The Layover – Mini Me’s Trip to Greece Continues

Part 2

Toronto Pearson International Airport
The Layover 2pm – 5:00pm 7:30pm

So far we have had an hour flight from Ottawa to Toronto where we planned to spend (and spent) around 2 hours in the Premium Plaza Lounge. It was a great opportunity to feed, water, confine and entertain Mini Me.  (Refer end of Part One)

Afterward we headed for the boarding gate and were greeted with a sign that no one wants to see.




Would have been nice to have known earlier ….

Like BEFORE leaving the lounge.

So there we all are, looking up at the flight status board.

Day-269-Delayed-840x627And. The gate number changes.   (Proceeded by what looks to be an exodus of biblical proportions taking place to the next gate.)

biblmosestroubleWe literally moved from one side of the terminal to the other and waited, after all it was only a half an hour delay. (At this stage)

Half an hour later and we were informed of  another delay and gate change, and another great trek across the airport. We decided to stay in one place after that, at least until the boarding sign was displayed, just as well as there was an additional 2 hours wait with 2 gate changes. (Charming)

Luckily we had the following things handy to keep Mini Me happy during what felt like eternity.

1. Paint with water


2. Stickers

3. Ball

We weren’t the only ones travelling with a toddler and the ball kept all the kids busy and playing together while we waited.  In my perfect plan of how this trip was going to go, we should have been eating dinner on the plane by now not playing ball at the boarding gate.  I offered Mini Me snacks and bought her a small meal to keep her away from the melt down zone but, in true toddler style, she pulled her nose up at everything. I decided now was not the time for a battle as we were running on no nap. I let it be. And she ran wild with the other over tired tots.

Finally and I mean F-I-N-A-L-L-Y at 7:30 we had the call to begin boarding.

The angels sang and we all sighed a sigh of relief.

Our family had survived layover that went from 3 hours to 5 and a half.

I survive it going less than perfect.

Mini Me survive going with out a nap

And my dear husband survived being spoken to in Greek and being hit on by the old Greek ladies (clearly they mistook him for Hercules).images (1)


This all in the name of international travel.

Stay tuned for more of our adventures.



Mini Me’s First Flight

Part 1

Ottawa to Toronto
1pm – 2pm

The day finally arrives and we 3 were off to the airport to start our travels to Greece.

You could smell the excitement and nerves.

(Or maybe that was just me sweating like I was about to commit a crime.)

Our first hurdle came when we were checking in.

Turns out we were OVER WEIGHT on our luggage.

I assumed (wrongly of course) that they would take the total of all 3 bags. They (Air Canada) didn’t and we I was stuck in front of the check-in counter transferring clothes and other items between bags trying to make them balance.

Honestly, I felt like a contestant on a game show . Close your eyes and imagine me trading maple syrup for sandles in one bag, diapers for formula in another. Hauling each (overweight) bag on the scale everytime a switch was made, the check in ladies chanting:


After about 20 minutes and a bottle of vodka water later, the bags were balanced and I was like….giphy

As it was close to lunch time we stopped for something to eat and watched the planes from the restaurant window.

Our flight was right at nap time and it was starting to show, the cranky pants were being put on one leg at a time and I could feel we might be heading into trouble.  Thankfully we stumbled on a miracle sent straight from the Motherhood Angels themselves.

ottawa airport water feature resized_0 150

Nothing says distraction quiet like a water feature. (Unless you are seeing it on arrival after 2 flights and 14 hours later and the kid remembers it and nearly loses her shit wanting to play there again – yeah not so much fun that time)

It kept her busy until the announcement for our flight to board came.

So we joined the line of parents and boarded. Mini Me was a little miffed other people got on the plane before her, but if that the worst reaction we got, well I will take it.

Once on the plane she greeted everyone, sat in her seat, buckled her seatbelt (then unbuckled it…then buckled it…..then unbuckled it….then buckled it).

Finally, it was time to take off and still I panicked. A thousand thoughts racing through my mind. Was she going to freak out about the sound, confined space, would her ears hurt or would she demand to get out “RIGHT. NOW. MOMMY”.

She managed to surprise the hell out of me and took it as if she was a seasoned traveller. (She clearly inherited the travel genes)

The highlight of her flight had to be the built-in monitors on the seats where she watched an episode of Calliou while snacking on a cookie.


We arrived in Toronto an hour later and after disembarking were off to the international departures. A long walk and a quick stop to make sure we were going the right way and we made it through security and passport control to the international departure lounge.

We had a long layover in TO before leaving for Athens and through all the searching on-line I did before the trip I found that there was a Plaza Premium Lounge that we could buy into. For 3 hours access we paid $35 each (Mini Me was free) and had unlimited access to food, drink, toilets and a space that we confine Mini Me in. You didn’t need to be some fancy first class ticket holder to get in. We literally took our shoes off and relaxed.

The dollar store treats we bought before our trip were really most useful here. We were able to keep Mini Me busy for the duration of our time there, and although we were worried about her disturbing other passengers, we went with the attitude that we were paying clients too. The most bothering she did was talk to EVERYONE and pretend talk on ALL the phones there. Well worth the money in my opinion.

IMG_0239 IMG_0238

So that’s how the first leg went.
Stay tuned for more of our adventures.

PART 2 – The Layover 


The start – Looking back on our trip to Greece

I have been a little MIA on the blogging front.
And I have had some seriously awesome things to write about – it’s just been the getting around to it.

Today I feel inspired and have to take a few steps back to be able to move forward.

Last year June we 3 embarked on a trip to Greece and although I wrote a piece on preparing to travel, I never did get around to actually telling you how it went.


I must be honest I was scared shitless of how it was going to go with Mini Me on a plane for 10 hours, skipping naps and just generally taking her out of her comfort zone!
I spent copious amount of time Googling travel tips and had a binder full of lists and information.
What helped me the most was this mantra

Lower your expectations
Prepare for the worst. Hope for the best.
Have a drink.



Honestly it all went better than we expected. We had a few bumps here and there but Mini Me did well and I never lost my shit half as much as I could (or should) have.

I will be posting on how our Greece trip went over the next few days (or weeks – you never know)
It serves not only as encouraging for those about to embark on their first trip, but it will also as a reminder to me that it has and can be done.


Preparing to Travel

We have under 3 months to go until we embark on one of the bravest things I have done with my toddler.
An international trip to Greece.
I am not sure if I am stupid or incredibly brave.
It’s a 9h 50 min trip that might require sedation! (Or at least an alcoholic beverage for mom and dad)


Toddlers on flights have been getting bad press lately

Some airlines want to do kid free zones
Some kick toddlers off because of tantrums
And then there was the toddler that got slapped by a complete stranger
Obviously these are extreme cases, but it plays on my mind!
Seriously I don’t want to be one of those moms making the evening news.

If you have read any of my blog, or know me personally, I did a piece about Miss “S” freaking out at a birthday party last September Bad Guest or Good Mom . We also had the same turn of events when we went to visit my husband’s Grandmother in Montreal at Christmas time. So you can kind of understand why I am slight VERY nervous.

Like one friend said “Prepare for the worst, and hope for the best”.
I still have 2 months, 2 weeks to go…….But who’s counting.