The leaving of the family home, in Dunedin, on the South Island, took place at some 9:00 in the morning, having been proceeded by the earliest wake up I've had in a very long time (8am). Since I left Christchurch on the 4th, actually. Anyway, I said goodbye to my cousin Rhys (18), who remained at home, and loading my substantial Luggage in the car along with my Aunt, Uncle and other two cousins Ryan (16) and Ben (13). All of them but Phillipa had soccer games scheduled for 10:30, so we ran me out to the airport, where I took my leave of them and checked in. All's well, my big suitcase was 32kg and the smaller one 20. My backpack (full sized caming modelish) was turned back at security as "It's well over 7kg". Well, the fellow at the counter checked it to Auckland, so all was well.
Got on the 737 at 11:00, took off at 11:20. Flew to Wellington, stayed on while some people got off, and others on, and continued reading The Firm. Really, all I cared about was that the wife made it out ok and they went on to have lots of kids, but I decided to finish it anyway. Scared me off becoming a real lawyer, anyway.
Then off to Auckland, where we landed around 2pm. Got off, collected my backpack, got on a bus to the International Terminal along with several other people, including a pair of elderly women who talked to each other of their future travels. One of them said she was on the 4:15 flight, and so when the other got off at the Quantas stop, I asked if she was going to Los Angeles. Thus I met Glenda, though I didn't catch her name to some later time. She admitted some trepidation at traveling alone, so I guided her through the terminal, through NZ exit processing, and to our gate.
At our gate, we discovered our flight was delayed until 6pm. Well, nothing to be done, so we sat down and I read "The Nonsuch" and my prize from the University of Otago Student Classics Society caption contest, a book called "1000 Years of the Olympic Games: Treasures of Ancient Greece", apparently put out in 2000 by the Powerhouse Museum of Sydney. (Entries here and here (Large))
We then discovered that for no clear reason, we had to go through a security checkpoint again. Oh well. Sat around for more time. Finally took off around 7pm. I got an aisle seat. A nice fellow (minister going to visit a friend's church) got the window, and his frequent flyer status got us the seat between empty.
Inflight movies were: Hildago (watched), Miracle (watched), avoided 50 First Dates and Envy.
Got to LAX at 12:00pm Saturday (LA time, (7:00am Sunday my time). Got off at 12:30 and most distinctly missed my (12:44) connecting flight by the time I hit customs. Asked what to do. Was told wait in this line. Noted that other people with e-tickets were being told something else. Asked again, told to go to America West.
America West is in Terminal 2, whereas Air New Zealand is in Terminal 1. So I took my cartload of baggage and stood in line over there.
At the counter, I was told that while I had a reservation, I didn't have a ticket, e or otherwise. Go to Air New Zealand and get am FIM from them. Went to ANZ, told to stand in line. Hung around with a bunch of Canadians who seemed to have some vaguely similar problem. One of them pointed out she could walk right out of the terminal and become an American, but I failed to see how impressive that is. Told that I can't get an FIM until I have a ticket from America West to exchange, but that the reservation I was printed out showed I was issued a ticket, so I should be able to file a "lost ticket form" or such. Went back to America West, stood in line again. Was told I absolutely didn't have a ticket, that my reservation was unpaid for. Oh well. Paid for a new ticket, $219.20. Got bless American Express. Checked my bags, and despite being well over the 50lb weight limit, wasn't charged extra.
Flight 160 from LAX to Phoenix was scheduled for 3:50. It was delayed, I was told, and arrangements were being made. It finally took off at 5:00,
(12pm Sunday). Took an hour to get to Phoenix, then the same plane went on to Austin, but we were all required to get off and then back on again, as it was a different flight number. Lucky that it was the same plane, or I would have missed that connection. Tried to call home, but the line was busy, so I just hoped that Dad would show up.
Got to Austin around 11:30, and with baggage and such got home around midnight. Talked, had ice cream. Sister arrived home soon later, and so we talked some more. Then internet catchup, and collapsing into bed sometime after 4am.
Now to do the same, a little before same.