After a thoroughly enjoyable family day in London, I woke up at 7.10am and got myself quietly washed and dressed. The boys woke at 7.45am and while they got themselves airplane ready, I packed away our clothes and the few little souvenirs we’d bought in London. We checked out and got the airport shuttle bus across to Terminal 3. The bus only cost us £4.50 each, with BattleKid going free, plus they are very regular.
We checked in for our flight to Portland by 9am, and quickly got rid of our bags before heading through security. This was pretty quick too, which surprised me and we were sat in the Oriel Grande Brasserie, ordering breakfast by 9.30am.
This was a lovely restaurant where kids ate free and we all tucked into tasty breakfasts. Our flight wasn’t due to board until 11.30 so we got Water and snacks in Boots, and some extras and a magazine in WHSmith. We then hit Dixons as BattleDad wanted to upgrade his headphones to the Bose Q25’s and I was on the hunt for a zoom lens to bring with us. I had ordered a Canon 70-300mm lens for my DSLR but it hadn’t arrived to us in Portugal before we left. Snail mail at its best! There was a Tamron 16-300mm Canon-compatible lens in Dixons so I bought that, hoping it would work out for shooting wildlife in Yellowstone. We also got some flight pillows for BattleDad and I in the hope they would allow us to get some sleep on the plane.
The kids play area with BattleKid was next on the agenda, the idea being he could run off some energy before our 11-hour flight. This was to be our longest flight with him to date and I must admit I was a little nervous. We had flown for 7 hours to New York last September, and he had done very well then. He had about 15 minutes in there before the gate for our flight was announced. A last-minute toilet stop and we were ready to board our flight.
Although we had booked our flights via Virgin Atlantic, we were then able upgrade to Economy Plus seats direct with Delta and at the time they were not overly expensive. Our flight took off on time at 12.30pm and we were finally bound for Portland, almost 11 months after first booking our flights.
Within 30 minutes of take-off, BattleKid announced he needed the toilet, again! The seat belt sign was still illuminated and we started to panic, thinking surely the pilot is going to switch it off at any moment. In the end we had to buzz a stewardess who very kindly said we could leave our seats, in her words “you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do for your young man, so no problem at all”. She was so lovely and I’m gutted I didn’t make a note of her name. She came across as very caring American mom. Moments after the boys returned from the toilet the light went off. Typical.
We had lunch at 2pm which was quite nice. BattleKid ate well and I was hoping he’d nap. No such luck. My entertainment touchscreen wasn’t working properly so by 3pm I gave up. I read, wrote blog notes and napped instead.
After a nice flight that was pretty uneventful we arrived in Portland at 2.30pm local time, almost an hour ahead of schedule. We cleared customs and immigration by 3pm and headed to Hertz to collect our car. The first Ford Expedition we were given had a flat tyre! Thankfully there was another in the parking lot and we loaded up our gear and set off bound for Richland, Washington, at 4.30pm.
We headed onto I-84 and passed Mount Hood and signs for Multnomah Falls. This was on our agenda for our return trip to Portland. Our mission was to get to Richland and into bed ready for a mammoth drive the next day.
BattleKid fell asleep soon after we left Portland and I kept him as comfortable as possible by sitting beside him and supporting his head. We arrived in Richland at 7pm and checked into our hotel, the TownPlace Suites by Marriott.
We put BattleKid into bed and I was close behind him, shattered from a long day. BattleDad was hungry so went and got food before being in bed himself by 9pm.
BattleKid woke just after 3am but I managed to keep him quiet until 5am when we were all awake. Thanks jet lag! We got dressed and packed up, ready to hit the road to Yellowstone!