Oh boy, that was a long day! When it was all said and done, it probably took about 20 hours and 3 flights to get here, and we were all exhausted. Our flight left from New Orleans around 11:15 am to JFK. We then had a 5 hour layover in NY. Our flight to Madrid was about 6.5 hours (not too bad). Our last flight to San Sebastián was only about an hour.
All things considered, I’m pretty happy with the way everything went. However, when we boarded the first flight, James completely flipped out. He was screaming on the top of his lungs, arching his back, and he kept saying “outside.” Basically, he wanted OFF. This went on probably for about 20 minutes while everyone was getting on the plane. I can only imagine what they were thinking about us! I remember leaning over to Justin at one point and saying that we are going to need to abort this whole trip if it doesn’t get any better. And I was dead serious. He said that he was reviewing cancellation policies in his head before I even said that. It was BAD. To add insult to injury, the stewardess insisted that I put him in his own seat with a seatbelt. Every time I would attempt to do this, James would arch his back and wiggle underneath the seatbelt onto the floor. We were quite the scene. Finally, I ended up using one arm to pin him into the seat and the other to buckle him in. I had to physically hold him in the seat while he calmed down. He finally accepted a sucker and his kindle/headphones. Bad start to a long day. However, after that initial scene, the plane took off, and he did really well for the rest of the flight.
I’m not really sure what happened. The plane was very small. Maybe that freaked him out? Maybe he was just scared? Maybe he was mad because he wanted to run around instead of sit? Honestly, I really have no idea, but I could have done without that whole meltdown, and it made me very nervous about how the rest of the day was going to go.
We made it to New York, and we had a long layover. We were hoping to let James run around a bit so that he would be tired and sleep on the long flight. Because we were flying business class to Spain, we had access to the British Airways lounge. There’s nothing that I love more than lounge access, but lately they have not been quite as enjoyable as they have in the past. Bringing James into a lounge is almost more stressful than it’s worth. I’m always so worried that he would disturb someone or spill drinks etc. He’s basically a walking tornado these days. When we got into the lounge, the first thing we spotted was the Kids Zone. No two words were ever sweeter. A whole area in the lounge just for kids! There were toys and a TV. It was perfect. Eventually, we all set up in there and made ourselves comfortable while we waited for the flight. James ran around like a wild animal that had just been let out of a cage.
Samantha (our cousin who is helping us with James) has been absolutely wonderful. James loves her, and she has been a huge help already. James ran her ragged around the Kids Zone. He was laughing and having the best time.
It was an absolute zoo trying to board our flight to Madrid. There were 2 big flights attempting to board at the same time at 2 gates right next to each other. It was a mess. I put James in the baby carrier and he fell asleep. We walked over by the supposed business class area but that didn’t seem to help. At some point Samantha caught the eye of one of the workers. She looked at her ticket, saw that we were business class, had a baby, and a stroller and told us that we could come to the front and board. Thank goodness! We boarded the plane and were were happy.
We flew Iberia (Spain’s airline) to Madrid. It was our first time flying with them, and we really liked it. The stewardesses made a very nice first impression, and were very eager to help with anything we needed for James. He was still sleeping at this point. Once the plane was loaded and it was time to take off, I attempted to sit without waking James up. No luck. He woke up and fussed for a bit, but not too long. Then it seems that he caught a second wind. He was up and loving all the fun things that a business class flight entails, especially the remote for the TV. He hit the call light for the stewardess so many times that we eventually got in trouble.
James had his own seat next to mine, so I laid it flat and made his bed (blanket, lamby, pillow etc). I still had hopes that he would curl up and go to sleep. Haha. Not quite. I showed him his bed and he said……”Here mommy, it’s yours” as he tried to push me onto the other seat to lay on the bed that I just made for him. It was clear that James was going to stay up and and enjoy the perks of a business class flight. He enjoyed the meal service and mainly played with the utensils, pretending to eat more than actually eating. The food was pretty good and moved along at a nice pace so that we could finish up and try to get some sleep. It was fun watching Samantha in her first business class flight. She has already decided that she needs to marry rich. It is hard to go back once you’ve seen what the other side is like!
After the meal, I really wanted James to go to sleep, but he is clearly a night owl (like his dad)or the energizer bunny. I wish I could just take out his batteries! He didn’t fall asleep until about midnight (US time), and this is a kid who had no nap. He/we only got about 3 hours total on the flight. He woke up when we landed and cried a bit. I think we all wanted to cry.
We still had one more flight. We all sleep walked our way through the Madrid airport, boarded the flight to San Sebastián and finally made it through our last leg of the journey. It was a quick flight, and James did pretty well considering how tired I know he was. He typically sleeps about 10 hours a night, and we were way behind.
Once we landed and got our bags (they all made it!), we looked for the car service that Justin had booked and found him easily. It was a very pleasant sight. We made it! Justin had arranged for the van to have a car seat, which it did. However, it was just placed on the seat. Nothing was holding it in, plus there were no chest straps or buckles. Needless to say, it left alot to be desired! I briefly attempted to hook it up but then decided that James was safer in my arms, and I knew the ride wasn’t very long. When we got to the apartment, we weren’t able to check in right away. No big deal. Our apartment is right on the beach, and the fresh air is just what we needed. San Sebastián is beautiful. The weather is cool, sunny, and breezy. It felt amazing. James was still half asleep, but eventually we took his shoes off and went running up and down the beach while Justin watched the luggage. He loved it. I think we all did.
The apartment is in a great location. It’s right across the street from the beach and has a balcony with a spectacular view. We tried to get settled in and avoided crashing into bed!
We decided to head out and get some essentials from the market for James (milk). After a very short walk, we saw a little playground with kids and a carousel. It was just so perfect. I can already tell that San Sebastián is going to be a very family friendly stop. We walked to a restaurant and got a few tapas before heading back to the apartment for bed.
I’m writing this post right after our first night……and it was kinda a rough one. We were all passing out by about 7:00 but James seemed to be going strong. We finally wrestled him into bed. He fell asleep for about 4 hours then was up from about 11pm to 3 am. Justin and I kept taking turns going in there. Eventually he fell asleep and is still asleep now (9am). He wasn’t sleeping great at home lately so I’m sure the combination of that and jet lag gave him a really tough time.
Anyway, we are here and all doing well. I’m sure everyone will be waking up soon but right now, I’m just enjoying the quiet and the beautiful view. Looking forward to spending the next few days in San Sebastián.