Where have I been? To New Zealand! Steve is from New Zealand and he still has the majority of his family living there, including his parents and both of his brothers. Initially it was only going to be Steve and Amy going as his family had not yet met Amy. Then it grew into him taking Kate and Luke also. And then he realised he didn't want to do that alone. So we all packed up and went on an 11 day holiday.
I took a notebook and I will repost the entries here:
Friday 30 January 2009 I finish work at 5.30am promptly as we don't want to be late. Steve and the kids are waiting in the car and had been there since 5am. I did have great pleasure in ringing him at 4am to wake him up. We arrive at the airport at 6.15 as there is almost no traffic on Parramatta Rd. It was quite weird. We discuss our trip and we have a guessing competition for the colour of the hire car. Steve picks white. I pick red. Kate picks blue. Luke picks green and we allocate yellow to Amy. We book the car into the long term parking and walk over to the terminal. We check the boards to see where we need to check in but our flight number is not listed. We start to worry now and head to find the Emirates desks. We go to their customer service and ask about our flight. We find there is a 2 hour delay due to fog in Dubai. We are given a meal credit for $15 each ticket. We decide on McDonalds for breakfast. We wander around a bit but decide to go through customs and check out the duty free shopping. We buy a few presents for people. I decide to buy a book for myself - Twilight - as I really want to read it. Kate gets a magazine but Luke doesn't get anything as he wanted a $30 toy aeroplane. Amy is quite tired by this time and is screaming her head off. Steve walks around with her and she falls asleep. We change her nappy to wake her up so she will hopefully sleep on the plane. The plane arrives at about 11.15am. We wait until 12.15 to start to board the plane. As we go down the walkway the ailine has a stand where you can take magazines or newspapers. I pick up the magazine Notebook, Steve grabs Alpha and we grab a newspaper for Luke as he had previously asked for one. We board the plane and take our seats. Since we have the toilets in front of us we have more leg room. Seats: 24D Steve and Amy 24E Luke 24F Kate 24 G Me. The plane has a camera on its nose and we are able to watch the take off on the television screen. The cabin crew come around and offer me a hot towel but I say no as I have no idea what to do with it! Apparently it is to wipe your face and refresh yourself. The crew then bring the kids a present - the girls get a hand puppet and Luke gets a little bag with a lion in it to put together. They are also given a book and pencil set. Next they bring Kate and Luke their food and then Steve and my food is brought to us. We can't believe how much we get! I chose the pasta but Steve chooses the omlette. That plus vegies, a bread rool, some fruit, a cheesecake and a muffin. Heaps of food! And delicious too! All this time Amy has been awake and quite upset. Once our trays are cleared I take Amy and she falls asleep. Steve takes her back adn put her back to sleep. I decide to watch a movie: Angus, thongs and perfect snogging. It is quite funny but unfortunately I don't get to finish watching it as we start our decline into Auckland. We get to watch the landing on the television screen also. I didn't know whether to be excited or afraid! I have seen too many episodes of Air Crash Investigations. We get through the airport quite quickly which is great as we are worried about the car hire. We go to a service desk and ask about a courtesy phone when a man behind us asks if he heard us say 'Go Rentals'. Awesome. They stayed there for us. We get to the car but it turns out that none of us win the guessing comp as the car is silver! We start our drive down to Hamilton. We stop for McDonalds and arrive at Steve's parents at abour 8pm NZ time. Finally. Amy falls asleep almost immediately and the rest of us go to bed not long after that.