We Have Liftoff!

T minus 0! and we have set a new all time record for showing up early to our flight. Normally, I hate to waste time sitting around in the airport waiting for my flight, but today, we were both pretty excited about the trip and a bit worried about the Sunday afternoon LA traffic, so we got here a tad early.

We woke up, had coffee, took Tuukka and Sadie for a walk on the More Mesa, went and got the rental car for our drive to LA and then excitedly packed up our stuff. And we do have a lot of stuff. In our defense, this is not stuff like hair dryers and dinner wear, but mostly outdoor recreational equipment. Essential stuff. Like hiking poles. And wetsuits. And snorkeling gear. And Scotch. Things that any self-respecting traveler who still think they are 22 would bring along with them on a trip to New Zealand.

Now, before you get all Judgy McJudgerman on me, let’s get clear on a few things. a) Why would you need snorkeling gear in New Zealand? As pointed out in an earlier post, we have a 10 hour layover in Roratonga and who in their right mind would not drag snorkeling equipment halfway around the world for the opportunity to see some fish on a remote island in the Pacific. Granted, we have to haul it around for 3 weeks before we actually get to use it, but let’s not get hung up on boring details. b) Why would you haul Scotch all the way around the world. Well, I am cheap. Super cheap. And I looked up what a bottle of Caribbean Cask cost in NZ….$120. Yikes. Hence, the two bottles of scotch in Susanne’s bag. Plus, we will face an immense amount of poop from Jason and Cynthia about how much stuff we have and the only way to survive that is a good stiff drink of scotch.

So, we said our goodbyes to Sadie and got in the car and headed down the PCH to LA. It’s a far more scenic route than the drudgery of the 101/405. It was a gorgeous day and the drive was pretty relaxing until we got to Malibu. Holy crap there are a lot of people in LA. Way more than in Flagstaff. We decided to have lunch in Marina Del Rey which was nice, but it did takes us over 20 minutes to navigate the last 2 miles. The traffic sucked. But it sucks everywhere.

After lunch we headed over to the beach and did a bit of walking. The only issues was the parking meters only took coins and we had none. We risked it. As we came back we saw the “enforcement officer.” Luckily he had not gotten to our car yet. Winner! Vacation karma!

We dropped the car off and headed to the airport. It was a madhouse. Lots of people walking around with masks on; this Coronavirus is not to be taken lightly. After navigating the insanity of the arrival area, we made to the Air New Zealand check in. The woman was very friendly and it was very peaceful. She asked whether we had been to China in the last 2 weeks (NO!!) and then checked us all the way through to Queenstown and directed us to where the business lounge was located.

Yeah! Super excited we managed to get business class.

It’s a pretty nice lounge and they have a nice outdoor seating area. So now we are chilling, having a glass of wine and listening to quiet lullabies of Triple 7 jets taking off.

Enjoying the evening at LAX


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