NON-REV TO NEXT CHAPTER AUCKLAND NEW ZEALAND

WHERE NEXT?

TO AUCKLAND NEW ZEALAND, OUR NEW FRIEND. MAKE NEW FRIENDS BUT KEEP THE OLD; ONE IS SILVER AND THE OTHER GOLD.

OUR MANTRA “LEAVING ON A JET PLANE”. WE ARE ON OUR WAY VIA SYDNEY, NONREVING ON HA FLIGHT 451 AT 12:30PM. WE WILL OVERNIGHT AT SYDNEY AND CONNECT ON ANZ TO AUCKLAND. WITH TIME DIFFERENCES AND CROSSING THE INTERNATIONAL DATELINE, IT WILL PUT US AT OUR NEW HOME, 2 DAYS LATER--BUT NO WORRIES.

NOT KNOWING IF WE EVEN GET ON THE FLIGHT LET ALONE GET LUCKY AND GET FIRST CLASS, WE PLAY THE FOOD SITUATION SAFE AND EAT SOMETHING AT HNL AIRPORT, IN CASE WE HAVE TO PASS ON COACH CUSINE. “COMFORT FOOD” OF LAHAINA ROASTED CHICKEN WITH POTATOES, CORN, AND GREEN BEANS. MORE MIDWEST THAT HAWAIIAN FAIRE. DOUG ALSO ATE HIS LAST FAVORITE SPICY KOREAN CHICKEN TAKEOUT LAST NIGHT ON HIS WAY HOME FROM TURNING IN HIS HNL WORK BADGE.

FIRST CLASS THIS LEG! SCORE! CHAMPAGNE FOR EVERYONE! AND 5 COURSES ON A FULL STOMACH.

STOPOVER SYDNEY:

PACKED INTO THE TRANSFER VAN LIKE SARDINES WITH THE CAMPERSTYLE LUGGAGE CARRIER HITCHED ON THE BACK, WE SET OUT FOR THE NEAR HOTEL. LUCK TO GET ON AT ALL AFTER A FLOOD OF UK TOURISTS PUSHED THERE WAY IN FRONT OF US. WHAT SHOULD HAVE TAKEN 15 MINUTES, TOOK OVER AN HOUR BECAUSE OF AN UNSCHEDULED STOP TO ATTEMPT TO RETRIEVE BAGS THAT HAD FALLEN OUT IN TRANSIT DUE TO THE DOOR OF THE LUGGAGE CARRIER THAT FLUNG OPEN WHILE SPEEDING DOWN THE FREEWAY. WE WERE LUCK AS OURS WERE SO HEAVY AND LARGE THAT THEY STAYED INSIDE. OTHERS WERE NOT SO LUCKY AND ONE WOMAN’S BAGS WERE NEVER LOCATED.

THE IBIS AIRPORT HOTEL WAS A HOLIDAY INNISH EQUIVALENT. THE ROOM WAS LIKE A SPACEAGE TRAILER VERY MODERN AND COMPACT, AH IT IS SO NICE TO NEED A COVER TO SLEEP!

NEXT DAY IT WAS ON TO AKL VIA ANZ FLIGHT 700 AT 7:00AM (COINCIDENCE?) BUT NOT BEFORE A TRADITIONAL AUSSIE BREKKIE OF MEAT PIE WITH PEAS AND MASH POTATO TOPPING AND A “LONG BLACK” COFFEE. WHAT A PROPER WAY TO START ONE’S DAY DOWN UNDER WITH THE SUBTLE LINGERING OF WHITE PEPPER TO SHARPEN THE MORNING SENSES.

WHAT LUCK! FIRST CLASS AGAIN, AND OF COURSE I HAD CHAMPAGNE AGAIN TO CELEBRATE THAT, OR IS IT BECAUSE OF IT? EITHER WAY, IT IS MY FIRST CLASS TRADITION.

FINALLY AFTER IMMIGRATION AND BAGGAGE CLAIM IN 2 COUNTRIES, WE ARE HERE.

NOW TO REALLY CELEBRATE IN STYLE WITH OUR FIRST EVER BOTTLE OF DOM PERIGNON VINTAGE 1999.

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