We left Chicago at 7:00 in the morning for at 10:50 flight. We reached Houston at 1:25 and we had a five hour layover until our 6:50 flight to Dubai.
Most of our stuff was being shipped and we were told it could take two months after we arrive before we would be reunited with our stuff. As a result, we had to pack enough stuff to last us those two months. As a practical matter, that should not be difficult, however in the age of identity theft I was leery of shipping sensitive material. Thus I had to carry a bulk of my papers as a carryon. When all was said an done we had 10 checked bags and 5 carryon bags.
We have never traveled with this much baggage. We have gone on several flights and I am a big proponent of traveling light. We took 4 carryons for a three week trip to Spain which is great when you have to go from hotel to hotel. The problem with not traveling light is the weight. As we are running from gate to gate making several connections, I was carrying far too much luggage. My arms and back were killing me everytime the kids wanted to walk around or get to the next gate.
After walking within the airport for what seemed like an eternity, we settled down in the American lounge for the long layover. We found a set of seats that were together and the kids played quietly on the ds while we waited. Dante was excited as I allowed him to open up Guitar Hero. I told him that he could not start playing the game until we were in the air going to Dubai, but I let him start a bit earlier. He grinned and started to play.
Eventually we boarded our flight to Dubai. This was the long flight--15 hours. I had been on international flights before where there is one TV and you are captive to the movie selection of the flight and that 8 hour flight seemed to drag on forever. Those memories haunted me as I thought this flight was going to be unbearable with three kids. That is partially the reason I will buy a new ds game and not open it until we are airborne. The new game seems to occupy them for a good chunk of the flight.
Luckily for us this was a newer plane and so the flying experience was much better. We flew emirates which has a young fleet. On the international flight each seat has a TV screen and each person can select any number of movies, tv shows, or games. This is a huge improvement as the long flight does not seem to take nearly as long as I feared. And soon, we found ourselves on approach to Dubai.
Dubai is building a new terminal so the normal jetways were not active. We had to board a bus to go from the plane to the terminal. We only had an hour and 50 minute layover and we were 20 or so minutes late due to a delayed weather-related takeoff in Houston. The bus added more time delay, so when we reached the terminal I was feeling the time pressure. We quickly went through security and started to walk in the terminal. I wanted to browse a bit in the shops in Dubai as they were quite extensive, but we did not have the time. Our gate was, of course at the very end of the concourse. I was busy herding the children to the other end of the airport all the while carrying about 500 lbs of luggage.
However, once we were there we had no problem getting to Kuwait. It is only a 90 minute flight so it is very easy after the 15 hour flight. The kids were doing quite well and soon we were on approach to Kuwait city.
Chicago-Houston-Dubai-Kuwait was quite a long flight with a lot of doubling back. You see to fly from Houston to Dubai you fly from Houston in the direction of Chicago and then over Iceland and then back down over Turkey and IRAQ (No problems here as we are flying over 30,00 feet) before you fly over Kuwait in order to get to Dubai. Unfortunately on long hauls, one cannot always avoid redundancies in flying.
Our long flight was over and now we are on the ground in Kuwait.
Our land adventure begins...