Feb. 10, 2011 12:45pm (Phoenix time)
Okay people, entry number one...New Zealand-style. I'm sitting in Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. First stop, San Francisco then to Auckland and finally on to my final destination...Wellington, New Zealand. The city I've been fighting to get to for the past four months. My 22 hrs. of travel have officially begun.
I would like to begin by saying that I truly enjoy the fact that you can order a beer with a tequila sidecar at any time of day at the airport with no judgement. In fact it is encouraged. And I'm doing just that. Cheers!
I cannot express the feeling of freedom knowing that all of my worldly possessions are locked away in storage and the 3 bags that will sustain me during my 2 yr. stay in Wellie are on their way to New Zealand. My only hope is that my bags and I will be reunited sometime in the near future. But you know, if they decide to go AWOL I packed an extra pair of jeans, my Willie Nelson t-shirt, jammie pants, and a toothbrush in my carry-on.
I shall stay in touch but for now I mus eat an overpriced airport meal and it is delicious.
Feb. 10, 2011 4:41pm (San Francisco time)
San Francisco Airport. Check. So this may be my official last taste of Mexican food for a long time....airport-style. A bowl of tortilla soup is headed my way to accompany my Dos Equis. Observation...International terminals are way fancier than ghetto domestic terminals. From my vantage point I spy a shop where I can buy a suit jacket next to a kiosk peddling swarofski (sp?) crystal.
The flight here was painless except for having to listen to people whine about leg room and lack of overhead compartment space. Hey jerks, I'm trying to soak up this 1 hr. jaunt because by hour 12 of my next flight I'm gonna be going ape shit.
I have a good 2 hrs. until the big flight. My eyes welled up when we left Arizona. I put my cheek as close to the window as I could to absorb the last bit of Phoenix sunshine. I will miss you mountains and endless sky. I think the next flight will be the kick in the ass I've been waiting for. This whole moving to NZ stuff still hasn't sunk in. Cheers San Fran.
Feb. 12, 2011 7:45am (Auckland, NZ time)
Well, I made it to NZ-town. The 13 hr. flight wasn't bad. About an hour after we took off we were served dinner. After dinner I ordered a whiskey and water to wash down the Ambien and dramamin. 30 min. later it was lights out. We woke up to being served breakfast and in no time we were landing in Auckland.
Here is a lesson I've learned. When the Phoenix airport counter dude says that "your luggage is going directly to Wellington", he actually means that you need to claim your luggage in Auckland and re-check it to Wellington.
Thinking that I didn't have to deal with my bags, I casually got off the plane, went to the latrine to brush my teeth, meandered through customs, and then got an iced coffee (my first purchase with NZ dollars). I saw all of the peeps from my plane in a line so I thought hey, I should probably be in that line as well. Waited in line while sipping my coffee, got to the airport clerk, and said..."I don't know if I need to be in this line but..." He then informed me that I should have picked up my luggage and I now had to go to the baggage claim office to gather my bags to re-check. Long story short...if you would have been there you would have seen me racing my luggage to the terminal (a 10 min. sprint to another building), dumping my bags, and running to the gate just as they were boarding. Whew!
I was picked up at the Wellington airport with bags in hand and wisked off to my new home. I then slept for the next 2 days. Zzzzzzz...........