Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Still here

Thought I disappeared, didn't you? Well, I'm still around.

So, we went to Seattle for 6 months. And to Mardi Gras in New Orleans. And some other stuff happened. and now we are back home in Malawi, in our little (palatial) flat in Lilongwe, getting used to being back to "normal" life.

I thought about doing a big long "what I did on my 6-month vacation" post, but A. that would be much too much work, and B. who would want to read that?

So instead, I'll start at the beginning. Waaaay back to last October, when Jorge and I loaded up 6 bags, 1 stroller, 1 carseat, and a fidgety toddler into a taxi and took off for the US. But on the way, we made a little pit stop in Paris. Not bad, eh?

So first things first, if you ever get a chance to take an international Air France flight, keep in mind that when everyone else has gone to sleep, they have free Haagen Dasz ice cream bars in the flight attendants' galley, just there for the taking. Jorge ate 7. I'm dead serious.

We had a lovely time, despite the riots and strikes. We were warned that the museums would likely be closed, the trains wouldn't run, the shops would be closed, but in fact, everything went pretty well. The ticket takers for the train to Versailles refused to take our money in silent protest of the French government's decision to raise the retirement age, so we got to ride for free.

We spent much of our time visiting the many museums of Paris.

We took Milo to see the Venus de Milo, but he was unimpressed.

We also took many long walks through the city, until my poor pregnant hips couldn't take much more.

One day we took the train out to Disneyland Paris, where Milo was struck dumb by the sight of Mickey Mouse live and in the flesh.

And it being one of OUR vacations, it was impossible to leave the country without mishap, of course.

We rented a tiny little closet of an apartment for the week, up on the 4th floor, with no elevator. Did I mention the 6 bags, packed to the maximum weight allowance? On our last day, we booked a taxi to collect us at 5AM to take us to the airport. Piece by piece, we shuttled the bags down to the curb. We had to leave the keys inside the apartment, so to make sure we didn't accidentally take them with us, we left the apartment wide open, the keys on the counter, as we loaded up the taxi. Finally, with only Milo's car seat still waiting in the apartment, Jorge handed me the backpack that was propping the building door open so that I could load it up.

The only problem? He was standing outside the building, not inside. In slow motion, I yelled "nooooooo"....and we both watched the door close, locking us outside.

I would have admitted defeat. But not Jorge. No, my husband's a problem solver. He recruited the mortified taxi driver to translate for him, and then he pressed every.single.doorbell for all the apartments in the building. Until finally, a rather peeved and disheveled French woman answered. After looking out the window and determining that yes indeed, we were stupid American tourists and not creative burglars, she buzzed us in. And we made it to the airport in time after all, on our way back to the U.S.


Jennifer said...

Glad you're back on the blog :)

Great tip on Air France BTW... I'm going to test that out.

Heard my parents got to meet the next generation of Hogley's. My mom really appreciated the invite.

Hope all is well and that you're quickly adjusting back to Malawian life.

Jenn Bosworth

freedom said...

Thanks for keeping us updated on your adventures! Now that I know you and your family a little better, your stories about Jorge are even more hilarious!