Shortly after the food was cleared away Big Steve came up to visit and report on his families activities. Ellie was happily colouring and Harry was asleep. They had, under doctor’s advice, given Harry a dose of cough medicine which was also a mild sedative. Apparently he had almost gone face down in his pizza and chips. Big Steve gave the kid’s meal a D as they were all warm and congealed apparently, but he and Lisa had bought plenty of food on for the kids so they didn’t go hungry.
Steven stopped wriggling long enough for me to watch 10 minutes of Finding Nemo.
Of course Adrian managed to watch 3 whole films during the flight. Anyway, the few snippets I saw were good and “Bad Squishy” became the saying for the next few days anytime something went wrong. And “just keep swimming” featured quite a bit too. Whilst Steven had a power nap I took the opportunity to fill in the green cards for Big Steve and his family. He asked me to do them in case he did them wrong and got thrown out. Shortly after that Harry staggered down the plane for a visit, look decidedly hungover, which amused us greatly. Things like that amuse Adrian and myself. We’re not sadistic, really, but just find things like that funny. I left Adrian holding the baby (‘bout time) and wandered down to wear the others were sitting. Lisa was trying to give away fruit to anyone who passed, whether she knew them or not. They had bought a ton of the stuff on the plane with them to munch on and were now trying to get rid of the suplus before we reached Orlando. I refused her kind offer of several apples. They did indeed look very tasty however, it was still painful for me to eat crunchy food like that, and Adrian, well he just doesn’t do fruit unless it’s part of some calorie laden dessert.
Ellie took off her headphones to ask me how many more days it was until we landed. I said three. She looked at me with those piercing “I don’t believe you” eyes that she brings out now and again. I asked her what day it was today. “Saturday” she replies. I tell her we’ll be landing on Tuesday. I almost manage to convince her that this was true when Lisa announces that there’s only another 3 hours till we land. Three hours! It feels like I’ve been on this plane for a week.
I went back to my seat and Nanny Lesley and myself spent the next hour making Adrian more cranky by the minute by watching the skymap on the little TVs and telling him every two minutes how much more flying time there was. Adrian went down to visit Big Steve and came back shortly to report that Ellie had watched Finding Nemo 3 times and was fed up of watching TV and was it really another 3 days till we landed? Steven went over to play with Nanny Lesley for a bit and then came back so we could feed him banana at 36,000 feet.
Here I’ll stop to say a few words about feeding the boy on the plane.
We took enough food and milk on the plane to last 24 hours and then some. Virgin Atlantic carry baby food (Heinz organic), nappies, etc, but you have to ask for it and supplies are limited. We took the pre-packed disposable bottles for on the plane and the cartons of ready to drink milk in Steven’s preferred brand. He was fine with the disposable bottles but you have to make sure the lid is screwed on firmly or you’ll get spillage. We also took jars of baby food, baby breadsticks, and bananas for snacks and a sippy cup full of water so we didn’t need to avail ourselves of the on-board supplies but they were offered to us. The cabin crew will also warm up food and milk for you if you ask.
Then before we knew it we were starting our descent into Orlando and had to strap ourselves in for the very smooth landing. We had arrived! We sat and waited for the people who insist on jumping out of their seats the moment the seat belt light goes out to clear out of the plane and then gathered our belongings and small children, said goodbye to Michael and his parents, and strolled off the plane. We flew on Jersey Girl by the way.
Immigration was surprisingly swift to get through and we overtook many of the people who had rushed to be off the plane first. We waited by the exit for Big Steve and Lisa who were casting disparaging glances in my direction. Huh? They finally get their passports stamped and march over to demand why I had filled in one of their landing cards incorrectly and that they had nearly been sent to the back of the line but the officer had taken pity on them and let them straight through anyway. Hahahahahahaahaaaaa: apparently I’d put Harry’s name on the top part of the card, but then put Ellie’s name on the bottom part. Luckily they got one of the less pedantic immigration officers who obviously just wanted everyone through so he could go eat more doughnuts.
So by the time we get to baggage claim our bags, car seats, and buggies are already waiting for us. We manage without the need for baggage trolleys at this point by getting small children to pull along huge suitcases. Then we get to the point where you give your bags away again. There was a crowd of about 50 people all standing round the belts clearly not able to understand the instructions “place your bags on the belts and catch the shuttle to the main terminal.” They literally were standing there in droves not able to comprehend what they were being told to do. No matter how loudly the instructions were yelled or how many times they were told that if they didn’t comply they weren’t going any further, they just stood there. I used Steven’s buggy as a tool to part this crowd and the rest of the family followed me through. We placed our bags on the belt, whilst the throng looked at us like we were mad, and marched off in the direction of the shuttle leaving them all standing there with bottom jaws on the floor.
But wait. Before you get to the shuttle boarding area you have to go through the new security screening area. This could be done better. You are hearded into a line and sent to a scanning machine manned by several officers where you have to put all your carry on bags, your jackets and coats, your baby’s buggy and any other loose items, including stupid snowmen, through the scanning machines. It is not the best organised area of MCO. Incidentally, and probably quite worryingly, the scanning machine did not pick up the scissors in Ellie’s backpack and her bag passed through without any problems. I have no idea how long it took us to get through there except that it felt like too long. I know the checks are necessary but there was a sense of ‘too much, too late’ going on there. Anyway, we’re through and we’re on the shuttle to the main terminal. :n005: