Day 1 New Zealand
The departure time on the monitor changed abruptly. I sighed. Sherry and I sat in the terminal of the Shreveport airport waiting to board our flight to Houston. We had a narrow window to transfer to our flight from Houston to Los Angeles and then from Los Angeles to Auckland, New Zealand. Someone had just tipped over the first domino! Soon, all of our plans could be wrecked.
But, I remained calm. We had wisely planned a seven hour layover in Los Angeles before boarding the flight to down under. Our flight from Shreveport left an hour late at 1141 A. M. and we landed in Houston with ten minutes to journey across the airport to the Los Angeles flight gate. If you’ve never been to the Houston airport, I would say Frodo had a much easier journey getting the ring to Mount Doom than Sherry and I had getting from B14 to C45. We arrived one minute before the flight was scheduled to leave and, of course, they had “closed the door”. But, our agent in Shreveport had been kind enough to schedule us on the next LA flight just 30 minutes after this one. So, we hurried from C45 to C29 which was about three football fields in length!
Our flight to LA was uneventful, if not long — 4 hours. Now, we faced a new hurdle. When we made our flight reservations, we were assured our luggage could be checked into Shreveport and transferred all the way to New Zealand. But, alas, our small airport in Shreveport didn’t “have the app” that would allow them to send our luggage on to Auckland! So, we had to with an hour and a half to pick up our luggage in LA then make it across LAX airport to another terminal where we finally checked in for our flight to New Zealand. Frodo, give ME the ring!
We boarded our flight to New Zealand at 915 P.M. Pacific time, 1115 PM our time. By then, we had been in airports or on an airplane for 12 hours. And, we were facing a 13 hour flight to Auckland. Do the math. More than 24 hours of travel time. The only positive development would be our seats. We had purchased “economy premium” and we had the new “spaceseats”. You couldn’t lay down flat like the seats in business class. But, the price was far more reasonable and the spaceseats were extremely comfortable like being enclosed in a cocoon of comfort and seclusion. Sherry slept for 10 hours of the 13. I watched “The Hobbit — The Desolation of Smaug” in preparation for our arrival in Middle Earth.
The flight was, as they say down here, lovely. As we were descending into Auckland, the sun rose over the high clouds and filled the sky with a fiery display of beauty unlike any had long seen. I couldn’t take a picture because all “electronic devices must be stowed and placed in the off position”. Oh for a simply instamatic again.
We made it safely and quickly through immigration and customs and our friends, Alex and Grant were waiting with a hot pick banner with a Kiwi on it. And, we were off on our first day in New Zealand. It was early, around 830 AM by the time we climbed into their mini-van. We headed to downtown Auckland for a busy and windy cool day. My mistake was not changing out of my work shoes into my running shoes. We covered 5 miles in walking and by 3 P.M. New Zealand time (8 P.M. Shreveport time) my four hours of sleep had long left me weak and tired. But, here are some pictures from our first day. Just check out the captions for details.