On the morning we were leaving Vermont, the children were, alas, up at 5.30. When we got to Burlington airport our flight was delayed for a few hours due to fog in NY but after an anxious half hour and some bitterness about the New Yorkers with only one child and no connecting flight who had somehow managed to get themselves on to an earlier flight because it is sooo tiring travelling with children, all was well.
We saw the nicer part of JFK this time and checked out the train between terminals which was by far the most exciting part of the journey. When we got on the plane, I went ahead with the children and Mr. Waffle followed with the gear. I installed a child per seat, I turned around to see where Mr. Waffle was and when I looked back Michael was gone. Much panic but he eventually turned up in the back of the plane surrounded by well wishers and laughing delightedly. I have to say that Aer Lingus were fantastic. So fantastic that we even wrote a letter to them telling them how wonderful their cabin crew were â€“ we were impressed by their stamina, particularly the guy who was trying to persuade his colleagues to go to Dublin when they got in at 5am local time. The journey was mercifully dull though the Princess stayed awake throughout sustained by the force of her iron will.
Everything was fine until we got to Dublin airport which, even at 5.00 on a Sunday morning, contrived to have long, long queues for passports. Sigh. We arrived out to the grandparents at 6.00 and there they were up and ready to meet us, hurrah fresh troops.
You will be delighted to hear that after going to bed at 7.00, we were all up again at 2.00 to inspect the â€œFestival of World Cultures in Dun Laoghaire where the middle classes were at play in their Crocs and Ugg boots (toasty).
I was also able to come in on this touching scene between Daniel and his grandmother:
Daniel shrugs his shoulders gallicly.
Grandmother (holding up doll): Whereâ€™s the dollyâ€™s mouth?
Daniel points it out.
Grandmother: Whereâ€™s grandmaâ€™s mouth?
Daniel points it out.
Grandmother: Whereâ€™s Michaelâ€™s mouth?
Daniel shrugs his shoulders gallicly again.
Grandmother (to me): But he does know where it is, why doesnâ€™t he point out his own mouth?
Me: You know this is Daniel not Michael.
Poor boys, itâ€™s rough being a twin, we all mix them up though they are not particularly alike, I suppose it has its compensations.
In a piece of quite spectacularly poor planning, I had to be back in Brussels for a work thing on Monday, so at 5.00 on Monday morning I again found myself in Dublin airport. At 4.00 on Monday morning I woke up thinking, do I have money for the taxi, I have no dollars left, hang on this isnâ€™t Vermont, but wait, it isnâ€™t Brussels either, where am I, why do I need euros?
I flew back to Dublin on Wednesday night having left poor Mr. Waffle to deal with the worst of the jet lag. We all spent Thursday in Dublin and had a look at the new Childrenâ€™s Museum which was fine though could perhaps do with some highchairs for the cafÃ©, just a thought. On Friday evening all five of us flew back to Brussels and Iâ€™ve been writing this ever since.