|Me arriving at Auckland Airport|
|Cy, Kevin and Tallulah at Auckland Airport|
That half day, totally captive in one seat, meant I could finally force myself to make a start on that romance novel I had always skited (bragged) about. At Uni many of my (girl)friends agreed we would write one. But one friend, Bronwen, actually has.
Pressure was on and pen in hand I had the time to make in-roads into plot and character development and research Medieval times. (Or Georgian maybe, though I never fancied those shower-cap bonnets). I might even have some time left over to eat three large meals, catch up on the last 10 episodes of Glee! and view a couple of hard-to-watch documentaries on which I could later pontificate.
In the end I did none of the above. I had a wee nap which lasted 10 hours, chatted to a fantastic flight attendant Colleen about the joys of the Kiwi fizzy drink called Lemon&Paeroa (it's lemony, it's fizzy, gingery and just CHOICE, as advertised)
|Flight Attendant Colleen|
Unbelievably I also watched quite a lot of the kid's movie Tangled. But not on my screen and without sound. I watched a screen further up the aisle. Why I didn't just turn on the movie for myself I don't know. Clearly, flying has a soporific, brain dulling effect on me.
Bizarrely this seemed like a shorter trip than when the kids where tiny and driving one hour to Stinson Beach felt like a century.
It's all about perception you see. And expectations. Last summer I wrote about travelling with kids and called it The Five Stages of Grief. At the risk of regurgitating - er, re-inspiring - with an old post I'll give you a wee run-down of my thoughts. There are vacations, where child-care and kids clubs are present and everyone has loads of quality time together... and apart. And then there are trips where you are together all day. You mourn the vacation you envisaged; lingering shopping, mooching around museums, leisurely sips of coffee, reading a book by the pool...And finally there comes acceptance and you have a different good time.
My sisters Pietra and Sharon and her two children, Finn, 11, and Leah, nine, - who had a broken leg - had waited nearly two hours for us at arrival. We were the last ones out and it seemed we had neglected to get in the fast family line. (Oh heck, sorry...)
|Leah, Sharon, Pietra and Tallulah|
We waited a while for our next flight, then Sharon had to take Finn to sing at his school's final assembly. Finn gave us a preview of the song, simple but true: "NZ is cool, man. NZ is choice. NZ is the place to be for all girls and boys" If you say this with a "New Zild accint" then "Choice" does indeed rhyme with "Boys."
We boarded another plane for my old University town of Wellington. Anyone who thinks bungy jumping is the scariest thrill Downunder should fly into Wellington. Ready for landing? The winds are fair whipping up the skirts of the seas. The plane starts bumping and thumping from the gale force Southerlies, it turns low over the open seas thumping, bumping and now swaying, swoops down low over the stormy seas and then straight onto the runway.
|Flying into Wellington|
You may have met Snow and George when I took Tallulah to NZ last in January. On seeing Snow's photo an Oakland friend said: "That has got to be the happiest guy in New Zealand." The expression "grinning ear to ear" is all Snow.
And I was the second happiest person in NZ last night just being with them. Their home is filled with comfortable Wairarapa antiques as well as blankets and rugs from when their lived in the Middle East. We sat on the velvet chaise. "It might look a bit formal" Kevin said. Georgine laughed: "Just wait for Snow to sit between us, no formality there."
|Georgina, Snow and me|