Day 9 – Christchurch

December 6, 2015

This was the day we had to catch the flight to Christchurch and we started from the house around 11 am and drove to Auckland. We reached at the airport around 3 pm. It was a long drive and all I wanted to do was just lie down in the bed and just read.

It was a very short flight to Christchurch and we took our rental car and decided to have dinner at a south Indian restaurant called Southern Spice. I was really craving for some good south Indian food and the food was quite good. It is run by Malayali chef and the place was small and it took time for us to get out food but the food was really good.

By the time we reached the motel, it was 9.30 pm . The motel was pretty neat except for the one bathroom we had to share. The whole street was full of motels and they all looked pretty good from outside. FYI, one bathroom for 5 people is hard 🙂 especially in the morning.

It was a long day for us and by this time, I was just sick of the road trip. All I was craving for was a quiet day and a book.

Pet Peeve #3

Note : I just returned from a trip.

Dear Lady in Seat No. 24 H,

You were the person who sat in front of me in the Dubai to Seattle flight and the reason I noticed you is because you wished to sit in the window seat but unfortunately the one who reserved it wanted to as well. After you graciously moved in to your allocated seat, you let then know that you usually travel in a “Business class” because it is so spacious and the reason you are in the economy class is because it was all booked. As soon I heard it, I heard “Ting”  in the mind, I knew she was going to annoy me.

And as we all got settled and waited for our plane to move, I heard you have a conversation with your neighbor on where they were from? etc, etc. And without them asking, you informed them that you fly to Dubai often because you were born there but you stay in Denver. You apparently visit your brother often in Dubai because he lives in a villa in the Palm Island. You visit him every two months and you always fly “Business class” .

And as soon as the plane was in the air, I saw a hostess coming towards you since you called for her. I heard you asking for some drink and the hostess answered that they don’t serve that here. But apparently you always have that drink as soon as you board the plane because (you know it) you always travels in “Business class” .

After about 2 hours, you apparently was not comfortable sitting in an economy class seats because it was small for you and of course, you complained that this is the reason why you always fly “Business class” . Let’s not forget that it has nothing to do with you being overweight. But kudos to the man sitting adjacent to you who was tall and very muscly (Is that a word?) and he traveled without complaining in the economy seat.

And after I got up from a much-needed sleep, it was time for duty-free shopping. They were selling some stuffs for 30% off and of course you were checking it out. You then called a hostess to ask some questions about that and you were interested in some perfumes. You also asked if there were on sale as well but were informed that it was not. But you replied that whenever you travel in “Business class”, you always get them on sale.

You then made a new friend because the couple was from Dubai too. But you actually talked to a guy who was sitting next to them who also happened to be a Dubai-an and somehow convinced him to sit in front of me so that you can sit with the couple. Again you called the hostess since you had some questions about some stuffs you were interested in. And after talking to them for 5-6 times, you still didn’t buy anything and hostess apologized repeatedly that they don’t have any offer on the things she was interested in. Do the Business class has separate sale going on? I had no idea.

Anyway, By the time we reached Seattle, I was annoyed and was rolling my eyes everything I heard you. And when we got up to get off the plane, I heard you grumbling that you had to stand and wait for a long time to get down because you were not in the “Business class”.

Listen lady, NOBODY cares. You should have waited another day to see if they have “Business class” seats available. And for your information, nobody is sympathizing with you because you are “suffering” in the economy class. If you don’t want to suffer, then you should have spent more money to get a “First Class” seat, I am sure they had at least one seat available.

I really had to tell this annoying incident to your readers. I was so irritated by her. First of all, nobody needs to know that you always travel in “Business Class” and second of all, I don’t think you need to justify why you travelled in Economy class.

Day 2 – Auckland

December 29, 2015

We missed a day because of the time zone change. We reached Auckland at about 5.15 am and I was looking forward to a warm weather coming from Seattle. And when we came out, It was cold  and I wasn’t expecting it at all. By the time we cleared the immigration and had our breakfast, it was almost 8 am. I still had to wear my spring jacket because it was chilly not warm as I thought.

We then got our rental car and drove to our hotel. We stayed in Waldrof St. Marting Apartments in the central Auckland. It was right in the city. We were too early in the morning for our check-in so after taking to the receptionist, we decided to go around the city.

Mt. Eden

We went straight to Mt. Eden where they have a fantastic view of Auckland and there was a crater as well. We had a good walk around the crater and took some amazing picture of Auckland. We then drove to the Supermarket called New World. I wanted to see what they have and I wasn’t expecting much. But I was fascinated by such a big supermarket. I went and checked our every aisle. The food aisle had more influence of Asian and British products.

I loved that they had such huge varieties of Noodles. We got Uncle Ben’s ready made food which was available in Dublin. We had that as a back up for Anya and she loved it. Since we had lot of time on our hands, I wanted to visit a stationary shop nearby . I have know about the stationary shop, Typo but I have never been to one. We don’t have them in Seattle. I loved looking at all the items. I decided to get some pens for my planner buddies and of course, for myself as well.

They were having a cultural even on the main street of Auckland so they shut down the whole street. We waited outside to see the event. Then hubby dropped us in the hotel by 1 pm and went on to pick up our BIL and SIL from the airport. We were tired by the time we went to our room. So I decided to bathe and have a short nap for sometime. I got up at about 3.30 pm. We still had some jet lag but Anya was very happy to see her uncle and aunt.

We decided to take it easy and went to the Farmer’s night market in Auckland. I loved it. They had amazing food stalls that I didn’t know what I wanted to eat. I had some awesome Gyoza and some fresh fruit ice cream. We reached there by 6 pm and came back to our room by 9 pm. And we decided to sleep by 11 pm because we had a long drive the next day.

The first day was very exciting and jet lagged but I wish I had more time in Auckland to see more sight seeing.

Day 1 – Journey to New Zealand

December 25, 2015

This was the day after Thanksgiving and I couldn’t sleep at all during the night. My mind was full of  lists and I was anxious that I was going to forget something. With barely 5 hours of disturbed sleep, I got up at 7.30 am. We woke up Anya only by 8.30 so that we could just put on her dress and she would be ready. Our shuttle picked us up by 9.30 am since our flight was at 12.55 pm.

One of the best decisions we did was to get a travel stroller which can be used by a 4 year old. I did lot of research and found that Maclaren Techno XLR will fit perfectly but we really didn’t want to spend about $450 because we knew that it was going to be destroyed with all the travelling on what not. I decided to check on craigslist and lo behold, we found one for $60. FYI, it was well used and had some scratches and stains but we didn’t mind. The only problem was we got them only on the day we were leaving. Hubby left by 8 am to pick it up. I just wish we could have washed it because it looked like it was stored in the garage for a very long time.

Moving on, as soon as I sat on the shuttle I couldn’t contain my excitement. I was also nervous about travelling with a 4 year old for 14 hour journey. The airport security was smooth and we had some breakfast before we got on our plane. Our stop over was at Vancouver which was about 55 min trip from Seattle. I don’t know what I was expecting but as soon as I saw the plane, I was shocked. It was tiny as in only 30 people flight. I have never traveled in such a small plane and I was nervous.

Mt.Baker view from the plane

But the flight was really good, no turbulence and we reached Vancouver at the correct time. We had an 4 1/2 hrs in Vancouver till our next plane. We did our immigration check, Anya played in the play area and then we had our early dinner in the airport. Our check in started by 5.30 pm because we had a child under 5 years old  (yayyyy). The flight was full and that surprised me and it started late.

We flew in Air New Zealand and our seat which was the only faulty one in the whole plane  was uncomfortable because we couldn’t move the arm rest in between our seats. I was worried about how Anya will sleep but she found it easier to sleep with her head resting on the arm rest. Once we were on the air, our dinner got delayed. Thank God, we ordered Indian meal because that was the first served but we were waiting for the kids meal. Seriously airline, please give the kids meal first. We waited for about 45 minutes for our food from the time they started serving. She got so hungry that she ate the Indian meal.

In between all this drama, our flight hit an turbulence and it was bad. I usually don’t fare well with flights because of Acrophobia and the turbulence freaks me out. The flight was shaking so badly that I thought we were going to die, my heart felt heavy and I was holding the arm rest tightly and taking deep breaths. I think I even screamed once or twice .

