The longest day in history

Trip Start Oct 28, 2008
Trip End Nov 17, 2008

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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Well, this day started at about 8:30am Saturday morning in San Diego. It's about 5:00pm New Zealand time now, and both Steve and I have only had about an hour's worth of very broken sleep in those 36 hours- and we're going to keep going until bedtime tonight. So I'll apologize in advance if this entry doesn't make a lot of sense.

Saturday morning was a bit of a panic, involving me running to the store to buy another suitcase, and Steve franically trying to fit everything in. I had hoped to have enough time to go to Chili's for lunch, and maybe even to Summer's Past Farms to relax a little- but neither happened. As soon as the packing was finished, and the car loaded, we had to leave for LAX. It's hard to express my disappointment in the things that we just didn't have time for on this trip. It's hard to pack it all into a few weeks, though.

When we got up to LA, we couldn't breathe. There are several brush fires consuming the area, and the air was so choked with smoke that you could physically feel it coating your lungs. Yuck.

Check- in was a nightmare! We were over our limit for carry-ons, since they didn't accept that motorcycle helmets are hats, so wound up checking 2 of the carry on bags, and sending the sand ceremony vase back to my parent's house. They'll keep it safe for us there. I'm not convinced it would survive in checked baggage, and they wouldn't let me bring it as a carry on.

So after several arguements with the check-in lady, and struggling with more luggage than most third world nations, we had a bite to eat in the Tom Brady Terminal. The first food my dad, Steve, and I had had all day. No wonder we were so grumpy!

A tearful good-bye at the bottom of the escalators (can't go any further without bording passes), and we were on our way home.

The flight started fine. We were on a much better plane than the one we flew out of New Zealand on, and we were delighted at the selection of movies. For some odd reason, however, Steve and I could not sleep. Ian on the other hand was out like a like, and slept a good portion of the way home.

Even the storm didn't seem to phase him.

About 3am, the fasten seatbelt sign came on, and we were all instructed to return to our seats, the ride was going to get a bit bumpy. I'll say! I came very close to loosing my dinner in one of those handy little baggies they give you. A woman behind Steve took the "almost" out of the equation, and threw up for the final hours of the flight. I had another close call when a stewardess came up with a hot breakfast and put it under my nose. I must have gone a funny color because she pulled it away again very fast!

We landed in Auckland to the welcome of heavy rain and strong winds. I guess that was sign enough that we were back in New Zealand.

The approach to Wellington had to be one of my favorites, though. There were a few good dips in elevation- nothing compared to what we had already endured that morning- but apparently more than the woman sitting behind us could deal with. I could just catch glimpses of her between the seats wringing her hands. With every bump of the plane she would mutter: "Jesus....Jesus.....Jesus....." And then a big drop of elevation and she would shriek, "JESUS!!" I couldn't help laughing. All the funnier is that Ian curled up in his seat, staring out the window. As the turbulence increased, he fell into a deep sleep. One of those sleeps where I had to check that he was still breathing. And man was he hard to wake up when we were finally on the ground!

So now we're at home. We got the WOF for the car, some groceries, and even dropped my wedding ring off at the jewelers to join the 2 rings together. On top of all that, we're completely unpacked, and slowly making our way through the mountain of laundry.

I think Ian will be lucky to make it to school on time tomorrow.
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