It took six flights to get us to and from England:
Santa Barbara to Phoenix
Phoenix to Philadelphia
Philadelphia to Manchester
The first time I saw that itinerary I thought Expedia was having a laugh. Who flies to the UK via Phoenix and Philly, except people who can only fly through cities beginning with P?
To say I was dreading the flights would be a massive understatement. Last time we flew home, two years ago, we also had six flights. But then we also had an Icelandic volcano and a one year old lap child to contend with. Both equally volatile. As we finally began our descent over Ireland I remember thinking 'I don't care if we die. I'm so tired right now that at least we'd die together and this hell will be over'. Lucy had refused to sleep for the entire 24 HOURS of traveling and she wouldn't sit still for a nano-second. LK now swears he is the only man alive to have walked the length of the entire f*@king Atlantic Ocean.
Two years and two iphones later, and things were a different story. Lucy was enthusiastic and sweet on the (short) SB to Phoenix leg. She was relatively easily entertained or asleep on the (longer) Phoenix to Philly leg. By the time we were about to board our (loooong) flight from Philly to Manchester she took one look at the aeroplane gangway and said "hmmm, not so much really". In actuality she said 'I wan go hooome' and envisioning how popular we would be carrying a screaming, tantrum-throwing 3 year old on to a trans-Atlantic flight, LK and I immediately went in to Defcom Delta 'persuade this child she wants to fly mode.'
In the end Anna cracked it with 'doesn't this flight have TVs for every person'? Lucy shifted her gaze to her sister. "And don't you get to pick whatever you want to watch?" Lucy's eyes pleaded with us for agreement. When we said that yes - all international flights have headrest TVs she was racing down that gangplank like she might miss all the fun.
That was it. They watched TV, they ate, they slept. This lifestyle may be giving all American children type 2 diabetes, but it makes them AMAZING international travelers.
When we finally got off in Manchester, surrounding (no doubt relieved) passengers complimented us on our 'angelic' children. No-one was as surprised as we were.
Of course, if you yourself are finding it hard to while away the time on a long haul flight, let me suggest this from www.laughingsquid.com:
Click on the link for more photos. Absolute bloody genius.