Other than this, our flight was good. We slept by 10.30 pm and I surprisingly slept well and got up only because they were ready to serve breakfast. The view of the sky from the plane was beautiful. The almost sun rise, the sky had the orange hue and it was amazing.

And then we landed in Auckland. All I could think was, “Finally, Vacation.” Little did I know that this was going to be a jam packed vacation that I would need a vacation from this vacation.

Travel Journal – New Zealand

The Preparation

Our most awaited vacation of 2015 was to New Zealand. It all began with my BIL(Brother-in-law) asking us if we are interested in going to New Zealand for a vacation during November. We started getting excited about it because there was not New Zealand on my travel list. I started researching as soon as I could and loved their tourism website. I found lot of places I wanted to see and started making list on it. We booked our flight on August with Air New Zealand and we had one stop over at Vancouver. Our vacation was for 2 weeks and so we booked our stay and rental car.

To keep all the things in one place, I started writing on the traveler’s notebook School  so that I could carry it with me. My idea was to write a travel journal everyday and collect some brochures along the way so that I could always look back and remember them. I love the idea of carrying them with me. I had lot of list in my notebook, Things to see, Things to eat Embarrassed smile, Trip details, Tour packages and Stationary shop to visitOpen-mouthed smile. I loved decorating my travel journal and had the idea of writing on it every night before going to sleep.

I read some blog about New Zealand to prepare myself and one of the thing I remember reading is that it doesn’t have good internet and they were WRONG. On each place we stayed they had the internet and they were really good. They also sell temporary SIM card for traveller’s and We got one from Vodafone for $45 which had 250 min talk time and 2GB data which worked good for us during our 2 weeks. I think  you do need to get one of this because we were using our mobile as our GPS. Another issue was that it was expensive so I was worried about spending there. Yes, it is expensive but with the exchange rate to US Dollars, it was not bad. The groceries were just a dollar or so expensive but the shocking price inflation was beauty and skin care products.  I had a shock when I saw the price of Loreal hair color in the grocery store. As always, eating out is expensive and we ended up cooking ourselves.

I started packing summer clothes for our trip but realized that it was not going to be summer completely and took some light jackets with us which was a life saver. My handbag for this trip was Haiku bag which I got from TJ Maxx. I love purses which has lot of sections so that I can remember where they are and easily accessible. We decided to take only 2 suitcases and I also took some tea bags, coffee sachets from Starbucks and some hot chocolate for Anya. I also took 2 noodles packet because I wasn’t sure what was available there. I also packed sandals for the trip along with some more socks for just in case it was cold scenarios.

Our flight was the next day to Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving was a busy day for me because I had Volunteer in the morning and had to make soup for the potluck for dinner as well. So I finished packing over the weekend and just packed the hand luggage on Thanksgiving day. By the time we came home, we were so tired.

So began our journey to a land we have never been before.

From India

I have reached India after a long hassle on the way. We caught our flight in Dublin at 6.45 am on Friday. Our transit in London was a nightmare. We had just about an hour and half for our next flight and of course, in between we had to cross about 3 security check with a long queue. We were pretty sure that we will miss the flight.

We actually ran to get into the flight and Thank god, after that we had a smooth flight. The trouble began again after we reached chennai. Because of all the rush, our suitcases didn’t arrive with our flight 😦 . I was pretty pissed but at least they gave us some compensation for basic necessities.

Anyhoos, after reaching home, I wanted to blog and rant about it. Of course, when our computer at home froze on us after 5 min 😦 . I was lost without net. I couldn’t check my mails as they had all my friends contact number and I couldn’t check recent posts in my Facebook, etc, etc. All I could think of was that I hope my Farmville plants doesn’t die 😦 .

Today our computer was working ok and I thought I could blog something about it. I also bought some stuffs here 😀 and I took pictures for the haul. I am waiting for my computer to get better and then post the picture along with the article.

I was so excited when I went to the Health & Glow in chennai. I love that shop and bought some pretty cool stuffs. I also checked out Lakme cosmetics 🙂 . Will show you all in my future articles.