The leaving of the apartment and NZ was structured and organised with a hint of last minute chaos and panic. In the last few days, both the Husband and I had emergency dental work. The Husband had an infected broken tooth extraction and spent the last week on antibiotics with a strict ‘no alcohol’ clause! As you can imagine, the Husband was not best pleased as all his leaving ‘dos’ and final catch-ups with friends were rendered tea-total!! I tried to describe how nice the alcohol was, but this didn’t seem to help 🙂 I broke a retainer wire but managed to get it fixed 16 hours before having to leave for the airport. Our final culinary experiences in New Zealand were … soft.
On the morning of departure, Daughter Number 2 overslept and didn’t arrive when expected – but after we phoned, she drew on her super-human ‘last minute catch-up’ powers honed by years of procrastination and managed to get out of bed, shower and run to the apartment in staggeringly quick time! Then as as we were trying to put the final items into our bags and go through our ‘turn the hot water off, empty the last things from the fridge, check every room to make sure we haven’t left anything’ final check-list, the fire alarm in the building went off accompanied by the extremely loud and repetitive “please evacuate the building now” instruction over the loud speakers. I made the executive decision to ignore these instructions and calmly carried on. The Husband had the fire-thing totally covered and was fully occupied sniffing for smoke and check for leaping flames. I should mention that I had seen lots of construction materials and power tools entering the building earlier that morning so took a punt that the builders had set off the alarm, as usually happens. The assumption proved correct and very shortly after the arrival of the fire engines peace (and our blood pressure) returned to normal levels. Deep breaths were taken by all and we left the apartment with five minutes to spare!
Daughter Number 2 was invaluable in walking all our stuff up to the airport bus as it is awkward and has no wheels like traditional luggage. Our panniers are wrapped in cardboard inside two Chinese laundry bags finished off with washing line to hold everything firmly together. Even though the washing line is colour coordinated with the laundry bags, we did not ‘cut a dash’ at check-in and nobody was eyeing our stuff with envy – Louis Vuitton luggage, this ain’t!
The plane journey was long but offered an excellent selection of new movies; aided in part by our recent ‘extreme saving’ lifestyle that excluded going to the cinema. LAX was horrid as usual but has achieved new heights in irritating process. Trump and the fact that we landed at 2am (Auckland time) both took their toll. I am strictly a ‘morning’ after ‘8 hours sleep’ type person so this is not a good time for me to comprehend queuing mazes, muffled loud speaker announcements and the confused instructions of airport staff as they try to figure out the new rules and processes.
Finally we arrived in Denver, and BTW they have an underground train that takes you from the terminal to baggage claim, which is super cool. I am now writing this sitting on a beautifully tranquil deck overlooking pine trees. The sun is shining, and I have already seen squirrels and deer 🙂 The Husband has gone with his sister-in-law to the ‘store’ (supermarket) with a bunch of coupons to shop the American way – he will be in his element!