We’ve arrived! One of the most asked questions I receive is “how long is the flight to New Zealand?”; therefore, here was our 30+ hour process:
- Wake up at 4am in Massachusetts on a Thursday
- 6.5 hour flight to Los Angeles (from DC this is an hour shorter!)
- We purposely had a full day layover in LA to see friends, ride the Santa Monica pier ferris wheel, and eat some legitimate Mexican food before traveling very far away from it
- Hopped on Air New Zealand’s LAX to Auckland 13 hour flight and attempted to stay awake as long as possible and then attempted to sleep for as long as possible (we got maybe 5 hours, aka – not enough)
- Auckland airport was a mess. From my past trips I remember it being so easy to drop off luggage and move on to the domestic terminal. For some reason it was chaos that morning. Customs was a breeze, and then we waited in the bag drop line forever, only to be told when we finally got to the register that our flight was within an hour (58 minutes to be exact) so we would have to trek our bags over to domestic to drop off.
- After grumbling a bit we still realized – “we’re in New Zealand! this is awesome!”
- Hopped on our last flight from Auckland to Christchurch. Enjoying 1 hour and 20 minutes of beautiful scenery below.
- Arrive in Christchurch at 9:30am on Saturday (yes, we skipped a day crossing over the international date line)
- Called the rental car company and learned that driving on the left side of the road is a little like riding a bike
Currently we’re settling in to our temporary apartment/motel. I gave Keith the grand tour yesterday. This included having breakfast at one of my favorite cafes, taking a walk through Hagley Park, and bringing him to the CBD (central business district).
After yesterday I learned that you can’t quite explain the CBD and it’s earthquake consequences to anyone who hasn’t seen it. I shared photos and stories with Keith over the past few years but he was a bit in shock when I showed him around. It was interesting to get our perspectives — me seeing a place that no longer has a red zone (cordoned area that no one can enter without a badge) and has built itself up in the past few years and Keith seeing a place that has seen a lot of destruction and amazed that after 3+ years there is still a creepy ghost-town feel.
We then went to Tutto Bene for dinner. Despite previously living here for 6 months there were still plenty of things I didn’t get to see and do, and eating at Tutto Bene was one of them. I am so glad to be back and experience more new restaurants and activities, WITH my husband! We both passed out at 8pm, I woke up at 4am and started this post. Keith somehow slept till 8am (already a pro at jet lag).
Sunday began with breakfast at She Chocolat –one of my NZ breakfast favorites! On the scenic route back we stopped at one of the many port hills walking trails to snap the photo below. We managed to view three apartments this afternoon with one good possibility. Tomorrow we’ll try to view a couple more before…get ready for this…I have to go on a business trip for a few days. Yes, I arrived yesterday, yes, I am told I am going on a three-day business trip tomorrow. We’ll see what all the details are when Keith and I both start our NZ work tomorrow! As always, more to come…