On Thursday the 18th January we got up for the last time in America, here's an account of the longest day in our lives.
Getting up, around 10 am, we spend most of Thursday the 18th hanging around the house and packing up, add a trip to Wallmart to get food for the flight and it's dinner time - cue Chellis who turns up to make us fried green tomatoes for our last supper. Having finished supper and said our cheerios to the family, we head off for Atlanta airport where our check-in is so early the next morning, we decide there's no point going to bed and might as well hang around a few hours extra there and let Brennen and Sarah get home to bed. Finally we board our flight and head for our connection at San Francisco. Arrive SFO, and have about 7 hours to kill so jump on a train into the city centre. Go for a walk along the shoreline, find a diner (I have possibly the best burger of my life), then head for pier 39, watch the seals and look across to the bridge and Alcatraz, then wander a little more before riding a tram back through the city centre. We find a little street cafe, have a coffee and spot a huge hotel with lifts shooting up and down the outside. Go to hotel, shoot up and down in the lifts and then get the train back to the airport. Board our flight to Auckland and spend the next 12 hours helping the old lady beside me work her in-flight entertainment (though it should be noted with about 30 on demand films and loads of TV programmes, and computer games, it was the best in flight system I've ever seen), get off plane and Meet Tanya (Nic's big sister), pop back to Tanya's for a bit, go for a walk up a hill to survey Auckland and through a lovely park, grab breakfast, then head round to Nic's uncle Brian who is having a family lunch following his 60th Birthday the night before. Meet all the family, head round to Nic's dad's which is to serve as our NZ HQ, have dinner, watch a bit of tele, pop out and look at Comet McNaught which is currently exciting New Zealand and then go to bed about 11pm Sunday the 22nd of January.
Quite the mission.