I don’t even know where to start as I begin to blog again, so how about day 1 in Ireland. Or even the travel on the way here? I would certainly love to brag that my children behaved better than I ever even could have wished on all three flights.

We left Columbus around 3 in the afternoon and took our first flight to Chicago. Caitlin mostly watched a movie on my iPad, Reagan slept on daddy. Any adult on the plane concerned about screaming children were quickly assured that our children would not be their issue. It was a fantastic feeling. Caitlin sipped her juice and told me all about Horton. Arrival in Chicago was on time (!!!) and we had more than enough time to find out gate and grab some food for the kids knowing they would not eat whatever was to be served on the long flight. You know, the flight I feared more than anything with two kids 3 and under.

Chicago airport itself took its toll on my patience. Caitlin and Reagan wanted to run around, and who could blame them? Lots of space and, unbeknownst to them, they were about to be on a plane for 7 hours. Jack and I did our best to manage them and not lose our minds. Once again fearful adults about to board the overnight flight with us were looking a bit concerned. Even more so when we got on the plane and Caitlin had a little meltdown. She didn’t want to be on another plane. The woman next to us gave me a “look”. Fortunately they had screwed up Reagan’s seat and Jack ended up with three seats in a row and I managed a trade to be across the aisle from him. He sat with the kids initially and then “Woody” the flight attendant brought Caitlin snacks and talked about Toy Story. All was well in the world again.

We took off, had a drink, watched Horton again and soon the girls were fast asleep… and that was that. For 7 hours the girls slept and we dozed. Food came and went and the girls never stirred. We arrived in Manchester and then endured airport hell again. Maneuver through one terminal, catch a bus to another terminal, walk through a maze, stop at a desk to check in for security, wait the waiting room for security entry as they would only take 6 people at a time. Go through security, go through customs in the UK for Ireland (confusing) and then go to the gate and walk directly onto the plane as it took the entirety of the layover to get there. While Jack and I were a bit irritated again as waiting around in lines at security with small children is no fun, we did walk straight onto the plane and headed right off to Cork. Once again I sat with Caitlin and watched Horton (yes I have it memorized), Reagan slept on daddy yet again. Clearly daddy is her sleep number (oops, stole Jack’s joke!)

Such a quick flight, we were there before we knew it and ready to collect our 12 suitcases, pack ‘n play and car seat (the other car seat was with us on the plane). Fifteen pieces of luggage no problem… or was it? The good news was immigration was expecting me, the man at the desk was extremely pleasant and knew who we were so we were through quickly. What we didn’t realize is that customs (duh!) was after the baggage claim and therefore we had to get two kids and 15 pieces of luggage rolled out before the taxi driver could meet us. Thankfully a customs agent came to help us (since we can’t leave bags unattended) and we somehow made it using a series f what felt like circus maneuvers.

The taxi driver was told we had many bags, but I’m not sure he believed it until he saw us. He couldn’t believe we had 4 trolleys of luggage. That said, it all fit fine in the vehicle we bought and we were soon on our way to our new home sweet home.

Moira, my contact from Irish relocation, met us at the airport and then at the house to check us in and get us settled. She was a godsend. She had even bought us some initial groceries knowing it was lunch time and we were likely all starving (did I mention it was now 11am the next day in Cork). We fed the kids, let them explore the house (as did Jack) and then I tried not to panic as Caitlin locked herself in a room. What’s the first day without an adventure?!

All the rooms in the new house have skeleton keys that lock and unlock them and each room as its own key. They were all in the doors when we arrived and now are not 🙂 Caitlin had walked into a bedroom, discovered the key in the door on the INSIDE, closed the door, locked it and took the key out. Jack spent what felt like an eternity coaching her to get the key back into the lock and turn it. She kept only putting the key half in or not turning it the whole way. I was sent away so that she would listen and not hear me freaking out and think it was a game. Fair enough.

After the adventure I left to attempt to open a bank account with Moira’s assistance, Jack and the kids stayed home and took naps. Yes, I was very envious. After an hour of trying with eth bank to open an account (more drama than worth noting) Moira and I called it a day so |I could get home and relax. It was 4pm and I was exhausted. I quickly contacted people to let them know we’d arrived safely and then immediately started looking for food delivery options so we could have food brought to us that evening. Pizza it was!

Pizza and sleep. Just what the doctor had ordered and a great way to wrap up day 1. Especially since the next day found me picking up a car, in the snow, and driving on eth left hand side of the road!

More soon…