Got back last night. The plane journey is theoretically only an hour longer coming west than going east, but that extra hour is an eternity every time. I’m sure this is because it’s a daytime flight, so it’s harder to sleep, and it always seems to take longer going home, somehow. Also we just had a long day, we were up at 4:30am in Aberdeen to catch the early flight down to Gatwick (British Airways: fantastic service, leather seats, delicious hot breakfast with bacon, sausages, tomato, eggs, all for under $100 return) and then some hanging around at Gatwick. Only flaw with that leg was that they didn’t deliver Toby’s stroller to the door of the plane when we landed, so we had quite a trek to the baggage carousel where the stroller didn’t appear. The lady on the enquiries desk was great though, and located it and had it with us in under five minutes, so it could have been worse.
The long flight here was a tad trying, partly because we didn’t have a separate seat for Toby. Usually they’ll attempt to find one for us if there’s one free, but the NorthWest flight from Gatwick to Detroit was “postponed indefinitely” so they all piled on to our plane and it was packed. Fortunately we were in the bulkhead seats and had loads of room in front of us, so when Toby was awake Emma and I took it in turns to sit on the floor while he was in a seat. If we hadn’t done that he would have been off and crawling all over, and besides it was a welcome break from those seats which always leave me with sore thighs for the next couple of days. Service was plain, slightly grim and simple which is always the case on that airline; it was amusingly obvious to spot the folks who hadn’t travelled with them before – one comment was “I think the usual stewardesses [sic - this was a Brit talking so no p.c. "attendants"] must be unwell and have sent their mothers in instead”. The guy next to Emma had Nike “Flight” shoes on, and she reckoned it was useful for him to have what he was doing that day written on his shoes. I had a bloke from London next to me who was going on to Vegas and was frankly slightly wide, so sitting with Toby was a bit of a squash. But when we landed he told me that Toby was the best behaved baby he’d ever seen on a plane which made me very proud.
In fact the little guy was awesome all through the trip. You’d hardly know that he was jetlagged, he was very friendly to all the new people he met, and very calm in the new and different surroundings. It was wonderful for him to meet my granny, and she was sparkly-eyed with him. We got a couple of wonderful pictures of them both, and I’ll try to post them soon. She told me that she’d really fallen in love with him. He got on great with his own granny too. The night Em and I went out with various friends, Toby was looked after by his granny and great-granny, who gave him some dinner (veggies and salmon) and a bath, which apparently was great fun. He also learned loads on the trip, such as greatly improving his standing skills – he’s very stable holding on with just one hand – and the speed of his crawling. We’re noticing with these things that they’re causing a revolution in his whole life and outlook, in a very similar way to when he learned to sit up, as they allow him to do so many more things all of a sudden. He’s also learned to shake his head, although I don’t think he knows that it means “no” – right now it’s just kind of fun and he loves it if you shake your head back at him.