London, Heathrow to Bali, Indonesia

This next trip of ours couldn’t come soon enough for us! 2017 hasn’t turned out to be our year so far but we are fortunate enough that we can leave the baggage (emotional not backpack, we need that) at home and jet off around the world. Last time Faye and I travelled properly Faye was 3 and we spent 3 months in the USA before she started school. Now she’s at school it’s much, much harder for us to do big trips as we are really limited to the summer holidays and which countries are suitable at that time of year.

Bali was a good choice for us weather wise as July/August is slightly cooler (28-30 degrees) and drier than other times in the year. Plus I’ve always wanted to go since seeing Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love!

Flights were booked through STA Travel, a company I always use as they do a good price comparison and the airline we flew with was Garuda Intl. I found Garuda did the best aeroplane food I’ve ever had and they did Faye a child’s meal which was all things she’d actually eat! Only questionable thing was being woken up and given a spinach and feta pastry at 4am!

Flights were as follows; 14 hours London to Jakarta, 2 hours stop in Jakarta, then a 2 hour flight from Jakarta to Bali. You actually go through customs in Jakarta so once you get to Bali you just walk straight out the airport.

I usually get questioned when I travel alone with Faye so I always bring her birth certificate and this time I brought a signed letter from her Father, but luckily for me on the way out it wasn’t questioned. Don’t think it’ll be as smooth on the way home, but we will see!

We arrived into Bali around midnight Wednesday night, the travelling was exhausting and felt very disorientated for 48 hours after but it all ran to time so you can’t ask more than that!

Returning Home.

We have arrived back home in England last week, after a LONG day of travelling. I’m so disappointed its all over and it seems to of flown by! We have both had an amazing trip and done so many things.

Our journey home was pretty straight forward, we travelled through the night. Faye slept around three hours of the seven hour flight, but I didn’t manage to sleep at all. It was all going smoothly until reaching boarder control at Heathrow airport where I was questioned as to the relationship between Faye and I. As Faye has a different surname to me, due to her Father and I not being married, apparently I cannot prove she is my child. The lady asked for Faye’s birth certificate, which I had in my suitcase, not my carry on luggage, which she told me was no good. She then said she would need to speak with the child’s Father, so I got my mobile phone out but she then said don’t bother. What aggravated me was how indecisive she was as to what she was going to do, so in the end I said to her, if you’re going to stop me, do it, if your not just let me go through and so she just let me walk off. I never encountered anything like this in the USA which was why I was so annoyed to go through it back in England. So from now on I will always have to carry Faye’s birth certificate when travelling, which is fine, OR marry her Father, which is not fine, but it makes me feel slightly put out as if I am in the wrong for not having the same name as my daughter.

So eventually we were through boarder control and were surprised by a group of our closest friends and family which was a really nice gesture. Perhaps not so surprisingly it was raining when we left the airport and we got stuck in traffic on the M25 – a traditional English welcome!

Once back at our house Faye was high as a kite getting all her old toys out as if they were new again, and I on the other hand could not keep my eyes open. As soon as Faye stepped through the door, she ran up to her room and all I heard was ‘SIIIMMMBBAAAA!!!! Have you missed me?!’ – this is the cuddly toy that’s bigger than she is which she wanted to bring with her in her backpack. I’m cruel to not let her I know, but don’t worry we did Skype him at least 3 times!

We both went to bed around 9pm and slept like logs all the way through the night. Faye didn’t wake up until 1pm the next afternoon, but we paid the price for that as the next night she just could not get to sleep, she laid in bed reading until 3am. So to get her back into a normal routine and re-adjust from the time difference, for the next few days I made sure she was up reasonably early so she was worn out by 8pm, and since that she has been sleeping fine through the night again.

Since being home, Faye has spent the week at home catching up with her toys and family (priority in that order) and I have started back at work. Faye has another two weeks before returning to Preschool and her Child-minder, so it’s nice for her to have some chill out time before the madness starts again in September with school, dance class and swimming lessons!

 

welcome home

 

PHL to MCO.

Today we went from Philadelphia over to Orlando to begin our Disney section of the trip, with Faye squeaking all the way!

We left our hotel The Cromwell Inn and got the SEPTA Regional Rail train to the airport. This was $6.25 (children go free) as oppose to $40 plus tip in a taxi at rush hour. The regional rail was much better than the underground subway system, much cleaner and friendlier! It took just short of 30 minutes to get to our terminal.

So this was a domestic US flight and security is no way near as strict and you are advised to turn up only one hour before the flight. Well, I went two hours early and only made it to the gate as the plane was starting to board. Getting through security took forever, and I hadn’t checked in online as the system had crashed the night before. I paid $25 to check in my rucksack as you have no baggage allowance on internal flights only one item of hand luggage.

It was actually an advantage having a child getting through security as they had a family line which allowed you to jump the queue – so my advice to get through the queue would be to find a child!

On board the plane it took two hours and we received a drink once we were in the air, FREE OF CHARGE, unlike Ryanair who charge £6 for a coke!

When we arrived in Orlando we got through the airport and got the bags quickly then went downstairs to get our Mears shuttle bus. The shuttle held ten people and we did three drop offs. It cost $21 for a one way trip and I didn’t have to pay for Faye. It took around 45 minutes. Driver was very friendly and helpful. Mears do a variety of bus and taxi services in the area.

We were in our hotel room (Quality Inn & Suites, Kissimmee) to unpack AGAIN, by 2.30pm and headed straight for the pool!