Seattle to New Zealand-our 24 hour odyssey

The view from our ferry as we leave Auckland for Waiheke Island

You only turn 60 once so off to the South Pacific we went to celebrate Thom’s birthday.  And while New Zealand is a dreamy once-in-a-lifetime trip for sure, seeing Bruce Springsteen play the last concert on his Summer Tour in Auckland will make it even more memorable.  Friday night our trip began heading off halfway round the world to see THE BOSS.

Monday at 1 p.m. our luggage finally caught up with us.  Oh Air Canada!  You are friendly, polite folk but damn it don’t make me start my vacation without a toothbrush.  I joked with the Air Canada dude at the airport when we checked in that it would be a miracle if our bags actually stayed with us through 3 flights from the US to Canada to Sydney to Auckland.  And they didn’t.  Thom says it’s my fault.  I jinxed it.  Oops.  No more joking about luggage.  More prayers and good karma next time.  I’ve already decided to carry-on only to India and Germany next month when I travel for business.  It’s not cool to go to meetings and be a rumpled smelly mess.

Overall the flights didn’t suck too badly and we got to catch up on our movie watching.  I finally got to see Bridget Jones’ Baby which had me laughing out loud on the plane. I noticed the gal next to me also watched it and was laughing too so I didn’t feel so bad.  I also finally had time to check out Jane The Virgin and it was quite funny as well.  Thom took a different path and watched all the dark, violent shows I would never watch with him.  The airplane food was not good as expected but when you are captive for 18+ hours, you get hungry so even the mystery meat sandwich goes down with some free hooch, though I did take the barf bag with me as I exited the plane because you just never know when what goes down comes back up.

Auckland's landmark reminds me of our Space Needle
Auckland’s landmark reminds me of our Space Needle

After spending quality time with baggage customer service to track down our missing bags that decided they liked Australia and didn’t want to make the next flight to NZ, we hopped onto the bus to Auckland to get our ferry to Waiheke Island.  As we neared our destination and were the only passengers left on the bus, our driver asked us, “Did you vote for Trump?”  Spontaneously without hesitation I yelled, “OH. HELL.NO.”  He laughed and asked us how on earth did Americans elect this “nut”.  Thom tried to explain to him about the uninformed, racist, disengaged voters who supported Trump but basically we apologized for the embarrassment of our country to the world.  Well, that didn’t take long!  We’re on vacation running away from the political chaos  at home and we are asked to justify it.  Temporary insanity and suspension of all things right and good by millions of people but not the majority of citizens?  Yep, pretty much.

Thom celebrating his birthday relaxing in a beanbag on the beach
Thom celebrating his birthday relaxing in a beanbag on the beach

The luggage finally arrived at our arbnb beach cottage after multiple calls to the airline.  We refreshed and made ourselves  presentable to walk, yes walk, to the winery next door.  Conveniently, we are staying on Waiheke Island or the “Isle of Wine” as it is now called because, on this tiny rock outcropping an hour by boat from Auckland with 8,000 residents, there are 20 wineries.  So much wine, so little time.  Cheers!

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