Thanks Monica for taking us to the airport...it made life much easier and it was good to spend those last few hours together!
We were at the airport early and so check-in was really easy because there were very few other passengers around, although the ones in front of us were re-packing their bags so that they weren't overweight. That was a bit nerve-wracking as we hadn't weighed our bags and so weren't sure how close to the limit we were....our limit was 120kg - we weighed in at 121kg!!!How is that for good packing?
Our Emirates flight left Heathrow at 8.40pm and for the next 30 hours all we did was eat, watch movies, get on and off planes and sleep (actually not too much sleep!) From Heathrow we flew 6 1/2 hours to Dubai where we had 2 hours in the airport, then we flew 5 1/2 hours to Bangkok where we had an hour in the airport before flying 11 hours (I think) to Sydney, where we had another hour in the airport before flying to Christchurch where we landed half an hour ahead of schedule at 1.45pm.
After spending about 2 hours getting through customs and MAF (yes, we did have to unpack the tents) it was good to see Annie waiting for us. It then took ages to get the rental car sorted out, but they upgraded us to a Ford Falcon XR6 - a big car, but not enough boot space! Thanks for taking our extra bags Annie! Lionel & the kids were a bit worried about me driving the XR6 - when I took off from the lights and round-abouts my foot was a bit heavy on the gas and we were thrown back in our seats and it felt like an aeroplane taking off!!! Just as well the car goes back before I get out onto the open road.
We spent the weekend with our friends Dean, Tania & Amelia Comerford (Sam stayed in Cromwell) and it was really good to have our first weekend back in NZ with them. We did lots of talking and lots of eating and they helped to keep us up until a respectable hour in the evening. Lionel also enjoyed watching the All Blacks beat Australia (on TV) on Saturday night - a good welcome home for him.
We have been tired, but not completely out of sync with the New Zealand time zone so that has been good. Daylight saving starts this weekend so we will have to put our clocks forward an hour and adjust again!