This story has nothing to do with exercise. On the contrary, it has to do with sitting and eating. Then sitting and eating some more. It is how we brought in the new year this year. We didn’t discuss resolutions or even notice when the clock struck midnight. We were in the air, somewhere between San Francisco and Istanbul. Somewhere between December 31st and January 1st.
Our adventure began with a two hour delayed flight and an Uber driver who’d just found out he is going to be a dad. Literally just found out – we were the first people he told after hanging up the phone with his girlfriend. In the middle of loading our 5 bags, three carry-ons, stroller, carseat, violin and food bag into his car, the UPS truck drove up and my husband flagged down the driver. We’d been trying to track two packages that were supposed to arrive the day before and when the driver handed them to my husband, he received an enthusiastic hug.
We made it to the airport and hauled all the bags inside. Actually, I hauled the kids and my husband managed our baggage. He could have skipped his earlier run and called moving luggage his workout for the day. A flight change, complications with our three year old’s ticket and two hours later we boarded the plane. The flight itself was completely uneventful, which is a great thing when you’re traveling internationally with two young kids. The food was good and we arrived in Istanbul the next evening, missing New Year’s eve and day completely. The airport was packed with tired, angry travelers and as we were trying to find our connecting gate a friend from the first flight announced that our next flight had been delayed due to snow in Istanbul and rain in Tel Aviv. Eight hours. Overnight. Wow. As I soaked in my loud, colorful surroundings, a uniformed Turkish Airlines official whispered something to my husband. We were passed off to two other men and told to follow them. They motioned toward the baby sleeping on me. We were rushed through the mobs of people staking out sleeping spaces on the dirty linoleum floor and passed to a third man who led us into the business class lounge. At first glance I took in plush white couches, a pool table and crystal chandeliers. The lounge was its own two story universe, complete with a golf room, movie space, gym, showers, mini remote control race track, coffee bars, top shelf liquor and food in every direction.
I expected at any moment the sun would rise on our decadent night of manti (Turkish dumplings), simit (sesame bagels), olives, brandy, Turkish delight and baklava. The party atmosphere quieted from 2-4am at which time breakfast was served. I helped myself to musli with ayran and honeycomb as we hurriedly collected our belongings and exited. I walked with my boys to the new gate, exhausted from lack of sleep but feeling mildly rejuvenated after a shower and stuffing myself full of delicious treats.
The next flight was delayed more and just as we were finally taking off, Baby E started grunting. I hoped for the best but expected the worst. And ended up changing a diaper (and entire outfit) while he stood on my lap during take-off. He then screamed at me for a while and finally fell asleep.
Once off the plane we waited for our luggage. Then we waited some more. Then my husband waited in “line” for assistance. He and the lost baggage lady remembered each other from last year. And no, they didn’t have any idea what had happened to our stroller, carseat and all but one of our bags. Good thing we packed our entire house for this trip.
Looking on the bright side, we didn’t have any bags so we all fit into one cab! Tomorrow I might eat less and I think I’ll go for a walk. In my rain boots. I found them hiding in our only bag.