Standing at the check-in counter of Swiss airlines in the Venice airport in front of incredibly patient and kind airlines employees with our 108 kg of checked baggage divided into 6 pieces, our 4 carry on pieces which clearly exceed weight limits and our carry-on stroller. No, not a dainty umbrella stroller that collapses with a flick of the wrist. The Bob. To add to the mountain of baggage and chaos, we brought the Bob as our gate checked stroller. I wanted to affix a sign to the top of our mountain, actually mountains because 11 pieces of luggage do not fit onto one luggage cart, stating "moving home after one year abroad" lest people think this is how we pack for a 2-3 week vacation.
Walking the aisle of the Swiss airbus 320-300 over and over with la cocotte who, not surprisingly, did not want to spend 8 hours on mommy and daddy's laps. Watching the same aisle-dwelling people, patiently and repeatedly moving their legs, elbows and drinks out of tripping, poking and swiping range of la cocotte.
Feeling dumbfounded when the Canadian Customs guy asked us what we were bringing back from our "trip". How does one sum up a year's worth of acquisitions in 10 seconds as the rest of the airplane waits behind us (because baby privilege dictated that despite being last off the plane, we were moved to the front of the line - LOVE the baby privilege). Chocolate, coffee, some books, a car seat and 14 extra pounds of baby made of the finest Italian food.
Not remembering how to say the address of our apartment in french to the taxi driver.
Walking into our tidy but dusty apartment and feeling oddly disoriented. 24 hours later seeing same apartment with aforementioned 10 suitcases spewing their contents from various frantic searches everywhere.
Realizing just how incredibly un-baby proof our apartment is.
Heart attack at the grocery store when we saw the cost of food. Seriously I felt like I was in one of those time-travel Hollywood movies where the heroine wakes up and 15 years have gone by because $50/kg for cheese? Really? Not even yummy cheese, the cheese I buy because it normally doesn't require taking out a second mortgage on the house. All the lovely, affordable food that la cocotte has grown to love in Italy is, well, less lovely and way less affordable.
Not having every person on the sidewalk stop and admire our toddler. Those who do, seem strangely shocked when I engage in conversation with them, almost as if they are thinking "I was talking to HER not you lady, I don't KNOW you.".
Melting in the 32 deg C heat (40 deg with the humidex everyone LOVES to proudly add as if it is some kind of accomplishment) of a late summer Montreal heat wave.
8 visits to see different daycares. 3 trips to IKEA. 1 trip to Babies 'R Us. 2 trips to Beau Bebe.
Living surrounded by university students and the inevitable noise. Seriously, what are these people thinking making god awful noise at .... oh.... 8:30 pm. I guess expecting pin-drop silence in the student ghetto at 8:30 pm is setting the bar a little high. Somehow though the evening bark on our street in Trieste was more palatable.