Finally we have hit the skies and the last 24 hours have proven to be exciting, frustrating, tiring, endearing, busy and teary, with the odd eye roll moment thrown in!
Emirates re-deemed themselves somewhat on check in and we were allocated different aisle seats away from the bulkhead. I am pleased we decided on these in the end as having the facility to lift the arm rests makes an enormous difference when sardined in. Our first leg was great with a bank of four seats just for us. The next leg on to Dubai though was packed. Clearly I had unconsciously blocked out just how tight an economy seat is on an international flight. Though, if you think about it, I suppose I didn’t have to wrestle an extra 13kgs of mobile luggage in my previous lifetimes.
After assuming our seats on the second leg, we were met with our first eye roll, accentuated with an under the breath, 'Oh God!', as the lucky couple who were seated next to us, emerged down the aisle and realised their short straw. With that greeting, I safely assumed we weren't going to be making lifelong friends with our neighbours over the next 8 hours.
I felt somewhat vindicated though, when upon descent the gentleman turned towards me and spoke for the first time throughout the flight. He just wanted to let us know that he was absolutely amazed at how well behaved our little boy was, how exceptional he was throughout the whole flight. This gave me some indication that he probably had never been within such close proximity of a height challenge person before, especially for any extended period of time. Last time I read any gender bias research, children dressed in pink were usually of the female variety!
Sadly we had our first victim of the long haul - our comfort toy, 'Babs', was unceremoniously left behind on the plane. Fortunately for all, the short one is too busy with all the new sights and sounds to have even noticed!
Our stay at the Novotel Deira City Centre, Dubai, has been a highlight so far in our extensive travels of 24 hours. Novotel has a family friendly policy and it shows. From the beautifully friendly reception staff to the welcome children’s gift on arrival, the service has been exceptional. Children under 2 stay and eat free. Clearly Novotel hadn't met the short one when they decided upon this policy. At breakfast, she managed to consume our combined body weight in food. Many more kids like her and Novotel would be noticing a distinct decline in their share price.