starts getting sick. But she’s a good puke and rally kiddo.

We got back on the road as soon, as we ate, and the kids started listening to an audiobook. The scenery was beautiful, but the buildings are very basic. Mostly mud structures along the road. Sunset was later than we expected, about 7pm.

Then we hit road construction. These roads were so bad, rough sections, lanes would go from two to one, with no warning. There are no lights, no paint, and limited signage. Giant trucks would come zooming around a corner, into our lanes. We were also climbing a pass, so the road, was very squiggly. It was basically, a nightmare situation for someone who gets car sick. I was not as prepared as I should have been. We had one air sickness bag from the airport which didn’t work out so well. Poor R was covered in it, after that second ‘event’. So we had to strip her down to her pants, and try and clean up the car as best we could with a few wet wipes. By the third ‘event’, we were scrambling to find any spare bags we had.

Leaving the restaurant estimated about two hours left of driving. However, when we hit the construction we drove for another hour without our ‘estimate of arrival’ changing at all. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈ So what was going to be a 3.5 hour drive became a 5+ hour drive. Poor R, just kept asking when we were going to arrive, and I had to keep saying about 2 more hours. It was a long, long evening.

(This was a screen shot from the worst of our route!)

We were so thankful to arrive at our hotel! L thankfully fell asleep about an hour before we arrived. So Ty carried him in and put him right to bed. R, we had to wash off in the shower, because she was covered in vomit. Only after we had showered her did we realize they forgot the towels. I tried to dry her off with one of Ty’s t-shirts. Then we bundled her into bed. The room was quite cold, since they don’t have the heat on until you arrive. She went to sleep with her scarf and hat on her head.

My surprise was a rock hard bed. It was the hardest bed I have ever slept on. It was one step above a park service bunk. But we were exhausted, and it felt good to lay flat. That’s about the best I can say. πŸ˜‰

Morocco, you will be an adventure!

Frankfurt, Germany to Brussels, Belgium: Travel Day

We’re off to Brussels! We woke up at 6am so we had plenty of time for a leisurely breakfast and packing, while trying to keep our kids voices quiet in the hotel, this morning. We’re all looking forward to having an apartment in Brussels so we can have more room, and not be so noise conscious.

The train was comfortable and had wifi. It did rock quite a bit so we didn’t want anyone reading or watching any shows. I typically have no issues with motion sickness but even that train had me feeling a bit uneasy. So after some card games, and lots of hot wheels playing, the kids settled down to listen to a Laura Ingles audiobook.

We arrived in Brussels around noon, and immediately loved the city. It’s very large, but unlike Frankfurt, there is lots to see, and it’s a beautiful city.

We ate some, not as good as American, bagels sandwiches for lunch. The bagels, were more like bread in texture. However, Belgiums win for toppings, Ty had chicken, with Brie, and apples. I had prosciutto, with lettuce, hard parmesan, and soft sun-dried tomato’s, drizzled in balsamic! 🀀

We walked on to our Airbnb rental, where with minimal confusion on how to meet the host, we were let into our apartment. (I swear Airbnb, no matter how wonderful it is to stay in a house vs. a hotel, the initial meet up to get into the rental is never flawless.)

The temperature in Brussels is around mid-30s so we added on the extra layers and headed out to find the Senckenberg Museum, their natural history museum. I hate to say it, but we’re becoming museum snobs. We love a good natural history museum. There’s something for everyone in our family to enjoy. However, this one fell a bit short. The exhibits were a bit sparse, oddly arranged, so the visitors had to clump up, and frankly, the museum smelled. It was an odd mixture of glue/body odor/dust. However, on the bright side, spending a few hours learning and being warm inside a museum, is never a bad thing. We always walk away having learned something new.

We closed the museum down at 6:30 and walked back towards our apartment. There’s this beautiful little square just down the street from us, so we stopped there for dinner and groceries. It was supposed to be this amazing burger place, again we’re spoiled American’s, we know good burgers! These were decent.

