8 AUGUST 2016: Today was the longest day ever. We arrived at the Melbourne airport by taxi van at 9:00am Australia time, which was equivalent to 3:00pm California time the day before (Sunday). Our first flight was on Qantas. We departed Melbourne at 11:50am on Monday and we arrived in Los Angeles at 9:00am on Monday–we had traveled back in time! The flight was really, really long, but we managed okay. David slept the most, so he was in the best shape of us all. Isaac’s stomach started hurting towards the end of that first flight and he only got worse over the next several hours, poor guy.
We were all pretty hungry by the time that we got through security and passport control. Luckily we were able to get some food in the Qantas lounge, thanks to David’s status on a OneWorld carrier. The kids were particularly impressed with the automatic pancake machine. They made their own perfect pancakes!
The kids stayed awake entirely too long because their body clocks were on Australian time. Finally they managed to fall asleep with a few hours left in the long flight.
We had very little time in the Los Angeles airport. We only just managed to get some food to carry on our next flight. The kids were especially hungry since they’d slept through the breakfast service on Qantas. By the time we boarded the flight to Charlotte, Isaac was feeling very poorly. He spent the nearly 5 hours of flight time in pain, throwing up, or asleep with his head on his tray table. He was a real trooper, though, and tried to make jokes whenever he wasn’t feeling absolutely miserable. He also managed to be sick multiple times without disturbing other passengers in the slightest. He even got sick while walking down the aisle to the lavatory. A couple of women patted him in the head and assured him that it would be okay.
Our plane out of Charlotte was delayed by 15 minutes, which was a good thing for us. It meant that we had just enough time to get a very small dinner/snack in the American Airlines lounge. Plus we could get Sprite for Isaac. He could only take a couple of sips, but it did help him to get something into his stomach.
Flying back seemed much harder than flying there. If we’re ever lucky enough to travel to Australia again, we might break up the flights or book a different route, perhaps through Dallas instead of Los Angeles. Still, we had a wonderful time, truly special and worth all the effort.