The Journey: PART I: The Departure, YYZ, Flight to Vancouver

We’ve arrived in our new home in Matamata, New Zealand.  We survived the flights, immigration, customs, extreme fatigue, and three teething children.  Now we are busy settling in to our new lives.

But first things first: the departure. 

My brother arranged for two cars to take us to the airport which, as was the case when we arrived in Toronto seven weeks earlier, a great help.  We split up into two cars.  Two kids with me in one car, and James and the bulk of the luggage in the other.  During the teary goodbye with my parents, I told them to think of all the things they don’t like about me and all the foolish things I say and that will make them feel better.  Fast forward a few minutes to the car ride: the driver tells me that his bi-polar daughter says things that upset him but he still loves her.  I’m not bi-polar but I let it slide.  

We arrive at the airport and everything is going well.  No one gives us preferential treatment though; we have to stand in line like everyone else.  I somehow imagined that people would see how overwhelmed we are with children and usher us through immediately and offer, nay insist!, to upgrade our seats.  My husband was in line with the bags and I tried to entertain the kids nearby.  Some of the entertaining involved pretending to throw my elder daughter at my son; both laughed and passerby seemed entertained so 1 Point for Mum.  Once James got to the front of the line, our elder daughter was getting more and more excited by the airport.  From her point of view, it had everything she loves – room to run around and tons of people with whom she could interact.  Her favourite part of the airport was lying, face down, on the ground which, I repeatedly tell myself, is good for her immune system and to be honest, is infinitely cleaner than the floor of our place.

Security was a breeze. They ushered us through pretty quickly, no questions asked.

James took a baby and some luggage on to the gate.  I took two babies and the balance of the luggage in A GOLF CART. Those buggies that elderly people enjoy at the airport was enjoyed by us.  I use the word “enjoy” deliberately; it was awesome.  Fake an injury when you’re next at a major airport; whizzing around in that thing will be worth you going to hell for faking infirmity.

The wait was interesting: I introduced my elder daughter to the wonders of moving sidewalks, a standard feature of modern airports.  We went in a loop for about 15 minutes which is impressive given my propensity for motion sickness.  We met a Kiwi couple who were visiting Canada with their TWIN boys who were born a day after our daughter which, given the time difference, means they were all likely born on the same day.  Eerie coincidence that we would have cared about if we weren’t so tired.  

There were a lot of seats available near us at the airport.  An older French Canadian woman asked if the seat near me was taken.  I said no.  She then proceeded to sit right beside me.  The equivalent is having someone sit beside you in an otherwise empty theatre.  What the fuck.  

The flight was, in short, fucking brutal.  They didn’t dim the lights, no bassinets were available and my daughter barfed on me two hours into a five hour flight.  And don’t be fooled, baby vomit still smells like vomit.  Wait, let me be clear, she didn’t just barf on me, she barfed down my shirt.  Here’s a tip, ladies: when you travel with your kids, pack an extra bra not just an extra shirt.  Ah, and as luck would have it, the creepy French Canadian woman sat right beside me which, I found out later, was not actually her seat at all.  

On the upside, our plane was on time and didn’t crash.  Two points for us and Air Canada!

Stay tuned —

The Journey: PART II will feature the Vancouver Airport, the flight from Vancouver to Auckland and our arrival in New Zealand.

The Journey: PART III will feature what we’ve been up to since we’ve arrived.




Leah in the car en route to the airport…




Random half-naked sun-worshipper beside our triple stroller at the Toronto airport…








Just some of our bags…









Front view of Father of the Year…











Leah befriending a random family in the security line…










Eating crackers…









A peaceful moment amidst the chaos…






Truly, the greatest father and husband in the world.



2 thoughts on “The Journey: PART I: The Departure, YYZ, Flight to Vancouver

  1. Sari

    Great post Mir, and sorry to hear about the puking incident. Hopefully the Vancouver-NZ flight was easier, but I doubt it. Keep in touch (fb, gchat..) and know that you are missed in Toronto. It was great to catch and and reminisce. Sari

    1. SugarShack Post author

      Thanks Sari, it was great seeing you again. You have a wonderful family. I’ll see you on our next trip to Toronto or, better still, your first trip to New Zealand!


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