Seems like I’ve been complaining a bit on this post, but we’re still having a great trip. I think it’s just worthwhile to point out that every moment of this trip isn’t all sunshine and roses, but thankfully it’s all super minor.

Anchorage, AK to Frankfurt, Germany: Travel Day

So for our 6th Annual Hampton Family International Christmas trip Ty found us some awesome tickets back to Europe. There are so many different countries to explore over here, that this is our third Christmas in a row, and we’re still visiting new locations!

We got a United flight from Anchorage, to Denver. We were able to spend the day in Denver with family. It was an incredible way to break up the long flights. The kids opened presents with cousins, and most of us napped.

We left Denver on a 5:45pm flight to Frankfurt, Germany. Our actual tickets purchased continued on to Reykjavik, Iceland, however when offered the choice between German Christmas markets or Iceland in December, it was a no brainer to hop off early. The key to this, was we didn’t check any luggage. So when we landed in Germany, we just walked off and went through customs.

The flight was only 9 hours. It went as smoothly as we could hope for. R slept on the floor, and L slept across their two seats. The flight attendants didn’t seem to notice/mind. Thank goodness because this allowed us all to get a few good hours of sleep.

Our only speed bump came at the end of the flight. Like has happened before, R got an upset tummy and threw up right as we were landing. Of course our row had zero air sickness bags.

(Please note, Ty’s taking one for the team. Holding a cup of warm vomit. Also after seeing this people around us suddenly produced, air sickness bags!)

L decided his tummy was upset too, but thankfully he never got sick.

Uneventful getting off the plane, and through security. Ty directed us easily through to the train, into Frankfurt Main.

Our room wasn’t ready yet, so we did what all parents do, we found the nearest playground!

Enjoyed some fresh air, and stretching our legs.

We finally get into our room, shower and change clothes which feels amazing after basically 2 days. Then we all lay down for a ‘short’ nap. Ha! That turns into almost 2 hours. And we finally drag the kids out of the hotel about 6pm for a nearby dinner.

Food was good. Being back in Europe feels wonderful. L is currently asleep underneath the pull out couch. His choice! While we wait for R, to get tired. Jet lag is always an experience.

Can’t wait to see what adventures await us tomorrow!

Tutukaka – Auckland, NZ – Anchorage, AK: Travel Day

We let the kids play on the beach in their jammies this morning. They made castles, found beautiful shells, and played with a girl camping next to us. Ty and I finished packing and just enjoyed waking up at the beach for our final day.

We finally packed up and started the long drive to Auckland. Taking a brief break to check out one final waterfall, of course.

These kids have been such good travelers!!

We had to make a stop at Giapo, in Auckland. We read about it, and heard from a few people that their ice cream is amazing. So we tracked it down. They make really incredible sculptures cones. Like a giant octopus, seriously check out the link! But we knew we couldn’t eat that much so we went with the reasonable sized cups. It was SO yummy by SO rich!! I couldn’t even finish mine. Definitely worth checking out!

We had a bit of a scramble at the RV return. Just because I was unloading everything while Ty was trying to get a massive discount from them for all the issues we had. In the end, we got the discount and managed to catch the very last shuttle to the airport!

Security was a breeze. I’m bummed I didn’t take any pictures of the lounge we went to prior to our flight. It was maybe the nicest one yet! Nice and large so we don’t feel like we’re on top of other people. Good food, not just snacks. Wonderful drinks for grown ups and kids. It was a perfect recharge prior to starting our long journey home.

We made it on the plane and get settled into our Sky Couch!

The Sky Couch is perfect if you’re traveling with kids. But just know, if you can’t sleep sitting up right you’re probably not going to sleep. πŸ˜• There’s definitely not enough room for three to lay down. But hey, I’m used to being up for several days when we travel. πŸ€ͺ

Waiting to board in Seattle and Linc just couldn’t quite make it.

All in all, it was a very long journey home. But uneventful, which is how we like them. So very thankful we had another amazing adventure with my kiddos. They truly are the best travelers!