Portland to Brussels

September 17th and summer has officially ended in the Pacific Northwest, it seems. It’s always hard to leave family and friends for long stints away, but looking out the window at the hard rain falling on the tarmac at PDX made it that much easier.

For more on what takes us to Laos, read: Moving to Laos!

Another fine Tetris-packing job by yours truly. The car has a ginormous trunk, but we had much more luggage than usual this time. I’m looking at YOU, Mr. Noe. Such a Diva.

The NGO that Lori will be working for covers air freight up to 130kg for the three of us. At first, we thought there was no way we’d meet the maximum…that was until we started adding Noe’s stuff to the pile.

We’ve aimed over the past several years to keep things at a minimal, but packing for an infant for the next two years it occurred to us that the younger the kid, the more stuff you seem to have to bring: breast pump, carrier and sling, stroller, reusable diapers, packable crib, spit bibs, swaddles, toiletries, the list goes on.

Yes, we could have managed without a lot of the things, improvised, or bought them in Laos or Thailand, but much of it we already had from spending nearly three months in the U.S. with him, so was hard justifying re-buying the stuff if we had an option to freight. We are also very grateful to have such great friends and family help us out with storage and transport.

Early morning at Portland International — we’re not the only ones who think so, apparently.

Happy Lap Baby.

Active Time on the floor of Washington Dulles waiting for the boarding call.

Baby’s first in-flight bassinet! We saw the things for the first time a few years ago when we flew to and from Africa (via Istanbul) on Turkish Air. Since then we told ourselves if we ever do a long-haul flight with an infant we’ll have to be sure to get a seat with a bassinet. Our trip to Laos involved not one, but two bassinets. Happy boy! (i.e. happy parents!)

Baby in the bassinet made mealtime and sleep time much easier.

Our travel from Portland, Oregon to Vientiane, Laos will take 5.5 days (in which we lose 14 total hours). We’ll spend 3.5 days in Belgium so that Lori can report at the organizations headquarters in Brussels, and will spend a total 24 hours in the air over five flights: Portland=>Washington-Dulles=>Brussels=>Frankfurt=>Bangkok=>Vientiane. It’ll be Noe’s first and second foreign countries and first through fifth trips on an airplane.

And I’m sure he’ll remember every last minute…

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