Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Series of Unfortunate Events

A series of unfortunate events; that's what created a 32 hour plane journey from Sacramento to Christchurch, New Zealand.

Here's the first blog post I wrote from 30,000 feet in the air:

As I write this, I am sitting high in the clouds, counting down the minutes until Suzie and I land in New Zealand. This hasn't been an easy journey and we've already had our fair share of adventure!

Leaving from Suzie's house this evening presented it's own set of challenges. We not only hit commuter traffic on Highway 50 but we also failed to realize that the Sacramento Kings had a game and that made additional congestion. We slowly crawled onto Interstate 5 then the road finally opened up and we turned into the Sacramento Airport.

Going through a security was a piece of cake and was probably the most enjoyable TSA experience I've ever had. Our flight from Sacramento left relatively on time despite the heavy rainfall and winds. Upon landing at LAX Suzie and I realized that we had to sprint through four terminals to get to the international terminal, find our gate, and try to make it to our flight. According to my FitBit, it took us approximately 9,000 steps and we walked almost 3 miles!

Hurry up and wait... That's the theme to the rest of this story. After sprinting to our plane at LAX we sat on the tarmac for nearly an hour. (I'll leave out the ticketing snafu but I will say that thanks to a very nice gate agent Suzie and I were able to get seats next to each other.) Since our flight leaving LAX was late that meant that we missed our connecting flight in Brisbane, Australia.  We tried to rush and catch our Brisbane to Christchurch flight but going through international security meant we had to wait. Qantas tried to rebook us into Christchurch via Sydney but that meant not getting into Christchurch until midnight. Instead Suzie and I are now traveling to Auckland, New Zealand. Hopefully we will be successful in catching our flight to Christchurch once we land, but since our connection is extremely tight I'm not sure it will happen. 

In the Brisbane airport Suzie found an amazing coffee shop (Coffee House) and I found food. Because of the missed connection Qantas supplied both Suzie and I with $20 vouchers for food. I had a cheese bagel, orange juice, water (for Suzie), a chocolate chip muffin, and a chocolate nutella milkshake (I'm pretty sure it was only like 9 o'clock in the morning but I really wanted a milkshake!).  Suzie had some sort of delicious looking breakfast but I can't recall what it was - only that it had an egg on it.

Poor Suzie... I think at one point in time she was ready to rip my throat out because of my unrelenting optimism about our situation. Alas - I'm excited to be on the plane headed towards New Zealand, even if it is the wrong island!

After writing that blog post (on my iPhone no less) I can say that we successfully landed in Auckland. We boarded an Air New Zealand flight to Christchurch and finally arrived at our destination around 9 o'clock pm. It was 32 hours of nonstop travel!

The first night we stayed at Amross Court Motor Lodge (61 Bealey Ave.) in Christchurch city centre. The owner was incredibly nice and I think she recognized the look of two weary travelers. I honestly think that fact that it was nighttime when we arrived worked in our favor since we were able to head straight to bed.

P.S. If you need a place to stay in Christchurch I would say that you should stay in Amross Court without a doubt. It's located next to several restaurants and coffee shops, as well as being a short walk to the earthquake center, the botanical gardens, and the Canterbury museum.  Plus the owner is incredibly sweet and caring.


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