IT WAS GREAT. I mean, an international trip with a three year old (almost!) while seven months pregnant sounds like any sane woman's nightmare, but it went really awesome. First of all, Tycho. He is just the best thing ever in the entire world ever. Period. He was 100% perfect amazing. For a toddler, at least.
It probably helped that I was PREPARED AS FUCK. I had been exploring the (completely insane and delightful LET ME TELL YOU) world of woven wraps for baby number two, and ordered my first a couple weeks before we left. And so had to try it out with Tycho. Now, I won't claim that it is easy to carry a 41lb kid on your back while you are pregnant, but I liked it enough that I brought it along. And thank god for that. We literally would not have made it there and back without. And I was exhausted, but I felt like a goddamned super mom.
Carrying him was not an option, and we had too much luggage to really keep track of him on foot, so thank goodness I could wear him. It was hard, and it was exhausting, but it was awesome.
And then he did amazing on our flight. (Both ways, actually.) I was DREADING ten hours in the air with nowhere to run around with this kid. It sounded like a recipe for disaster. DISASTER. But I packed him exciting presents to unwrap and unlimited peanut butter sandwiches and his seat had its own easily navigable tv screen, so he was happy as a clam for the entire freaking flight. Both ways. OMG. And then he was good for the subsequent subway (two lines), train (another 2.5 hours), and car ride (35 minutes) to get to our destination.
The manor house we were staying in was incredible. Most of my trips to Europe (god, I'm such a snob) have been to large cities, and we were out in the tiniest ever town of Sassetot-le-Manconduit, in the Normandy country side, a billion years away from anything. With the cows and the goats. In a nine hundred year old manor. That was gorgeous but also had running water and plenty of electrical outlets and a modern kitchen and wifi internet. So basically perfection.
It was so good to see my sister again after almost a year. We do a good job of regular video chats, but nothing is the same as seeing someone in person. She was stressed out from wedding planning and getting on my last nerve, but as soon as we were in the same space all the annoyance was gone and I was so happy to be with my sister! (And yes, we did have a 4th of July party in France, of course!)
Tycho also recognized her right away, even though a year in toddler time is actually forever, and that was amazing. And since my parents and my aunt and uncle were also there, he got really comfortable really fast, and everyone else staying in the manor seemed to be okay with him by association. We pretty much let him run amok in the manor the whole trip and he got lots of quality time with various and sundry family members.
The wedding itself... needs it's own post, which I will eventually get to. It was one of those days where every last little thing goes wrong. A comedy of errors, if you will. But one that all came together beautifully in the end, thank goodness.
And after we got through wedding festivities, we had a few days to actually do a little low-key sight seeing.
The way home was slightly more complicated than the trip there, simply because we didn't have as much time to get between our train stopping in Paris and the airport, and CDG is a mess of checkpoints and security lines, and Kyle is pretty much the world's grumpiest traveller, but we did in fact make it back to Seattle, so I think we did all right.
And then I had an additional three days off work, so I didn't feel like I was going to die. That was nice too.