Monday, December 22, 2014

the 10,000 miles of travel

It's no easy feat to get to Auckland, New Zealand.  It's no easy feat to take a toddler to Auckland, New Zealand. 

I've taken this long road of travel many times now.  I'd say 10+ times at this point.  It all started when we pulled out of our frozen and frosty driveway.  That was enough for us to hightail it to Sky Harbor without looking back.  

We chose to travel on the busiest day before Christmas.  This really was not a problem though.  The terminal was crazy in Phoenix, but that was as far as it went.  As we waited to board our Phoenix to Los Angeles domestic flight, both of us started to get nervous because Callum could not sit still.  He ran around like a crazy person, and I had visions of what it might be like to have him in an enclosed box for 12 hours plus 2 other flights.  

As the plane taxied on the runway, Callum was keenly interested in what was going on.  The second the plane left the ground Callum did not want to look out the window for another second.  He jumped to Jason-he was further from the window than me-and fell asleep within moments.  That was the extent of the domestic flight. Easy. 

5 minutes into the flight-OUT

Jason had been scheming for days about how we could get better seats on the plane from Los Angeles to Fiji.  When we got to the check-in counter, the lady told us we got the best seat possible considering the toddler in tow.  The very first row-two seats to ourselves with the option of a bassinet.  I was very excited to hear that luck had erred in our favor for this flight.  
We really really enjoyed spending time in the newly renovated Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX.  It was brand spanking new and absolutely spot-on for the travel needs of people taking long haul flights.  I ate high dollar sushi, and we enjoyed window shopping at all the fancy schmancy shops.  The grand finale of the terminal was the children's play area:  a traveling parent's best friend. 

playing in the international terminal-new pajamas!

We boarded the flight at 9pm-bound for Fiji.  Fiji Airways was happy for us to use a bassinet-despite the fact that Callum's feet hung out the edge.  That was an absolute Christmas miracle.  I have no doubt that Callum would have done great on our laps, but I am so appreciative of the fact that we were able to all get a little extra sleep because of that crib.  
just about to board in LAX
We met two other couples who were American/Fijiian and American/Kiwi.  In both cases they had married American girls.  We really enjoyed visiting with them and being able to relate to what it's like to constantly be pulled to two different hemispheres. 

fancy Fijiian design on the plane

taking off-tired tired baby

So, Fiji was a bust.  They are doing major renovations on their airport right now. Because of this, it was not a pleasant experience to wait in transit for our New Zealand flight.  Callum was overly tired and refused to sit on chairs for even a minute.  Jason and I were so tired and either of us were up to let Callum roam through duty-free shops.  
After the exhausted misery of waiting for a third flight, we were ecstatic to board the 3.5 hr flight to New Zealand.  Again, great seats.  We drugged Callum, and he slept every second of the plane ride.  I'm pretty sure Jason and I stared out the window the whole time in anticipation for seeing the clouds and land that is New Zealand.  Once we did, it was such relief and joy.  Oh, how we love this place.  It's just heaven on earth for so many reasons.  The turquoise sea and the green hilly country is a sight for sore eyes.  
All in all, our transit was smooth considering the many miles we logged to get here.  Our stroller is lost somewhere in LAX, Fiji, or maybe in Auckland.  Callum, at some point, put a knife in our diaper bag which prompted a thorough search of all bags we packed. Other than that, we are just over the moon.  

In Fiji you walk outside after deplaning-so HOT and humid.  loved it

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