All you have to do is get on a plane, wait a while, and get off the plane. Presto! You’re in a whole new world.
After a surprisingly smooth ride to the airport (despite the dozens and dozens and dozens of cars veered off on the shoulders, abandoned by their owners during the fast-moving storm on Wednesday night), our flights went smoothly. Even the 12-hour flight to Auckland seemed not so long. They started us off with the safety video, but their version was very funny and featured their rugby team, the All Blacks, so everyone paid attention. Our much-vaunted Ambien was not quite as miraculous as we’d hoped, but we both got some sleep. The only bad part was that a passenger several rows up was taken ill. The crew administered oxygen and then chest compressions, but word among the passengers afterwards was that the poor man didn’t make it. Sad start to the day, but our spirits were lifted by the fact that we were in NEW ZEALAND!
Shuttle in the darkness to our hotel, which has a slightly funky bathroom but a coffeemaker, hairdryer and a great harbor view. We were able to check in way early, and after restorative showers are headed into the city to scope it out. The overnight tropical storm is gone, clouds are lifting, the sun is starting to peek out, and anything is possible.