Made it. Barely.

First, I apologize for not posting a single picture from our Italy trip yet. I’ll slap myself on the wrist for that one. However, I have a trade for you: I’ll give you Down Under for Italy. That makes us even for now, right?

Yes, you read that correctly. I said, “Down Under.” Three weeks after my return from Europe I got on a plane bound for New Zealand. Crazy? Yes. I had planned to avoid all acts of travel and tourism until our honeymoon, but when the boss men asked me if I wanted to go on a 15-day trip to the southern hemisphere, I figured it would be stupid to say no. However, I was really dreading the travel. I AM SO tired of airports (and all the hassle that comes with them). Our first two flights actually went very well, minus a few obnoxious people flying to Denver — I tried to tell myself they were on their way home, they couldn’t possibly be Iowans, but I’m not so sure. By the time we got to LAX we were tired and ready to be on the last leg of our trip. We arrived knowing we would have to leave the terminal to get our last ticket, as well as go back through security; we weren’t looking forward to either activity. Besides the fact that LAX seemed to be pretty poorly marked, the employees were about as helpful as the signs that didn’t exist. They should have handed out maps as we departed the plane.

We waited nearly 20 minutes for a shuttle to take us to the international terminal. After that ride I was certain I had picked up the flu, tuberculosis, and whooping cough. The amount of sick people breathing and coughing on that bus made me want to take a bath in hand sanitizer. Goo. After we pushed our way off the bus we had to find the Air New Zealand counter (you have to go up a floor, didn’t see a sign for that either) and get in line. After a significant wait we went up to the counter with our passports and smiles. Smiling always seems to help — it says,”I’m a friendly, innocent, naive girl that would never carry anything suspicious onto a plan.” It didn’t help this time. The guy threatened to not give us our tickets if we couldn’t produce documentation that we would be leaving New Zealand. While Amye was prepared with all of the paperwork, our flight from NZ to Adelaide (AUS) did not show any proof of purchase. Our “itinerary” wasn’t good enough. At that point, I was fuming. While I stared daggers at the man, I let Amye do the talking. Who knows what I would have unleashed on him… Needless to say, he finally gave us the tickets. I’m pretty sure my death stare convinced him.

We made it to our gate in time to eat a quick dinner and then boarding started. We thought we would be good to go from this point, but once we got near the plane a lady stopped us and asked us to take off our backpacks. She said something about checking the weight, if they were too heavy, they would have to be put under the plane. That was my last straw. There was no nice left. They would not tell me my bag was too heavy when people were rolling on over-sized carry-ons. They either let me on with my bag or I was going home. Seriously.

After all that complaining, I can say two good things about Air New Zealand: they had a very good movie selection and the food was above average. The downside of the food service was that every time they served a meal they made everyone put their seats in the upright position. While this may not sound like a such a big deal, let’s talk about when they served “dinner”. We departed at 9 pm from LAX and did not get served until I was in my second movie. C’mon, people, that’s somewhere around 2 AM CST time — let the people sleep! It seems far more rude to wake up people up, then to make them eat dinner with a reclined chair. Plus, the tray didn’t move whether the chair was upright or reclined. I still don’t understand that.

My goal is to write about the rest of our Down Under adventures tonight. Check back soon šŸ™‚

Here are some pics from Auckland Domain (NZ). IĀ apologize for the overexposure – the pictures don’t do it justice (and I was too lazy to photoshop them).

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