As expected the travel portion of the trip was the least enjoyable. On the way out the nice lady at check-in moved us to a direct flight for a mere $50 each. It was money well spent. Even so, the flight had it's moments. Margaret had been saving up her poop all day and released it as we were heading to the runway for takeoff. The result were impressive and involved some containment failure. Airplane lavatories do not have changing tables, and babies who have just pooped massively can't wait for the end of a five hour flight. It was not a fun change, but at least I had remembered to put large ziploc bags in the diaper bag so that I could store the poopy clothes without spreading poop everywhere. The trip back we did not get a chance to change to a direct flight, and our connection in NY was delayed two hours. Margaret did some screaming, but I felt absolutely zero guilt about it. Truth to be told, I might have done some screaming if I thought I could get away with it.
The guidelines for the Au Pair program state that you should take your Au Pair with you on all family vacations, and that in general you should treat her as part of the family. We took Jomkwan with us, and I am very glad that we did. She had a good time, and there were certainly times when having an extra adult was very handy. I have gotten the vague impression that not all the families take their Au Pair with them, and that perhaps some people thought it was weird that we were traveling with the Au Pair. Personally, I really like the concept that Jomkwan is part of the family while she is here; if she thinks of herself that way she is likely to take better care of Margaret than she might otherwise. I really like it that Margaret always seems to be happy to see Jomkwan, it makes going to work easier for me. Maybe some people thought I was being posh or something to have my nanny along, but the thing is that for me an Au Pair isn't quite the same thing as a nanny, and having her along for the family gathering was part of that difference.