The 20-Hour-Long Journey Home

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After the ER episode, the fun didn’t stop. We gathered our stuff, packed and got ready for the long journey home, starting with waking up at 4 a.m. to take a taxi and catch the 6:35 a.m. flight to Paris.

Waking up Mark so early was kind of a sweet revenge for the night before, though. He went back to sleep in the plane and we all landed in Roissy more or less awake.

We had a four-hour wait in Roissy but it went by very fast between finding the right terminal, checking the bags, going through security, changing Mark and putting eye drops into Feng’s eye.

The flight to Toronto was packed and it was a long one too: 8 hours and 55 minutes. That’s when it went downhill. Feng and I were exhausted but Mark wasn’t and trying to keep him relatively still and quiet on my laps was hell. It felt like dealing with a feral cat in a small enclosed space—yes, I got scratched too.

Oh, he slept… a little bit. When the meal was served, for instance. “Oh, he looks so comfortable!” the steward commented. Yep, I’m sure he was… me, not so much.

I tried to doze off but it proved impossible with Mark kicking and moving. I tried to watch a movie (“We are the Millers”… pretty funny!). I tried to sooth Mark. I tried to make him walk up and down the aisle. And I kept an eye on the Sky Map—five hours left to destination, four hours left… time dragged on.

It didn’t help that I was so tired that I couldn’t think straight and that leaving France is always tough for me. Sure, I am not dreaming of moving back for tons of reasons, but Nantes is still a cozy safe place for me—and Mark. My parents can take care of him, I can get a break, life is easier. So I am not exactly upbeat on a flight back to Canada with Feng out of service because of his eye and a very annoying kid who can’t behave.

Eventually, we landed. The entire flight felt like a black hole—I have no idea what we did for nine hours or how we made it but we did.

We went through immigration, picked up our bags and started to look for the “Lost & Found” office since I was hoping to pick up my laptop that was left behind on the way to France. Hurrah! I found it. This was the highlight of the day—seriously, only in Canada you can misplace your laptop in the busiest airport in the country and pick it up at the same place two weeks later!

The flight to Ottawa was delayed, which was just as well since we were late at the gate too. Mark showed no sign of slowing down and ran around the Terminal while Feng and I took turn to use the bathroom and take a break.

Mark finally passed out for thirty minute on the way to Ottawa and was very cranky when I had to wake him up. Our luggage took forever to come… and it didn’t help that I had my mother-in-law micro-managing the process.

And home we are. I am dealing with tons of laundry, our phone line and Internet connection are out of service (thanks Bell!) and it’s freezing cold.

I wish I could go back to sleep and hibernate for a few months… but it’s not an option with Mark. Oh well.

You can see the complete set of pictures on Flickr.

At Roissy

At Roissy

At Roissy

At Roissy

In The Plane

In The Plane

Getting Cranky...

Getting Cranky…

... Me Too...

… Me Too…

... Me Too...

… Me Too…

Mark and his Damn Nails!

Mark and his Damn Nails!

Sunset in Toronto

Sunset in Toronto

Finally Passing Out

Finally Passing Out


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. My hell will be this Saturday.
    2 hours car ride to Geneva. 10 hours to DC. 2 hours to go through immigration and check in our bags (we hope) then 3 hours to Houston. Then probably another hour to get home.

    Hell is coming… But we will survive 🙂

    Glad you made it. Try to rest for a day.

    • Ugh. I’ll send some positive vibes your way! Don’t forget that it will eventually be over, it’s just a day of craziness… and that’s it!

  2. I had to go back and read the eye story to see what had happened. Wow! I can’t imagine being told I couldn’t pay a medical bill because the books were closed for the year… and the price! … If only the rest of us countries could get our healthcare together. How is Feng feeling now? A scratched cornea sounds so painful.

    Sorry the flight home wasn’t any better. I flew to El Salvador and back with a 1 year old – never again! Entertaining/soothing a baby on an airplane is awful, (mine was colicky.)

    Anyway, I came by to wish you a happy new year and to also say gracias for being one of the top 5 commenters on my blog in 2013. I appreciate that you read it and take the time to commment. Wishing you a new year full of health and happiness!


    • He is still in pain… the saga continues!

      Thank you for stopping by, I wish you success and happiness! You are an awesome writer, I love following your adventures. Seriously, you have a great family.

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  4. Whoa that was a long trip! Glad you made it back safely 🙂 Hopefully you will get a few hours of sleep to recuperate. Did you get your phone and internet connection service back on?

  5. Zhu, is Mark on a schedule for naptime? That saved my life with the twins. Now that there are three of them, sleeping in the same bedroom, I don’t know how I would survive without the “break” from 2 to 4PM everyday. At first, when they were babies, they would cry or be loud to have my attention, but there is no way around it. They learned quickly that this was their “quiet time”. (And, I mean, if there is nothing else to do and no amount of crying will have mommy come, sleeping is the only option left!) 🙂
    Hope you get some sleep!

    • More or less. I still have to physically put him to bed, i.e. rock him to sleep, and it can be exhausting if he doesn’t actually sleep, see what I mean? I have tried letting him cry in the room but he is amazingly resilient and won’t stop or won’t sleep unless he is truly exhausted.

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