The logistics of it all

I took logistics in graduate school. It was a good thing that it was an undergrad class and pass/fail, because I hated it. Nothing made sense, it was just numbers and theories that were confusing and I passed by the seat of my pants.

Fast forward to the present.

Allen and I are in the midst of planning a trip to the US this summer. We haven't been to the States in almost 5 years. There are grandparents, a great-grandmother, friends, aunts, and cousins who are waiting to meet some of our children. You can imagine the pressure on us to make sure that this trip goes well. We are slowly realizing why we have waited so many years to take on this enormous feat.

Just how, and by what means are we going to get 5 children (with all of their stuff) across the Atlantic Ocean by air and into a car to visit three sets of grandparents in two states, three cities and at least a thousand miles between them?

First, there's the pre-leaving planning. Cleaning out perishables, finish laundry so mildew doesn't take over, bleach in toilets, blah blah. I always get the house in order before we leave, because I lothe coming home to disarray. Sad, but true. I will be the one quickly straightening and checking things as Allen loads kids and stuff into the hired transportstion taking us to the airport (oh yea...one more thing to check on). Our landlord is tiling the stairs and repairing some water damage on the third floor while we are gone. I will tactfully show him how to use the vacuum so he can clean up his mess before we arrive. Believe me, I have seen his aftermath. Oh--but that is another post.

We are at the point where we have secured the days off and we are waiting for the travel office to give us some flight options. We are debating the cost effectiveness of flying out from a different destination, and eliminate a two day drive back to the airport (make sense?). It will cost more to drop it off in another state, but won't it cost quite a bit for gas, food, hotel (two rooms?) for two days of travel to turn it in? I also factor in the hassle for another two days of solid travel between here and there. There's not a monetary price there, but the sanity price is very high. So, once we know our options, we can reserve a rental van and maybe make tentative hotel reservations.

There's also the luggage issue. With airlines limiting allowance to one suitcase per person, do we ship some items? Do we just buy some items when we get there (toys, booster seat, pack-n-play, etc)? Will two strollers be needed ? (slooow "touch everything" 3-year-old Ryan). Will the van have a DVD system? Not that we are totally relying on it, but when you have a thousand mile trip, it would be nice to have some sort of diversion. My kids are great travelers and usually spend the time looking out the window, talking, sleeping or reading, but I think we may be pushing some boundaries here. So, do we take our own DVD in case?

What are we carrying with us? Nintendos? Game cartridges, iPods, books, toys, GPS, changes of clothing, snacks?

Once we are there, we have the issue of how long do you stay at each place? Where will everybody sleep? How will the kids get enough sleep? We have a super-early morning riser (grumble), and one who really needs his sleep or he gets very screechy. Not that I am mentioning any names, ehm Logan.

I know that once we get there we will have a great time! The kids-the girls especially-are looking forward to seeing people and things that they haven't experienced before. With both of them growing up overseas, many experiences will be new and I am excited to share these new things with them. We just need to get past this planning stage-figuring how the probabilities, the numbers and options.

Hopefully we won't pass this one by the seat of our pants.

2 fabulous friends:

Bilary said...

Sorry to disappoint you, Andrea, but whenever you travel with kids you ALWAYS just barely pass by the seat of your pants...Or maybe that is just my family. Traveling with kids is always an, uh, adventure, shall we say?! But you are an awesome mom and I'm sure you will do a fantastic job! How much longer until the big trip, by the way?

Oh, and about literaldan's comment on my blog - I'm glad you told me you know him. I couldn't for the life of me figure out where he came from. WHEW! Mystery solved! I read some of his blog and he didn't seem like a freak or some wierd-o that I should worry about, but I am so curious! It drives me crazy if someone comments on my blog and I have no idea who they are or how they came across my blog. You know!?

Anyways, my only suggestion for your trip is to MAKE SURE your rental van has a DVD player. That is way too many miles for the kids to make it without a meltdown. Gotta have all the help you can get - and what kid doesn't love movies?

Rhea said...

Oh, man, good luck with this mongo trip you have planned! I bet it will be a blast, but wow, five kids, lots of traveling. Sure to be an adventure. I would definitely bring every electronic gaming device possible, as well as books and puzzle books, etc. GOOD LUCK!! And we want to hear ALL about it. hehe